Reflections for Lent 3: Themes of Ten Commandments, holy anger, body as spiritual temple

Blessing the Body (excerpt) — Jan Richardson

This blessing takes
one look at you
and all it can say is
holy.

Holy hands.
Holy face.
Holy feet.
Holy everything
in between.

Holy even in pain.
Holy even when weary.
In brokenness, holy.
In shame, holy still.

Holy in delight.
Holy in distress.
Holy when being born.
Holy when we lay it down
at the hour of our death …

Body as Spiritual Temple

Being a body is a spiritual discipline … living fully and gratefully as a body. — Rowan Williams

Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer, not the cloak.  — Rumi


The body is a big sagacity, a plurality with one sense, a war and a peace, a flock and a shepherd. — Friedrich Nietzsche

There is an Indian proverb or axiom that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but, unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person. — Rumer Godden, A House with Four Rooms

The beauty of my body is not measured by the size of the clothes it can fit into, but by the stories that it tells. I have a belly and hips that say, “We grew a child in here,” and breasts that say, “We nourished life.” My hands, with bitten nails and a writer’s callus, say, “We create amazing things.” — Sarah, from I Am Beautiful

Skin is a covering for our immortality. — Terri Guillemets

Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos—the trees, the clouds, everything. — Thích Nhất Hạnh

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. — Buddha

Why should a man’s mind have been thrown into such close, sad, sensational, inexplicable relations with such a precarious object as his body? — Thomas Hardy

The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in. — B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga: The Path To Holistic Health

Sweat your prayers, dance your pain, and move on. — Gabrielle Roth

Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other. — Henry David Thoreau

There is but one temple in this Universe: The Body. We speak to God whenever we lay our hands upon it. — Thomas Carlyle

The body is an instrument which only gives off music when it is used as a body. — Anaïs Nin

Your body is a beautiful manifestation powered by spirit. — Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife

Our bodies are our gardens to which our wills are gardeners. — William Shakespeare, Othello

On Anger

A man that does not know how to be angry does not know how to be good. — Henry Ward Beecher

I shall allow no man to belittle my soul by making me hate him. — Booker T. WashingtonAnger is like a storm rising up from the bottom of your consciousness. When you feel it coming, turn your focus to your breath. — Thich Nhat Hanh

Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear. — Zora Neale Hurston

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. — Buddha

Revenge and retaliation always perpetuate the cycle of anger, fear and violence. — Coretta Scott King

The upside to anger? Getting it out of your system. You got to express your anger. Then you have room for more positive things. If I hold something in a long time, and then I speak it, it’s amazing how the light shines so much brighter. — Reba McEntire

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy. — Mehmet Oz

A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. — Carl Jung

Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not ‘yours,’ not personal. They are conditions of the human mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you. — Eckhart Tolle

Commentary on Jesus’ Anger: Overturning Tables at Temple in Jerusalem
How is God calling you to “harness the power of anger in the work of love”? — Carl GreggI am sure that unless we let the tables be overturned, unless we seek a completely new way of being us, they will not happen. — Andrew Prior

The problem that some modern churches face is not the activities they are doing but the activities they are neglecting. Every church should be centered on two activities: loving God and loving people. In short, there are many good things that churches can do. Jesus’ actions in the temple remind all of us that we should not do what’s good and neglect doing what’s best. — Tod Mundo

We may want a spirituality that rises above our broken physicality; but in Jesus we see that the physical life IS a spiritual life.  Jesus had a real body, just as we have; he bore the scars of having lived, just as we do. God came and made his home with us in a human body.  Perhaps this tells us that home is not merely heaven, it’s here in our human form, in our imperfect bodies. God has blessed Human flesh; not made it perfect but made GOOD.  Our good bodies are made of God, we should know we are therefore beautiful to God. — Nadia Bolz-Weber

… Do we risk constraining God, keeping God boxed up in the very houses we construct to honor God’s glory, and in which we come to worship? Do we love our buildings and our liturgies more than we love God? — Kris, RevGalBlogPals

That Jesus understands himself to be both the ultimate sacrifice and the end of sacrifice–and thus the new temple, the meeting place of God and humanity–is at work here. … to remember that God’s anger is the flip side of God’s love, and that in Jesus – the new temple, the meeting place of God and humanity – we are given both permission and sufficient grace to deal with the anger that will inevitably arise in us and in our churches. — Debra Dean Murphy

He was not only speaking of the destruction of his body, as the temple place where God dwells, but the destruction of the myth that God only dwells in the impressive building.  Jesus is moving God out … After the Resurrection the followers of Jesus came to understand that God dwells in the people, undomesticated, wild like a jungle lion, and never tamed. Sure, there are physical places where the veil is thin, but God is not pinned to these places.  We can pilgrimage to Mecca, Assisi, or the Ganges or Jordan rivers. But don’t think we can bring God back home in a box, like the Ark of the Covenant, or in a bottle … AND … Which means — you guessed it — that we don’t have to come to church to experience God. In fact, our churches can’t contain God any more than the Temple. Why, then, come to church? Because at worship in church we can hear God’s Word proclaimed in a way that helps us see and experience God in all of life. But the point is to learn to see God everywhere, not to come because church is the one place where God is. — David LoseLent will be a body anointed, a body beaten, a body on the cross, a body laid in a tomb. What does that feel like? The only way we can get at that is to embrace our own bodies. Lent, Easter, even theology, cannot be fully captured or experienced in our heady confessions, our lofty logic, or our need for knowledge. Lent invites a deep reflection on the role of bodies in faith, in theology, in life. In the end, Jesus is saying that his body is the location of God. Yours is, too. It has to be. God is counting on it because God loves the world. Jesus is counting on it because his incarnation came to an end on that cross. This week, embody your body.  — Karoline Lewis

Ten Commandments

The better life rests less on the prohibitions of the Ten Commandments and more on the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Golden Rule. — David Josiah Brewer

“Love of God,” he said slowly, searching for words, “Is not always the same as love of good, I wish it were that simple. We know what is good, it is written in the Commandments. But God is not contained only in the Commandments, you know; they are only an infinitesimal part of Him. A man may abide by the Commandments and be far from God.” ― Hermann Hesse

The five points of yama, together with the five points of niyama, remind us of the Ten Commandments of the Christtian and Jewish faiths, as well as of the ten virtues of Buddhism. In fact, there is no religion without these moral or ethical codes. All spiritual life should be based on these things. They are the foundation stones without which we can never build anything lasting. ― Swami Satchidananda, The Yoga Sutras

We may not all break the Ten Commandments, but we are certainly all capable of it. Within us lurks the breaker of all laws, ready to spring out at the first real opportunity. — Isadora Duncan

We need to agree on common values for all religions as soon as possible, a kind of secular Ten Commandments on which we build the world of tomorrow. — Lech Walesa

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