Faith Community at WordsFree.org
October 23, 2017, 05:27:18 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Wordsfree is on a New Server again! (April 2017)
We moved from Azure to a new cloud solution that should be more stable, and importantly: cheaper! -- Matt
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
 91 
 on: September 24, 2013, 08:13:37 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 24, 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 Incurable Wound at the Heart of Everything
Meditation 6 of 51


In order to arrive at the second half of life, one has to realize there
is an incurable wound at the heart of everything. Much of the conflict
from the age of twenty-five to sixty-five is just trying to figure this
out and then to truly accept it. Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar
(1905-1988) said toward the end of his life: “All great thought
springs from a conflict between two eventual insights: (1) The wound
which we find at the heart of everything is finally incurable, (2) Yet
we are necessarily and still driven to try!” (Think about that for an
hour or so!)

Our largely unsuccessful efforts of the first half of life are
themselves the training ground for all virtue and growth in holiness.
This wound at the heart of life shows itself in many ways, but your
holding and “suffering” of this tragic wound, your persistent but
failed attempts to heal it, and your final surrender to it, will
ironically make you into a wise and holy person. It will make you
patient, loving, hopeful, expansive, faithful, and compassionate—which
is precisely second-half-of-life wisdom.


Adapted from Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey (CD, DVD, MP3)

 92 
 on: September 23, 2013, 04:20:57 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
This is something I realized a few years back, and am still getting used to it.

When Father Carr scared me into craziness in 2001, I was upset and over time grew angry and bitter toward him.  In my mind I wanted to pee on his grave, but was undecided because that would imply effort which meant that desecrating his grave was worth the effort.

Now I see he was no more or less an agent of God as anyone else in my life, and did what the Holy Spirit needed done to pierce my armor and wound me, eventually taking the lion's share of my ego and misconceptions of the world with it.

Truly the things these people did to me, the poverty, the humiliation and scorn, were but the price of the field where the Real Treasure lay buried.  What my friends and loved ones have done for me, is their part in the drama that is My Life, and the others have played their roles, perfectly.  My friends have cut me down when I got too tall -- for some reason when it comes from a person whom I judge to be unloving I would take that as an act of hate rather than love.  This is yet another reason Jesus said to love our enemies.  They will do what is necessary, that our friends may not be capable of seeing or being able to do.

Not only that, but there were times when my friends were in fact telling me what they saw and I rejected it.  So confirmation from a third "disinterested" party can be useful as well -- especially if done in a forceful way.

Like "playing poker" without money, that doesn't prepare me to face those who would play to take all of mine.

Alan

 93 
 on: September 23, 2013, 03:20:39 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 23, 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
Meditation 5 of 51


How does one transition from the survival dance to the sacred dance? Let
me tell you how it starts. Did you know the first half of life has to
fail you? In fact, if you do not recognize an eventual and necessary
dissatisfaction (in the form of sadness, restlessness, emptiness,
intellectual conflict, spiritual boredom, or even loss of faith, etc.),
you will not move on to maturity. You see, faith really is about moving
outside your comfort zone, trusting God’s lead, instead of just
forever shoring up home base. Too often, early religious conditioning
largely substitutes for any real faith.

Usually, without growth being forced on us, few of us go willingly on
the spiritual journey. Why would we? The rug has to be pulled out from
beneath our game, so we redefine what balance really is. More than
anything else, this falling/rising cycle is what moves us into the
second half of our own lives. There is a necessary suffering to human
life, and if we avoid its cycles we remain immature forever. It can take
the form of failed relationships, facing our own shadow self, conflicts
and contradictions, disappointments, moral lapses, or depression in any
number of forms.

All of these have the potential to either edge us forward in life or to
dig in our heels even deeper, producing narcissistic and adolescent
responses that everybody can see except ourselves. We either “fall
upward,” or we just keep falling.


Adapted from Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey (CD, DVD, MP3)

 94 
 on: September 22, 2013, 07:07:53 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 22, 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).


Sunday, September 22, 2013
Autumnal Equinox (Northern Hemisphere)

It Is Hard to Fall When You Are at the Top
Meditation 4 of 51


    All that is hidden, all that is plain I have come to know, instructed by
    Wisdom who designed all things. — Wisdom 7:21
        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Wisdom+7:21&version=DRA;NIV;MSG;EXB

The irony of ego “consciousness” is that it always excludes and
eliminates the unconscious—so it is actually not conscious at all! It
insists on knowing, on being certain, and it refuses all unknowing. So
most people who think they are fully conscious (read “smart”) have a
big leaden manhole cover over their unconscious. It gives them control
but seldom compassion or wisdom.

