Archive for March 2nd, 2022

The world watches with a kaleidoscope of emotions as we witness political upheaval in Europe. False news is used to further manipulate our thinking. As imperialism clashes with openness and inclusion, Pope Francis calls us to a day of prayer and fasting in prayer for Ukraine. When we gather our small sacrifices to offer them in hope, may we witness a quick resolution to the conflict and a renewal of peace. 

1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1ash wednesday

Ash Wednesday, March 2, 2022

In a reflection last week Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M. posited the thesis that all of scripture, from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation,mirrors the development of human consciousness, with its usual pattern of progression and regression”. He explains that just as in the early books of the Torah and in the narratives that follow, we humans look for a foundation of rules and regulations that govern our lives and relationships. He writes that this is “helpful for developing our first egoic identity (the container), and for most of us this represents at least the first 25 years of our life; but that is not yet a full spiritual identity (the contents). The trouble is, an awful lot of people stay at that first stage of boundary-keeping that ‘law’ and group well provide, even though it traps us inside of a black or white, dualistic consciousness. But we have to start there or we have no ego container”.

Rohr further proposes that as we mature we begin to understand “why most people are hesitant to move further, toward places where they cannot uphold themselves, or prove they are right and good”. Rohr points out that Jesus himself says “the Law actually assures a kind of certain failure so all humans have to rely entirely on God’s grace and mercy and not their own worthiness or any kind of superiority. God is actually pretty clever”.

So where does that leave us as we learn and grow in God? How might these ideas serve us as we enter the season of Lent, this season of growing in Christ? What might we do to create a dwelling place for the Spirit?

In the opening weeks of Lent we will search the Torah and narratives as we explore the materials and process we have used to construct our temple dwelling place for the Spirit. We will later move into a time when we dare to say that the Law has failed us in some way. And we will – with God’s grace – arrive at the Easter miracle with a new and open heart. If these Lenten reflections do not serve us, we might turn to the Connecting at Noon page on this blog and consider a change in our prayer life that will create a fresh place for the Spirit and allow for renewal. Or we may simply rest in God’s hands and allow the Spirit to revive any inertia and to heal any wound.

beginner's mindAs we move from one season to another, as we approach the great gift of Eastertide, we might remember the words of Paul to the Corinthians: Brothers and sisters: Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the greater glory of God. Avoid giving offense, whether to the Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in every way, not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, that they may be saved. Be imitators of me as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1)

Read about Pope Francis’ call for prayer and fasting at: https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/pope-calls-day-prayer-fasting-peace-ukraine

Citations from Richard Rohr’s Meditation from February 12, 2015: Adapted from Scripture as Liberation: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations Click on the Beginner’s Mind image to explore videos that open us to renewal, or visit: http://rohr.franciscanmedia.org/user/?browse=Videos 

Image from: http://rohr.franciscanmedia.org/user/?browse=Videos

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