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Center for Action and Contemplation
It Can’t Be Carried Alone
It Can’t Be Carried Alone

It Can’t Be Carried Alone: Weekly Summary

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Just as salvation is one collective reality, so too is evil. It is always collective. —Richard Rohr

Francis and Clare of Assisi had total trust that Jesus’ way of the cross could not, and would not, be wrong. They trusted that Jesus’ way was the way of solidarity and communion with the larger world which is indeed passing and dying. —Richard Rohr

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In loving solidarity, we each bear what is ours to carry, / the unjust weight of crucifixion, / in expectant hope for God’s transformation. —Richard Rohr

In the midst of crises, a solidarity guided by faith enables us to translate the love of God in our globalized culture, not by building towers or walls . . . but by interweaving communities and sustaining processes of growth that are truly human and solid.
—Pope Francis

Solidarity is love crossing the borders drawn by self-centrism, in order to enter into the situation of the other, for the purpose of mutual relationship and struggle that heals us all and enacts God’s beloved community. —Stephanie Spellers

Spiritual Practice for Crisis

The Rev. Dr. Barbara Holmes offers pastoral comfort and prophetic challenge in times of crises:

The crisis begins without warning, shatters our assumptions about the way the world works, and changes our story and the stories of our neighbors. The reality that was so familiar to us is gone suddenly, and we don’t know what is happening. Where there is no understanding, we create it. When we are anxious about our lack of control, we conjure theories that quell our anxiety. The truth of the matter is that we live on a mysterious planet, with other living beings whose interiority and spiritual realities are just beyond our cognitive reach.  

Embodied contemplative practices allow us to meet the challenges that crises bring to our lives. Today, we invite you to try one or more of these practices suggested by Dr. Holmes:

  1. Breathe deeply and exhale slowly three times.
  2. Your ancestors survived many crises. What were the crises of their days that required a communal response?
  3. What is the crisis of your day that requires a communal response?
  4. Sit for ten minutes. Feel the “troubles of this world.” Breathe deeply, exhaling your sense of helplessness, inhaling Ella Baker’s strength, channeling Rosa Parks’ quiet resolve. (Substitute exemplars as needed, but include one exemplar from a cultural community that is not your own.)
  5. Remember an instance of oppression against a group that is not yours.
    • What, if anything, did you feel called to do as an ally? Did you do it? If you did something in response to the crisis, what did you do and what happened as a result? . . .
    • If your community were under siege, what help would you need or want?

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

Barbara A. Holmes, Crisis Contemplation: Healing the Wounded Village (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2021), 19, 37.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Jenna Keiper, Wire (detail), 2021, photograph, New Mexico, used with permission. Paul Thompson, Untitled Icons (detail), 2021, video still, New Mexico. Jenna Keiper, Wire II (detail), 2021, photograph, New Mexico, used with permission. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States.

This week’s images appear in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story. 

Image inspiration: When the weight of the suffering of the world closes around us, we can easily feel suffocated from the grief and pain. What would happen if in these moments we reached out to connect with others? In grief and pain, together. Not alone. Together.

Prayer for our community:

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough,  because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Listen to the prayer.

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This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

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Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.