Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Paul’s Dialectical Teaching: Weekly Summary

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Paul’s Dialectical Teaching

Summary: Sunday, April 5-Friday, April 10, 2015

Once the conflict has been overcome in you, and you realize you are a living paradox and so is everyone else, you begin to see life in a truly spiritual way. (Sunday)

You are a part of the body of Christ. The only way you are going to really respect your own and others’ full and divine character is by recognizing we all participate in the one true unity. (Monday)

What Paul means by Christ is the participatory mystery of Jesus continued through time and space in us! (Tuesday)

The “body” concept realizes that the individual person cannot carry the weight of glory any more than he or she can carry the “burden of sin.” (Wednesday)

The compassionate holding of essential meaninglessness or tragedy, as Jesus does on the cross, is the final and triumphant resolution of all the dualisms and dichotomies that we face in our own lives. We are thus “saved by the cross”! (Thursday)

The problem is not that you have a body; the problem is that you think you are separate from others. (Friday)


Practice: Holding the Tension

Think of one controversial issue that you are “suffering” with and acknowledge two or more possible outcomes or realities. Try to not take sides, but hold the pain of contradictions and seeming impossibilities. Ask God to hold you since you cannot hold yourself.

As with contemplative prayer or meditation, whenever you get caught in thinking through the pros and cons or are tempted to choose a particular side, simply return to holding the tension. Rest in God’s presence which holds you and the impossibility of this paradox.

Emerging from this spaciousness, you can now be taught by the Holy Spirit. It might just be wisdom you receive, instead of only knowledge.

Gateway to Silence:
I am not separate.

For Further Study:
A New Way of Seeing . . . A New Way of Being: Jesus and Paul (CD, MP3 download)
St. Paul: The Misunderstood Mystic (CD, MP3 download)

Image Credit: St. Paul Preaching in Athens (detail) by Raphael (1483-1520), Royal Collection of the United Kingdom.
Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

The Prophetic Path

It can be easier to turn away from suffering than face it with an open heart. That’s why our 2023 Daily Meditations theme, The Prophetic Path, empowers us to not avoid or fear the pain of the world, but turn toward it with compassion.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Nothing Stands Alone. What could happen if we embraced the idea of God as relationship—with ourselves, each other, and the world? 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.