Going Beyond Pat Easy Answers (continued) 01/19/2017

One of my favorite Gospel stories illustrates Jesus’ insight and holistic mind. It’s the story of the adulterous woman about to be stoned to death. The authorities come to Jesus and say, “Rabbi, this woman was caught in adultery. What should we do?” The law of Moses was clear: a woman caught in the act should be stoned.

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What was Jesus’ response? His most reasonable response would be an argument against capital punishment: statistics prove it doesn’t deter crime—the sixth Commandment states “You shall not kill,” etcetera. Instead, Jesus begins scribbling in the sand. This may seem insignificant, but it speaks volumes. All effective leaders know how to step back from the fray and relax their reasoning faculties. In that meditative space, intuitive answers come forth that surpass reason.

It amazes me that in the middle of such an intense macabre scene of angry men with stones in hand, Jesus had the where with all to step back and doodle. Then the brilliant flash of insight comes… Jesus responds, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This is an answer that’s so true it hurts. It sears the hearts of the would-be assailants, many of whom had visited a prostitute in their youth. One by one they put down their stones and leave the grizzly scene.

The simple truth was she was caught in adultery and Moses’ law sanctioned stoning. The deeper truth was more complex: compassion is the ultimate seal of God’s action in the world and the men weren’t guilt free. This paradoxical understanding saves the day.


David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings.  Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program  created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.