The purpose of religion is to connect the earth and stars, microcosm and macrocosm, through the cruciform matrix of this human body, a holigram of energy-transformation whose cardinal points, the crown, soles of the feet and hands, embrace the four directions, four winds, four elements, integrating time and space into cosmic beauty at the center of the heart.

The crucifix, displaying the tortured body of a man in grief and pain, did not appear in Christian iconography until the fourth century. The cross is a pre-Christian symbol expressing the dignity of regeneration and divine embodiment. Of course there is no transformation and no birth without pain: but we do not need to make a cult of suffering. The second century theologian, St. Athanasius, wrote, "God became human so that humanity could become God." Have a blessed and peaceful Easter.

(Mandala by St. Hildegard of Bingen, 11th C.)

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