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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

295: The heart has to find its way through a raw immediacy of presence

Day 295: January 5th 2021:

That moment when the heart has to find its way not though external conditioning but through a raw immediacy of presence.

Story From Our Community

It was a hot summer day in New York City. As I stood clinging to a pole in the midst of a packed, noisy subway car, I longed to be anywhere else. But as I looked around, I became aware of the incredibly diverse array of humanity. No two were alike: each one was dressed differently, with different accents, hair styles, body types, skin color, and faces. Yet each one was aglow with Life. I realized that the whole subway car was full of the presence of God. If that's true of a subway, it's true of everything, everywhere. —Carol F. J.

Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre!

I will awake the dawn!

Unveiling Christianity: Wake Up! When we are attuned and awake, reality splits wide open and is “unveiled” for us. Think the revolutionary stories of Jesus as he welcomes everyone into the circle of kinship. Think joy! Think liberation!

For Christians we’ve become so used to the “story” of our faith that a veil has been pulled over our eyes and we no longer experience its power to change our lives – or for us to change the lives of those we come into contact with. We tend to sleep through the readings in church.

Cynthia Bourgeault writes: “Perhaps the most deadening aspect of our Christianity . . is that we live it with twenty-twenty hindsight. We know the story. We know how the plot comes out. We know who the winners are (and the losers?).

We’re living in an era right now where there’s an opportunity to really open up the core questions again and ask,

“What is it that we mean by ‘Christianity’? What is this filter or veil that we’re looking through? Who is this Brother that we profess and confess in our life as we call ourselves Christian?”

When we approach the Jesus story with the attitude, “I’ve heard that already, I know what that means,” we fall asleep rather than allowing ourselves to be shocked awake.

For all such spiritual sleepwalking bypasses that crucial first step, that moment when the heart has to find its way not though external conditioning but through a raw immediacy of presence. Only there in “the cave of the heart,” as the mystics are fond of calling it—does a person come in contact with his or her own direct knowingness. And only out of this direct knowingness is sovereignty born, one’s own inner authority.

This is what Jesus offers people through his ministry—an experience of inner authority, powerful enough to heal them and set them free from whatever was keeping them trapped. – Richard Rohr

"As we accompany Jesus through the gospels, we are present at one dramatic meeting after another. One person after another experiences a mysterious power in Jesus that, from this moment, changes the course of his or her life.

If we are fully present at the moment when we read such a narrative, we ourselves experience the liberating power of this awakening." - Father Bruno Barnhart:


“If you are seeking, seek us with joy

For we live in the kingdom of joy.

Do not give your heart to anything else

But to the love of those who are clear joy,

Do not stray into the neighborhood of despair.

For there are hopes: they are real, they exist –

Do not go in the direction of darkness –

I tell you: suns exist.”

- Rumi


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