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Center for Action and Contemplation
Summary: Nothing Stands Alone
Summary: Nothing Stands Alone

Summary: Nothing Stands Alone: Weekly Summary

Saturday, December 31, 2022

I hear at my center words that say: “I have called you by name, from the very beginning. You are mine and I am yours. You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests. I have molded you in the depths of the earth and knitted you together in your mother’s womb.”
—Henri Nouwen

When there isn’t a primary understanding of who Jesus is as part of the Trinity, Jesus will be used for our own nationalistic and egocentric purposes, as a means of power and a ticket to heaven. Can we all be converted, not to Jesus (as strange as that must sound) but to the Trinity, where Jesus Christ actually exists? —Richard Rohr

Person-to-person is the way the gospel was originally communicated. Person-in-love-with-person, person-respecting-person, person-forgiving-person, person-touching-person, person-crying-with-person, person-hugging-person: that’s where the Spirit is so beautifully present. —Richard Rohr

Mother Earth and Father Sky are pushing us into a divine reckoning about what it means to be in right relationship with one another and all sentient beings in the twenty-first century and beyond. It is clear to me that the actions we take now will have deep and irreversible consequences for the generations to come. —Jennifer Bailey

The whole gospel message is radical union with God, with neighbor, and even with ourselves. I think that’s why so many of us are drawn to church each week—to receive communion and to eventually, hopefully, realize that we are in communion.
—Richard Rohr

There is no separation between humans and God because of this mutual interabiding which expresses the indivisible reality of divine love. —Cynthia Bourgeault

Come to Contemplation

We draw this year to a close with a poetic reminder that nothing stands alone. The poem “I Am” is by poet Dedan Gills (1945–2015), and read by his wife Belvie Rooks on CAC’s The Cosmic We podcast

I Am 

I am old and wise as the night. I am as beautiful as a bird in flight.

I am the moon and the sea. I am the robin and the bee. I am the soil and I am the tree.

I’m the lion and the gazelle. I am heaven and I am hell. I am the ring and I am the bell.

I am the joy and I am the tear. I am the brave and I am the fear.

I am the blistering desert. I’m the freezing snow.

I’m the cringing coward and the gentle hero.

I’m the aged and I am the young. I am the weak and I am the strong.

I am the smile and I am the frown. I am the pauper and I am the crown.

I am the wrong and I am the right. I am the day and I am the night.

I am now and I am never. I am yesterday and I am forever.

I am the bitter and I am the sweet. I live on the hill and I live on the street.

I am the top and I am the bottom. I am Martin, Hitler, Gandhi, and Saddam.

I am red, black, yellow, brown, and white. I love, hate, laugh, cry, and fight.

All the universe is reflected in me. I am all that ever was and ever will be.

When I lose, it’s the lesson that I win. Judging others is my sin.


Dedan Gills, “I Am,” in I Give You the Springtime of My Blushing Heart: A Poetic Love Song, Dedan Gills and Belvie Rooks (Redlands, CA: 2019). Used with permission.

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 05 (detail), United States, photograph, used with permission. Benjamin Yazza, Untitled 12 (detail), United States, photograph, used with permission. NASA, Galaxy NGC 4013 (detail), 2020, United States, photograph, public domain. Jenna Keiper & Leslye Colvin, 2022, triptych art, United States. Click here to enlarge image.

Image inspiration: Infinitesimal. Massive. Incomprehensibly expansive. It is all connected: everything is a part of the whole, seen or unseen. Nothing stands alone.

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

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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.