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Your True Self is who you objectively are from the beginning, in the mind and heart of God, “the face you had before you were born,” as the Zen masters say. It’s who you were before you did anything right or anything wrong. It is your substantial self, your absolute identity, which can be neither gained nor lost by any technique, group affiliation, morality, or formula whatsoever. The surrendering of our false self, which we have usually taken for our absolute identity, yet is merely a relative identity, is the necessary suffering needed to find “the pearl of great price” that is always hidden inside this lovely but passing shell. 1
I think the only and single purpose of religion is to lead you to an experience of your True Self in God. Every sacrament, every Bible, every church service, every song, every bit of priesthood or ceremony or liturgy is, as far as I’m concerned, for one purpose: to allow you to experience your True Self, who you are in God and who God is in you. Only healthy religion is prepared to point you beyond the merely psychological self to the cosmic, to the universal, and to the Absolute. Only great religion is prepared to realign, re-heal, reconnect and reposition you inside of “the family of things” as Mary Oliver calls it. 2
Tuesday, February 25 @ 5:00 p.m. (U.S. Mountain Time)
Fr. Richard introduces us to the biblical writer who has often been misunderstood. Paul's message is not individualistic but cosmic, not moral but mystical, not so much about Jesus but about the Christ.
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