Category: Spirituality

Some Thoughts for All Souls Day

Fr. Richard Rohr

Taken from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations for 2013:

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

Jesus’ starting point was never sin, but human suffering.

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.

Power Versus Love – Richard Rohr

Power Versus Love

Meditation 34 of 49

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RESOLVE TO LIVE AUTHENTICALLY IN 2012

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There are always two worlds. The world as it operates is largely about power; the world as it should be, or “the Reign of God,” is always about love. Conversion is almost entirely about moving from one world to the next, and yet having to live in both worlds at the same time. As you allow yourself to loosen your grip on the ego or bad forms of power, you will gradually see the inadequacy and weakness of mere domination and control. God will then teach you how to tighten your grip around the second world, which is the ever-purer motivation of love.

Any exercise of power apart from love leads to brutality and evil; but any claim to love that does not lead to using that as power for others is mere sentimentality and emotion. I must admit, it is rare to find people who hold both together in perfect balance—who have found their power and use it for others, or people who have found love and use it for good purposes. I think the Reign of God includes both love and power in a lovely dance. I think that is what Jesus means when he tells us to be “cunning as serpents but gentle as doves” (Matthew 10:16). It is a beautiful combination of both authority and vulnerability.

Adapted from Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount, p. 41<!– (Also available in Spanish)–>

Daily Meditation: Power Versus Love — Frame — May 20, 2013.

Spiritual Globalization

The following article is a direct quote from Fr. Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for Tuesday, April 23, 2013.

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“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