[Centering Prayer’s] simple but powerful pathway of transformation illumines . . . what it means to “put on the mind of Christ.” . . . The theological basis for Centering Prayer lies in the principle of kenosis, Jesus’s self-emptying love that forms the core of his own self-understanding and life practice. . . .
Saint Paul explains this principle by way of his beautiful hymn in Philippians 2:6-11, prefacing his comments by saying, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus”:
Though his state was that of God,
yet he did not deem equality with God
something he should cling to.
Rather he emptied himself,
and assuming the state of a slave,
he was born in human likeness. . . .
The phrase “emptied himself” in line 4 is the English translation of the Greek verb kenosein, which is where the word kenosis comes from. In context, you’ll see exactly what it means: it’s the opposite of the word “cling” in line 3. Jesus is practicing gentle release. And he continues to practice it in every moment of his life, as the next verse of the hymn makes clear:
He being known as one of us
humbled himself obedient unto death,
even death on a cross.
How beautifully simple—the path of Jesus hidden right there in plain sight! While some Christians are still reluctant to think of Jesus as teaching a path (isn’t it enough simply to be the Son of God?), in fact, the Gospels themselves make clear that he is specifically inviting us to this journey and modeling how to do it. Once you see this, it’s the touchstone throughout all his teaching: Let go! Don’t cling! Don’t hoard! Don’t assert your importance! Don’t fret. “Do not be afraid, little flock, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!” (Luke 12:32).
the foundational principles of the Law of Three:
- In every new arising there are three forces involved: affirming, denying, and reconciling.
- The interweaving of the three produces a fourth in a new dimension.
- Affirming, denying, and reconciling are not fixed points or permanent essence attributes, but can and do shift and must be discerned situationally.
- Solutions to impasses or sticking points generally come by learning how to spot and mediate third force, which is present in every situation but generally hidden.
.. The Paschal Mystery is another example, with affirming as Jesus the human teacher of the path of love; denying as the crucifixion and the forces of hatred driving it; and reconciling as the principle of self-emptying, or kenotic love willingly engaged. The fourth, new arising revealed through this weaving is the Kingdom of Heaven, visibly manifest in the very midst of human cruelty and brokenness.