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Posts Tagged ‘dualism’


Matthew 5:3-12: Trinity of Three

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and God’s rule.

“Think about it”, Rohr and Morrell tell us, “It’s election season, and you feel passionate about your favorite political candidate. You represent ‘first force’ in the Law of Three – you’re in the candidate’s corner. Your co-worker – or maybe your parent – backs the other candidate of the other political party with equal passion. They represent ‘second force’. The way we live so much of our lives stops right there . . . But the Law of Three asks the question we’ve been asking: What if we didn’t live in a binary universe, but instead a ternary universe?” (Rohr and Morrell 92)

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. You’re blessed when you care. You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

Rohr and Morrell continue to explore the world of three as an alternative to the world of two in which we live. If we spend time with Rohr, we know that he always ask us to include rather than exclude, to say, “yes, and” rather than “either, or”. Rohr reminds us of the Franciscan guiding thought that we do best in this binary world when we sink to the bottom to align ourselves with the poor, the mourning, the marginalized; and we suffer most when we insist on governing the people and circumstances that surround us.

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. 

Today we examine the Beatitudes while thinking of the Law of Three that Rohr and Morrell propose. How do we perceive God? As Creator only? As Savior only? As the Holy Spirit alone? How do we put together these three persons as one in us? And how do we allow these three to call us to live in union with them, and with all of creation?

The Beatitudes in today’s reflection are from THE MESSAGE. When we compare this translation with others, we allow all three voices to speak to us. Tomorrow, divine energy.

Rohr, Richard with Mike Morrell. THE DIVINE DANCE: THE TRINITY AND YOUR TRANSFORMATION. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 2016. Print. 

 

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Matthew 5:8: The Clean of Heartheart_on_fire_wallpaper__yvt2

April 14, 2015

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. (Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount)

How do we strive to be clean or pure of heart? Richard Rohr, O.F.M., write and speaks frequently about our compulsion to see the world as dual rather than united. We humans are drawn to a divisive “us-versus them” world in which we earn God’s attention and grace. What we fail to consider with this model is God’s true identity. We choose to see God as we have created God; and we disregard God as revealed through scripture and the person of Jesus. In this non-dual, unitive concept of the creator we create God in our own image rather than God to create us as sisters and brothers in Christ.

God says: You have read the story of my journey on earth with you in the person of Jesus. Return to those stories and read my words to the people of the first century. I repeat them to you today. You have heard of the hope and promise I have in mind for you. Return to the words of the prophets and remember the plans I have in mind for you. They are plans for your joy and not your woe. You have witnessed the perfection of my kingdom in the persistence on my apostles and disciples. Imitate my followers and do not be surprised when you fail. The pure of heart are not free from error; rather, they have learned that my kingdom has room for the sinner, accepts the fallen and care-worn, lifts up those who have been trampled by life’s woes and worries. Come then, and live in my perfection, a way that perseveres in faith, lives in hope and acts in love.

It is not possible for humans to attain perfection except in their perseverance in belief, except through the fire of Christ’s Easter passion, except by the healing call of the Spirit. It is in this way that we cleanse our hearts and truly come to see the face of God. It is in this way that we witness the goodness of God’s kingdom.

Tomorrow, peacemakers.

 

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Da Vinci: St James

Da Vinci: St James

Saturday

January 3, 2015

Joy and Our Choices

James 1:2-3

The New Testament Letters bring us the good news that the risen Christ still walks with us each day. Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude remind the faithful that although much has been asked of Christ’s followers, much is also given.

With them, we remember that there is always hope when we sink into doubt, always light when we walk in darkness, and always joy, even when we suffer sorrow. Today James reminds us that strength appears when we consider our trials with joy.

The author of this letter is a relative of Jesus and is generally described as the brother of the Lord. (Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3) We know that he was the leader of the church in Jerusalem and that Paul described him as one of the pillars of the early church (Galatians 2:9) “James represents a type of early Christianity that emphasized sound teaching and responsible moral behavior. Ethical norms are derived not primarily from christology, as in Paul, but from a concept of salvation that involves conversion, baptism, forgiveness of sins, and expectation of judgment”. James lived out his beliefs until his death in 62 CE when, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, he was stoned to death under the high priest Ananus (Senior 368-369).