That is exactly why politicians, priests, CEOs of anything,
know-it-alls, must continue to fail and fall (spiritually speaking) or
they never come to any real wisdom. The trouble is that we have to put
up with them in the meantime and wait for another growth spurt.
Sometimes that very power position makes failing and falling quite rare
and even impossible for them.


Adapted from A Lever and a Place to Stand:
    The Contemplative Stance, the Active Prayer (CD)

 95 
 on: September 21, 2013, 08:19:38 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
I like this.  Why aren't ALL Catholics told these things?  I'd like to tell "mainstream Catholics" that the more holy you are, the LESS defensive about Catholicism you get, not the other way around.  It seems that engaging in all these useless activities is the world view of "success."

Alan

 96 
 on: September 21, 2013, 06:56:47 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 21, 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).

It’s Always Payback Time
Meditation 3 of 51


Living in the second half of life, I no longer have to prove that I or
my group is the best, that my ethnicity is superior, that my religion is
the only one that God loves, or that my role and place in society
deserve superior treatment. I am not preoccupied with collecting more
goods and services; quite simply, my desire and effort--every day--is
to pay back, to give back to the world a bit of what I have received. I
now realize that I have been gratuitously given to--from the universe,
from society, and from God. I try now, as Elizabeth Seton said, “to
live simply so that others can simply live.”


Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, p. 121

 97 
 on: September 20, 2013, 05:55:25 PM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Linda Clare
I'm glad to hear everything went well.  Your lives sound wonderful!

 98 
 on: September 20, 2013, 05:44:15 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 20, 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).


Great Love and Great Suffering
Meditation 2 of 51


We must learn to be able to think and behave like Jesus, who is the
archetypal human being. This becomes a journey of great love and great
suffering. These are the two normal and primary paths of transformation
into God, preceding all organized religion. This journey leads us to a
universal love where we don’t love just those who love us. We must
learn to participate in a larger love—divine love.

In this, God utterly leveled the playing field and made grace available
from the first moment of creation when “God's Spirit overshadowed the
chaos” (Genesis 1:2 [1]). Surely the God who created all things was thus
available to all creation, starting with the so-called Stone Age people
and the natives of all continents, and yes, even the barbarians. I can
only assume that they loved and suffered too and thus met God, “who is
love” (1 John 4:7-8 [2]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1:2&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+4:7-8&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

Any journey of great love or great suffering makes us go deeper into our
faith and eventually into what can only be called universal truth. Love
and suffering are finally the same, because those who love deeply are
committing themselves to eventual suffering, as we see in Jesus. And
those who suffer often become the greatest lovers.


Adapted from the webcasts
    Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now: A Compilation

 99 
 on: September 19, 2013, 09:38:49 AM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Sept 19, 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).


Introduction
Meditation 1 of 51


There are three serious misperceptions—really heresies by official
church statements—which have deeply distorted the reading of the
Scriptures and much spirituality for the last few hundred years:
Pelagianism, Jansenism, and perfectionism. They overlap and reveal the
same problem, which I would call “spiritual capitalism.” “I can do
it, and I must do it, and I will do it” might be its common
philosophy.

This is the early-stage ego speaking. It puts all the emphasis on me and
my effort and my spiritual accomplishments, and has little active trust
in one’s total reliance upon grace and mercy. The driving energy is
unfortunately fear and more effort instead of quiet confidence and
gratitude—which moves spirituality into an entirely different
ballpark. It is now about climbing instead of surrendering. The first
feels good, the second feels like falling or failing, or even like
dying. Who likes that? Certainly not the false self or the ego. The ego
always wants to feel that it has “achieved” salvation somehow. Grace
and forgiveness are always a humiliation for the ego.

Pelagianism, surely attributed wrongly to the Irish monk Pelagius [1] (early
fifth century), seemed to suggest that we could achieve salvation by our
own willpower and effort. It underplayed the importance and universal
availability of grace and God’s choice and guidance. Although
condemned as heresy early on by the Church and later by the Council of
Trent, much of the church has still continued to operate in a Pelagian
way itself. We assumed that because we condemned it, we were not doing
it. It is an ecclesiastical form of “reaction formation” (meaning
overcoming your own anxiety about something characteristic of yourself
by exaggeration of the opposite as if it were true—e.g., a deeply
angry person saying, “I have little patience with angry people,”
which allows them to think that they are not one of “those”!)

