Posts Tagged ‘falling down the well’

John 12:24: The Mystery of Resurrectionempty tomb

Monday, June 20, 2022

Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

This is perhaps the most difficult of mysteries to comprehend. Richard Rohr, OFM posts this meditation on June 7, 2015. When we reflect upon it today, we begin to discover what it is we already have forever. We begin to understand this mystery that is reckless, real and eternal.

“Jesus himself exemplified and also taught us the path of descent, which Christians have often called ‘the way of the cross.’ The path downward is much more trustworthy than any path upward, which only tends to feed the ego. Like few other Christians, it was Francis of Assisi who profoundly understood that.

Authentic spirituality is always on some level or in some way about letting go. Jesus said, ‘the truth will set you free’ (John 8:32). Once we see truly what is trapping us and keeping us from freedom we should see the need to let it go. But in a consumer society most of us have had no training in that direction. Rather, more is supposed to be better. True liberation is letting go of our false self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right–which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.” (Rohr)

When we allow the seed of our old selves to pass away and die we find that we are reborn into a newness of peace that blossoms amidst turmoil and anxiety. When we allow ourselves to let go to fall down the well of our former self, we discover that the dreadful bottom we fear hitting is the very narrow gate of life that we so earnestly seek. This is a mystery that we will want to explore. In and with Christ, it is a mystery that we experience daily.

Compare different versions of these verses and listen for the promise of this mystery of resurrection. 

For more from Richard Rohr, visit his site at: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations

Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis (Sounds True), CD. This simple tri-part distinction has been affirmed by many psychologists in many different ways, and is also used by Fr. Thomas Keating in his understanding of the entrapment of the human person.

Richard Rohr, OFM, posted on June 7, 2015 at: https://cac.org/richard-rohr/daily-meditations

Image from: https://www.theursulines.org/2017/04/16/the-empty-tomb-2/

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Matthew 10:34-39: Division


The European Iron Curtain

Sunday, August 14, 2016

God often speaks in sudden and surprising ways.

We know from life experience that fire has the potential to both destroy and heal, to either bring all to ash or to cauterize and cure.  Jesus explains to his followers in today’s citation that when we say yes to his invitation what we agree to is our willing entrance into a life of hardship, tension, prophetic courage, and even rebellion.  Yet as grim or as unhappy as this life might seem on the surface, a life in Christ shuns temporary pleasure in exchange for eternal joy.

To die to self in order to allow God to enter is the key to life in Christ.  I have said to my close friends that a few years ago I realized that I was trying to manage my daily problems on my own, thinking that I need not bother God with things that seem so trivial in the light of the events reported on the evening news.  Yet through my pain I came to understand that rather than fear the sensation of falling down a deep well backwards with no way to even guess if there were a bottom to this pit . . . and rather than scrabble with my hands at the sides of the well . . . what God was calling me to was a life in which I willingly pull my hands away from the sides of the well to cross them on my chest . . . to fall into the hands of God that then eased me down this frightening tube.  After a time of free fall, I realized that the dreaded dark bottom of this well was opening into a flood of light.  I also understood that my willingness to allow all that I am and all that I do to descend into what I could not see and could not predict gave me the gift of total and eternal sustenance.  The waters I thought were waiting at the bottom of this well were, in fact, non-existent; for it is at the bottom of this well that I found God waiting.

A green zone now occupies the former Iron Curtain zone

A green zone now occupies the former Iron Curtain zone

Injury, crisis, strife, cataclysm, catastrophe, division, a fire that burns with a killing intensity . . . all of these, when faced with the love of Christ, disappear as dust . . . to leave in their place a serenity that will always abide.

The fire that Christ brings can heal when we hand all back to God that we have been given, the gifts as well as the pain.  The divisions we thought insurmountable . . . have conjoined and fused in a blaze of Christ’s love . . . to form a bond that can never be broken, a peace that can never be destroyed.

Adapted from a reflection written on June 17, 2009.

For more on the greening of the Iron Curtain zone, click on the images above, or visit: http://www.thebigroundtable.com/stories/boys-loved-birds/

For another reflection on radical trust, visit the Falling Down the Well page on this blog. 

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