The Heart of Matter – Unlearning

by | Mar 29, 2022 | The Heart of Matter | 10 comments

Tuesday, March 29th

“The Christian journey is by definition a Lenten journey. Following Jesus through the cross should not be a special effort six weeks of the year; rather, it is the path into God. It is a path of conversion, a realization that we are unfinished, insecure and a bit broken. ‘Conversion’ is based on the Greek word ‘metanoia’ which literally means ‘change of mind’ or ‘change of heart.’  What is this change of mind and heart?  It is essentially a process of ‘unlearning’ or rewiring our thoughts, attitudes and actions, from self-centeredness to God-centeredness.”
—Ilia Delio, “Return to God and God will Return to You”

“El camino cristiano es por definición un camino cuaresmal. Seguir a Jesús mediante la cruz no debería ser un empeño particular de solo seis semanas en el año, sino que es el camino hacia Dios. Es un camino de conversión, de tomar conciencia de que somos seres incompletos, inseguros y un tanto rotos. ‘Conversión’ se relaciona con la palabra griega ‘metanoia’, que significa literalmente ‘cambio de mente’ o ‘cambio de corazón’. ¿Y en qué consiste este cambio de mente y de corazón? Esencialmente, es un proceso de ‘desaprender’ o reconfigurar nuestros pensamientos, actitudes y acciones, en dejar de estar centrados en nosotros mismos para estar centrados en Dios.”
Ilia Delio, “Return to God and God will Return to You”

Incarnational Practice: Unlearning

This week’s invitation is to choose one thought, one action, one attitude in our life which needs to be unlearned and take practical steps to transform it. Try to pause and breathe deeply at its threshold before engaging with it, and choose a different approach.


What is being revealed? What is being moved? What is being asked?


  1. pthomasmcguire

    In a way, Lent is the Church’s allowed depression.
    A sanctioned and ritualized depression.

    Depression is often a normal backdrop in the long lent of life.

    It is allowed, it is to be understood, and even respected.

    But we are not allowed to stay there.

    We have to start to shake the dust off our sandals, arise from the ashes, and follow the God of life.

    May our strength be in Jesus’ own witness of how to bear suffering in the good way, and in our determination to walk the talk together, as one family belonging to God.

    Fr Richard Frechette CP
    Third Week of Lent, 2022
    Port au Prince, Haiti

  2. Darryl Nelson

    My challenge is to be more open and generous with the wealth that I have.

  3. geemapox

    I agree. Admitting I am wounded, I use Lent as 40 days of intensive care and days or months after as rehabilitation. Then back to my good coach’s discipline needed to run the good race, fight the good fight.

  4. Mary Anne Geskie

    What needs to be “unlearned” is the false belief that I’m in control of my life!! The very essence of the idea of being in control needs to be given up and with each step closer to a loving and gracious God my trust in the one who has given me life will lead me closer to the release of such a belief…with God all things are possible and all I need to do is get out of the way!!

  5. Heather McCrady

    It is easy for me to react with criticism and anger. Instead I hope to invite curiosity and compassion.

  6. geemapoxg

    Mary Anne Greskie, I cannot take literally the idea that humans are not in control of their lives. I accept it on faith that without God I can do nothing–I would not exist. Paul “the least apostle” said that with God all things are possible. Jesus said that his followers (branches of the true vine) will do “greater” things than he did. I believe that when I say yes to God I commit to cooperate in bringing the realm of God to real life on this earth, as it is in “heaven.” I pray that all will be one, as are Jesus and his heavenly father.

  7. Annmary

    Today I just want to love and accept myself just as I am with all my limitations. That is what God is calling me to. Thank you

  8. Michael A Ricci

    Cup of My Desires
    Cleanse first the inside of the cup that is me,
    the Master says firmly to those with blind eyes.
    He speaks with the images known in his day,
    while teaching the mys’tries of life for the wise.

    The cup is container that holds my desires.
    Is my cup all stained full of darkness in me?
    The Master is speaking to all who will hear,
    by teaching the Good News that’s setting me free.

    The grasp of this Wisdom is pearl of great price,
    a treasure that’s buried with value untold.
    The Master is giving the key to new life,
    by teaching the Wisdom the sages foretold.

    My ardent desires are the drink in my cup.
    With light of the Spirit my heart will lead me
    to seek the new life that is given by Him,
    by teaching the Wisdom that will set me free.

    Mt 13:46, 23:24-26

  9. Di Shearer

    I’ve been saying to myself: I’m giving up religion for Lent. Strange paradox. Lent itself is a religious season, but the giving up is an unlearning of how we have done religion or think of religion in the past and stepping into a new Ecozoic wisdom as we live into the future. The Christ who is not yet fully formed is coming into being through our everyday actions and attitudes. So we unlearn a separateness of religion from life and live into what Bonhoeffer called ‘religionless Christianity.

  10. Damian Maureira

    I believe that Ilia’s meditation on conversion being a large part of the Christian journey is not truly understood by most Christians. It has been understood and exemplified by mystics, saints, and contemplatives in many genuine spiritual traditions and indigenous cultures throughout human history. Contemporary spiritual teachers, guides, and contemplatives continue the universal spiritual messages of the importance of daily silent prayer/meditation in order for God’s Loving Healing Spirit to help us let go, heal, and transform our deeply
    embedded egocentricity in our unconscious. Daily we can also use sacred mantras/words


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The Heart of Matter

A New Email Series

The Heart of Matter is a contemplative email series from the Center for Christogenesis.

Designed to deepen both the reader’s understanding and their spiritual practice, each email will focus on a passage of Ilia’s work that expands the Center’s vision, while providing practical instruction to move these insights from the head to the heart. Through sustained contemplation on the intellectual import and spiritual potency of these passages, your understanding and practice will expand.

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