forgiveness

A New Time

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I have waged this war
against myself for many years.
It was terrible, but now I am disarmed.
I am no longer frightened of anything because love banishes fear.
I am disarmed of the need to be right
And to justify myself by disqualifying others.
I am no longer on the defensive holding onto my riches.
I just want to welcome and to share.
I don’t hold onto my ideas and projects.
If someone shows me something better — No, I shouldn’t say better, but good — I accept them without any regrets I no longer seek to compare.
What is good, true and real is always for me the best.
That is why I have no fear.
When we are disarmed and dispossessed of self,
If we open our hearts to the God man who makes all things new then he takes away past hurts
And reveals a new time where everything is possible.

– Patriarch Athenooras of Constantinople

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Living In The Deeper Unity

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“Writing yesterday about the growing separatism and divisiveness in our world, I have continued to ponder it. Today I want to suggest a means for overcoming the temptation to be sectarian and schismatic–at least in our own hearts. I call it living in the deeper union…

In a world where the mindset of separation often wins out over one of unity we must train ourselves to resist the lure of divisiveness. It is an aspect of training ourselves in godliness (commended by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:7) because union is the basis for relationship within the Godhead and between/among all that God has made.

Simply put we must seek the deeper union that always exists if we recognize it, and seek for it to be real in and through us. Living in the deeper unity provides key elements that create and sustain life.

Living in the deeper unity establishes stability. Divisiveness generates instability. The tremors created by contention trouble the waters of relationships. We cannot be on our best game because we are off balance with ourselves and others. But when we find the deeper union, we find a level of peace and calm. We find a place to stand–a sure foundation to address our differences.

Living in the deeper unity creates security. Divisiveness produces competitive dualistic thinking. Tension escalates in right/wrong, good/bad, in/out hierarchies. But when we find the deeper union, we cease trying to “win” and be “better than” anyone else, instead offering the best we have and receiving the best that others have to give. In this security we live unafraid.

Living in the deeper unity generates discovery. Divisiveness freezes the past and turns it into a demand in the present. But when we find the deeper union, we recognize we are moving in a flowing stream. The past brings us into the present without requiring it to be a clone of yesterday. We are free to explore, make new discoveries, learn, and grow. And we are not said to be wrong when we do so.

Living in the deeper unity confirms witness. Divisiveness ignites mean-spiritedness, and nothing cancels out our alleged love of one another more completely than that. But when we find the deeper union, love prevails even in a diverse community. That kind of authenticity is attractive to others in ways that judgmentalism can never be.

Living in the deeper unity fosters change. Divisiveness shuns relationships, preferring to live by innuendos, stereotypes, and caricatures. But when we find the deeper union, we form relations that enable us to get to know people, revealing that those whom we formerly labeled “the others” are in many respects like us–and in some ways even better than us. We are changed through actual contact.

Living in the deeper unity is an effort required by all parties. Without a mutual commitment to it, our relationships remain hierarchical in essence, and our words about unity end up only being words. Deeper unity is not a hypothetical state, but the actual experience we have when we recognize our oneness in the human family. In deeper unity there is so much to be learned and so much to be gained.

Thomas Keating describes the gain as the sense of oneness with God, other people, and the cosmos. He writes, “Respect for others diminishes the drive to dominate and control. Cooperation replaces unbridled competition. Harmony replaces rigid value systems.” [1]

And long before now, David summed it up simply, “How good and pleasing it is when we live together as one!” (Psalm 133:1)”

Steve Harper

Practicing Resurrection

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Here is a list I found of ways you can practice resurrection right now. These 12 ways are taken from Richard Rohr’s book Immortal Diamond.

  • Negativity: Refuse to identify with negative, blaming, antagonistic, or fearful thoughts (you cannot stop ‘‘having’’ them).
  • I’m sorry: Apologize when you hurt another person or situation.
  • Power of positivity: Undo your mistakes by some positive action toward the offended person or situation.
  • Lies: Do not indulge or believe your False Self—that which is concocted by your mind and society’s expectations.
  • Your relationship with God: Choose your True Self—your radical union with God—as often as possible throughout the day.
  • Look within: Always seek to change yourself before trying to change others.
  • Do for others: Choose as much as possible to serve rather than be served.
  • Good: Whenever possible, seek the common good over your mere private good.
  • Look after others: Give preference to those in pain, excluded, or disabled in any way.
  • Justice: Seek just systems and policies over mere charity.
  • Your voice: Make sure your medium is the same as your message.
  • Love: Never doubt that it is all about love in the end.

Shown A Way

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Photo taken at The Abbey of Gethsemani.

“I will leave to theologians, philosophers, and sages of the ages to define the meaning of the Cross. For me, at least, I choose to simply kneel at the foot of the Cross and contemplate such great love for the whole of humankind. Here a man illustrates what it means to die for us, not because we are bad, but because at the heart of it, we are good and are being shown a way to live a life of surrender.”

– Jeff Blake, The Seven Last Words of Christ