He says in effect: “There is only one thing you have to do. You must have the freedom to recognize me where you didn’t expect me; otherwise you aren’t free. And you will be judged on a single question: ‘Could you recognize me in the least of your brothers and sisters?’
For Anne Wilson Schaef there is one addiction that over-arches all these quite private addictions and dependencies: our addiction to the system itself. Our chief dependency is the dependency on our hallowed explanations. Could there be a world not built on competition? We can’t imagine it. Could there be a world not built on power? On money and control? On militarism? We can’t imagine it –which shows how dependent we are on our systems.
Jesus is a person and at the same time a process. Jesus is the Son of God, but at the same time he is “the Way.” He’s the goal, but he’s also the means, and the means is always the way of the cross.
We don’t think our way into a new life; we live our way into a new kind of thinking. The Gospel is before all else a call to live differently, so that life can be shared with others. In other words, the Gospel is ultimately calling us to a stance of simplicity, vulnerability, dialogue, powerlessness, and humility. These are the only virtues that make communion and community and intimacy possible.
It’s amazing how quickly a spirituality of subtraction becomes evident to people. I believe we’re in the process of recognizing our shadow side, our addiction to addition.
No monotheistic Jewish girl at that time could ever have been prepared for the Incarnation. God is perfectly transcendent and beyond everything. And if she believed the rabbis’ teaching that God comes in words, in the Torah and in the Commandments, then nothing prepared her for believing that God could become flesh and body. The Incarnation had nothing to do with theology. It was rather about vulnerability, about letting go, about emptiness, about self-surrender –and none of that is in the head.
The painful mystery of things, the injustice of it all, the mixed blessing, just is. Nothing is gained by accusing or avoiding, except a false sense of control.