Asfintit în Maramures

Am avut norocul să admir un asfințit așternut calm peste Complexul Monahal de la Bârsana, Maramureș. Evident că l-am pingălit cu telefonul, rezultând o serie de cadre care pe mine m-au încântat, așa că o să le postez pe blog, cu speranța că și alți plimbăreți vor folosi telefoanele din dotare cu mai mult curaj și ne […]

via Asfintit — Despre M a r a m u r e s

Imagini superbe!!!

Why Jesus’ Cross?

By Fr Richard Rohr

„In the thirteenth century, the Franciscans and the Dominicans were the Catholic Church’s debating society, as it were. We invariably took opposing positions in the great debates in the universities of Paris, Cologne, Bologna, and Oxford. Both opinions usually passed the tests of orthodoxy, although one was preferred. The Franciscans often ended up presenting the minority position in those days. I share this bit of history to show that my understanding of the atonement theory is not heretical or new, but has very traditional and orthodox foundations. In the thirteenth century the Catholic Church seemed to be more broad-minded than it became later. Like the United States’ Supreme Court, it could have both a majority and a minority opinion, and the minority position was not kicked out! It was just not taught in most seminaries. However, the Franciscans and other groups taught the minority position.

Thomas Aquinas and the Dominicans agreed with the mainline position that some kind of debt had to be paid for human salvation. Many scriptures and the Jewish temple metaphors of sacrifice, price, propitiation, debt, and atonement do give this impression. But Franciscan teacher, Blessed John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308), who founded the theological chair at Oxford, said that Jesus wasn’t solving any problems by coming to earth and dying. Jesus wasn’t changing God’s mind about us; rather, Jesus was changing our minds about God. That, in a word, was our nonviolent at-one-ment theory. God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to decide to love humanity. God’s love was infinite from the first moment of creation; the cross was just Love’s dramatic portrayal in space and time.

Scotus built his argument on the pre-existent Cosmic Christ described in Colossians and Ephesians. Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) who came forward in a moment of time so we could look upon “the One we had pierced” (John 19:37) and see God’s unconditional love for us, in spite of our failings.

The image of the cross was to change humanity, not a necessary transaction to change God—as if God needed changing! Scotus concluded that Jesus’ death was not a “penal substitution” but a divine epiphany for all to see. Jesus was pure gift, and the idea of gift is much more transformative than any idea of necessity, price, or transaction. It shows that God is not violent, but loving.

Duns Scotus firmly believed that God’s perfect freedom had to be maintained at all costs. If God “needed” or demanded a blood sacrifice to love God’s own creation, then God was not freely loving us. Once you say it, its inherent absurdity is obvious! Unfortunately, the mainstream “theory” led many people to dislike and mistrust “God the Father.” This undercut the mystical, transformative journey for most Christians.

Jesus was not changing the Father’s mind about us; he was changing our mind about God—and thus about one another too. If God and Jesus are not violent, punishing, torturing, or vindictive, then our excuse for the same is forever taken away from us. This is no small point! And, of course, if God is punitive and torturing, then we have full modeling and permission to do the same. Does this need much proof at this point in Christian history?

Jesus’ full journey revealed two major things: that salvation could have a positive and optimistic storyline, neither beginning nor ending with a cosmic problem; and even more that God was far different and far better than the whole history of violent religion had up to then demonstrated. Jesus did not just give us textbook and transactional answers, but personally walked through the full human journey of both failure and rejection—while still forgiving his enemies—and then said, “Follow me” and do likewise (see John 12:26; Matthew 10:38). This is the crucial message of nonviolence that most of Christianity has yet to hear. Without it, the future of humanity is in grave peril.”

From Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014)

 

Jesus Reveals the Lie of Scapegoating

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By Richard Rohr

„If your ego is still in charge, you will find a disposable person or group on which to project your problems. People who haven’t come to at least a minimal awareness of their own dark side will always find someone else to hate or fear. Hatred holds a group together much more quickly and easily than love and inclusivity, I am sorry to say. René Girard developed a sociological, literary, and philosophical explanation for how and why the pattern of scapegoating is so prevalent in every culture. [1]

In Leviticus 16 we see the brilliant ritualization of what we now call scapegoating, and we should indeed feel sorry for the demonized goat. On the Day of Atonement, a priest laid hands on an “escaping” goat, placing all the sins of the Jewish people from the previous year onto the animal. Then the goat was beaten with reeds and thorns, and driven out into the desert. And the people went home rejoicing, just as European Christians did after burning a supposed heretic at the stake or American whites did after the lynching of black men. Whenever the “sinner” is excluded, our ego is delighted and feels relieved and safe. It sort of works, but only for a while. Usually the illusion only deepens and becomes catatonic, blind, and repetitive—because of course, scapegoating did not really work to eliminate the evil in the first place.

Jesus came to radically undo this illusory scapegoat mechanism, which is found in every culture in some form. He became the scapegoat to reveal the universal lie of scapegoating. Note that John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin [singular] of the world” (John 1:29). It seems “the sin of the world” is ignorant killing, hatred, and fear. As Blaise Pascal so insightfully wrote, “People never do evil so completely and so cheerfully as when they do it with a religious conviction.” [2] We see this in much of the United States in our own time, with churches on every corner.

The Gospel is a highly subversive document. It painstakingly illustrates how the systems of both church and state (Caiaphas and Pilate) conspired to condemn Jesus. Throughout most of history, church and state have sought plausible scapegoats to carry their own shame and guilt. So Jesus became the sinned-against one to reveal the hidden nature of scapegoating, and we would forever see how wrong power can be—even religious power! (See John 16:8-11 and Romans 8:3.) Finally Jesus says from the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34). The scapegoat mechanism largely operates in the unconscious; people do not know what they are doing. Scapegoaters do not know they are scapegoating, but they think they are doing a “holy duty for God” (John 16:2). You see why inner work, shadow work, and honest self-knowledge are all essential to any healthy religion”.

„The vast majority of violence in history has been sacralized violence. Members of ISIS probably believe they are doing God’s will. The Ku Klux Klan used the cross as their symbol! With God on your side, your violence becomes necessary and even “redemptive violence.” But there is no such thing as redemptiveviolence. Violence doesn’t save; it only destroys in both short and long term.  

Jesus replaced the myth of redemptive violence with the truth of redemptive suffering. He showed us how to hold the pain and let it transform us, rather than pass it on to the others around us. Spiritually speaking, no one else is your problem. You are first and foremost your own problem. There are no bad goats to expel.”

References:

[1] I highly recommend James Alison’s exploration of René Girard’s work, particularly Alison’s series of studies Jesus: The Forgiving Victimhttp://www.forgivingvictim.com/.
[2] Blaise Pascal, Pensées, trans. W. F. Trotter (New York: P. F. Collier, 1910), no. 895.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Dancing Standing Still: Healing the World from a Place of Prayer (Paulist Press: 2014)

Un psalm…

... potrivit cu ce se petrece zilele astea peste tot. Mai nou, macelul de la liceul din Florida. Si mai nou, un cutremur în Mexic. Si câte si câte nu cunoastem. Pentru toate, putem recita, credinciosi ori ba, psalmul 50 atribuit regelui David.

Miluieşte-mă, Dumnezeule, după mare mila Ta

Şi după mulţimea îndurărilor Tale, şterge fărădelegea mea.

Mai vârtos mă spală de fărădelegea mea şi de păcatul meu mă curăţeşte.

Că fărădelegea mea eu o cunosc şi păcatul meu înaintea mea este pururea.

Ţie unuia am greşit şi rău înaintea Ta am făcut, aşa încât drept eşti Tu întru cuvintele Tale şi biruitor când vei judeca Tu.

Că iată întru fărădelegi m-am zămislit şi în păcate m-a născut maica mea.

Că iată adevărul ai iubit; cele nearătate şi cele ascunse ale înţelepciunii Tale, mi-ai arătat mie.

Stropi-mă-vei cu isop şi mă voi curăţi; spăla-mă-vei şi mai vârtos decât zăpada mă voi albi.

Auzului meu vei da bucurie şi veselie; bucura-se-vor oasele mele cele smerite.

