This difference between a Caesar and a liberator.


The painful truth of American Christianity is that we are not comfortable believing in a God that has become a person. Contemporary culture prefers a worshiptainment that is more suited for adulating a Caesar than a carpenter from Galilee. The Christian God is humble in a way that would have seemed strange in his time and maybe even more so in ours.

You see a Caesar is raised to rule. To exercise their power without restraint. To have crowds sing songs about their awesomeness. They want followers to declare that they are slaves to their majesty. They demand adulation as proof of devotion and they decide who the winners and the losers are.

A liberator is raised to sacrifice. He works among his faithful and reaches out to all without prejudice. He trusts them to make a decision for themselves and he weeps when they turn away from him. A liberator helps us transcend our emotional wreckage he doesn’t play on it. A liberator brings us into contemplative worship so that we can find rest. Finally, a liberator binds us together as one so that we can lift each other up.

In the end, we have to figure out which God we want to follow. Caesar’s are easy to follow. The crowd generally follows them because it's easier. God does the choosing and those on the inside are special. If you follow the liberator then there is work to be done. He chooses us so we can serve others. We will often be misunderstood and ostracized.

The thing about a Caesar though is that they are often two dimensional. They are so celestial and above us that it is almost impossible to believe that they can understand our flaws. A liberator, though, he walks among us. His upbringing as simple as it may have been meant that he has seen things as we see them, he probably because he knows someone like us.

As we go into Advent this year ask yourself this. Do you wait for the birth of a Caesar or a liberator?

Saintly devotion as a contemplative practice.

Many of the Neo-Contemplatives I have personally met within Catholicism have a practice that revolves almost exclusively around a practice like centering prayer or Lectio Divina. While I practice Lectio, (poorly), the majority of my practice is centered on Marian devotion with a strong thrust toward my patron saint (Jude).......

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