Subscribe now to Podcast of Prayer for Today
Sunday in Assisi, Italy, I had the most wonderful healing and expansion while meditating in the Basillica for San Francesco – St. Francis of Assisi. I went and sat in the quietest corner I could find and it was right next to a huge statue of St. Francis kneeling beside Jesus on the cross.
When I was young, living in Rhode Island, which was at that time the most Catholic state in the Union by percentage of population, I had many friends who were of Italian, Irish, Polish and Portugese decent – many were first and second generation. Their parents or grandparents were immigrants and they were all born and raised catholic. My parents were not religious. We didn’t have any talk about God that I recall. Although my grandparents were all very devout, three were protestant and one catholic. I went to church with all of them periodically at holiday times.
Some of my best friends used to tell me with sincere sadness “it’s too bad you’re going to hell because you’re not baptized.” I knew they didn’t know what they were talking about and I’m glad I knew it. I used to go to mass with them sometimes if I slept over their house on a Saturday night.
What I remember in my church going youth experiences was that I developed an aversion to images of the crucifixion. My small amount of attending church services with friends and family taught me that the message of the crucifixion had been interpreted to hurt people and to make them feel guilty and afraid.
The message I felt at many, but not all churches, was: You people are sinners. Don’t you realize Jesus died for your sins – which means he died BECAUSE of your sins! And you won’t stop sinning! So, you must come to the church to be forgiven so that you don’t feel quite so guilty and ashamed of yourselves. So you can get through the week. But don’t kid yourself, you’re still a sinner. You still should feel guilt and shame because of your badness. But we can help if you come here and get forgiven by us so you can feel less bad. The church giveth shame and guilt and the church will take some of it away. Remember, you need us. We’re all you’ve got to keep you from going straight to hell. Your chance at heaven is in our hands.
It upset me so much. And I’m not saying that was the message they were always intending to send. I’m saying that’s what I felt. I remember even at ten and eleven years old wanting to stand up and shout: SHUT UP! This is crazy! Don’t believe it! This is not the message of Jesus! Just look at Jesus’ life! He helped people to heal! This is not healing!! This is upsetting! This is shaming! This is ugly and hurtful. GET OUT OF HERE! RUN!!!!
So, I hated the crucifixion because it represented all of that to me – the desecration of Jesus’ teachings and the manipulation of people’s most base instincts – for what reason? Money. Let’s face it, money is the illusion of power in this world. In the old days of the Catholic church – if you study the history it’s all there – how small groups of powerful people edited and changed the facts of Jesus’ life and teachings in order to make money. It’s not hidden. It’s historical fact.
After being in Greece and Italy for about seven weeks, and particularly in Florence which has whole buildings with hundreds of paintings and statues of the crucifixion, I was feeling a residue of that aversion to the crucifix. It was coming up for healing.
So, I sat beside this huge statue of my two beautiful teachers, St. Francis and Jesus. St. Francis is kneeling beside Jesus on the cross. I meditated for about an hour and in that stillness, I asked my sweet elder brother Francesco, “Why? Why is this image here for me? What can I understand about this image of the crucifixion?”
I don’t know that I can say it in words, but it came to me, in my awareness. Literally, I felt a transference. I felt that I saw the crucifixion the way Francesco saw it – without judgment. And without the meaning that others had made of it and without my aversion to the meaning others had made of it.
Previously, I had intellectually understood the beauty of the crucifixion – that it was absolutely necessary to bring forth the magnificence of the resurrection. Jesus’ ENTIRE life was lived to bring us the message of:
Be not afraid, for I have overcome the world.
I have come that you might have life (eternal) – to get off the wheel of karma and suffering
I AM is the way, the Truth and the Life
You get there by forgiveness
Forgiveness brings you the resurrection.
But in this moment with Saint Francis on Sunday, I felt the absolute beauty and perfection of the crucifixion as it was intended and as it was accomplished.
Jesus did bring us the message of forgiveness, non-judgment, resurrection, eternal life, and that we are one with God. No matter what has happened since he walked the earth the message is still here in our hearts where it has always been, unsullied, perfect and profoundly healing.
What I can also tell you from my experience is that it was YET AGAIN a reminder to always be asking for insight, healing, and help. We’re all one. There’s no difference between helping my friend or my self. These beautiful beings of love and light are always available if we ask. We ask not to get something in the world, but to open our awareness to BE our true selves. That’s the key!
TODAY: On my radio show today, my topic is Have You Hit Bottom Yet? You can listen in LIVE on my radio show – click here for details; – or you can click here to get the download later at iTunes. All the previous episodes are free at iTunes right now! You can subscribe to the podcast and get the show every week automatically. On your phone, iPod, or computer. Check it out! And if you enjoy the radio show, will you please write a review so more people find the show? Thank you!
Would you like support to deepen your practice and accelerate your awakening? People are joining my 7 week spiritual bootcamp class right now – you can too! Now, you can start whenever you like! No waiting! Join us today in Finding Freedom, align with others who are ROCKING their healing this fall! People are already experiencing amazing healing! It’s not too late to join us. If you need a payment plan, I’ve got one! Register now and make this the Fall that changes your entire life! Click here to learn more!
Wondering how to increase your intuition? Check out my class from yesterday: Intuition & Inspiration – Activating & Accepting Divine Guidance with Jennifer Hadley Click here to learn more
We’re waking up together and I’m so grateful for that! If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter let’s other know? Thank you!