Binecuvântare de anul nou

Şi a grăit Domnul cu Moise şi a zis:

„Spune lui Aaron şi fiilor lui şi le zi: Aşa să binecuvântaţi pe fiii lui Israel şi să ziceţi către ei:

Să te binecuvânteze Domnul şi să te păzească!

Să caute Domnul asupra ta cu faţă veselă şi să te miluiască!

Să-Şi întoarcă Domnul fala Sa către tine şi să-li dăruiască pace!

Aşa să cheme numele Meu asupra fiilor lui Israel şi Eu, Domnul, îi voi binecuvânta”.

                   Numeri 6, 22-27

22 Le SEIGNEUR dit à Moïse :

 
23« Parle à Aaron et à ses fils et dis-leur : voici en quels termes vous bénirez les fils d’Israël :

 
24“Que le SEIGNEUR te bénisse et te garde !

 
25 Que le SEIGNEUR fasse rayonner sur toi son regard et t’accorde sa grâce !

 
26 Que le SEIGNEUR porte sur toi son regard et te donne la paix !”

 
27 Ils apposeront ainsi mon nom sur les fils d’Israël, et moi je les bénirai. »

 

The LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’
“So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
Anunțuri

Farewell, Leonard!

Leonard Cohen, Self Portrait

Numbers, 6

22 The LORD said to Moses,

23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 “ ‘ “The LORD bless you and keep you;

25 the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;

26 the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’

27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

Art by Leonard Cohen from Fifteen Poems

… si ne rugam Tie

Din postarea dinainte:

Authentic love is of one piece. How you love anything is how you love everything.  Love is a quality of relationship more than a statement about the worthiness or deservedness of the object loved. (Read that twice!)

„Dragostea autentica este dintr-o singura bucata. Asa cum iubesti ceva anume, asa iubesti în general. Dragostea este o calitate a relatiei mai mult decât o afirmatie despre cât de vrednic este obiectul ei, despre cât merita sa fie iubit. De citit de doua ori!”

Se apropie un an nou, vine cu perspective care stârnesc îngrijorare.

Dar… viitorul nu exista, oricum. Iar atunci când prezentul de azi va aluneca, incet-incet, într-altceva, ce se va petrece, nu stim. Surprizele sunt întotdeauna posibile, bune, rele. Iar lucrurile, de multe ori, iau alta înfatisare decât ce anticipasem, fiecare din noi, si cei care ne influenteaza.

De ce reproduc, iar si iar, gândurile acestea ale unui preot catolic anglofon, pe care le primesc zilnic într-o newsletter? În primul rând pentru ca ele aduc altceva decât ce primim, zi de zi, prin media, convorbiri, schimburi dulci-acrisoare de opinii, comentarii fb sau direct la articole de jurnal, etc.

Ele aduc un suflu proaspat, care nu-si are izvorul în cele pamântesti, scriu aceasta din perspectiva credintei. Sau, daca o las la o parte, o gura de aer proaspat, prin simplul fapt ca este „altceva”, sprovenind de la un om pe care nu-l cunosc, dar îl ghicesc erudit, întelept, si deschis la minte; în plus, dotat cu talentul de a prezenta pe întelesul contemporanilor dispusi sa-l citeasca/asculte adevaruri vechi, si vesnic noi, aflate în Scriptura.

Sunt acele lucruri la care se refera acest preot vârstnic si, presupun, influent în sânul unei minoritati care se poate largi, adevarate…?

Eu spun ca da. Sperând ca cititorii „mei” anglofoni le vor da atentie, în asteptarea momentului când voi afla timp sa le talmacesc pe româneste.

Deocamdata, doar rândurile de mai jos:

We are all “holy innocents,” each carrying our unique woundedness.

Suntem cu toti „sfinti inocenti”, fiecare purtator al propriilor rani.

Why not…?

Suffering for Love Wednesday, December 28, 2016 (Feast of the Holy Innocents)

Authentic love is of one piece. How you love anything is how you love everything.  Love is a quality of relationship more than a statement about the worthiness or deservedness of the object loved. (Read that twice!)

Jesus commands us to “Love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” and he connects the two great commandments of love of God and love of neighbor, saying they are “like” one another (Matthew 22:40). So often, we think this means to love our neighbor with the same amount of love—as much as we love ourselves. We love others from the same Source, with the same Love, that allows us to love ourselves, others, and God at the same time! That is, unfortunately, not the way most people understand love, compassion, and forgiveness, but it is the only way loving truly will ever work. How you love is how you have accessed Love, just as it is between the three Persons of the Trinity.

You cannot sincerely love or forgive someone inside of dualistic consciousness. Try it, and you’ll see it can’t be done. We have done the people of God a great disservice by preaching the Gospel to them but not giving them the tools whereby they can obey that very Gospel. As Jesus put it, “Cut off from the vine, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The “vine and the branches” are one of the greatest Christian mystical images of the nonduality between God and the soul. In and with God, I can love everything and everyone—even my enemies. Alone and by myself, with only my will power and intellect, I won’t be able to love in difficult situations or over the long haul. Trying to be compassionate and loving through our own efforts will eventually lead to cynicism and disillusionment.

“One always learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence,” as Robertson Davies wrote. [1] The original meaning of “innocent” is unwounded, so apparently we all need to suffer what I call a “sacred wound.” Today’s feast, strangely named “The Holy Innocents,” shows us that even the innocent and good ones will often be wounded by society, culture, and even family. Somehow wounding is part of the human journey. We are all “holy innocents,” each carrying our unique woundedness.

