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 81 
 on: October 14, 2013, 08:36:20 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by OneSheep
Oct 12, 2013


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Beyond Boy Scout Spirituality
Meditation 24 of 51

By denying their pain and avoiding the necessary falling, many have kept
themselves from their own spiritual depths—and therefore have been
kept from their own spiritual heights. First-half-of-life religion is
almost always about various types of purity codes or “thou shalt
nots” to keep us up, clear, clean, and together, like good Boy and
Girl Scouts. A certain kind of “purity” and self-discipline is
“behovely,” at least for a while in the first half of life, as the
Jewish Torah brilliantly presents. (I was a Star Scout and a Catholic
altar boy myself, and did them both quite well, but it made me love me,
not God.)

Sometimes I think that maybe Fr. Rohr is a little hard on "first half" spirituality.  I'm thinking, that if we take a developmental approach to spirituality, that the child staying "pure", hearing the voice of his conscience, is indeed following and loving God in the way he knows best.  

If development follows awareness, a child is going to first get to know his conscience, which loves very conditionally.  Her "inner voice" is going to be the voice of her God-given conscience.  In other words, conscience=God. Once her conscience adequately guides her through the periods where we slowly take on new compulsions (desire for stuff, other people's stuff, territoriality, status (teenagers), sexuality (teens again, of course), the adult who has their compulsions under control is ready take a step deeper, finding beneath it all a God who loves unconditionally, a God who loves us even when we violate our conscience.

BTW, Alan sorry for the hiatus.  I hope you have been well.  And everyone else too!

 82 
 on: October 13, 2013, 07:35:34 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 13, 2013


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


Falling Upward
Meditation 25 of 51


Some have called this principle of going down to go up a “spirituality
of imperfection” or “the way of the wound.” It has been affirmed
in Christianity by St. Thérèse of Lisieux as her Little Way, by St.
Francis as the way of poverty, and by Alcoholics Anonymous as the
necessary First Step. St. Paul taught this unwelcome message with his
enigmatic “It is when I am weak that I am strong” (2 Corinthians
12:10 [1]). Of course, in saying that, he was merely building on what he
called the “folly” of the crucifixion of Jesus—a tragic and absurd
dying that became resurrection itself.

[1]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%2012:10&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

You will not know for sure that this message is true until you are on
the “up” side. You will never imagine it to be true until you have
gone through the “down” yourself and come out on the other side in
larger form. You must be pressured from on high, by fate, circumstance,
love, or God, because nothing in you wants to believe it, or wants to go
through it.

Falling upward is a secret of the soul, known not by thinking about it
or proving it but only by risking it—at least once. And by allowing
yourself to be led—at least once. Those who have allowed it know it is
true, but only after the fact.



Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, pp. xxiii-xxiv

 83 
 on: October 13, 2013, 07:34:41 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 12, 2013


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


Beyond Boy Scout Spirituality
Meditation 24 of 51


By denying their pain and avoiding the necessary falling, many have kept
themselves from their own spiritual depths—and therefore have been
kept from their own spiritual heights. First-half-of-life religion is
almost always about various types of purity codes or “thou shalt
nots” to keep us up, clear, clean, and together, like good Boy and
Girl Scouts. A certain kind of “purity” and self-discipline is
“behovely,” at least for a while in the first half of life, as the
Jewish Torah brilliantly presents. (I was a Star Scout and a Catholic
altar boy myself, and did them both quite well, but it made me love me,
not God.)

Because none of us desire a downward path to growth through
imperfection, seek it, or even suspect it, we have to get the message
with the authority of a “divine revelation.” So Jesus makes it into
a central axiom: the “last” really do have a head start in moving
toward “first,” and those who spend too much time trying to be
“first” will never get there. Jesus says this clearly in several
places and in numerous parables, although those of us still on the first
journey just cannot hear it. It is far too counterintuitive and
paradoxical.

Our resistance to the message is so great that it could be called
outright denial, even among sincere Christians. The human ego prefers
anything, just about anything, to falling or changing or dying. The ego
is that part of you that loves the status quo, even when it is not
working.


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, pp. xxiii-xxiv

 84 
 on: October 11, 2013, 05:52:53 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 11, 2013

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


The Demand for the Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good
Meditation 23 of 51


We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right.
That might just be the central message of how spiritual growth happens,
yet nothing in us wants to believe it.

If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge
precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere,
especially our own. What a clever place for God to hide holiness, so
that only the humble and earnest will find it! A “perfect” person
ends up being one who can consciously forgive and include imperfection
rather than one who thinks he or she is totally above and beyond
imperfection.

It becomes sort of obvious once you say it out loud. In fact, I would
say that the demand for the perfect is the greatest enemy of the good.
Perfection is a mathematical or divine concept; goodness is a beautiful
human concept that includes us all. People whom we call “good
people” are always people who have learned how to include
contradictions and others, even at risk to their own proper self-image
or their social standing. This is quite obvious in Jesus.


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, p. xxii-xxiii

 85 
 on: October 10, 2013, 07:16:35 AM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Alan
I don't know if I have an "overall" favorites, but I do get interested in one from time to time.  Teresa of Avila is important to me, too, because of her writings on spirituality.  From what I know about her, her writing helped me affirm my own healing because a lot of what I had gone through and come to think, reading her stuff helped me open up about them.  I mean, I knew what was happening was "real" but I didn't know if it would ever correlate with anybody else's experience until hers.

