I just heard Alexander Shaia speak at the Spiritual Director's International conference. Again, my brain might have an aneurysm. 😉 His thesis is that the gospel stories were selected and ordered (the ancient order is Matthew, Mark, John, Luke-Acts) to reveal to us an overarching story of the four-fold path. And that this four-fold path, he calls it the Quadratos. This is the way it works is below. What follows is the truth from the Jewish faith, the truth from the Buddhist path, the truth from the medicine wheel of aboriginal faiths, and the truth from the four pillars of Islam. There is an absolutely amazing connection.
- Matthew = How you face CHANGE = Jews in Egypt = 1st noble truth, life is suffering = West, death = fasting
- Mark = How you face SUFFERING = Jews in Egypt = origin of suffering is attachment = North, defeat/trouble = prayers
- John = How you move through suffering to new GRACE or JOY or UNION = Jews in the Promised Land = cessation of suffering is attainable = East, success, triumph = Hajj or pilgrimage
- Luke-Acts = How you MATURE in SERVICE = Living into the Promised Land = path to cessation of suffering = South, peace, happiness = Zakat or charitable acts
There is a lot of back up info here talking about the lectionary history and stuff like that to support the way this developed in the early church, the way it was forgotten, and the process of rediscovering it.
Well, now I can't wait to read the book! The Hidden Power of the Gospels by Alexander Shaia.