Skip to main content

why soggy cereal reminds me of the cross


Station 7 - Jesus falls a second time
I am one of those people that lets their breakfast cereal sit for awhile before I eat it.  I like it soggy.  I like the milk to infiltrate the squares, circles, flakes, clusters, and sticks and change their texture.  I figure if I want it crunchy, I might as well eat it out of the box and drink a glass of milk as a chaser.  I like to know that the milk has truly met the cereal and there is no turning back from the encounter.

Station 11 - Jesus is nailed to the cross
Station 10 - Jesus is stripped of his garments
We spent Sunday morning walking through the Way of the Cross garden at St. Joseph's Oratory with our faith community.  I have done this walk many times before, but never at such a slow, meditative pace.  It was a lot different than just hiking along the path, sightseeing.  We took our time.  We stood and looked.  We were silent.  We gazed.  We let the scenes affect us.  We soaked up whatever each statue showed about Jesus' life.  We let it sink in.  It was not a quick dip in the way of the cross that left us unchanged.  The two substances (the journey of Jesus and our hearts) were given a chance to intermix, to take on each other's qualities, to become soggy oneness.

Sogginess, from which there is no turning back, takes time.  I have to sit with Jesus' life, words, and presence in order to give them time to infiltrate my tightly closed boxes, my circular thinking, my flaky selfishness, my tendency to never stray from the safe cluster, and my defensive stick-weapons. 

Jesus is not a milk chaser to add to my life, hoping that he fills in the gaps but leaves everything else pretty much untouched and still crunchy.  Jesus will change my very substance.  I will take on his substance.  But only if I give him time.  Time to sink in. 
        
Station 12 - Jesus dies on the cross

The photos: A few scenes from the Way of the Cross at St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal that I took on Sunday.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…

vertical theology

Much of the thinking and writing I have been doing for the past year or so, especially in academic settings, has to do with how hierarchy is embedded in our theology and ways of structuring communities. To me, that's not a g