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Mutual indwelling.

As you know, some of the wisdom rhythms we can listen for are found in the seasonal rhythms within the liturgical year. The rhythm of these seasons, like the seasons in the natural world, have significant invitations as well as offer a mirror for inward and outward shifts individually and collectively. We are currently in the season of Epiphany or Epiphanytide (running up until Lent), acknowledged by the West through the manifestation of Christ to the Magi and in the East Christ’s baptism, both marking the manifestation of Christ to the world and the mystery of incarnation. Over the course of his life, Jesus came to deepen his understanding of his incarnation—God taking form and becoming flesh in, as and through him. He had a whole transformed way of seeing the world and from this awareness, saw no separation between God and humans nor between humans and humans. This seeing turned the world into a different place. He tried to teach his students this truth, to see as he saw, from Oneness which he did not consider an exclusive privilege but something shared by all human beings. As Cynthia Bourgeault reminds us “When Jesus talks about this Oneness, he is not speaking in an Eastern sense about an equivalency of being, such that I am in and of myself divine. What he more has in mind is a complete, mutual indwelling: I am in God, God is in you, you are in God, we are in each other” (Wisdom Jesus, p. 31). And Jesus is still trying to teach us, as his incarnate students, to see as he saw/sees. This mutual indwelling is real and true. . . within this body, this incarnate human form. So in this season of Epiphany, in which something hidden becomes manifest, let us live with these questions. How might we reconsider the mystery of incarnation within our own bodies? What can we learn from Jesus about what it means for us to be embodied in human form? What notions do we need to shed from incomplete views of incarnation? With love, Heather


From this week's Pauses: Monday: "In wisdom teaching, purity means singleness, and the proper translation of this beatitude is, really, "Blessed are those whose heart is not divided" or "whose heart is a unified whole."...According to Jesus, this enlightenment takes place primarily within the heart. When your heart becomes "single" --that is, when it desires one thing only, when it can live in perfect alignment with that resonant field of mutual yearning we called "the righteousness of God", then you "see God". And this does not mean that you see God as an object..but rather...God is the seeing itself." — Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus p. 45-46 Tuesday: "Be still and know that I am God." — Psalm 46:10 Wednesday: So, when the shoe fits The foot is forgotten, When the belt fits The belly is forgotten, When the heart is right “For” and “against” are forgotten. No drives, no compulsions, No needs, no attractions: Then your affairs Are under control. You are a free man. Easy is right. Begin right And you are easy. Continue easy and you are right. The right way to go easy Is to forget the right way And forget that the going is easy. — Thomas Merton, Dark Before Dawn Friday: "As attachment ceases to be your motivation, your actions become expressions of divine love.” Such freedom can occur only with surrender to divine will, not to anyone or anything else, not even to one’s own assumptions about divine will. It is the likelihood of misplaced surrender that makes the notion of contemplative nonattachment so dangerous, and it is for this reason that the process of relinquishing attachment must be surrounded with guidance, discernment, tradition, community, Scripture, critique, and prayer." — Gerald May, Will and Spirit p. 238 Sunday: "Given sufficient realization of unity, and given sufficient willingness, one increasingly experiences the power and love of union being expressed in and through one’s daily dualistic life. Situations that were once boring or mundane now seem graced and alive. Strivings and grasping that once carried a life-or-death importance are now calmed and eased with deep reassurance. Concerns and attachments that previously muddied awareness and kidnapped attention now dissolve into amazing clarity. But all things happen. And they happen partially and gradually. They can be neither forced nor contrived into existence. They happen when they happen. In religions terms, they are given as gifts, graces, charisms. Again and again we must be reminded that. Although we can be willing to accept these things we cannot create them." — Gerald May, Will and Spirit p. 253


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