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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Rohr’


1 Corinthians 12: Trinity in Us

Manet: The Angels at Christ’s Tomb (Inspired by El Greco’s Holy Trinity)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

We continue with commentary by Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell in THE DIVINE DANCE. “God’s goal, it seems to me . . . is the making of persons, not the making of a uniform mob, which means there is clear diversity and a kind of what I’m going to call open-endedness in all of nature, and to the very nature of this creation. In other words, heaven is precisely not uniformity”. (Rohr and Morrell 61)

We see great variety in God’s plant and animal life that surrounds us; and each year we discover and classify thousands of new species. How is it possible for us to believe that God wants us to walk in lock step along The Way Christ shows us? Why would God who loves great change and multiplicity want to stifle creation by crushing it into uniformity? Might we see that this triune God calls us to the same variation we see in God’s three persons as one?

I want you to think about how all this makes you more significant, not less. A body isn’t just a single part blown up into something huge. It’s all the different-but-similar parts arranged and functioning together. 

Today we examine the idea that God’s creation is a reflection of God’s own multiplicity, and when we consider varying translations of these verses, we also consider the effects of God’s goodness and generosity in our lives. Tomorrow, the law of three.

For more on the connection between Manet and El Greco, visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_of_El_Greco

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

For more on the species we discover each day, visit: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/new-animal-species

 

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1 Corinthians 12: Trinity as Diversity

El Greco: The Holy Trinity

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell, bring us a vision of the Trinity that may surprise us. “One of the most wonderful things I find in this naming of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is its affirmation that there is an intrinsic plurality to goodness . . . Goodness isn’t sameness. Goodness, to be goodness, needs contrast and tension, not perfect uniformity. If Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all God yet clearly different, and we embrace this differentiation, resisting the temptation to blend them into some kind of amorphous blob, then there are at least three shapes to pure goodness”. (Rohr and Morrell 61)

There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit gives them. There are different ways of serving, but the same Lord is served.  

Today we examine a thesis that God’s nature is diverse by intention and not accident. When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to the possibility of this diversity in God. Tomorrow, God’s diversity in us.

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

 

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John 14: Trinity as Relationship

Monday, June 12, 2017

Do not be worried and upset,” Jesus told them. “Believe in God and believe also in me. For a long time I have been with you all; yet you do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Why, then, do you say, “Show us the Father”? I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, who will stay with you forever. This is the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God. 

In THE DIVINE DANCE, Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell tell us, “We’re not of independent substance; we exist only in relationship. How countercultural! To the Western mind, relationship always looked like second or third best: “Who wants to be in a relationship? I want to be a self-made man”. (Rohr and Morell 45)

Taking in these words, we begin to understand why so many of us struggle to believe, to hope and to love in Christ. Our external world consistently tells us that we must excel, beat out, create, be first, be on alert, be strong, and beware of all that connects us to one another.

Taking in these words, we begin to see the clash that an intimate relationship with the Trinity will bring to us. This triad of strength through interdependence goes against the culture that surrounds us. Our internal communication with God reminds us that nothing we have and are comes from ourselves. All is a gift from God.

And so we ask, can we possibly believe this? Can we possibly hope in this? Can we possibly live this?

Today we examine Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel to look for signs of the relationship Jesus has with the Creator and the Spirit. Throughout the week, we continue to look at the divine dance Rohr describes.

When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to our special relationship with God.

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

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John 14: Trinity as Oasis

Mosaic over the entrance of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Budva, Montenegro

Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017

Richard Rohr, with Mike Morrell, describes the Trinity of Creator, Redeemer and Spirit as a perfect model for our own human relationships. The mystery of these three separate person unified in a single triad demonstrate for us how we enter into our own relationships. In their forward, Rohr and Morrell make the point that relationships are “exhilarating, frustrating, exposing, and too beautiful for words”. (Rohr and Morrell 21)

Taking in these words, we consider the power of the Creator, the compassion of the Redeemer, and the love of the Spirit. When each of these separate persons make room for the other two, they expand; they do not diminish. Can we imagine our own expansion in our intimate relationships rather than our disappearance? Might we make room for others without losing who we are? Can we shelter in the oasis of our relationships? Or do we avoid this trinity of creation, incarnation, transformation? Might we find the oasis of the peace we pursue, when we seek to understand the mystery of God’s Trinity?

