The Pilgrim with Imagination
The Pilgrim with Imagination
Chris writes that Pope Francis’ spirituality is along the lines of being a ‘pilgrim’ which requires imagination: With this exception: the question of women and priesthood, he declares again, is closed. I imagine Mary Magdalene and Jesus wandering down this road in the Karoo chatting.
They pass the animal trough of water as the evening shade begins to take some of the heat off the barren landscape.
mM to Jesus: Did you read what the Guardian reported on Pope Francis this morning?
Jesus: No, what?
mM: It was about women and the priesthood. He says the matter is closed. The Church has settled it definitively.
Jesus: They said that about the Messiah over two thousand years ago.
mM: Well that doesn’t help women much now, does it?
Jesus: Nor did it help me much back then
mM: So, what to do?
Jesus: Well it’s up to you, isn’t it?
mM: But how?
I imagine Mary Magdalene and Jesus sitting beside a dam in the shade of a tree.
Jesus: I didn’t really know how things would play out then either. I just came from the truth of my being regardless of what anyone, whether Church or State tried to enforce. Of course I knew the consequences were unpredictable. I didn’t believe that God would swoop in and take over or rescue me from paying the price whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. But those are secondary to who I am and what my purpose is. On a political level I anticipated it would get rough. But there is one thing that never changes: Who I am and who you are, in fact what everything is – our true nature: All else flows from that. The complexity of what is going on at many levels is usually far beyond what we can consciously know in present time. But the beauty of it is that each of us can tap in to what, for each of us personally, is the right thing to do: Not only that but what is unique and specific to you as your deepest desire – and to follow that come what may. But for it to remain true it requires an ever deepening integration of the Real Presence of God in our personal life.
The issues related to our ‘destiny’ are usually about power and vested interests. In legal terms it’s called iaps – ‘interested and affected parties’. But love is beyond the Law. So how do we make space for the ‘other’ beside us? All we can be guilty of is not being true to our desire and this is not just my desire or your desire but the desire of me, you and everyone and thing we know. It’s called the will of God. How we go about that could be called ‘Discernment’. Do you know how to ‘discern’, both collectively and personally, Mary?
Mary Magdalene: mmmmmmmmm I Think so.
Jesus: Which is?
mM: A form of enquiry: In its true form it could be called ‘Lectio Divina’. Consciousness evolves through enquiry whether it be of body, speech or mind.
Jesus: Tell me more
1. The basis of Lection Divina is that I ‘take a reading’ (Lectio). What is going on in the world around me – actual verifiable data. (Wigo) Where possible we include other ‘iaps’ – interested and affected parties – who may not have our language, such as animals. In Scientific terms this may be called the ‘data’. Even if we read a passage of scripture it would be selective and we would be selecting which actual words or phrases ‘out there’ strike us i.e. Wigo.
2. We reflect (Meditatio) and ascertain how we are signifying both our own data and that of others. Also we listen to how others are signifying both their own data and our data. In other words, how am I (as different to you) interpreting the ‘objective’ data ‘out there’ - the Wigo: Example: He said X. My Signifier: ‘Offensive’ His signifier ‘Funny’. What underlying unifying and differentiating patterns can we discern in the signifiers we use relative to ‘wigo’? An example could be that I have the insight that ‘I take things personally when that is not how they are intended.’ Over time we can see that whatever is going on (Wigo), our symbolic construction of it, what we take it to be, is simply our own interpretation or perhaps that of someone else or generally what others think. A long term understanding will emerge that: “Through circulation the observer encounters the particular form of her being as an effect of her discourse.”
3.Whatever emerges from (2) I allow myself to stay with that and experience at a deeper level what I am feeling / sensing and dialogue about it (Oratio) in the Imaginary with a Divine being who holds me in their heart and personifies wisdom, love and truth. I might imagine you, Jesus, being here and imagine your responses. All the time I would be allowing myself to feel / sense deeper into what is deepest in me and your response to that. An imaginary developing mutuality of body, speech and mind.
4. I allow myself to let go and just rest not attempting to do anything (Contemplatio). Whatever comes I let it go. I do this for a period of time, say 20 minutes. If Instant Presence is my experience in this time or at any time in my life, that is all that is necessary. I am just ‘empty’, open to the flow of life. I resonate in living mutuality with what is here now. This is a kenotic process and can consciously be true contemplation, Instant Presence. Nothing is required. No attainment is necessary or even possible. Our eyes can be open. We could even be going about our normal business. But initially it helps to have this as our specific intention for a given period of time.
Jesus: Sounds good to me.
mM: Yes ……….. just this, here, now ………..Actually the Roman Catholic Church needs to integrate the Masculine and the Feminine. We can only do this when we recognize and realise these as both inner and outer realities. There is power at the edge or bottom up – a collective web of living mutuality which is the Feminine - as much as top down, centralised power, the Masculine, regardless of whether actual men or women occupy those positions. People power supported by technology is already here to stay: A Rose by any other name will smell the same. The question for Pope Francis is: When does the desire of the leader become the leadership of desire?
Jesus: He could enquire as in the practice of Lectio Divina above.
mM: Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
At this Christmas time:
O God who art beyond all knowledge
save that of love, give birth in our
hearts to that which we cannot of
ourselves conceive and as in
Blessed Mary, so in us bring forth
the Wisdom of all the ages,
now and in eternity.
(Image - Stain Glass by the author)