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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Rohr and Falling Upward’


Matthew 7:47: Throwing Stones – Part V

Monday, August 1, 2016throwing stones

From Richard Rohr’s Daily Reflection on July 26, 2016 which is taken from his book Falling Upward: A Spirituality of the Two Halves of Life. (Rohr 60-61) Rohr, like Christ, calls us to fall upward in faith.

In the divine economy of grace, it is imperfection, sin, and failure that become the base metal and raw material for the redemption experience itself. Much of organized religion, however, tends to be peopled by folks who have a mania for some ideal order, which is never true, so they seldom are happy or content. This focus on perfection makes you anal retentive, to use Freud’s rude phrase, because you can never be happy with life as it is.

Rohr, like Christ, calls us to fall upward in compassion.

falling upwardReal life is filled with people who are disabled (if you live long enough, you too will inevitably be “disabled” in some way), people with mental illness, people who practice other customs or religions, and people who experience their sexuality differently than you do. Organized religion has not been known for its inclusiveness or for being very comfortable with diversity. Yet pluriformity, multiplicity, and diversity is the only world there is! It is rather amazing that we can miss, deny, or ignore what is in plain sight everywhere. Even in nature, we are confounded by wildness and seek to bring the “frontier,” farms, and gardens into uniformity.

Rohr, like Christ, calls us to fall upward in transformation.

Sin and salvation are correlative terms. Salvation is not sin perfectly avoided, as the ego would prefer; but in fact, salvation is sin turned on its head and used in our favor. This is how divine love transforms us. If this is not true, what hope is there for any of us? We eventually discover that the same passion which leads us away from God can also lead us back to God and to our true selves. That is one reason I have valued and taught the Enneagram [1]. Like few other spiritual tools, it illustrates this transformative truth. Once you see that your “sin” and your gift are two sides of the same coin, you can never forget it.

Rohr, like Christ, calls us to fall upward in hope.

stepping-stones-2God seems to be about “turning” our loves around (in Greek,meta-noia), and using them toward the Great Love that is their true object. All lesser loves are training wheels, which are good in themselves, but still training wheels. Many of the healing stories in the New Testament are rather clear illustrations of this message and pattern. Jesus says this specifically of “the woman who was a sinner”: “Her sins, her many sins, must have been forgiven her, or she could not have shown such great love” (Luke 7:47). It seems that her false attempts at love became the school and stepping-stones to “such great love.”

Rohr, like Christ, calls us to fall upward in love.

Rohr, like Christ, calls us to see that our throwing stones have become stepping stones along The Way.  

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality of the Two Halves of Life (Jossey-Bass: 2011), 60-61.

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ladder_for_bookertwashingtonThursday, August 21, 2014

Jeremiah 18

The Potter

The imagery of a potter forming a vessel is one that speaks to both ancient and contemporary peoples. It presents us today with a metaphor for living.

God says: When you read my prophet’s words, do they speak to you? They may ring too stridently in your ear. When my prophet brings you this image, does it comfort you? It may be too brilliant for your eye. When my prophet brings you this thought, does it open you? It may be too difficult for your mind. When my prophet brings you this message, does it console you? It may be too marvelous for your heart. Do you see how my potter’s hands have been at work in you? I do not see you as a pot badly formed but rather as a vessel with much more potential than you have seen, much more hope than you have engendered, more love than you have imagined. Allow me to work with and in you . . . so that you may be a vessel truly beautiful in your own eyes . . . so that you may be a vessel truly ringing with the word of God.

When we see ourselves as flawed we shrink from sharing who and what we are. When we see ourselves as God’s vessel, vulnerable to God’s touch, we blossom into God’s healing touch for ourselves and others.

Rohr-FallingFor another reflection on God as the great potter, see The Potter’s Hands post based on 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2012/08/09/the-potters-hands/ 

For a reflection on Jeremiah 18:13-17, see the Unnatural Apostasy post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/10/26/an-unnatural-apostasy/

Richard Rohr, OFS, has written an insightful and practical tool which we might use to examine the vessel we have constructed for our own lives . . . and which we might use to allow God to become our faithful, loving potter. FALLING UPWARD: a SPITUALITY FOR THE TWO HALVES OF LIFE. Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print. For a synopsis, click on the image above or visit: http://erb.kingdomnow.org/featured-falling-upward-by-richard-rohr-vol-4-8-5/ 

For a 90 minute video lecture by Rohr at Texas Lutheran University on Falling Upward, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1kXeklcmMI 

For a FALLING UPWARD STUDY GUIDE, visit: https://cac.org/bookstore-2/fu-book/fu-study-guide 

For a reflection on falling into the deepness of God’s love, visit the Falling Down the Well page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/falling-down-the-well/ 

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