All of Jesus' teachings call us to win by losing, which is so countercultural and so paradoxical that Jesus finally had to live it himself to show us it could be true.
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
Jesus Washing Peter's Feet (1852-56/detail), Ford Madox Brown, Tate Gallery, London
Jesus Washing Peter's Feet (1852-56/detail), Ford Madox Brown, Tate Gallery, London    
Jesus: The Servant
How to Win by Losing
Wednesday, March 11, 2015  

The heart of Jesus' teaching was the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), together with his parables, many of which are about losing and then finding (the lost son, the lost coin, the lost sheep). All of these teachings, and Jesus' lived example, call us to win by losing, which is so countercultural and so paradoxical that Jesus finally had to live it himself to show us it could be true.

 

The Sermon on the Mount begins with the so-called Eight Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). Read them from the perspective of how they describe Jesus as the suffering servant:

 

How happy are the poor in spirit; theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Meister Eckhart, OP, (1260-1328) said that to be poor in spirit is to "know nothing, want nothing, and have nothing." That sounds a lot like Buddhism! And this is Jesus' opening line.

 

Happy the gentle: they shall have the earth for their heritage.

 

This is so contrary to our love of power, certitude, and control. Who of us really believes this? Could you ever build an empire or even an institution with this kind of na�vet�?

 

Happy those who mourn: they shall be comforted.

 

We now know that grief is a privileged portal into soul work and transformation.

 

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.

Happy are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.

 

There is a perfect correlation between how we give and what we can receive. Consider this for the rest of your life.

 

Happy the pure in heart; they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers; they shall be called children of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3-10)

 

Each of these invitations, for that is what they are, are concerned about vulnerable and outpouring relationship, which is necessary for the second half of life, in the same way that the Ten Commandments serve for ego-identity in the first half of life. The Beatitudes are descriptions of a mature human person much more than prescriptions for other-worldly salvation. They offer something astoundingly new to human consciousness, which is a lifestyle based on vulnerability, mutuality, service--and thus a willingness to be usable for God, history, healing, and one another.
Adapted from The Great Themes of Scripture: New Testament, pp. 21-22 (published by Franciscan Media);
and The Path of Descent, disc 4, (CD, MP3 download)
Gateway to Silence
The way down is the way up.
The Center for Action and Contemplation is proud to cosponsor a gathering for contemplative lovers of stories and light.

 

Movies and Meaning: A Dream Space

Thursday, May 28-Sunday, May 31, 2015

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

You are invited to a new and unique event:

 

Films curated by Gareth Higgins, founding director of Movies and Meaning and the Wild Goose Festival

 

Conversations with Richard Rohr and special guests at the intersection of contemplation, activism, art, and transformation

 

Receive 10% off registration when you use coupon code CAC2015

 

 Visit moviesandmeaning.com/festival for more information and to register. 

 

Please visit moviesandmeaning.com/festival for full details and registration. As Movies and Meaning is not a CAC event, CAC is unable to assist with registration details.

CAC is seeking extraordinary individuals interested in carrying forward our nearly 30-year history of helping people discover their unique vocation in service to the world. We're looking for someone to steer CAC's branding and communications as well as two individuals to provide administrative support. Would you like to join us? Visit cac.org/job-openings to learn more!
2015 Daily Meditation Theme

Richard Rohr's meditations this year explore his "Wisdom Lineage," the teachers, texts, and traditions that have most influenced his spirituality. Read an introduction to the year's theme and view a list of the elements of Fr. Richard's lineage in CAC's January newsletter, the Mendicant.  

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