Saturday, April 07, 2012
A reading from an ancient homily for Holy Saturday
"What is happening? Today there is a great silence over the earth, a great silence, and stillness, a great silence because the King sleeps; the earth was in terror and was still, because God slept in the flesh and raised up those who were sleeping from the ages. God has died in the flesh, and the underworld has trembled.
Truly he goes to seek out our first parent like a lost sheep; he wishes to visit those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. He goes to free the prisoner Adam and his fellow-prisoner Eve from their pains, he who is God, and Adam's son.
The Lord goes in to them holding his victorious weapon, his cross. When Adam, the first created man, sees him, he strikes his breast in terror and calls out to all: 'My Lord be with you all.' And Christ in reply says to Adam: ‘And with your spirit.’ And grasping his hand he raises him up, saying: ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
‘I am your God, who for your sake became your son, who for you and your descendants now speak and command with authority those in prison: Come forth, and those in darkness: Have light, and those who sleep: Rise.
‘I command you: Awake, sleeper, I have not made you to be held a prisoner in the underworld. Arise from the dead; I am the life of the dead. Arise, O man, work of my hands, arise, you who were fashioned in my image. Rise, let us go hence; for you in me and I in you, together we are one undivided person.
‘For you, I your God became your son; for you, I the Master took on your form; that of slave; for you, I who am above the heavens came on earth and under the earth; for you, man, I became as a man without help, free among the dead; for you, who left a garden, I was handed over to Jews from a garden and crucified in a garden.
‘Look at the spittle on my face, which I received because of you, in order to restore you to that first divine inbreathing at creation. See the blows on my cheeks, which I accepted in order to refashion your distorted form to my own image.
'See the scourging of my back, which I accepted in order to disperse the load of your sins which was laid upon your back. See my hands nailed to the tree for a good purpose, for you, who stretched out your hand to the tree for an evil one.
`I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side, for you, who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side healed the pain of your side; my sleep will release you from your sleep in Hades; my sword has checked the sword which was turned against you.
‘But arise, let us go hence. The enemy brought you out of the land of paradise; I will reinstate you, no longer in paradise, but on the throne of heaven. I denied you the tree of life, which was a figure, but now I myself am united to you, I who am life. I posted the cherubim to guard you as they would slaves; now I make the cherubim worship you as they would God.
"The cherubim throne has been prepared, the bearers are ready and waiting, the bridal chamber is in order, the food is provided, the everlasting houses and rooms are in readiness; the treasures of good things have been opened; the kingdom of heaven has been prepared before the ages."
Friday, April 06, 2012
Good Friday 2012
(poem after Robert, monk)
When candle in dark
sanctuary extinguished --
wisp smoke rises up
Origin point was
space, bursting out, universe
Still expanding -- cools
Christ died as we live
He becomes for us the point,
vierge dawning -- slowly
How silly to think
things settled -- void flame
unmooring mind wind
Once love is revealed
Nothing remains unloved -- you
Have this fond regard
(wfh, Spencer, MA, 6apr2012)
Across the universe;
a cross junctures --
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Whatever we say of God is not God. This is true. Actually, "this" is an interesting word for God.
God is greater than "this." But "this" is as good a word for God as any.
"Can we understand the Trinity as an infinite emergent process?" asks Ilia Delio in "The Emergent Christ, Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe." She adds that "...God is a continuous becoming in love because of the absolute dynamism of divine love." (p.4, c.2011)
We're not used to thinking of God as moving, becoming, or changing. It's those Greek categories of thought that want to "fix" essence and substance into static incontrovertible lock boxes.
"Hsiao also reports [Heidegger's] saying, in his lecture on culture and technology:
One would have to see old things with a newer, farther look. If we were to attempt, for example, to 'ground' God through the traditional proofs of his existence -- the ontological, cosmological, or teleological -- would then diminish God, who is more, and ineffable 'like the dao' (EMH 127)."(--p.3, in "Heidegger's Hidden Sources,, East Asian influences on his work," by Reinhard May 1989, tr. by Graham Parkes 1996)
We are urged these days to look into new thinking that travels the swirling immanent transcendence of impermanence and uncertainty -- a looking that peers through different lens, whether particle physics or zen poetry, ancient Chinese philosophy or contemporary evolutionary neurobiology -- until we find ourselves not looking at a split and illusory 'objective' world, but, rather, gazing from an intersubjective participation with all appearing and disappearing phenomena, a looking as reality, a looking as itself toward itself with every allowance for difference, distinctiveness, and an "individuality" that straddles benevolently the alternate meanings of the word as both distinct and undivided.
The wind blows through sunlight.
Ineffably, the day, like this, like God, goes on.
We look through. We look out.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
"Und Petrus ging hinaus und weinte bitterlich." (bibeltext.com/luke/22-62.htm)
The German monk in the hot conference room, wondered aloud why Judas, betraying by collaborating, went (in the story) and hung himself; and Peter, betraying by denying, wept bitterly and allowed to stand the realization of his action.
Here in my cooler room I bring the question to the silence and cup of coffee.
I wonder why many religious and monks don't take the name "Judas" as their own? There are many Peters, many Pauls, many Judes and Johns and Andrews. But not many, I suspect, Judas'.
I like the Buddhist notion that if you change your mind in the present you are likely to be changing the minded-past.
I think Peter and Judas evolved the story with a Janus-faced rhetorical somersault on the writers' part.
They are the companion story of death and resurrection in the event the Christ theology becomes too vague and lofty.
One offs himself, one swims back to the surface with a new mind, new name, and new job. He, of course, will be offed later on, by others, doing noble organizing, after the style of good-deaths known as martyrdom.
Judas becomes -- well, a metaphor for what his name suggests: judas goats, judas cows, judas sheep, judas co-workers.
Not in my book. Where, metaphorically, we are one story divided into chapters for careful consumption.
Simon Judas Peter Jesus is the evolutionary sight of God: Being-Seen of a piece instead of piecemeal or in pieces.
When Mind is allowed to be Mind, everything is seen "as it is."
Und es geht so weiter! (And so it goes on...).
What goes on?
We go on. The story goes on.
Mind goes on trying to see through us.
Peter Simon Judas Jesus you and I go out and weep bitterly over what we are coming to see.
We are dying to our blind self-centered narrow unkind turn-away mind. There is, we have an inkling, a life seeing selfless illimitable benevolent turning-to Mind that gathers all this into nothing-there.
This is all there is!