Thursday, September 14, 2017

“Humbled and Saved” by Beth DeCristofaro

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:6-8)

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17-18)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your Cross you have redeemed the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

One of my most meaningful exercises – among inspiring moments – from my Cursillo in 2001 was drawing the concentric circles of priorities in my life. From the peripheral to the ultimately motivating, I realized what was most important and what I spent time on. Health was not one of the most important items in that sketch but as I age it becomes more imminent. Everyday people struggle with the shocking news that they are facing a terminal condition which can stun emotionally and spiritually as well as physically.

Aging and illness often result in bodies that no longer perform as they have for a lifetime; psyches which strain to achieve what will most likely be unmet dreams; roles which we worked to attain but which we can no longer hold. Although not always negative, diminishment of abilities and identity into the end of our mortal lives can be discouraging. The journey is humbling, emptying, and calls for an obedience to our true nature – mortality in this world. And Jesus knows just what we face. He took on the very same form to which we are born and he chose agony, death, was annihilated and buried. But Jesus Christ sanctified our mortal reality. He placed God at the center of his concentric circles of priority. He gave everything over and won all. He accepted the cross. In our accepting of the cross of loss and our human condition, we walk the Via Dolorosa with Jesus and we rise with our Christ.

Humbly, in that Cursillo exercise, I realized that in practice God was not at my innermost circling depth and it caused a conversion of awareness and, I hope, a change in my spiritual journey. Suffering and joy are both integral to the human condition yet the meaning lies beyond both in the person of God-come-to-us. Today, look to the Crosses in your life. Renew your obedience to humility unto death and so find life.
The Women’s 150th Cursillo begins this evening. Pray for the Team and the Candidates who each bear their own crosses. May they find joys and be inspired as they examine their spiritual priorities in a community of Christlike love.

Image credit: Salvador Dali, Christ of St. John of the Cross (

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