465 God calls us to the path of the inner truth — and that means loving the leper within
Updated: Jun 25
Day 465 Thursday, June 24th, 2021
God calls all of us to the path of inner truth — and that means loving the leper within
Where have I been? I wondered as I listened to the funny, joyful, inspiring, thought provoking words of Franciscan Richard Rohr as he is interviewed for a podcast called Another Name for Everything produced at the Center for Action and Contemplation. I have known for a long time that Dan Vrooman, Steve Lyman and Victoria MacDonald have followed Rohr's work (and I'm sure there are others in our community who follow too). But I never have - until now.
This podcast is entertaining, enlightening and confusing all at once. Richard Rohr is a mystic and activist who is using the Bible stories to break open hearts and minds. One of his favorite lines is “We do not think ourselves into new ways of living, we live ourselves into new ways of thinking.” So I thought today I'd offer a few samples of Richard Rohr quotes and end with a link to his website and podcast. Enjoy.
“Religions should be understood as only the fingers that point to the moon, not the moon itself.” -- Richard Rohr
"God calls all of us to take the path of the inner truth — and that means taking responsibility for everything that's in you: for what pleases you and for what you're ashamed of, for the rich person inside you and for the poor one. Francis of Assisi called this, 'loving the leper within us.' If you learn to love the poor one within you, you'll discover that you have room to have compassion 'outside' too, that there's room in you for others, for those who are different from you, for the least among your brothers and sisters."
“We cannot avoid the globalization of knowledge and information. When I was a boy growing up in Kansas, I could never think about a Buddhist, or a Hindu, or Muslim, or even a Protestant - I grew up in such a Catholic ghetto. That's not possible anymore, unless you live in a cave or something. So either we have knowledge of what the other religions and other denominations are saying, and how they tie into the common thread, or we end up just being dangerously ignorant of other people and therefore prejudiced.”
“The recurring theme of all religions is a sympathy, empathy, connection, capacity between the human and the divine - that we were made for union with one another. They might express this through different rituals, doctrines, dogmas, or beliefs, but at the higher levels they're talking about the same goal. And the goal is always union with the divine.”
“There is a part of you that is Love itself, and that is what we must fall into. It is already there. Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner contentment, you will realize you are drawing upon a Life that is much larger than your own and from a deeper abundance.”
“Religion has in fact outdone culture in dualistic thinking - we've become as violent, as hateful toward our enemies, damning them to hell and whatever else, that the world doesn't look to us for wisdom, because we're trapped in the dualistic mind, instead of the mind of Christ that we were supposed to have.”
“The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator.”
“To believe in Jesus, is to believe that the historic person who lived on this earth more than 2000 years ago was the image of the invisible God. That's a huge leap of faith, but it is my leap of faith, it's the act of faith of the Christian community.”
“God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste too much time protecting the boxes.”
Franciscan Richard Rohr founded the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in 1987 because he saw a deep need for the integration of both action and contemplation—the two are inseparable. As Father Richard likes to say, the most important word in our Center’s name is neither Action nor Contemplation, but the word and.
Contemplation is a way of listening with the heart while not relying entirely on the head. Contemplation is a prayerful letting go of our sense of control and choosing to cooperate with God and God’s work in the world.
Prayer without action, as Father Richard says, can promote our tendency to self-preoccupation, and without contemplation, even well-intended actions can cause more harm than good.
Our Vision for Transformed Engagement with the World
Amidst a time of planetary change and disruption, we envision a recovery of our deep connection to each other and our world, led by Christian and other spiritual movements that are freeing leaders and communities to overcome dehumanizing systems of oppression and cooperate in the transforming work of Love.
Instead of accusing others on the left or the right, Jesus stood in radical solidarity with the problem itself, hardly ever offering specific answers to the problem. Instead, his solidarity and compassion brought healing.
In today’s religious, environmental, and political climate, our compassionate engagement is urgent and vital. When we experience the reality of our oneness with God, others, and Creation, actions of justice and healing naturally follow. If we’re working to create a more whole world, contemplation can give our actions nonviolent, loving power for the long haul.
To find out more about the Center for Action and Contemplation.
Here's their website (click on the link)
The Richard Rohr podcast (Joyful. inspiring, confounding -- I love this one)
Another Name for Everything (and other podcasts too)