From the Bottom Up: Introduction Weekly Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation
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From the Bottom Up: Introduction Weekly Summary

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

From the Bottom Up: Introduction

Summary: Sunday, January 1-Friday, January 6, 2017

It’s time to rebuild Christianity from the bottom up. If the foundation is not solid and sure, everything you try to build on top of it is weak and ineffective. (Sunday)

If God is Trinity—love and relationality—that creates a very different kind of humanity. It leads us to a different worldview, sociology, politics, and sense of belonging and purpose. (Monday)

Christianity is meant to be a loving way of life now, not just a system of beliefs and requirements that people hope will earn them a later reward in heaven. (Tuesday)

Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God. (Wednesday)

The trajectory of history is positive. God is saving history, not just individuals. Inside this evolutionary trajectory, we can see that even “evil” and suffering will be used for good; they are the friction against which evolution’s wheels turn toward wholeness and new forms of life. (Thursday)

Most religion begins with a transcendent God up there in heaven, and then we try to explain everything down here in relationship to that transcendent God. Jesus taught us to find God incarnate in this world, in our neighbor, in the Eucharist—that is, in the ordinary elements of this earth. (Friday)

 

Practice: Affirmations

All of creation and each of us have received original blessing. Yet we have been conditioned to focus on the negative in ourselves and others. Think of a negative phrase you have said aloud or thought to yourself that stems from a sense of shame rather than your inherent dignity.

Turn it upside down and say, in first person, present tense, an affirmation of your God-given value. For example:

I am unlovable. . . . I am infinitely loved.
I don’t have enough. . . . I have everything I need.
I am stupid. . . . I have the mind of Christ.
I am worthless. . . . I am precious in God’s eyes, I am honored, and God loves me.

Repeat the positive statement aloud, slowly, with intention and trust, several times. Then rest silently in the awareness that you are already and forever, without any effort or achievement on your part, a beloved child of God.

Gateway to Silence:
Create in me a new heart, O God.

Reference:
Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (CAC: 2016), 110-111.

For Further Study:
Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, and Richard Rohr, Returning to Essentials: Teaching an Alternative Orthodoxy (CAC: 2015), CD, MP3 download
Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (CAC: 2016)

Image credit: Galapagos Before Sunset (detail) by Iris Diensthuber, summer 2007.

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