A MEDITATION BY RICHARD ROHR; Richard Rohr’s Meditation: Both Are Necessary
We must learn how to walk through the stages of dying. We have to grieve over lost friends, relatives, and loves. Death cannot be dealt with through quick answers, religious platitudes, or a stiff upper lip. Dying must be allowed to happen over time, in predictable and necessary stages, both in those who die graciously and in those who love them. Grief, believe it or not, is a liminal space where God can fill the tragic gap with something new and totally unexpected. Yet the process cannot be rushed. I would say that being present at live birth and conscious death are probably the supreme catechism classes and Sunday schools that we have available to humanity. And yet we have turned them largely into medical events instead of the inherently spiritual events that they are.
It is not only the loss of persons that leads to grief, but also the loss of ideals, visions, plans, places, relationships, and our youth itself. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross helped us name the necessary stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance (They are the same as the stages of dying itself). Grief work might be one of the most redemptive, and yet still unappreciated, ministries in the church. Some call it bereavement ministry. Thank God, it is being discovered as perhaps the paramount time of both spacious grace and painful gift.
Adapted from Near Occasions of Grace, p. 99
We now know from cultural studies and historical experience that groups define themselves and even hold themselves together largely negatively—by who they are not, what they are against, and what they do not do. We need a problem or an enemy to gather our energies. This is not how Christians should define themselves. Read Richard Rohr – Daily Meditation for June 6, 2013.
The following article is a direct quote from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for Tuesday, April 23, 2013.
“Everything had been moving apart into greater individuation for over 2,000 years now (for good and for ill) until this round globe we live on started filling up, and we started meeting one another on the other side—other religions, cultures, ethnicities, and worldviews. This globalization made us aware that God loves not only Catholics from Kansas (like me), but Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and Buddhists as well. We are finding we all have one thing in common. What’s literally grounding all of this is that all of us are standing on the same ground and earth! She feeds us all.
The one thing we have in common apart from our religions and our cultures is that we are all breathing the same air, relying upon the same Brother Sun and walking on this same Mother Earth. That is the common collective. That gives us the power to read reality with foundational truth, beyond any
ideology. We are first and foremost and universally members of the one Earth community (Ephesians 4:4-6 surely intuited this). But we are able to do this now, like no other period of history. It’s forced upon us now because we know that if we keep following this artificial separation and over-individuation, my rights over the common good, the whole thing is over in a century or so.
I wonder about these Christians who are waiting for “the second coming of Christ,” some of them seemingly hoping we’ll actually destroy this planet so he can come earlier. I sincerely hope Christ is going to have something left to which to return—both “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).”
Adapted from Soul Centering through Nature: Becoming a True Human Adult by Richard Rohr