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Center for Action and Contemplation

Resurrection: Weekly Summary and Meditating on New Life Practice

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Today is the feast of hope, direction, purpose, meaning, and community. We’re all in this together. —Richard Rohr

The true meaning of the raising of Jesus is that God will turn all our human crucifixions into resurrection. —Richard Rohr

As we share God’s love with our brothers and sisters, God’s other children, there is no tyrant who can resist us, no oppression that cannot be ended, no hunger that cannot be fed, no wound that cannot be healed, no hatred that cannot be turned to love, no dream that cannot be fulfilled. —Archbishop Desmond Tutu 

The Resurrected Jesus resurrected his disciples by inviting them away from the despair of death that was the cross into the hope of new life that was the resurrection. —Kelly Brown Douglas

God’s one and only job description is to turn death into life. That’s what God does with every new springtime, every new life, every new season, every new anything. —Richard Rohr

Where is this risen Christ? Everywhere and all around us—in you, your neighbor, the dogwood tree outside, the budding grape vine, the ants popping up through the cracks. We are Easter people, and we are called to celebrate the whole earth as the body of Christ. —Ilia Delio

Meditating on New Life

I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly. —John 10:10

Author and retreat leader Joyce Rupp guides readers in a meditation on the liminal experience of standing on a threshold, held between death and new life. She writes:

The power of a threshold resounds in the story of the resurrection. From the hollow deadness of the tomb, Christ came forth transformed with unmistakable splendor. So in our threshold experiences, the Holy One’s life-giving energy frees and gifts us with what enables us to express the beauty of our soul. . . .

Sit on a chair that is placed across a doorsill. Recall the formation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. First, see the caterpillar crawling along, munching leaves. Then, visualize this little creature creating the chrysalis in which it will hang. Imagine you are inside this quiet, dark space of metamorphosis. Let yourself sit quietly inside that threshold of change for as long as you can. You do not need to do anything but just “be there.” After some quiet time, picture a brilliant monarch butterfly coming forth from the chrysalis. Join in the wonder and freedom of its first flight. Close this reflection by turning your heart in trust toward the One who brings you fullness of life.

Rupp offers this prayer:

Gestating Spirit,

your gifts of transformation

await me on every threshold.

Your life-giving power raised Christ

from the bleak tomb. . . .

Raise what has died in me.

Refresh it with your touch of love.

I open the door of my heart to you. I open the door.

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

Joyce Rupp, Open the Door: A Journey to the True Self (Notre Dame, IN: Sorin Books, 2008), 96–97.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Suzanne Szasz, Window Box at 69th Street (detail), 1973, photograph, New York, public domain, National Archives. Jenna Keiper, Icon at the Center for Action and Contemplation (detail), 2021, photograph, New Mexico, used with permission. Suzanne Szasz, At High Rock Park on Staten Island (detail), 1973, photograph, New York, public domain, National Archives. 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: We are invited to fully experience resurrection wherever we are. Can you sense it? See it? Smell it? Touch it? It’s all around.

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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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.