Towards the Silent Heart

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An Easter interlude

 

by Joseph Raffa

Image: Gerd Altman, Pixabay

Good Friday – the day the body of Christ was crucified. Little did the perpetrators know what they were setting in motion.  They believed they were protecting their positions of

power and authority.  Were they not the religious trustees of the day – the guardians of religious traditions?

And wasn’t all this threatened by this Galilean, this supposed performer of miracles, this healer of the sick?  Why, it was even said that he raised a man from the dead, brought him back to life

before his grieving family and friends.

My, how silly can you be.  It’s just not possible.  The dead are dead.  Or they were in those days without the techniques of modern medicine.  Now-a-days, with injections of drugs, heart

massage, artificial resuscitation and maybe even an electrical charge, it sometimes happens that the seemingly dead are brought

back to life.

Still, in those days it was some feat.  So the Galilean became quite a centre of interest wherever he walked, talked and performed his miracles.

What a nuisance he became to the religious authorities of the day.  Not intentionally of course.  He just went about doing his Father’s business, (as he so simply put it) dispensing love and

truth regardless of the consequences.

Perhaps it wouldn’t have been so bad if he didn’t mention in an offhand way that he and the Father were one.  In the eyes of the guardians of the day, this was blasphemy of the highest order.

So, off with his head or, as was the delightful custom in this particular place and time – off to the cross with him.  But wait – a whipping first, just to add injury to insult – mock the man

and what he represented, then leave him there, high in the air, exposed to the elements till nature took its course.

The trouble was, after it was all over, he stubbornly refused to stay dead.  No – he had to compound the situation by coming back to life, (just as he had forecast, mind you).  And everything

about the man, his life, his words, his actions, the miracles, the crucifixion, refused to die away too.

In fact, what the priests tried to destroy took on a new lease of life, spread from that centre of a beginning, to travel around the world.  Much like a tiny seed grows into a mighty Oak tree.

Which just goes to show that Divine love and truth are irrepressible elements in human nature and in the universe – that they will persist as long as the universe and life persists.

And even beyond that for they have their source in that which is imperishable, in that which is sacred and unprofaned.

Christ came from that source, was one with it as indeed all things and all life are one with it.  All he did was speak the truth and for that he was crucified, by the blind, the arrogant

and the ignorant.

But the spark that took off then is with us still.  It burns like a flame in the hearts of those who travel inwards, who rediscover the Cosmic Christ within.

That’s what it was all about – to bring mankind together with truth, love and the Universal Nature.  So the cross, instead of signifying the end became a guiding beacon, a signpost for

mankind to rediscover itself, to disentangle itself from its home in time and find its true home in that strange nature beyond

space and time.

From Beyond the Cross, The Christ Collection by Joseph Raffa

Available in various links from

books2read.com/u/3yZA8p

 

 


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The Christ walked this way

An Easter contemplation
by Joseph Raffa

 

Out of the silence He came,

Out of that great love

that knows not beginning or end,

On a mission of mercy.

 

He walked amongst evil,

A shining star of truth,

Radiant with the lustre of the Strangeness.

And oh, how He talked in parables of matchless beauty.

 

In simplicity He walked, unaided by human hands.

His trust lay, not in the social tides of the day,

Nor in the traditional dogmas of the church of his time,

But in that Timeless Tide that dwells

where humans cannot go and remain human.

 

With the God of Love he supped in timeless splendour.

And when the cross reared its stark

and threatening shape across the troubled landscape,

Unflinching and unyielding

He hung there, naked and crucified.

 

Held there, not only by iron nails

hammered deep through feeble flesh

but by the tremendous strength of an immeasurable love.

A human symbol, of a love

that defied the ravages and evil grasp

of a particularly brutal time.

 

And then came the unbelievable –

The mysterious resurrection

When the Sunshine of Truth

briefly walked and talked again in that very same body

that had lain so deathly still.