In particular, I like the way her writings seemed to acknowledge that "darker side" somewhat like I had found in myself.  It's hard for me to empathize the saints sometimes because I'm not as "holy" and all that as they are -- but the way some of her writings went I could still benefit.

Alan

 86 
 on: October 10, 2013, 06:44:48 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 10, 2013


Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


One Insult After Another
Meditation 22 of 51


You cannot avoid sin or mistake anyway (Romans 5:12 [1]), but if you try too
fervently, it often creates even worse problems. Jesus loves to tell
stories like that of the publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14 [2]) and
the famous one about the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32 [3]), in which one
character does his life totally right and is, in fact, wrong; and the
other who does it totally wrong ends up God’s beloved! Now deal with
that!

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+5:12&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18:9-14&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB
[3]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+15:11-32&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

Jesus also tells us that there are two groups who are very good at
trying to deny or avoid this humiliating surprise: those who are very
rich and those who are very religious. These two groups have very
different plans for themselves, as they try to totally steer their own
ships with well-chosen itineraries. They follow two different ways of
going up and avoiding all down.

Such a down-and-then-up perspective does not fit into our Western
philosophy of progress, nor into our desire for upward mobility, nor
into our religious notions of perfection or holiness. “Let’s hope it
is not true, at least for me,” we all say! Yet the perennial
tradition, sometimes called the wisdom tradition, says that it is and
will always be true. St. Augustine called it the passing over mystery
(or the “paschal mystery,” from the Hebrew word for Passover,
pesach).


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, p. xx-xxi

 87 
 on: October 09, 2013, 08:57:41 PM 
Started by Justicia et Pax - Last post by Justicia et Pax
Just for fun!

I can't help but notice we are in one of the richest calendar months for feast days of great saints.

Who is your favourite? I think mine has to be St Teresa of Avila. She was my house saint in high school and I can't help but think that this was one of God's little jokes on me, given how profoundly her writings have impacted upon my spirituality since I came across them three years ago Smiley

 88 
 on: October 09, 2013, 08:05:08 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 9, 2013

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


You Will Fail
Meditation 21 of 51


Some kind of falling, what I call “necessary suffering,” is
programmed into the full journey. All the sources seem to say it,
starting with Adam and Eve and all they represent. Yes, they
“sinned” and were cast out of the Garden of Eden, but from those
very acts came “consciousness” itself, development of conscience,
and their own further journey.

It is not that suffering or failure might happen, or that it will only
happen to you if you are bad (which is what religious people often
think), or that it will happen to the unfortunate, or to a few in other
places, or that you can somehow by cleverness or righteousness avoid it.
No, it will happen, and to you!

Losing, failing, falling, sin, and the suffering that comes from those
experiences—all of this is a necessary and even good part of the human
journey. As my favorite mystic, Lady Julian of Norwich, put it in her
Middle English, “Sin is behovely!”


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, p. xx

 89 
 on: October 08, 2013, 06:59:01 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Oct 8, 2013

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


The Two Halves of Life
Meditation 20 of 51


The soul has many secrets. They are only revealed to those who want
them, and are never completely forced upon us. One of the best-kept
secrets, and yet one hidden in plain sight, is that the way up is the
way down. Or, if you prefer, the way down is the way up.

In Scripture, we see that the wrestling and wounding of Jacob are
necessary for Jacob to become Israel (Genesis 32:26-32 [1]), and the death
and resurrection of Jesus are necessary to create Christianity. The loss
and renewal pattern is so constant and ubiquitous that it should hardly
be called a secret at all.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+32:26-32&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

Yet it is still a secret, probably because we do not want to see it. We
do not want to embark on a further journey (the second half of life) if
it feels like going down, especially after having put so much sound and
fury into going up (the first half of life). This is surely the first
and primary reason why many people never get to the fullness of their
own lives.


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, pp. xviii-xix

 90 
 on: September 30, 2013, 08:37:46 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 30, 2013

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Sixth Theme: The path of descent is the path of transformation.
Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary
teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines (Process).


Spiritual Captalism
Meditation 12 of 51


The phrase “spirituality of subtraction” was inspired by Meister
Eckhart (c. 1260-1327) [1], the medieval Dominican mystic. He said the
spiritual life has much more to do with subtraction than it does with
addition. Yet I think most Christians today are involved in great part
in a spirituality of addition, and in that are not really very
traditional or conservative at all.

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meister_Eckhart

The capitalist worldview is the only one most of us have ever known. We
see reality, experiences, events, other people, and things—in fact,
everything—as objects for our personal consumption. Even religion,
Scripture, sacraments, worship services, and meritorious deeds become
ways to advance ourselves—not necessarily ways to love God or
neighbor.

The nature of the capitalist mind is that things (and often people!) are
there for me. Finally, even God becomes an object for my consumption.
Religion looks good on my resume, and anything deemed “spiritual” is
a check on my private worthiness list. Some call it spiritual
consumerism. It is not the Gospel.


Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 114, day 123

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