Huacachina, Peru

Today we examine Chapter 14 of John’s Gospel to look for signs of the Trinity. Throughout the week, we will look at this divine dance as described by Rohr.

Click on the oasis image to read about how this tiny town survives the desert.

When we explore varying versions of these words, we open ourselves to God’s mystery.

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

 

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 John 1:1-5: Generation of Lifelight overcomes the dark

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Richard Rohr tells us that generative people have learned so much from life that they are able to see God, the world and themselves with a broad perspective and with profound depth. They have arrived at living their old life in a new way. “In the second half of life, we do not have strong and final opinions about everything, every event, or most people, as much as we allow things and people to delight us, sadden us, and truly influence us. We no longer need to change or adjust other people to be happy ourselves . . . We have moved from doing to being”. (Rohr 161)

John the Evangelist tells us that . . . In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Jesus, being with the Creator from the beginning of time, generates life so intensely that he returns from the dead.

He was in the beginning with God.

Jesus, living in and with the Spirit, returns from the dead to share his new life with us.

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

Jesus, loving us endlessly, persists in saving and redeeming each of us.

In Him was life, and the life was the Light of all. 

Jesus, fulfilling God’s promises for us, generates new life that brings the light of liberation to the darkness of our fears.

When we compare varying versions of John’s verses, we begin to realize the power of God’s promises, the force of God’s generative love, and the importance of striving to live as one who is upright in God. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

 

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Sirach 44:1-15: The Upright

erik erikson

Erik Erikson

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of psychologist Erik Erikson’s (1902-1994) description of a generative person as “one who is eager and able to generate life from his or her own abundance and for the benefit of following generations”. (Rohr 160)

When we reflect on this topic and how it links with Old Testament thinking, we might spend time with these verses from this ancient book of wisdom. The commentary in the HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE tells us: “The ancestors are glorious because of their recognition by God, their honorable achievements, their recognition by their own generations, their godliness, their legacy to their children, and their lasting name and memory”.   (Meeks, 1601)

We consider what it means to be upright in God and we look at Acts 2:36-41: For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.  

All generations – from our distant ancestors to our childrens’ childrens’ children are known to God.

All generations – from the beginning of time to its ending – are well loved by God.

All generations have the opportunity to be upright in and with God.

Rohr continues: “The God [of generative people] is no longer small, punitive, or tribal. They once worshipped their raft; now they love the shore where it has taken them. They once defended signposts; now they have arrived where the signs pointed. They now enjoy the moon itself instead of fighting over whose finger points to it most accurately, quickly, or definitively”. (Rohr 160)

And so we ask ourselves . . . What raft do we steer, and on what shore have we landed? What signposts do we hold up, and which do we follow? On what moon do we set our gaze, and what do we do with the gift of God’s promises?

Tomorrow, whose gaze do we follow?

Adapted from a reflection written on April 26, 2017. 

For more about Erik Erikson, click on the image above.

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

Meeks, Wayne A., Gen. Ed. HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE (NRSV). New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989. Print. 

 

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John 12:44-50: Re-Creation – Christ

the_good_shepherd_by_zaghami-d6rzo8x

ZaGHaMi: The Good Shepherd

Second Sunday of Easter, April 23, 2017

When we see the Bible as an entire story of God’s people, we know that Jesus is not God’s Plan B. Jesus is Plan A. God does not see that humanity has gone awry and then decide to send in the saving force of Jesus. God’s direct interaction with creation has no beginning or end. It is eternal, just as God is eternal.

Jesus says: Whoever believes in me, believes not just in me but in the One who sent me. Whoever looks at me is looking, in fact, at the One who sent me. I am Light that has come into the world so that all who believe in me won’t have to stay any longer in the dark.

God always has faith that God will find every lost sheep.

If anyone hears what I am saying and doesn’t take it seriously, I don’t reject him. I didn’t come to reject the world; I came to save the world.

God has outrageous hope that every lost sheep will return to the fold.

But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I’m saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word. I’m not making any of this up on my own.

God’s love knows no bounds. God has always loved us. God will always love us. God continues to love us each day.

