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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Rohr’


Nehemiah 10: The Agreement

Sunday, October 22, 2017

How many times do we stumble after we agree to live out Christ’s Law of Love? Yet God forgives us because God loves us still.

Richard Rohr, OFM, writes, “Grace is the Divine Unmerited Generosity that is everywhere available, totally given, usually detected as such, and often undesired. Grace cannot be understood by any ledger of merits and demerits. It cannot be held to any patterns of buying, losing, earning, achieving, or manipulating, which is where, unfortunately, most of us live our lives. Grace is, quite literally, ‘for the taking’. It is God eternally giving away God – for nothing, except the giving itself. Quite simply, to experience grace you must stop all counting!” (Rohr 145)

In today’s Noontime we hear the familiar words of the ancient Covenant Israel agreed to live out. In Nehemiah 10 we see the listing of all those who again agree to live the Law of Moses: priests, Levites, leaders, musicians, workers. Yet, history tells us their story of continual union, lapse, separation and return. It is the same tale we all live for we are creatures of God.

Jesus arrives to bring this law to all those both in and beyond the nation of Israel. This new Law of Love surprises many. Awes multitudes. Disappoints some. Today we have this same returning we see in Nehemiah 10 of the hopeless finding new hope, the broken encountering healing, and the abandoned entering a new home.

Once we stop counting, we find ourselves more open to the grace showered upon us. When we stop accumulating, we find ourselves more aware of the love that embodies us. On the day we stop judging, we find ourselves eager to enter the new covenant of the new law. Let us rejoice with those who sign the new agreement that is old, the new covenant that is eternal, the new Law that is our everlasting rescue.

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

For a resource of verses on love, click on the image above or visit: http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/debbie-mcdaniel/50-verses-of-love-to-cover-any-shade-of-grey.html

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John 8:1-11: Contemplating God’s Mercy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

“God is a riverbed of mercy that underlies all the flotsam and jetsam that flows over it and soon passes away. It is vast, silent, restful, and resourceful, and it receives and also releases all the comings and goings. It is awareness itself (as opposed to judgement), and awareness is not the same as ‘thinking’. It refuses to be pulled into the emotional and mental tugs-of-war that form most of human life. To look out from this untouchable silence is what we mean by contemplation”. (Rohr 187)

Richard Rohr, OFM, tells us that if there is one characteristic to assign to God, it is mercy. This life-giving quality of forgiveness, fidelity, and love is God’s signature characteristic. Rohr quotes St. Teresa of Ávila from her book THE INTERIOR CASTLE. “The soul is spacious, plentiful, and its amplitude is impossible to exaggerate . . . the sun her radiates to every part . . . and nothing can diminish its beauty”. Rohr continues, “This is your soul. It is God-in-you. This is your True Self”. (Rohr 187)

Pope Francis tells us that THE NAME OF GOD IS MERCY in his signature work published in 2016.  He, like Rohr and St. Teresa, reminds us that in order to understand and experience mercy, we must first acknowledge that we are in need of mercy ourselves. Just as Jesus forgives the condemned woman in John 8, God wants to forgive each of us. Just as Jesus does not reproach the woman in John 8, God refuses to reproach each of us. Just as Jesus contemplates the possibility that God’s kingdom is now, God gives us the gift of mercy and insists that the kingdom is here.

“We live in a society that encourages us to discard the habit of recognizing and assuming our responsibilities: It is always others who make mistakes. It is always others who are immoral. It’s always someone else’s fault, never our own”. (Pope Francis, 2)

We live in a place and time when blame and fault are assigned, credit is taken, and deep divisions grow. We live in a place and time when mercy and love are needed, stories are believed, and bridges are built over deep chasms. St. Teresa, Rohr and Pope Francis tell us that God is a riverbed of mercy. They remind us that God’s generosity and love have no bounds. Once we begin to contemplate God as seen through the actions of Jesus, we know all of this to be true. Once we allow God’s Spirit to enter our lives, we allow ourselves to slide into the mighty flow of mercy that washes away all that separates us.

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

Pope Francis, THE NAME OF GOD IS MERCY: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli

 

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Proverbs 15: God Misses Nothing 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Too many Christians live their days and struggle through their nights worrying over their sins. They parse definitions, arguing about the meaning of original sin, and so they miss the gift of original grace God gives us each day. The writer of Proverbs suggests God’s goodness.

A gentle response defuses anger,
    but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

But lest we believe that we might behave badly without God knowing, the writer also reminds us that

God doesn’t miss a thing—
    God is alert to good and evil alike.

We find references to God’s disgust, anger, and maintenance of distance from humans; but as New Testament people we know that what God desires more from us. God asks that we love our enemies because loving our friends is not enough. And through all our daily interactions with family, friends and colleagues, we remember that God is always with us in a warm and loving embrace . . . even if we do not feel this presence.

Last week, Richard Rohr, OFM, posed to the readers of his daily reflections that beautiful promise that, Jesus came to give us the courage to tryst and allow our inherent union with God, and he modeled it for us in this world. Union is not merely a place we go to later – if we are good. It is a place of deep goodness that we naturally exist inside of – now”.  (Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation. Web. 28 July 2017.)

Even hell holds no secrets from God
    do you think God can’t read human hearts?

Today we have an opportunity to examine our relationship with God and those whom God has created, knowing that God misses nothing.

When we use the scripture link and drop-down menus to explore these verses, we find opportunities to draw nearer to God, knowing that God reads all hearts, and invites all to live in divine union.

Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation. Web. 28 July 2017. <https://cac.org/category/daily-meditations/2017/07/&gt;

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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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