Întoarce faţa Ta de la păcatele mele şi toate fărădelegile mele şterge-le.

Inimă curată zideşte intru mine, Dumnezeule şi duh drept înnoieşte întru cele dinlăuntru ale mele.

Nu mă lepăda de la faţa Ta şi Duhul Tău cel sfânt nu-l lua de la mine.

Dă-mi mie bucuria mântuirii Tale şi cu duh stăpânitor mă întăreşte.

Învăţa-voi pe cei fără de lege căile Tale şi cei necredincioşi la Tine se vor întoarce.

Izbăveşte-mă de vărsarea de sânge, Dumnezeule, Dumnezeul mântuirii mele; bucura-se-va limba mea de dreptatea Ta.

Doamne, buzele mele vei deschide şi gura mea va vesti lauda Ta.

Că de ai fi voit jertfă, ţi-aş fi dat; arderile de tot nu le vei binevoi.

Jertfa lui Dumnezeu: duhul umilit; inima înfrântă şi smerită Dumnezeu nu o va urgisi.

Fă bine, Doamne, întru bună voirea Ta, Sionului, şi să se zidească zidurile Ierusalimului.

Atunci vei binevoi jertfa dreptăţii, prinosul şi arderile de tot; atunci vor pune pe altarul Tău viţei.

 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-43096344
 

„De unde chemarea asta…?”

„Am dat la o parte husa, am deschis cabina; cupola de plexiglas a lunecat tăcută pe şinele unse, golul cabinei era cald şi primitor, ca o aşteptare de demult. M-am instalat înăuntru, tehnicii lăsaseră în scaun o trusă de scule, simţeam ghearele dure ale diverselor chei împungându-mă, dar încă nu mă deranja; am tras cupola la loc şi am rămas aşa, cu capul dat pe spate, privind acoperişul de beton prin plexiglasul pe care degete neşterse lăsaseră urme sleite de vaselină îngheţată. Am atins manşa cu vârful mănuşilor, manşa grea, cu mânerul arcuit încărcat de butoane, şi am simţit comenzile avionului înfiorându-se de atingerea scurtă, ca nişte strune. De unde?

M-am foit pe trusa de scule, aşezându-mă mai bine – de unde chemarea asta încă nedezmeticită, trepidajul mărunt al tablei pe fuselaj, şocul scurt al comenzilor smucite în curentul de aer al elicei, torsul puternic şi reţinut al motorului, clipirea misterioasă a becurilor, agitaţia aferată a acelor albe pe cadranele negre? Pe urmă maneta în plin, urletul dezlănţuit în steaua cilindrilor, înfiorarea caldă a metalului acela mort topit din piatră seacă, „pas mic, decolarea”, ţiuitul strident al palelor de metal despicând în felii subţiri aerul, învârtejindu-l şi biciuind cu turbioane spiralate fuzelajul compact.

„Permit decolarea” pista legănându-se de o parte şi de alta a botului, cercul fumuriu al elicei, coborârea orizontului până sub pragul parbrizului, destinderea amortizoarelor sub greutatea tot mai iluzorie a avionului – şi desprinderea. Scurt – plutind deodată, totuna, osmoză cu văzduhul, lăsând jos şi în urmă lestul de pământ şi prejudecăţi, de cuvinte şi închipuiri, planetă rotindu-se bezmetică în jurul unui ax înclinat nu ştiu de ce cu 17°. Asta-i, mă cuprindea şi cuprindeam dintr-o dată în mine tot mormanul de metal arcuit în forme savante după ecuaţii complicate, rod complet al unor minţi omeneşti de care mă simţeam mândru şi umilit în acelaşi timp.

De unde amestecul de spaimă şi triumf, cerinţa aspră de a mă supune celuilalt eu în fiece moment, de a-mi supune simţurile şi gândurile şi firescul meu de om născut cu picioarele pe o scoarţă masivă şi groasă – certitudine – chemării aceleia neliniştite de a despica cu aripile scurte şi solide un spaţiu pentru care nu fusesem făcut?”

Doru Davidovici, „Intrarea actorilor”, editura Militara, 1977.

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