Sarah Fields says that “Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.” [2] I guess we could say that King Herod and the poor soldiers who massacred the Jewish children (Matthew 2:16-18) were just not ready to deal with the pain underneath, which made them incapable of compassion—for that is where compassion comes from—holding the pain of the world.

Until we love and until we suffer, we all try to figure out life and death with our minds. Love, I believe, is the only way to initially and safely open the door of awareness and aliveness, and then suffering for that love keeps the door open and available for ever greater growth. We dare not refuse love or suffering or we close the door to life itself. By honoring God’s image in our own deep capacity to love, and then extending it to both the innocent and the non-innocent, we achieve the triumph of love—for we also are wounded.

 

Gateway to Silence:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi

 

December 27, 2016, Feast of John the Beloved

The Greatest Commandments

by Richard Rohr

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent God’s only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent God’s Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and God’s love is brought to perfection in us. —1 John 4:7-12 [1]

“Whoever loves is born of God and knows God.” Unfortunately, many Christians think, “If I read the Bible, I’m born of God; or if I go to church, I know God; or if I obey the commandments, I know God.” Yet John says it’s simply about loving. Note that the converse is true also. “Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. . . . This I command you: love one another. —John 15:9-14, 17 [2]

We might expect Jesus to say, “There is no greater love than to love God.” But he says, “There is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends.”

Both of these scriptures emphasize the centrality and the importance of love. The beginning and end of everything is love. Only inside of the mystery of love—mutual self-emptying and infilling—can we know God. If we stay outside of that mystery, we cannot know God.

When most of us hear the word “commandment,” we likely think of the Ten Commandments. But Jesus speaks of a “new” commandment surpassing and summing up the “ten” of the Hebrew Bible (Exodus 20:1-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21): “This is my commandment: Love one another.” He also says: “The entire law and the prophets is summed up in the two great commandments: to love God and to love one another” (see Matthew 22:36-40).

Perhaps we don’t want to hear this commandment because we can never live up to it through our own efforts. We’d like to whittle it down to a little commandment, like “Come to church on Sunday.” But who of us can say we have really loved yet? We’re all beginners. We’re all starting anew every day, and we’re failing anew every day. Loving as imperfect, egoic human beings keeps us in utter reliance upon the mercy, compassion, and grace of God. We can never fully succeed by ourselves.

It seems God gave us a commandment that we could not obey. Perhaps this is so we would have to depend upon the Holy Spirit. This is the greatness, the goodness, the wonder, the impossibility of the Gospel, that it asks of all of us something we—alone, apart, separate—cannot do! Only by living in love, in communion—God in us and we in God (see John 17:20-26)—do we find, every once in a while, a love flowing through us and toward us and from us that is bigger than our own. And we surely know it’s not “we” who are doing it!

 

Gateway to Silence:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Love Is the Only Message,” homily, May 13, 2012, https://cac.org/love-is-the-only-message/.

Stephen and „the scapegoat mechanism”

Today I encourage you to read the account of the death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-60). Stephen, the proto-martyr of Christianity, has become a new Jesus, which is henceforth the only and never-ending goal. Jesus and Stephen state their truth, forgive their enemies, fully let go, and are released into a transformed state that we call “resurrection.” Stephen is presented as a perfect model and imitation of the new consciousness that is now let loose in the world.

Both Jesus and Stephen are victims of the “sacred violence” that has been foundational to culture from the very beginning of human consciousness, starting with Cain and Abel. If it’s true, as René Girard and Gil Bailie both demonstrate, that all groups and ideologies are formed by an unconscious scapegoat mechanism [1], then we have to find a way out of this default pattern. Jesus replaces the de facto operating story line of “redemptive violence” with a new story line of redemptive suffering. There is the Gospel in one sentence!

Unfortunately, only a minority of Christians got the point after Jesus and Stephen. To this day, most Christians still believe in the myth of redemptive violence. The church was supposed to be a “called out people’’ (ekklesia) who no longer believed the lie, which John the Baptist calls “the sin of the world” (John 1:29), using the singular word for sin. Ignorant hating, excluding, and killing is the universal sin of the world to this day.

Bailie calls the revolution of tenderness, which was released into common consciousness at the death of Jesus, “the virus of the Gospel.” In every age, denomination, and culture, only a few understood the message. By grace and conversion, they realized that they could no longer project their inner violence outward, either creating victims or playing the victim themselves for their own empowerment. They see the only way to be victim in a generative and healing way is as Jesus did, by forgiving and releasing his crucifiers and himself.

The Gospel demands a great deal of us. It calls us to a perennially unpopular and unselfish path. Little wonder Jesus said, “The world’s going to hate you” (John 15:18-19).

When you can no longer play the game of judging, labeling, and punishing others, you will quickly become the outsider at most every cocktail party you attend. But Jesus has taught us how to hold the pain of the world until it transforms and resurrects us. This dangerous virus is what Jesus calls “the hidden leaven” inside the Gospel (Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:20), the resurrecting power that will keep the world from its ordinary path toward self-destruction.

What cleverness and courage it took to place this feast of Stephen on the day following Christmas so we could not miss the Gospel’s direct implication and could quickly move beyond all sentimentality. Any full Incarnation will inevitably lead to passion, death, and resurrection. It is a certain progression.

 

Richard Rohr, Gateway to Silence:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi

[1] See René Girard, Violence and the Sacred (Johns Hopkins University Press: 1979), and Gil Bailie, Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 1996).