Pierced by a spear thrust through and through

and finally left for dead

in a cold and lonely cave nearby.

 

But the power of a Great Love moved to reclaim

its blessed son in fulfilment of a promise made –

Arose He,

Walked He,

Talked He,

And those who saw marveled in wonder.

 

Then, like a phantom will-o-the wisp, He was gone,

physically gone, perhaps for good,

Leaving a mystery for people to talk and to think about,

And a lesson in love for all to learn from

and to reach out for,

If they too,

could only leave this home in the vale of time

and travel the timeless way

to that Strangeness that possessed him so.

 

  • From Beyond the Cross, Joseph’s moving collection of inspired pieces about Christ.

Cross coverAvailable from Amazon.com in paperback and e-book formats.

 

 


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An Easter reflection

by Joseph Raffa

It’s almost Easter, the time Christians celebrate the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ. About 2,000 years ago Christ stormed through Judea and Galilee and, in a few short years, stirred up such ferment in the way he conducted his missionary life that his name and deeds have become etched in the historical movement of mankind’s consciousness. So much so, that even today, he is revered by millions throughout the world.

All this from a small beginning in a barren (mostly), desert backyard of a place that no-one would care about if it hadn’t come to be important to the Western world and to the Jewish and Arab people who live there. It was then, of somewhat strategic importance and conquering armies from East and West took turns laying claim to the area.

Somehow, because of this man and those who zealously spread his message, where he was born, where he died on the cross, his burial place and the extent of his ministry have become the focus of fervent adulation by devout Christians. How is it that one man could initiate such a hurricane religious change across the world?

The old Gods were swept aside to be replaced by the concept of One God. Idolatry was replaced with the worship of a God of light and love – a Being without form or shape – something to be contacted in hallowed moments of prayerful contemplation. Living rightly according to God’s laws was enthusiastically encouraged and this man who proclaimed a new way of living settled in the hearts of millions and became their inspiration.

In a way he is with us still. Religious days are celebrated by the faithful, each according to tradition. There are churches scattered the world over with a distinguishing cross somewhere on or in the buildings. Libraries contain sections with books on his life and from time to time, controversy surfaces in the media on some aspect of his life. Who was he? What was his purpose? Were the miracles for real?

Interpretations abound as the human reason stretches every which way to understand those momentous events and the tremendous  growth of the churches that followed in his name. A most unusual performance and one that confounds the rational mind. Perhaps this man did have a divine backup as he claimed. After all, a divine nature is something the rational mind can’t get its inquisitive nose into.

What a combination that would be – the divine and the human, dwelling in loving harmony. What kind of a harvest would that produce on this brawling, bruising, mixed up planet? Would it herald the end of violence and selfishness, of the divisions that mankind has raised? Would starvation be quickly dealt with and all the other kinds of actions that degrade what should be the fair and gentle face of mankind?

I suppose Christ had the answer to that and he considered it so important that he refused to compromise his standing when his time came. So, he faced the torture, the crucifixion, the taunts and all else the misunderstanding ones subjected him to. And he came up trumps. He did what he had to do – did it in style, perhaps with a sense of showmanship. It was, after all, an ingenious idea, the resurrection. It guaranteed an historical immortality.

After all these years, his light still shines down to us. When in need, knock and in some way, he’ll be there. Doesn’t matter who you are, what your life has been. If the need is deep and the asking sincere, the response will come.

What moved him then, what inspired him to go to the cross – is with us now. It’s closer than we know, waiting for us to return. This kind of love knows no boundaries. And should the divine enfold you, just for a moment, you will have joined that hallowed nature that Christ spoke about when he said “I and my Father are One.”

Note: Joseph wrote these words in 1994. They are as relevant today as they were then.

CrosscoverA complete collection of Joseph’s moving pieces about Jesus is available. Beyond the Cross, The Christ Collection is being offered at a discount price in the lead up to Easter. http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Cross-Joseph-Raffa-ebook/dp/B00C8SN63K