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Center for Action and Contemplation
Incarnation - 2023
Incarnation - 2023

Incarnation: Weekly Summary

Saturday, December 23, 2023

When we speak of Advent or preparing for Christmas, we’re not just talking about waiting for the little baby Jesus to be born. That already happened two thousand years ago. In fact, we’re welcoming the Universal Christ, the Cosmic Christ, the Christ that is forever being born (incarnating) in the human soul and into history. —Richard Rohr

Mary is the model of the faith to which God calls all of us: a total and unreserved yes to God’s request to be present in and to the world through us. —Richard Rohr

There’s something subversively fleshly and carnal about Mary birthing God and her role as an active agent in the messy, material, and imminent. I wonder, What was it like for Mary to birth God? —Kat Armas

An incarnational worldview is one in which matter and Spirit are understood to have never been separate. Matter and Spirit reveal and manifest each other. This view relies more on awakening than joining, more on seeing than obeying, more on growth in consciousness and love than on clergy, experts, morality, scriptures, or prescribed rituals.
—Richard Rohr

The claim—God has become flesh—is so radical that it is virtually unthinkable and illogical. Christianity is the most radical of all world religions because it takes matter seriously as the home of divinity. —Ilia Delio

It is no use saying that we are born two thousand years too late to give room to Christ. Christ is always with us, always asking for room in our hearts…. And giving shelter or food to anyone who asks for it, or needs it, is giving it to Christ.
—Dorothy Day

Week Fifty-One Practice

The Breath of Incarnation

Father Richard encourages us to sit with our breathing as a way to participate in the mystery of incarnation:

Every time you take in a breath, you are repeating the pattern of taking spirit into matter, and thus repeating God’s creation of humankind (in Hebrew, ‘adam).

And every time you breathe out, you are repeating the pattern of returning spirit to the material universe. In a way, every exhalation is a “little dying” as we pay the price of inspiriting the world.

Your very breathing models your entire vocation as a human being. You are an incarnation, like Christ, of matter and spirit operating as one. This, more than anything we believe or accomplish, is how all of us—either knowingly and joyfully, or not—continue the mystery of incarnation in space and time.

Reference: Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope for, and Believe (New York: Convergent, 2019, 2021), 99.

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Madison Frambes, Untitled 7, 5 and 8 (detail), 2023, naturally dyed paper and ink, Mexico, used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.

Together we are the incarnate hands and feet and body of God.

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