The Father who sent me gave me orders, told me what to say and how to say it. And I know exactly what his command produces: real and eternal life. That’s all I have to say. What the Father told me, I tell you.

As Richard Rohr, OFM, has said with a chuckle, “God is victorious. God doesn’t lose. That’s what it means to be God”.

Today as we settle into this second Sunday of Eastertide, let us hold these truths closely. Let us open our ears and open our eyes. And let us determine to be re-created in Christ so that we might live as Jesus lives . . . so that all may be one in this universal message of universal love.

Listen to a four-and-a-half minute chat with Fr. Richard Rohr on this topic at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owZRS5WVJuM

jesus-icon-1000

The photograph above was taken “along the dusty roads of rural Punjab, Pakistan”. The icon is a traditional early image of Jesus.

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Zephaniah 1: De-Creation – Part VII

Holy Saturday, April 15, 2017

At that time I will explore Jerusalem with lamps . . .

From Richard Rohr’s A SPRING WITHIN US, we find a challenge that we might explore on this day when we await a loving God who has descended into hell for each of us.

“The Path of Descent could be called the metanarrative of the Bible. It is so obvious and so consistent and so constant that it’s hidden in plain sight . . . God isn’t really the great theme of the Bible. God isn’t really taught in the Bible; God is assumed. There’s never any question that there is a Transcendent Other. The problem is whether this God is good and trustworthy and how to remain in contact with this subtle Transcendence. The path agreed upon by all the monks, hermits, mystics, and serious seekers was a path of descent and an almost-complete rejection of the ego’s desire for achievement, performance, success, power, status, war, and money. The emptiness, waiting, needing, and expecting of the path of descent created a space within where God could show Godself as good, as loving, and faithful”. (Rohr’s italics. Rohr 112-113)

Rohr reminds us that God uses unlikely figures to lead. This new kind of power has no power. Rohr reminds us that we must stumble and fall before we stand and succeed. Loss and mourning teach us humility and grace. Rohr explains that the ego does not like to bear crosses or to suffer; yet these burdens bring us to a new place of self-discovery and sharing. Flawed and wounded women and men teach us more than the famous or wealthy. Rohr reminds us that the Messiah came to us as a defenseless child, dependent on others, a member of a marginalized and oppressed people.

Rohr urges us to discover how we might stumble so that we might grow, how we might lose and still remain faithful despite our doubts and fears. He urges us to discover, and to follow, the path of descent. He asks us to remain in this Messiah who descends into hell so that we might live. He asks us to allow ourselves to be de-created in Christ so that we might then be renewed in Christ.

On this Holy Saturday, let us be Remnant for God. 

Richard Rohr, OFM. The Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016. 

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Luke 24:13-35: The Road to Emmaus – Part VI

Friday, April 7, 2017

Remains of the original road to Emmaus

From Richard Rohr’s reflections, A Spring Within Us: Much of religion has bought right into the honor/shame system. All we did was change the cultural rules to religious rules. Now there was yet another way superior – by being pious, publicly religious, and “moral” about one or two things (which are usually not central issues). Yet Jesus’ teachings against status-seeking and building up religious reputation tell us again and again, “Don’t go there!” (Examine Matthew 6:1-21 and Luke 18:9-14.) (Rohr 105-106)

The two disciples who leave Jerusalem after Jesus’s crucifixion have no idea that the risen Christ joins them in their journey to Emmaus. Perhaps Christ chooses anonymity because he wants the disciples to behave genuinely. He wants no barriers or false faces. No preening, no adulation, no preening or posing. And this is how Christ wants each of us to behave in our interactions with him. After all, God knows every detail of our lives. The Spirit knows every dark corner of our hearts.

Eugene Delacroix: The Disciples at Emmaus

Today we examine our own behavior to look for signs of status-seeking, of building up of our own ideas of religious purity or superiority. Today we have the opportunity to come to Christ in innocent openness. We have the chance to put away our cultural and religious systems of shame and honor. We have the invitation to think about original grace rather than original sin, to both ask for and offer forgiveness, to walk with Christ on our journey to Emmaus, in expectation of Easter hope and joy.

Richard Rohr, OFM. The Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

For more on the original road to Emmaus, click on the image above, or visit: http://www.jesus-story.net/emmaus.htm 

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