[1]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelagius_%28British_monk%29

Most mainline Christians pay sincere lip service to grace and mercy, but
in the practical order it is almost entirely about performance and moral
achievement. It is just the moral issues that change, or the precise
techniques of salvation where the imperial and individual “I” must
push the right spiritual buttons. Paul and Luther were right on,
although most Lutherans and Evangelicals fell right back into a much
more disguised form of “works righteousness,” as they called it.
They were indeed “saved by grace,” but it sure had to be their form
of grace, and inside their categories of meaning. Catholics, early
Anabaptists, and gays were clearly not in on the deal of salvation by
grace.

Jansenism [2] was named after a Dutch theologian and bishop, Cornelius
Jansen (d. 1638), who emphasized moral austerity and a fear of God’s
justice more than any trust in God’s mercy. God was wrathful,
vindictive, and punitive, and all the appropriate Scriptures were found
to make these very points. It is hard to find a Western
Christian—Catholic or Protestant—who has not been formed by this
Christian form of Pharisaism, which is really pagan Stoicism. It
strongly influenced most seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Catholicism
in France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, and Germany, and still lingers on in
much pre– Vatican II Catholicism all over the world. Although it was
officially condemned as a heresy by Rome in 1715, it is still quite
common, especially, it seems to me, among people who have had punitive
and angry parenting patterns. This is the way they comfortably shape
their universe and their God. They actually prefer such a God—things
are very clear, and you know where you stand with such a deity—even
though this perspective leaves almost all people condemned and is a very
pessimistic and fearful worldview.

[2]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jansenism

The common manifestation of these ever-recurring patterns might simply
be called perfectionism. The word itself is taken from a single passage
in Matthew 5:48 [3], where Jesus tells us to “be perfect as your heavenly
Father is perfect.” Of course, perfection as such is a divine or a
mathematical concept and has never been a human one. Jesus offers it as
guidance for how we can love our enemies, which he has just spoken of
(5:43-47 [4]), and is surely saying that we cannot obey this humanly
impossible commandment by willpower but only by surrendering to the
Divine Perfection that can and will flow through us.

[3]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:48&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB
[4]: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5:43-47&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB

In other words, we of ourselves cannot be perfect, but God is—yet we
used this one passage to give people the exact opposite impression that
they could indeed be perfect in themselves! This did untold damage in
convents and monasteries all over the world, leading many to leave or,
more commonly, split their personality, when they could not, in fact, be
“perfect.” The New Jerusalem Bible wisely translates this verse as
“You must set no bounds to your love, just as your heavenly Father
sets none to his.” “Not setting bounds” is another way of trusting
in grace and guidance. It is not saying, “If you would just try
harder, you could do it.”

Pope John Paul II, in his proclamation of St. Thérèse of Lisieux [5] as a
Doctor of the Church, said that “She has made the Gospel shine
appealingly in our time. . . . she helped to heal souls of the rigors
and fears of Jansenism, which tended to stress God’s justice rather
than God’s mercy. In God’s mercy she contemplated and adored all the
divine perfections, because, as in her own words, ‘even his justice
seems to me to be clothed in love.’”

[5]: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Therese_of_Lisieux

Thérèse rightly named this spirituality her “Little Way.” It was
nothing more than a simple and clear recovery of the pure Gospel
message! It was she (and Francis of Assisi!) who gave me the courage as
a young man to read the Scriptures through this primary lens of
littleness instead of some possible bigness. This changed everything.
The true Gospel is a path of descent, and not ascent. It is totally
amazing we could miss this message given the rejection, betrayal,
passion, and crucifixion of Jesus as our primary and central template
for redemption. We piously thanked Jesus for doing this instead of
following Jesus on the same inevitable and holy path.

 100 
 on: September 18, 2013, 01:10:18 PM 
Started by Alan - Last post by Alan
Yeah, probably belongs in None of the Above.  Undecided

I'm trying to think of what we might do to add content here to interest our current posters, and/or add new posters.  Maybe it's time to reexamine whether we can go to the next major version (so maybe we can open registration again) without losing everything.  It might help to form a vision of WF going forward.  But I have a section for that; maybe I'll get back into it now that I feel a little more settled than I have in the past.

I keep getting "emergency appeal" letters from CAF, asking for money, so they can quit laying off people, etc.  I'm tempted to write back and offer them a deal; I'll continue to give $25 occasionally like I used to, if they'll put me back in.  Regardless, they will know why they are losing my money at least.  Previously I hadn't wanted to bother taking my time for them, but if I can get back on I'm confident I can a) keep the mods happy, and b) find more posters we might want to add.

Alan

Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!