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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 9/23/2012 -- MYSTICAL LOVE  (Read 6839 times)
Alan
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« on: September 23, 2012, 03:29:53 AM »

September 23, 2012

Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
Bernard McGinn says that mysticism is “a consciousness of the presence
of God that by definition exceeds description and . . . deeply
transforms the subject who has experienced it.” If it does not deeply
change the lifestyle of the person—their worldview, their economics,
their politics, their ability to form community—you have no reason to
believe it is genuine mystical experience. It is often just people with
an addiction to religion itself, which is not that uncommon.

Mysticism is not just a change in some religious ideas or affirmations,
but it is an encounter of such immensity that everything else shifts in
position. Mystics have no need to exclude or eliminate others precisely
because they have experienced radical inclusivity of themselves into
something much bigger. They do not need to define themselves as
enlightened or superior, whereas a mere transfer of religious assertions
often makes people even more elitist and more exclusionary.

True mystics are glad to be common, ordinary, servants of all, and
“just like everybody else,” because any need for specialness has
been met once and for all.

Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 04:49:04 PM »

True mystics are glad to be common, ordinary, servants of all, and
“just like everybody else,” because any need for specialness has
been met once and for all.


I don't know that I could go along with that much of a generalization. I'm sure there are mystics who are just so far along the journey that they live and breathe for God without anything being able to disturb their peace. But I also know there are mystics--I can think of one we know well!--who still have to struggle with the pain and suffering of this life. However much one may know they are loved by God, the pain of being rejected or looked upon with cynicism by those who should love you most can be a tremendously lonely place.

I think in many ways it goes back to Richard's comments that you have to have an identity to be able to chuck that identity, and you have to have a self to be willing to lose your self. There are those--some true mystics included--who were never able to develop a healthy self and thus can struggle even fully knowing what it is to be loved by God. If you've never had it or have had it and had it jerked out from under you it can be hard not to crave some sense of "specialness".
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 07:50:21 PM »

True mystics are glad to be common, ordinary, servants of all, and
“just like everybody else,” because any need for specialness has
been met once and for all.


I don't know that I could go along with that much of a generalization. I'm sure there are mystics who are just so far along the journey that they live and breathe for God without anything being able to disturb their peace. But I also know there are mystics--I can think of one we know well!--who still have to struggle with the pain and suffering of this life. However much one may know they are loved by God, the pain of being rejected or looked upon with cynicism by those who should love you most can be a tremendously lonely place.

I agree this is a generalization.  The thing about the mystic and the cynicism, is that if the mystic is properly "tuned," or "calibrated" is the term I prefer, then the cynicism goes directly to the heart and converts to joy because IMO a mystic ought to be at least calibrated to optimization of Beatitudes.  So basically if they insult me while I'm working for God, it hurts so good ... it's like an energy ray that goes straight to Matt 5 and gets converted from "calumny" to immediate reward.  In this model I'm using, the cynicism goes right by the verbal processor so it gets to the heart without being characterized as toxic.  The heart asks its origin and it confesses "cynicism" so the heart pumps joy and gladness because that's what Matt 5:11 suggests for a heart optimized for joy and gladness.

Now of course joy and gladness aren't always called for.  Without suffering, anxiety and sorrow, the joy and gladness really don't mean anything so when life gives you passion in any form -- "good" or "bad" the goal as I see it is for the heart to receive it as pure energy source that can be purified and distilled if need be, on the fly.  "Do not worry about what to say for you will be given the words when you need them," kind of thing.

Quote
I think in many ways it goes back to Richard's comments that you have to have an identity to be able to chuck that identity, and you have to have a self to be willing to lose your self. There are those--some true mystics included--who were never able to develop a healthy self and thus can struggle even fully knowing what it is to be loved by God. If you've never had it or have had it and had it jerked out from under you it can be hard not to crave some sense of "specialness".

I think  you're absolutely correct.  And I think I would say these mystics have conquered duality-only thinking, but are still training until and unless they get to the point where there "faith eyes" are opened and they see the kingdom.  When that happens, there is no turning back and no need for false self or "specialness" because you will be aware that you are valuable beyond any fathomable mysteries.  But I think this is uncommon even among mystics, and I think for now I'm going to spare detailed speculation on why that might be so.

Also I think one hugely significant event can actually "shock" a person into contemplative thinking, if not the kingdom.

For "mystic" here I'm thinking of someone who has a feel for interior silence if not the ability to get to a state of silence on purpose.  Roughly contemplative.  I'd say this is someone who knows about non-dualistic thinking, but still has some translation issues between various belief systems and how they would intersect at any given moment while trying to make a decision.  It's schizophrenic until suddenly everything stops racing and peace ensues.  Broken neck and rest among the lilies and all, you know. Wink

For "tuned" I think once one crosses the threshold, tuning becomes automatic with even a small amount of faith and trust.  Tuned is taking the non-dualistic thoughts and exorcising (stet) them by letting them come into contact with actual situations, "works."


Soul's point of view of what happens when you lose self, according to St. John of the Cross's "Stanzas of the Soul"

When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.


