The Chesed of God
* The whole meaning, purpose and end of Scripture and of the Church's Tradition is to reveal to us that God is Love and that God's Love is unconditional and unending. "God is Love and He who abides in Love, abides in God and God in Him"
* God's Steadfast Love is summed up and powerfully expressed in the strong and multivalent Hebrew word 'Chesed'
* The whole meaning, purpose and end of the Paschal Mystery that is Jesus' life is to incarnate and make more accessible to us the Chesed of God.
* The whole meaning, purpose and end of our lives as Christians is to discover the Chesed of God and respond to it joyfully, lovingly and fully. "I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly"
* The Episcopal Church, and along with the whole Western Church, has lost its way and it no longer recognizes or understands the Chesed of God.
* The Episcopal Church has lost its vision of the Chesed of God and is desperately searching for it in all kinds of places: from biblical fundamentalism to total sexual permissiveness. It is no longer even sure what it has lost or what it is looking for.
* The Church, and especially the Episcopal Church, needs a committed community of Contemplative Theologians to prayerfully and deeply reflect on the crises the Church is facing in the context of the Chesed of God.
The Contemplatives of the Chesed of God
* A Contemplative Theologian is one who prayerfully and deeply reflects on God and the things of God. This is the call and vocation of the Order of Contemplatives of the Chesed of God
* Our approach to everything -- everything -- is to be always in the context of the Chesed of God.
* We are to have a deep, sustained, steadfast commitment to reversing the trend in Anglican theology towards negativity, hatefulness, spitefulness, name-calling, personal attacks, ridicule, politics and power struggles, absolutism, self-righteousness, rush to judgement and an us vs. them mentality.
* The vocation and aim of the Contemplatives of the Chesed of God is to lovingly contemplate and reflect on the Chesed of God and on the needs of the Church in the context of the Chesed of God and to witness to the fruit of our contemplation with the utmost steadfast lovingkindness and compassion, hospitality and openness towards all.
* Not one word of uncharitableness is to creep into our speaking or our writing. Our vocation is to be one of reconciliation and understanding and caring. Our goal is to build trust and trustworthiness within ourselves and in our relationships with those of opposing theological "camps".
* The vocation of the Contemplatives of the Chesed of God is to dive deep beneath the surface: of Scripture, of Tradition, of Reason and of our contemporary divisions, in order to seek clarity.
* When we have insights to which we believe we are called to bear witness, we will do so always by building up and showing the positive aspects of our understanding of the situation, never by tearing down any other position.
* Anything that cannot be reconciled with the Chesed of God is to be rejected as unworthy, but our aim is to reconcile all things.
* Whenever we are tempted to think that a certain doctrine or practice or person is stupid, ugly, vicious, ungodly or heretical, we will sternly refuse to indulge in making that judgement. Instead, we will humbly acknowledge that the clarity that could possibly reconcile this doctrine or practice or person with the Chesed of God is not yet within our grasp.
* If we say that something seems to be at variance with the principles of the Chesed of God, we are always to be explicitly aware that this conclusion might be the result of our own blindness. We must always remain open to further understanding, further inspiration, further reconciliation. We are to constantly practice a humility before the Mystery of God that says, I will never know it all nor will I ever come to a point where I have fully grasped "the Truth"
* On the other hand -- as Our Lord commanded, the Chesed of God is to be the measure of all things. Jesus is the Chesed of God incarnate. Therefore, Jesus -- the whole Christos as he embodies the Chesed of God -- is to be our measure.
* A woman carrying a child in her womb for nine months cannot rush impatiently to birthing. We are to ponder the Love of God and the needs of the Church in our hearts, in contemplative theological reflection, for the period of their full gestation, which length is known only to God. Our mission is to live patiently with the questions and the ambiguities and the seemingly irreconcilable divisions.
* It is very dark at the bottom of a deep well, but it is also the place where the spring enters, refreshing, cleansing and clearing the water. The spring we seek is that from which flows the water of eternal life that Jesus promised, and He calls us to find it at the center, in the depths of the Father's Heart, where we will experience His Chesed directly as well as on behalf of the community of the church.
Our Broken World
* Our broken world desperately needs prayer, repentance, healing, and the hope of the Chesed of God. In other words, our broken world desperately needs salvation.
* The Church cannot share the Good News of the Chesed of God made manifest in Jesus the Christ until the Church itself has known the Chesed of God
* Therefore, as Contemplatives of the Chesed of God, our primary vocation is to heal the Church so that the wider Church can heal the world.
The Prayer of the Contemplative Theologians of the Chesed of God
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Compassionate Father, Reveal God's Steadfast Love for All of Us"
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