Another man spoke about the narrative of love and relationship moving through the scriptures, the invitation to turn to a life that encounters dark nights and dawning anticipation.
A woman weighed in that there is fact telling and truth telling, and that truth is not always represented by the clearest facts.
We love our conversations!
It is the one who is without obsession who is noble. Just do not act in a contrived manner; simply be normal. When you go searching elsewhere outside yourself, your whole approach is already mistaken. You just try to seek buddhahood, but buddhahood is just a name, an expression. Do you know the one who is doing the searching?The journey of many if not all of us is one that takes us through this world with its combination of delusions and joys and tosses us up against the facts and facticity of human life. (Facticity (French: facticité, German: Faktizität) refers to the contingent yet intractable conditions of human existence. --from Wikipedia)
- Lin Chi (d 867?)
Yesterday, in the Catholic Christian calendar, was the feast of the Holy Cross. It was unintended that we read the part of O'Donohue's Eternal Echoes: Exploring Our Hunger to Belong dealing with the cross. It came out in conversation that suffering certainly seems to be universal, that the longing to pass through it is common, and that there is a difference between suffering which remains merely hurtfully punitive and suffering that is redemptive. The redemptive yields light, relief, understanding, and freedom when it has ceased. If so, and given the narrative story of this man named Jesus, why would there be a need to exempt him from suffering or even the telling of the story of his suffering, despite what anyone has chosen to make of it?
One's reality is one's reality. It is not dependent on the interpretation given it by either self or others. What is taking place, and what has taken place, is as it is. Whatever the mind makes of it is merely adjacent to the fact that it is as it is.
Because someone has ridiculed you, made of your suffering a boon to them for gain or control, there is no need to dismiss you as not having suffered what you did. Each person's suffering, however incurred, is to be allowed to be what it is. Our response -- whether an attempt to heal, or commiserate, or merely to hear of it -- invites us to practice an integrity of presence. Presence is presence. Speculation is speculation. Theories are theories. My choice in the face of suffering is presence.
A sermon of St BernardHere's my take: We're alive right now.
His mother stood by the cross
The martyrdom of the Virgin is set forth both in the prophecy of Simeon and in the actual story of our Lord’s passion. The holy old man said of the infant Jesus: He has been established as a sign which will be contradicted. He went on to say to Mary: And your own heart will be pierced by a sword.
Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart. For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son. Indeed, after your Jesus – who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours – gave up his life, the cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side. Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart. For surely his soul was no longer there, but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart, and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.
Or were those words, Woman, behold your Son, not more than a word to you, truly piercing your heart, cutting through to the division between soul and spirit? What an exchange! John is given to you in place of Jesus, the servant in place of the Lord, the disciple in place of the master; the son of Zebedee replaces the Son of God, a mere man replaces God himself. How could these words not pierce your most loving heart, when the mere remembrance of them breaks ours, hearts of iron and stone though they are!
Do not be surprised, brothers, that Mary is said to be a martyr in spirit. Let him be surprised who does not remember the words of Paul, that one of the greatest crimes of the Gentiles was that they were without love. That was far from the heart of Mary; let it be far from her servants.
Perhaps someone will say: “Had she not known before that he would not die?” Undoubtedly. “Did she not expect him to rise again at once?” Surely. “And still she grieved over her crucified Son?” Intensely. Who are you and what is the source of your wisdom that you are more surprised at the compassion of Mary than at the passion of Mary’s Son? For if he could die in body, could she not die with him in spirit? He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since his.
(--from Office of Readings, on feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.)
That. Be this.
Now. And for.