It's a Really Good Friday
Updated: May 15, 2020
Today is a really good Good Friday.
With the growing awareness that this could be my last post on the last day of my current life, I’m taking this opportunity to share with you a few things that are helping me see this season, this day, this life in completely new ways. Consider this my last will & testament, containing what I’d want to leave with you if we only had a few final minutes together.
My new vision continues to come through the lens of Franciscan spirituality – a radically different, radically inclusive yet profoundly simple interpretation of the nature of Reality.
In this completely new way of seeing no thing and no one are excluded! As a result, in the end, Everyone wins!
Now that’s a story – a Revelation, if you prefer – that has a happy ending.
And THAT IS REALLY GOOD NEWS!!!
This is very different from HOW I interpreted WHAT I was given by nearly all my teachers: at home, in school, in church, and in the rest of the world. I use the word “interpreted” to remind myself and readers that we all have biases - less than 20/20 vision. Because of this:
I/we see/hear things as WE are, not as THEY are
Refer to this recent post for more about vision-limits that result from our “confirmation bias” and “negativity bias.”
Once I became aware that we all perceive every bit of information through our own limiting filters; I was able to set a lot of people free in my courtroom: parents, teachers, religious authorities and others. I no longer waste time blaming them for HOW I received what they presented. I am fortunate that I now feel that all of these people, who were entrusted to care for me, were doing the best they could with HOW they were interpreting what had been passed on to them. So it’s a little easier for me to trust that it’s a benevolent universe – a safe place in which to grow up. Others did not experience such a healthy environment. Even then, mercy triumphs over judgment.
This unfolding awareness is freeing me from fear and replacing it with a peace that transcends all my prior attempts at trying to be perfect, at trying to make sense of everything. This newfound peace of mind, body and soul is helping me let go of control, let go of trying to figure it all out…so I can relax into the Mystery some call G-d. It’s like having extra playtime in kindergarten, or an unexpected paid day off for adults, or extended savasana time in yoga.
Can I get an “Amen?” or an…Ahhhh……..Ommmmm……..
“Hang out with me, all you that are grinding it out in your own strength, and I will give you much-needed rest.”
--Matt. 11:28 - my version
“Chill and know Who and Whose you really are.”
--Ps. 46:10 – my version
If you’d like to know and experience more of what’s changing me, please refer to the source material I’ve included below or contact me by phone, email or via the “Contact” form on my new website.
Then, sit with it…sit with it…sit with it…and wait for the still small voice to speak into your heart…then see what happens next…and next…and next…
Just read until something stirs in your heart and…
FYI – This is one way to do the contemplative practice known as Lectio Divina.
The Really Good News – in my own words
Simple summary of the Really Good News that’s been setting me free:
It’s a benevolent universe - G-d is for us, not against us
We don’t have to earn G-d’s love – there’s nothing we can do or not do that will change this love (Wow! This really helps me relax.)
G-d proves this love by suffering with us and as us rather than for us as many of us were taught (builds trust as I feel the solidarity when I suffer - we're in this together)
I am a spiritual being having a human experience…my spirit is eternal (clarifies Who I am and helps me live more from my True Self - the part that never dies)
I live in G-d & G-d also lives in me - this amplifies my ability to love - myself & others (gives me joy)
I am here to experience this in my knower (a formless place that includes my mind, body and spirit)
Until I see face-to-face (can happen now or later), I'm a Roman(s) wrestler.
Suffering is somehow part of the divine plan and not some anomaly (virus) caused when our ancestors ate some forbidden fruit. While this is a mystery with no easy answers, noticing suffering's universal presence leads me and others to conclude that it’s here for a reason. As Gimli quips in LOTR, “It was deliberate.” This awareness helps me to practice Acceptance.
The Really Good News – in the words of my spiritual father, Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM
(4 Daily Meditations – each about a 5-minute read)
…Reminder: chew your food slowly so the Spirit in you can help you digest what you need
--“The Christian image of a torturous hell and God as a petty tyrant has not helped us to know, trust, or love God. God ends up being less loving than most people we know. Those attracted to the common idea of hell operate out of a scarcity model, where there is not enough Divine Love to transform, awaken, and save. The dualistic mind is literally incapable of thinking any notion of infinite grace.”
--“Salvation is much more about at-one-ment from God’s side than any needed atonement from our side. Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God!”
--so we don’t transmit it to others (how appropriate now and always)
G-d is vulnerable & suffers with us.
--“Only vulnerability allows all change, growth, and transformation to happen—even in God.”
Before you go, here’s a meditation song that captures a lot of the message of this post.
You Can Relax Now – Shaina Noll
Well, that’s the meat and potatoes. If you have room for a second helping…
Visit the "Richard Rohr" page on this site and visit the Center for Action and Contemplation's Home page.
Please stay with me and my Jacobian wrestling with this new way of seeing Reality and don’t stop reading & wrestling & loving alongside me – until you, too, allow the time you’ll spend exploring & sitting (action & contemplation) to help you see deeper, wider and with greater love and compassion. If you do this – rather, if you like Mary allow it to be done to you, you will, like Jacob, receive the prized blessings you need. We’ll be a tag team!
All Together Now…
As we’re finding out now during this global pandemic, we’re all in this together. Whatever happens to me, happens to you…whatever happens to you, happens to me. And this is ALWAYS how it’s been. We’re connected, not separate. All separations are illusions - including: Separation from ourselves, separation from one another, separation from our natural world and separation from G-d.
I’ll say it again, these separations are all illusions. We’re all connected. The Universe is ONE big interconnected web.
Covid Connection Protocol: To contact me about this material or for any other reason, just give me a virtual high-five using the “Contact” form on my home page.
#RichardRohr #GoodFriday #suffering #death #resurrection #ShainaNoll #FranciscanSpirituality