Religion’s main and final goal is to reconnect us (re-ligio) to the Whole, to ourselves, and to one another—and thus heal us.
Jesus was a “wholemaker,” bringing together those who were divided, separated, or left out of the whole. He initiated a new way of “catholicity,” a gathering together of persons in love.
Francis of Assisi had a unique wholeness. He was at once very traditional and entirely new in the ways of holiness, and he is still such a standing paradox. He stood barefoot on the earth and yet touched the heavens.
In the wilderness, I sense the wholeness hidden “in all things.” It is in the taste of wild berries, the scent of sunbaked pine, the sight of the Northern Lights, the sound of water lapping the shore, signs of a bedrock integrity that is eternal and beyond all doubt.
All of this is to say, that God saves you IN your body, not FROM your body. Your body is in the same form and substance as that which God chose to put on and walk among us as Jesus. Your body is holy and beautiful to God—your young, old, fit, fat, cis, queer, disabled, strong body. For after all, it is the human body in which God placed God’s image, the imago dei.
Before we could offer songs of praise and appreciation, or feast, or fellowship, we had to remind one another of all the reasons we were so very, very grateful in the first place. And we had to allow a time to weep for all that had been taken and was still being taken.
—Marcie Alvis Walker
Week Forty Practice
A Prayer for Wholeness and Healing
CAC teacher James Finley offers a prayer for wholeness and healing. Click on the image below to join in Jim’s prayer.
Lord God, we thank you for the gift of the desire to be ever more clear and intimate in our awareness of your intimacy with us that’s sustaining us breath by breath by breath. We thank you for this.… We thank you for the desire not to break the thread of that connectedness with you as we go through the day, facing what we need to face, walking what we need to walk through.… We’re interiorly moved by your grace to reach out and touch the hurting places with love, that the suffering might dissolve in love, and to continue touching the hurting places with love until only love is left, and to be patient with this, and to be childlike, and to be open and faithful to this mysterious process in which we incarnate your healing presence in the midst of our lives. And we ask for this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Adapted from James Finley, “Wholeness and Hope,” 2023 Daily Meditations: The Prophetic Path, video, 11:46.
Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Alma Thomas, The Eclipse (detail), 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Alma Thomas, Snow Reflections on Pond (detail), 1973, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Alma Thomas, Snoopy—Early Sun Display on Earth (detail), 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Click here to enlarge image.
Many pieces form a collective, which makes a whole. We heal together.