All of nature with its forms and creatures exist together and are interwoven with each other. They will be resolved back to their own proper origin, for the compositions of matter return to the original roots of their nature.
Those who have ears, let them hear this.
Everyone who begins to study and know their own states is well aware that our experience is a constant dying and rebirth. We must not be frightened as we come to see this, although it really is a terrifying thing that we have no power to keep hold of our own life; that it has to be renewed or given back to us by something that does not come from ourselves.
But even when we do see the helplessness with which we fall into oblivion, at that moment when we are most trying to hold onto ourselves, we must learn to trust that there is something that calls us back, and will call us back. And if it calls us back from sleep at night, it will call us back from that other sleep into which we shall enter, the sleep of death.
We awaken in Christ’s body
as Christ awakens our bodies,
and my poor hand is Christ, He enters
my foot, and is infinitely me.
I move my hand, and wonderfully
my hand becomes Christ, becomes all of Him
(for God is indivisibly
whole, seamless in His Godhood).
I move my foot, and at once
He appears like a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous? — Then
open your heart to Him
And let yourself receive the one
who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
we wake up inside Christ’s body
where all our body, all over,
every most hidden part of it,
is realized in joy as Him,
and He makes us, utterly, real.
And everything that is hurt, everything
that seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
maimed, ugly, irreparably
damaged, is in Him transformed
and recognized as whole, as lovely,
and radiant in His light.
We awaken as the Beloved
in every last part of our body.
Every cell of this body sings Glory
You are my food, my drink, my sunlight and the air I breathe. You are the ground I have built on and the beauty that rejoices my heart. I give thanks to you at all times for lifting me from my confusion, for teaching me in the dark and showing me the path of life.
I have come to the center of the universe:
I rest in your perfect love.
In your presence there is fullness of joy and blessedness forever and ever.
Whoever drinks what flows from my mouth
will come to be as I am
and I also will come to be as they are,
so that what is hidden will become manifest.
This is a kind of sacred alchemy. As we practice in daily life—in our acts of compassion, kindness, and self-emptying, both at the level of our doing and even more at the level of our being—something is catalyzed.
Subtle qualities of divine love essential to the well-being of this planet are released through our actions and flow out into the world as miracle, healing, and hope.
This is the path that Jesus taught and walked, the path he calls us to.
The Blessed One addressed them:
Peace be with you. May my peace reside within you. Guard carefully that no one misleads you saying, “Look, he is here,’ or ‘he’s over there,’ for the Son of Humanity already exists within you. Follow him, for those who seek him there will find him.
And when they say, ‘Look here or look there is Christ,
go not forth, for Christ is within you.
And those who try to draw your minds away
from the teaching inside you, are opposed to Christ
For the measure’s within, and the light of God is within,
and the pearl is within you, though hidden.
I was a hidden treasure and I longed to be known.
And so I created the worlds, seen and unseen.
Words and Images from the top:
The Resurrection, copyright 2013 by artist Janet McKenzie, photo courtesy of Laura Ruth;
All of nature with its forms and creatures…from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, courtesy The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault;
Resurrection, excerpt from a Sunday talk by J. G. Bennett at Coombe Springs on May 16, 1963, courtesy of Cynthia Bourgeault;
Easter Vigil, Hallelujah Farm, photo courtesy of Laura Ruth;
Easter morning: the linens at the tomb, Hallelujah Farm, photo courtesy of Adwoa Lewis-Wilson;
We Awaken in Christ’s Body, Symeon the New Theologian, Cynthia says: This beautiful poem originally came as a handout from the Rev. Curtis Almquist, SSJE, during a clergy conference in Aspen, Colorado, May 1997, courtesy of the Holy Week Liturgies by Cynthia Bourgeault with Ward Bauman and Darlene Franz;
miracles around us, image courtesy of Roma Kaiuk, Unsplash;
Every cell of this body sings Glory, Wisdom chant, origin unknown;
Unnamable God, I feel you with me… from Psalm 16, Stephen Mitchell translation;
Holy Saturday on Martin’s Brook, I, photo courtesy of Laura Ruth;
Whoever drinks what flows from my mouth… Gospel of Thomas Logion 108;
Holy Saturday on Martin’s Brook, II photo courtesy of Laura Ruth;
This is a kind of sacred alchemy… adapted from The Wisdom Jesus Cynthia Bourgeault;
The Blessed One addressed them… from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault;
Keep Within, chant by Paulette Meier based on George Fox, Epistle, #19 , Works 7:27;
For where the heart is… from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene by Cynthia Bourgeault;
There is an Egg Waiting on the Line Between March and April, watercolor courtesy of Laura Ruth;
I was a hidden treasure… one of many translations, attributed to the Hadith al-Qudsi.