Finley says (pp. 17-18): “[Christians] are called upon to live Christ’s life. We are called into the desert to meet the demon within. We are called to face God alone in the night of our own solitude. We are called to die with Jesus, in order to live with him. We are asked to lose all, to be emptied out, in order to be filled with the very fullness of God.
Therefore, the Christian surely knows the way to the Father, but for this knowledge to become true, life-giving knowledge, each Christian must find his or her own way to the Way which is Christ. Christianity is much more than an expression of brotherly love couched in religious terms. It is more than philanthropy with holy water on it. It is essential that each person make some kind of personal response to God in Christ. There is a risk to take. There is a journey to make.”
How do you react to these bold statements of demons and death and loss and risk? This is not exactly what we were taught as children in Sunday school, is it? Do you agree that Christianity demands more than brotherly love and philanthropy? What is your “personal response to God in Christ”? These are questions for a lifetime; we might as well start now looking for today’s answers.
Contemplative Practice: Breathing the Name of God
Consider this: The quarks that make up the fundamental parts of atoms are in relationship with each other, and relationship is the love of God. If God were to stop actively loving us into existence, we and this universe would simply disappear! God is present in our atoms, in our bones, in our muscles, and in our every breath all our lives long.
God gives us breath every morning and every evening: every breath we take comes from God. In fact, some say that the name of God, Yahweh, is itself the sound of breathing. We inhale: Yah… and we exhale: Weh…
Settle yourself as you did for the Breath Prayer yesterday. Again, become conscious of your breathing: in … out, in … out. Now hear the name of God as you breathe: Yah … weh, Yah … weh.
Continue the prayer for a few minutes or as long as you like.