Transformation: Week 2 Summary — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Transformation: Week 2 Summary

Transformation: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, July 3-Friday, July 8, 2016

I believe the message of the crucified Jesus is a statement about what to do with your pain. It’s primarily a message of transformation, and not a transaction to “open the gates of heaven” unless you are talking about being drawn into heaven right now. (Sunday)

The crucified and resurrected Jesus shows us how to transform pain without denying, blaming, or projecting it elsewhere. In fact, there is no “elsewhere.” Jesus is the victim in an entirely new way because he receives our hatred and does not return it, nor does he play the victim for his own empowerment. (Monday)

God uses the very thing that would normally destroy you—the tragic, the sorrowful, the painful, the unjust—to transform and enlighten you. (Tuesday)

The Christ Mystery, and even more precisely the crucified Christ, is thus the template for all creation, revealing the necessary cycle of loss and renewal that keeps all things transforming and moving toward ever further life. (Wednesday)

In sacred space, the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy. (Thursday)

The pattern of temporary falling apart precedes every transition to a new level of faith, hope, and love. (Friday)


Practice: Meditating on the Cross

CAC’s logo, an oval framing two intersecting arrows forming the cross of Christ, shows a collision of opposites. One arrow leads downward, preferring the truth of the humble. The other moves leftward against the grain. All is wrapped safely inside a hidden harmony: one world, God’s cosmos, a benevolent universe. The Celtic cross also places the vertical and horizontal bars within a circle, embracing the suffering of Christ within our own human context and God’s eternal love.

Spend some time meditating on an image of the cross. Allow your body, mind, and heart to be completely present to the suffering of Jesus. Welcome your own memories or sensations of pain, sorrow, grief. Hold them gently within the circle of God’s presence—God’s solidarity with human suffering. See if you can hold the suffering with God and, at the same time, rest in faith that from every death comes new life; in every wound there is the opportunity for healing and hope.

Gateway to Silence:
Death to life, sadness to joy

For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Authentic Transformation (CD, MP3 audio download, MP4 video download)
Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
Richard Rohr, Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer
Richard Rohr, Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety

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