James 1:2-3: Consider it all joy, my [sisters and] brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

If we have the time to read James’ entire letter, we find that he “advocates living faith and practical love. His concern is behavior . . . [and his] target is the Christian who is ‘double-minded’ . . . who lives by two standards at once; that of God and that of the world. James demands a choice. Not only speech, but also the use of possessions and the practice of fairness within the community . . . He especially attacks envy, which perfectly illustrates the morals of ‘the world’ as opposed to God”. (Senior RG 547-548)

joyJames calls us out of our egocentric selves but rather than scold he calls us to an alternative option to the sorrow and fear the world offers. James tells us with his words and shows us with his life that we find strength and power in the choosing of joy in all we think and say and do. During this Christmastide and in the early days of this new year, how do we choose to respond to this invitation?

Senior, Donald, ed. THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE. New York, Oxford University Press, 1990.368-369 & RG 547-548. Print.   

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

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paths 5Monday, April 7, 2014

Matthew 13:1-17

So Many Paths – Part III

Jesus says: “To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, more will be taken away”.

Some lives are hidden journeys, following tracks laid down by unknown forces that pull us forward rapidly.  We fly past dense underbrush that hides us from the openness of the world. We are enslaved to a strict pathway that does not allow for deviation in any way. Journeys like this seem pleasant and ordered but they eliminate the opportunity to make choices. We find that we have no freedom. When we realize that we have chosen a pathway that thinks for us and keeps us away from the fullness of creation, we find that we are missing out not only on risk and danger but on our own development. We begin to understand Jesus’ words when he says that those with more will prosper and those with little will fail. It dawns on us that these words do not refer to material goods but rather, to a life lived in fullness of heart versus a life lived with a narrowness of mind. A constricted, prescribed and confining journey brings with it its own punishment of more constriction; while open and generous pathways call us out of ourselves and ask us to stretch. Open and flexible journeys offer us a new prosperity of love, peace and fulfillment. We discover that as we move away from restriction to stretch beyond our comfort zones, we learn about the depth and breadth and beauty of our gifts.

paths 6“This is why I speak in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand’. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them”.

There are paths that bring us changes that are so sudden that at first we believe ourselves to be lost. Huge, impassable obstacles loom large before us and all we see is a roadblock. All we hear is chaos. When we look closely, however, to discern God’s plan and call, we notice alternative routes we had not previously seen. We hear precious words of advice and encouragement to which we had earlier been deaf. With this new discovery of trusting God, we also realize a life of eagerness, adventure and acumen. We become wiser. We hear better. We see further. We find endurance. We find that we can bear far more that we had imagined. We understand that we are loved far more than we had hoped. Our eyes see opportunity where before we had seen loss; our ears hear rejoicing where before we heard only dirges.

paths 14Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears because they hear. Many prophets and righteous people have longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Spaths 9ome journeys convince us that the world is made of two kinds of people: the good and the bad. We find ourselves believing the illusion that we can divide everyone and every idea into opposing camps or positions. And then we find ourselves either allying with the position we think is the safest and most suitable . . . or we struggle to achieve an impossible compromise that addresses none of the problems we find before us. This kind of living begins as an innocent attempt to simplify our journey, and it ends in a passage that is rigid, unforgiving and blind.

Tomorrow, So Many Paths – Part IV.

 

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Proverbs 2:10-13Wisdom will enter your heart.  Discretion will watch over you, saving you from the way of evil men, from men of perverse speech, who leave the straight paths to walk in ways of darkness.

God says: The world is really not a black versus white place.  It is mostly gray.  When I ask you to live in the light I want you to know the joy I have in mind for you.  As I move among you in the person of Jesus I hope to carry you along with me into the light.  I ask you to open your heart to me so that I might send Spirit to abide with you eternally.  I do not want to control you.  I want to love you. I hope to transfigure you.  I want you to be comfortable in the blinding whiteness of truth and light . . . for that is where I live.

Seeing life as a series of “either/or” decisions negates God’s ability and desire to forgive.

Living life in a “yes/no” manner closes the many doors Jesus opens for us.

Acting in a “love/hate” way takes us down the many ways of darkness . . . and rejects the one Way of Light . . . Christ.

Type the world light into the blog search box and choose a reflection that will call you to the Way of Light, or click on the image above for a reflection on Christ as the Light of the World.

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