Sermon on the Mount: Week 2
The experience of forgiveness or mercy is the experience of a magnanimous God who loves out of total gratuitousness. (Sunday)
If the heart is awake and clear, it can directly receive, radiate, and reflect the unmanifest divine Reality. —Cynthia Bourgeault (Monday)
If you want peace, work for justice. —Pope Paul VI (Tuesday)
Pax Romana creates a false peace by sacrificing others; but the peace Jesus speaks of—Pax Christi, the peace of Christ—waits and works for true peace by sacrificing the false self of power, prestige, and possessions. (Wednesday)
Wisdom people like Jesus have passed through a major death to their ego. This is the core meaning of transformation. (Thursday)
We think of Jesus’ teaching as prescriptions for getting to heaven (even though we haven’t followed them). Instead, the Sermon on the Mount is a set of descriptions of a free life. (Friday)
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 and blessed child of God.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Center for Action and Contemplation: 2016), 110-111.
For Further Study:
Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart (Jossey-Bass: 2003)
John Dear, The Beatitudes of Peace: Meditations on the Beatitudes (Twenty-Third Publications: 2016)
Eknath Easwaran, Original Goodness: On the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount (Nilgiri Press: 1996)
Richard Rohr with John Bookser Feister, Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount (Franciscan Media: 1996)
Richard Rohr, Sermon on the Mount (Franciscan Media: 1991), CD