Meditating on the Stations of the Cross

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As we meditate on the fourteen Stations of the Cross, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we, too, are willing to take up our cross as Jesus did?  Are we willing to: 

  • drink that cup and be baptized with that baptism? (Mark10:38-39; Matthew 20:22-23; John 18:11)
  • present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
  • give up our preferences and submit to God’s will for our lives? (Philippians 3:7-9; cf.Luke 22:42)

Can we really honor the passion of Christ–really celebrate “the resurrection and the life” on Easter–if we are not also prepared to accept with thanksgiving his suffering and death in our body?

“Whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.” (Luke 9:24).“

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit…

When we become willing to take up our cross—willing to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holding nothing back—we find there is no necessary conflict between the hardships of life and the joy of our salvation.  The turn of events continue to unfold— time and chance happens to us all —but the gift of God is with us always; the kingdom of heaven is within us; among us; at hand.  It is, in a very real sense, spread out upon the earth (as is sometimes said) while remaining necessarily invisible to closed hearts and unsurrendered minds.  Rest assured, the Way of Life and the Way of the Cross coincide.  For when, by the grace of God,we become ready, willing, and able to relinquish control of our life on the horizontal plane (being crucified with Christ), we simultaneously receive the earnest of our inheritance (which is the power of the Holy Spirit) and awaken to the vertical dimension, being raised with Christ in newness of life even NOW (Ephesians 1:13; Colossians 2:12).  Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely…

“The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future. It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself…. The Now contains all that is needed for the absolute satisfaction of our deepest cravings…. In the Now we are at home at last.”

~ Thomas Kelly, “A Testament of Devotion”

–>  More on The Stations of the Cross


Traditional Stations of the Cross Prayer and Meditation Cards
(Available on eBay)

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Revisiting “The Divine Presence ‘I Am'”

Getting to Know Jesus in the 21st Century was written in the Spring of 2012 and was first shared on this blog in late June of that same year.  A little over a year later, The Divine Presence “I Am” appeared a rather provocative work, in the eyes of some, but one which has since come to light as a kind of sequel to the original.  It remains the most sustained effort to date, in the context of this blog, to point to the living Reality that IS Christ-in-you in conjunction with a close reading of scripture.  Moreover, because of the very pointed criticism that its initial publication sparked in some circles, it was reviewed and edited rather carefully in the months that followed and has, in fact, been revisited a number of times during the intervening years.  As such, perhaps it is not too soon to say that it has in a rather important sense stood the test of time…

In any event, it has seemed possible and appropriate of late to edit it once more and publish it in PDF format so that it can, indeed, take its rightful place as the sequel to Getting to Know Jesus in the 21st Century.  Without further adieu, then–here, for immediate download, is…

The Divine Presence “I Am”

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In the Spirit of Saint George

In the Spirit of Saint George

Almighty God, who gave to your servant
George boldness to Confess the Name of
our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of
this world, and courage to die for this faith:
Grant that we may always be ready to give
a reason for the hope that is in us, and to
suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus
Christ; who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen

–>  St. George Prayer Cards on eBay

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A Good Friday Meditation

Are we willing to acknowledge that the cross of Christ is our cross, too?

Are we not called to:

  • come and dietake up our cross? (Matthew 16:24)
  • drink that cup and be baptized with that baptism? (Mark 10:38; Matthew 20:22; John 18:11)
  • present our bodies a living sacrifice? (Romans 12:1)
  • give up our own priorities and submit to God’s will for our life? (Philippians 3:7-9; cf Luke 22:42).

Jesus says,

“Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it” (Luke 17:33).

And Paul writes,

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

As such, are we really honoring the passion of Christ– indeed, can we truly celebrate “the resurrection and the life” on Easter –if we do not also accept with thanksgiving his suffering and death in our own bodies?

–>  The Cross (Frithjof Schuon)

galatians 2 - 20 crucified with christ

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Christfulness Meditation, The Jesus Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.

(Be Silent and Listen)

Guided meditation by Ole Skjerbæk Madsen, music by Atte. Published by In The Master's Light.
For more information please visit www.inthemasterslight.net and www.christfulness.net
See also CD "Christfulness - Music for Meditation" with music by Torsten Borbye Nielsen

–>  In the Master’s Light

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I Surrender All

the lens of the separate self3It’s difficult not to see ourselves and our lives through the lens of the separate self–i.e. the egoic mind that is preoccupied with “my good” and “my evil” on the horizontal plane.  But we also have the mind of Christ and the power of the Spirit and, by virtue of this vertical orientation, have the option of “walking in the light as he is in the light” (I John 1:7).

I Am Crucified with ChristOf course, the egoic mind— the little control freak that is naturally reluctant to relinquish its throne –co-opts this verse and turns it into a legalistic burden. But when we truly take up our cross and present our bodies a living sacrifice — holding nothing back — we find there is no necessary conflict between the exigencies of life and the peace of Jesus.  The turn of events ebb and flow– time and chance happeneth to all –but the gift of God is with us always.  The kingdom of heaven is at hand; within us; among us–spread out upon the earth (albeit, invisible to the carnal/egoic mind).

define-kingdom-of-god

As such, the Way of Life and the Way of the Cross are one.  When we are ready to relinquish control of our life on the horizontal plane (i.e. to be crucified with Christ) we cross the the threshold of eternity NOW (being raised with him in newness of life).  Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely…

“The Now is no mere nodal point between the past and the future. It is the seat and region of the Divine Presence itself…. The Now contains all that is needed for the absolute satisfaction of our deepest cravings…. In the Now we are at home at last.” (Thomas Kelly, “A Testament of Devotion”)

