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Center for Action and Contemplation

The Cosmic Christ: Week 1 Summary

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Cosmic Christ: Week 1

Summary: Sunday, March 26-Friday, March 31, 2017

Franciscan philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus taught that Christ was the very “first idea” in the mind of God. In other words, God wanted to manifest the Godself externally, so an eternal love affair could begin between matter and God who is spirit. (Sunday)

Bonaventure intuited that Alpha and Omega had to be the same, and the lynchpin holding it all together was the “Christ Mystery” visible everywhere—the essential unity of matter and spirit, humanity and divinity. (Monday)

In the beginning was the Blueprint. The Blueprint was with God. The Blueprint was God. And all things came to be through this inner plan. No one thing came to be except through this universal plan. (Tuesday)

We must rebuild from the very bottom up, and that means restoring the inherent sacrality of all things—no exceptions. We must reconnect all the links in “the great chain of being.” (Wednesday)

“There is one God and Creator of all, who is over all, who works through all, and is within all.” —Ephesians 4:6 (Thursday)

We made Christ into Jesus’ last name instead of realizing it was the description of his universal role in history and potentially in all world religions. I fully believe that there has never been a single soul that was not possessed by the Eternal Christ, even in the ages before the Incarnation of Jesus. (Friday)

Practice: Standing in Solidarity

Several months ago, CAC Living School alumni Ellen Haroutunian and Teresa Pasquale Mateus made separate visits to North Dakota to be in solidarity with the “water protectors” at Standing Rock. Here they witnessed contemplation in action: nonviolent, prayerful resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline and to the federal government’s ongoing disregard for tribal treaty rights.

Teresa writes:

This community, in its fullness, [calls] us to remember the ancient practice of peace and prayer, ceremony as part of life, and the intersection of action and deep spirituality. . . . As the elders say often in camp, they are armed for battle, but their only weapon is prayer. [Each day begins] with the call to prayer as the megaphoned announcer moves through camp calling, “Wake up, relatives! It is time for prayer! This is what you are here for!” [1]

Ellen reflects on a moving ritual led by Lakota elders:

On our last morning we had the privilege of attending a Water Ceremony. This is a ceremony that is usually carried out by women, but all were invited to participate that day. Accompanied by drums and song, we walked to the river to give an offering [typically tobacco]. . . .

We each in turn approached the Grandmother who stood at the end of the dock and leaned over to give our tiny offering to the flow. Grandmother handed us a pitcher to pour water back into the river. Then she poured water from it into our cupped hands so that we could drink of the water that is life. Her lined and wizened face beamed at each one of us.

“Water is life!” the elders shouted, and the crowd called back, “Water is life!” Then “Water is life” was called out over and over in multiple languages, including many Native American languages, Ukrainian, Dutch, Farsi, and even Hebrew. . . . Water is life, and all of what is happening in this far, cold corner of the world is so much bigger than any religion, government, or institution can manage or legislate. The river is flowing and growing, down to the sea, we sang. There’s a larger flow that carries us all onward.

The choice to divest oneself of comfort and safety, to stand with the marginalized and affirm their dignity, seems more important than ever. That has always been the Christ path, but perhaps we are now going to be awakened to it with more urgency. No matter the outcome of political machinations and the strivings of empire, there is a quiet stream of loving resistance that values the true riches of the Kingdom of God—the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed, the marginalized. It is the way that leads to Life. [2]

Gateway to Silence:
In the beginning . . . and the end.

[1] Teresa Pasquale Mateus, interviewed by Ordinary Mystic,
[2]Ellen Haroutunian, Living School Alumni Spotlight.

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology, & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (CAC: 2010), MP3 download
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014)
Richard Rohr, The Cosmic Christ (CAC: 2009), CD, MP3 download

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