The following are offered to guide and deepen your Pascal journey through Holy Week, Easter, and beyond:
We need to hear the word “love” mentioned as we go into Holy Week. As we stand here in a world so abruptly and sometimes brutally awakening to discover ourselves as one — interconnected, fragile, radically dependent on our great spiritual traditions to reconnect at the point of the heart… As we stand at that place in our world today, we must come to see that despite the venerable input of tradition, that the exclusivistic, judgmental, punitive theologies we have promulgated are a luxury the world can no longer afford. The epicenter of Christianity is Love, and this week we enter the epicenter. May we do so in Love.
~ Cynthia Bourgeault, 2013 Palm Sunday sermon
MARY MAGDALENE AND ATTENTION OF THE HEART with CYNTHIA BOURGEAULT – Online March 30, 2021
This online talk is part of the Bonnevaux Speaker Series hosted by the World Community for Christian Meditation.
She’s known as a lover, but what is love? Cynthia will explore the often sensationalized relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus as a pathway of conscious love, grounded in the contemplative quality of ”attention of the heart” –
whether in celibate or partnered modes. If contemplation is—as John Chrysostom said—, “knowledge impregnated by love,” Mary Magdalene is one its shining exemplars. Her transformation from wounded victim to “Apostle to the Apostles”
pours hope into our wounded world. We can be cleansed and renewed in its healing waters. Cynthia will begin to show us how.
NOTE: This event takes place on March 30th, at 8-9:30 PM FRANCE TIME ZONE. Check for conversion to your time zone.
“Mary Magdalene holds a key for Holy Week, and for Jesus’ passage from death to life.” ~ Cynthia Bourgeault
CONTEMPLATIVE HOLY WEEK LITURGIES – Online March 30 – April 4, 2021
You’re invited to journey through Holy Week with a profound set of daily contemplative liturgies created by Cynthia Bourgeault in 2010. The liturgies are being offered online this year by hosts from Stillpointca.org.
Through chant, readings, and silent meditation, we follow the days with the presence of Mary Magdalene, tethered by her heart to Jesus from his anointing through to the resurrection appearance in the garden on Easter morning.
The Contemplative Society is offering a special 25% discount on this MP3 download throughout Holy Week.
Mary Magdalene is the apostle to the apostles, a wisdom teacher, a contemplative, a woman of spiritual purity, a bold and tenacious witness, and Jesus’ beloved companion – these views of the so-called healed prostitute are unfamiliar to most of us; nevertheless, they are views supported by growing evidence from biblical and ancient text scholarship. Cynthia Bourgeault guides us through this evidence and offers to the thoughtful listener insights into the mystical aspect of Christianity.
This set of talks deserves serious consideration by all Christians interested not only in their own spiritual journey, but also in the future of Christianity as the incarnational faith embodying the way of kenotic love – the way to the cosmic Christ spirit.
Jesus’s real purpose in this sacrifice was to wager his own life against his core conviction that love is stronger than death, and that the laying down of self which is the essence of this love leads not to death, but to life …
~ Cynthia Bourgeault from The Meaning of Mary Magdalene
THE MEANING OF MARY MAGDALENE: DISCOVERING THE WOMAN AT THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY by Cynthia Bourgeault
What is this Pascal journey from the wisdom standpoint? In the common understanding, Christianity has tended to view the resurrection as Jesus’s triumph over physical death. But for Christians in the wisdom tradition (who include among the ranks the very earliest witnesses to the resurrection) its meaning lies in something much deeper than merely the resuscitation of a corpse. Jesus’s real purpose in this sacrifice was to wager his own life against his core conviction that love is stronger than death, and that the laying down of self which is the essence of this love leads not to death, but to life. He was not about proving that a body lives forever, but rather that the spiritual identity forged through kenotic self-surrender survives the grave and can never be taken away. Thus, the real domain of the Paschal Mystery is not dying but dying-to-self. (pp 185-186)
THE EPICENTER OF CHRISTIANITY IS LOVE – Palm Sunday sermon by Cynthia Bourgeault
Listen to the audio recording and read excerpts from Cynthia’s moving and memorable 2013 Palm Sunday sermon. Cynthia provides an extraordinary invitation to re-vision the meaning and message of Holy Week — summoning us to place the mystery of love at the center of the Easter story. Listen here.
Image by Constance Kowalik from Pixabay