One Suffering

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

They will gaze on the one they have pierced. –Zachariah 12:10a, quoted in John 19:37

Let me use our classic Christian logo, the cross, to illustrate what Jung is trying to say about the transformative power of images. The cross is a deeply disturbing image of a naked bleeding man, with arms nailed open, dying on a crossbeam–a most unlikely logo for anything. It has probably been cheapened, and the shock taken away, by reason of too much familiarity. But perhaps this is because we do not gaze long enough or deep enough. Jung says the cross might be the most significant image in Western civilization. The very fact that we keep repainting and sculpting this now ubiquitous image tells us that the soul must need to see it. Those who never gaze upon the cross, allowing it to work its metamorphosis, miss out on a huge healing secret, a divine disclosure that most humans would never dare to imagine on their own.

One of my favorite lines from Jung is revealing here. He says, “The whole world is God’s suffering.” [1] This is not poetry but precisely the fruit of mystical seeing, or gazing until a deeper message comes through. Mystics see things in wholes. They connect smaller anecdotes and images to see bigger patterns. Jung saw every act of human suffering as a participation in what Christians would call the eternal crucifixion of the One Christ. There is only one suffering, as it were, and we are all participants in it. [2]

When the single image morphs into a universal image, you get its archetypal significance, and as the prophet Zechariah says, “You will weep for him as you would weep for your only child, you will mourn for him as if he is every child” (Zechariah 12:10b). That is how images can transform us, but only if we can move beyond the mere literal, specific image to the universal and always true image. Fundamentalists find this very hard to do; mystics and great poets seem to be able to do nothing else. Mystics wait for experiential knowledge of the Divine and are not satisfied with mere memorized answers.Read More »

Father James Martin: Where was God when Notre Dame was in flames?

Last week’s heartbreaking fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris seemed to bring the world together in stunned grief. And coming at the beginning of Holy Week, when Christians worldwide mark the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the symbolism was almost too much to bear. I confess that I wept when I watched this ancient church be consumed by fire.

As the smoke poured from the medieval stone cathedral, flames leapt from the wooden roof and, in perhaps the most terrible moment, the ornate metal spire collapsed like a cinder, it was hard for many of us not to think of the suffering and death of Jesus. During his public crucifixion, just as yesterday, crowds of people looked on in horror—feeling powerless, overcome with grief and wondering what they could possibly do.

Among those people was Jesus’ mother, Our Lady: Notre Dame. Our Lady knows exactly what it is like to stand by and see someone you love suffer and die.

But Our Lady also knew that, somehow, God was with her in that time of grief. But we could well ask: Where was God yesterday in Paris?

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#ShortNews: Pope Francis’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’ (To the City and the World)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!

Today the Church renews the proclamation made by the first disciples: “Jesus is risen!” And from mouth to mouth, from heart to heart, there resounds a call to praise: “Alleluia, Alleluia!” On this morning of Easter, the perennial youth of the Church and of humanity as a whole, I would like to address each of you in the opening words of my recent Apostolic Exhortation devoted especially to young people:

“Christ is alive! He is our hope, and in a wonderful way he brings youth to our world. Everything he touches becomes young, new, full of life. The very first words, then, that I would like to say to every young Christian are these: Christ is alive and he wants you to be alive! He is in you, he is with you and he never abandons you. However far you may wander, he is always there, the Risen One. He calls you and he waits for you to return to him and start over again. When you feel you are growing old out of sorrow, resentment or fear, doubt or failure, he will always be there to restore your strength and your hope” (Christus Vivit, 1-2).

Dear brothers and sisters, this message is also addressed to every person in the world. The resurrection of Christ is the principle of new life for every man and every woman, for true renewal always begins from the heart, from the conscience. Yet Easter is also the beginning of the new world, set free from the slavery of sin and death: the world open at last to the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom of love, peace and fraternity…..

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#ShortNews: In China, 2 underground priests kidnapped; church destroyed

Last Sunday, a group of strangers stopped the car of Fr. Zhang smashed the glass of the window and started beating Fr. Zhang. They took him, threw him to the ground and then dragged the priest into their car and took him away. Fr. Zhang, 49, an underground priest of Xuanhua, who does not agree to join the Patriotic Association (PA), the controlling body of the Chinese Catholic Church. The faithful are worried and afraid because their priests are not safe and risk disappearing in the hands of the police at any time.

Also last Sunday, in the diocese of Lanzhou (Gansu) another unofficial priest, Fr. Hong Wanxi, 60, was forcibly taken to his home village by the United Front. He was forced to leave his Church and forcibly moved to his home town. The reason is always the same: refusal to join the PA and to be part of the official diocese of Shijiazhuang. At least 10 people, including policemen and members of the United Front and the Religious Affairs Office, took him, put him in the car and dragged him away.

Meanwhile, news has arrived that last April 12, in Hubei, a Catholic church was destroyed: It was Xutang, in Xiangtao.

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The Significance of Foot Washing

By Dr. Gary Linton

Foot Washing Services are for Today

Foot washing was an example Jesus set for us to follow. Jesus said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15). Unlike in Jesus’ day, ceremonial foot washing is not for cleaning feet, but is a spiritually significant act.

Foot Washing is a Sign of Humility

The roads were very dusty in Jesus’ day and it was the job of the lowliest of slaves to wash the feet of those coming in from a journey. Jesus was setting an example of humility in washing His disciple’s feet. The creator humbled Himself before His creation.

In a foot washing service we humble ourselves before a fellow brother or sister in Christ. In Philippians 2:3 and 5 Paul said, “In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

Foot Washing Sets an Example of ServanthoodRead More »

🍞 Maundy Thursday 2019 🍷


The word “Maundy” is derived from the Latin word mandatum, or “mandate.”

This word is used in the Latin text for John 13:34:

“Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.”

Or, in English:

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you.”

Holy Thursday is thus sometimes called Maundy Thursday because it was on this day that Christ gave us the new commandment–the new mandate–to love one another as he loves us.


#ShortNews: Kissing leaders’ feet, Pope appeals for peace in South Sudan

A remarkable, spontaneous gesture. Breaking protocol, at the conclusion of his remarks at the end of the spiritual retreat, Pope Francis fell to his knees, kissing the feet of South Sudan’s civil authorities.

“To the three of you who signed the Peace Agreement, I ask you, as a brother, remain in peace”, the Pope said. “I ask you from the heart. Let us move forward. There will be many problems, but don’t be afraid, go forward, resolve the problems”. In impromptu remarks following his address, Pope Francis said, “You have started a process; may it end well.

Although struggles will arise, he said, these should stay “within the office”. However in public, he said, “before the people: [keep your] hands united”. In this way, the Pope said, “from simple citizens, you will become Fathers of the Nation”.

In his prepared remarks, the Holy Father reflected on “the gaze of God”, and “the gaze of the people”. He began his address with the words used by the risen Lord to greet his “disconsolate disciples”, following the resurrection: “Peace be with you!”

“Peace is the first gift that the Lord brought us”, he said, “and the first commitment that leaders of nations must pursue.  Peace is the fundamental condition for ensuring the rights of each individual and the integral development of an entire people”.

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