Sunday, September 28, 2008

unknown path

"In the Western world we have become distanced from the wonder of rolling planets, seasonal rhythms, and the unseen mysteries of the world. We may learn of natural wonders through the medium of television, but rarely find ourselves in living, wonder-filled touch with the universe.

It takes intentional commitment to place ourselves in a contemplative consciousness that acknowledges Mystery and allows for big steps of trust on the unknown path of faith.

In a way it is very simple. We don't need to travel to distant places or try to imitate the mystics. Instead we are invited to come home to ourselves, to the wonder of our creation in the divine image, and to our deep connection with the universe.

We belong in the great cosmic web that embraces all." - Elizabeth J. Canham, "Wonder, Love and Praise" in Weavings, Sept/Oct 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

man of sorrows

"Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer before entering into his glory?" (Luke 24:26)

The 'cup of sorrows' and the 'cup of joys' cannot be separated. Jesus knew this, even in the midst of his anguish in the garden, when his soul was "sorrowful to the point of death" (Matthew 26:38).

Our cup is often so full of pain that joy seems completely unreachable. When we are crushed like grapes, we cannot think of the wine we will become. The sorrow overwhelms us, makes us throw ourselves on the ground, face down, and sweat drops of blood.

Then we need to be reminded that our cup of sorrow is also our cup of joy and that one day we will be able to taste the joy as fully as we now taste the sorrow." - Henri Nouwen, Can You Drink the Cup?

Monday, September 22, 2008

waves of mercy

"The mystery of forgiveness is God's ultimate entry into powerlessness. Look at the times when you have withheld forgiveness. It's always your final attempt to hold a claim over the one you won't forgive. It's the way we finally hold onto power, to seek the moral high ground over another person. Oh, we do it subtly to maintain our sense of superiority. Non-forgiveness is a form of power over another person, a way to manipulate, shame, control and diminish another. God in Jesus refuses all such power."

- Richard Rohr

Sunday, September 14, 2008

mystic pass

"The best definition I know for comtemplation is as follows: Contemplation is a long, loving look at what really is.

The essential element in this experience is time. There is a qualitative difference between ten minutes and ten hours, and even more, of course, between ten hours and ten days.

We have to find a place where we can receive all our experiences without repressing anything. We need a place where there's room to consider everything that we've done - and not done - in our life, a place that's bigger than Yes or No, a place bigger than the judgments that we pass.

At this all-embracing place God becomes quite clear. Here there is room for every part of you and for God's presence."
- Richard Rohr, Simplicity

Saturday, September 6, 2008

rock bottom

"We have been silent witnesses of evil deeds; we have been drenched by many storms; we have learned the arts of equivocation and pretense; experience has made us suspicious of others and kept us from being truthful and open; intolerable conflicts have worn us down and even made us cynical.

"Are we still of any use?"

"What we shall need is not geniuses, or cynics, or misanthropes, or clever tacticians, but plain, honest straightforward men. Will our inward power of resistance be strong enough, and our honesty with ourselves remorseless enough, for us to find our way back to simplicity and straightforwardness?"
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1942, from "After Ten Years," a letter from prison.

human highway

"We do not really know what it means to be human unless we know God. And, in turn, we do not really know God except through our own broken and rejoicing humanity. In Jesus, God tells us that God is not different from humanity.
"Jesus' reality, his cross, is to say a free "yes" to what his humanity finally asks of him.
"It seems that we Christians have been worshipping Jesus' journey instead of doing his journey. The first feels very religious; the second feels human, and not glorious at all."
- Richard Rohr, in Everything Belongs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

hanging lake light

"The Christian vision is that the world is a temple, and buying and selling in the temple is the one thing that drove Jesus to anger and violence. It destroys inherent value and replaces it with an utterly false seeing: market value, the world of meritocracy and exchange rates.

It destroys the soul.

It had to be driven out or there would be no temple. There is no temple if you live merely in the world of buying and selling - the so-called bottom line. In that world, everything is weighed.

That kind of thinking is a dead end.

Preoccupation with exchange value and market value tends to blind us almost totally to inherent value. Prayer reconnects us with inherent value. Everything becomes priceless if it is sacred. And everything is sacred if the world is a temple."
- Richard Rohr, "Everything Belongs"