–>  Now is the Accepted Time…

The Water of Life

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A False Dichotomy

the intersection between reason and faithThere is a tendency in fundamentalist and (some)  evangelical churches to set up a false dichotomy between science and faith–as if faith in God precludes a serious study of evolutionary biology (for example) and vise versa.  This same mentality also attempts to coerce people– through threats of hell and hopes of paradise –into believing in a factually inerrant bible (which they then use to bolster the authority of their personal opinions–most of which were arrived at through a similar process of coercive sectarian conditioning).  How much better to read BOTH the book of scripture AND the book of nature (and  to read both BOTH critically AND devotionally).  Experience suggests that both of these– when approached with an open heart and mind –point us to “the living Word” which speaks within the heart of every human being.

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” ~ John 5:39-40

–> Reading the Bible in the 21st Century…

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Trinitarian Panentheism

This short video introduces the idea of Trinitarian Panentheism…

in him we live and move

While we should never confuse the map with the territory, it may be that this point of view will help to provide some people with a “map” that more adequately orients them to the REALITY that is the mind of Christ and the power of the Spirit.

This young man appears to be a protestant, but is appealing, here, to a certain strain of Orthodox theology which distinguishes between God’s essence and his energies (ala Gregory Palamas and Maximus the Confessor), but which finds its roots (he says) in Clement of Alexandria, St. Irenaeus, and Athanasius the Great.

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Gnostic Accents

gnosis org handsmclThe  following pages have recently been posted under the Interfaith Accents menu.  Since a few Facebook posts to that effect seemed to generate a lot of interest, it seemed good to post them here, as well.  Be sure to check ’em out! 🙂 Each of the following are (so-called) “gnostic” or “proto-gnostic” texts which point to  The Divine presence ‘I Am’.  These pages offer selections only, but also include links to the complete texts and other documentation on various sites around the web:

The Gospel of Thomas (selections) (includes link to parallel translation)

coptic got1

The Gospel of Truth (selections) (includes link to YouTube audio) gospel flower truth

The Hymn of the Pearl (selections) (includes link to mp3 lecture)

dragon-pearl2To begin to become familiar with a bit of the larger context in which these text may be understood, follow the link below: –>  Gnosticism: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

good bad ugly 3

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God is always with you . . .

This is the last question from a 2012 interview republished a few days ago in the wake of Archimandrite Roman’s passing:

What are some ways we can find Christ today, in American society?

2015-0428-archimandrite-roman-braga“Well, first of all, Christ is in you. Christ is not just some nice guy.  He is God, and God is within you. God is in our consciences, in our hearts, in our minds.  He is not something material you see outside of yourself. You find God in yourself.  You descend in your personality.  We are eternal, we never die, the body goes to the cemetery but the conscience, the person, is continually alive.  So when you descend into yourself, your conscious is infinite.  And this infinity is the temple of the Living God. Saint Paul says many times that you are the temple of the Living God because God lives within you.  You find God when you know yourself, when you know who you are. If you neglect that, when you say, ‘I don’t have time to think about myself,’ you will never find God, because God is not something material.  You do not find him in a specific place. God is always with you if you want Him to be with you.  You find God when you find yourself. ‘Who am I?’  Pay attention to these verses of the Scriptures—’you are the temple of the Living God because God lives within you,’ and as Jesus said, ‘remain in Me and I in you. I am the vine and you are the branches,’ and if you do not remain in me you do not have the sap to feed yourself, and you will dry up.  People who complain that they do not feel God are dry branches.  They have to remain in Christ and to accept Christ by saying, ‘Lord, come, I am here.  You created me. Open my heart because You created this heart. You created the door, enter please.’

“You have to talk with God wherever you are—even while walking along the street or driving your car you can say, ‘Lord, You are in the front seat, and I know that You are here.  Tell me, why did You create me?’  You have a lot of things, an infinite number of things, about which to converse with God, and God wants you to talk with Him.  Prayer is not about how much you read from the prayer book, or how long you kneel; prayer is your whole life.  When you eat, when you drink, when you drive a car, when you discipline your children, you are in a state of prayer.  Life is a Liturgy.  It is not only in the church that the Liturgy takes place; the Liturgy is outside the church building too.  The entirety of life should be a Liturgy—if you feel the existence of God. But you have to get that feeling of the existence of God.  How?  I always say, especially to young people, ‘have a dialogue, a permanent dialogue, with God.  Sure you are busy—you eat, you prepare your exam if you are a student, you work and you are very busy, but always say, ‘Lord I know You are here; I didn’t forget You.  Look at me and do not abandon me.’  Many times, this permanent dialogue with God becomes a prayer, because prayer is communication between man and God.

“Prayer is not something you do for a short time, after which you say, ‘I finished my prayer.’  You never finish your prayer.  The definition of prayer is this: the feeling of the presence of God in you.  And if you have this feeling of the presence of God, you engage in a continual prayer.  If you pray only at appointed times, you don’t pray at all, said one of the monks.  So pray all the time, because prayer is not ‘give me, give me.’  Prayer is saying ‘I love You and I want to spend time with You.’  Ask something of God, and don’t worry whether God is answering you, even if you don’t think He is.  He’s giving you good hints and good suggestions on how to resolve your problems.  So to find God in our culture here is to be conscious that God exists, that He exists not outside of yourself, but inside.  God is always with you.”

–>  Read the entire interview…

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