Alan
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 05:31:55 AM »

September 24, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
Historically, mysticism was often seen as the opposite of prophecy.
There was the prophetic strain, which was working for social justice,
making a difference, solving problems, fixing the world, and bringing
about the Kingdom of God. Then there were these other “mystified”
people who locked themselves in hermitages and didn’t care about the
suffering of the world. Now we know that was a radical misunderstanding
of both sides.

When we read the prophets, we see that without exception they talk about
an intimate relationship with God that, itself, led to radical social
critique. Jeremiah talks about a love that “seduces him and that lets
him be seduced” (Jeremiah 20:7 [1]). The normal language of the prophets
Amos and Hosea is an intimate language of divine encounter that always
overspills into social concerns. It seems to blast their previous
understanding of Judaism and temple worship, and puts them in
competition and tension with the priestly class.

In the Jewish Scriptures, the priests are invariably competing with the
prophets and the prophets are critiquing the priests, and this tells me
it must be a necessary and creative tension. Maybe both sides get
refined because of it. Today, in our church, we have mostly priestly
concerns—or as Jeremiah put it, “the sanctuary, the sanctuary, the
sanctuary” (Jeremiah 7:4 [2])—and little concern for immigrants, health
care for the poor, the acceptance of the marginalized, or even minimal
peacemaking. The patterns never seem to change, since the “priests”
control the home front and the “prophets” work at the edges.


Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 09:37:19 AM »

September 25, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
Ordinary Christianity has emphasized that we should love God. This makes
sense, but do we really know how to do it? What I find in the mystics is
an overwhelming experience of how God has loved us! That’s what comes
through all of their writings, and I do mean all—that God is forever
the initiator, God is the doer, God is the one who seduces me in my
unworthiness. It’s all about God’s initiative! Then the mystics try
desperately to give back, to offer their lives back to the world and
thus back to God.

Mystics are not trying to earn God’s love by doing good things or
going to church services. That question is already and profoundly
resolved. The mystics’ overwhelming experience is this full body blow
of divine embrace, a radical acceptance by God even in their state of
fragmentation and poverty. That’s what makes it “amazing” and
“grace” (see Romans 11:6 [1]).


Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 10:19:56 AM »


 What I find in the mystics is
an overwhelming experience of how God has loved us! That’s what comes
through all of their writings, and I do mean all—that God is forever
the initiator, God is the doer, God is the one who seduces me in my
unworthiness. It’s all about God’s initiative! Then the mystics try
desperately to give back, to offer their lives back to the world and
thus back to God.


I go back and forth on Fr. Rohr's "mystic" talk.  On the one hand, it is certainly appealing to want to be a mytic, "like those guys".  If what it takes to be a mystic is this or that attitude or way or behavior or what have you, well, what can I say?  Yes, of course I want such elevation.  "Mystic" is such a fun word! 

Fr. Rohr could simply present all of what he has to say in terms of "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts", but that would definitely be more boring.  If he were to use his own life as the example, state everything in the "I" form, it would be more personal, but then it would seem somewhat self-aggrandizing.  So, pointing to the mystics as an example makes some sense, for sure. 

One problem is that it is my nature to want to be in the "mystic club".  And, in order to be in the "mystic club", there must be some sense of exclusivity, otherwise the club has no identity.  So, I find myself immediately drawing the lines.  "That guy must be a mystic, that guy definitely not."  In reaction to the natural response, I have yet another natural response, which is "reject the distinction and the label"; I turn to modifying what Fr. Richard says and saying instead things like "we are all mystics" just like "we all have a priesthood".  I would imagine that Fr. Rohr probably agrees.

In other words, I let my "small self" have a go at it, and afterwards I can look at what is there to feed me.   Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2012, 10:49:25 AM »

I guess when we get to that point of wanting to be a mystic, but wanting it to be an exclusive club, we know we're going in the wrong direction. Since by Richard's definition, a mystic just lets go of all of it because they recognize that being loved by God is really all that is important and nothing else then bothers you, any sense of wanting it to be exclusive or wanting it because it will make you "superior" in some way is totally missing the mark.

I remember back years ago Barb posting a link to some little quiz or something that had to do with where we were on our spiritual journey. I remember going through the thing, checking off the "good" indicators that were showing how "advanced" I had become. When I was done I had to laugh at myself and add a checkbox that said "very proud of my humility".  Cheesy

For a long time after starting to follow Richard's stuff I used to complain that while it was tremendously interesting he never really seemed to give you any solid meaningful pointers on how to get to where he was talking about. I realize now that once you get yourself to that point of being able to sit in the silencce and actually listen to and "experience" God all the rest kicks in by itself. Until you have done that no explanation is adequate and anyone you try to explain it to won't understand. You can't have a way to do it because it isn't OUR doing, it's God that is doing it. Even telling someone how to let God do it becomes a matter of instructing somene in how to do it. One of those paradoxes he addresses so often that the doing requires not doing.
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2012, 01:58:17 PM »

I guess when we get to that point of wanting to be a mystic, but wanting it to be an exclusive club, we know we're going in the wrong direction. Since by Richard's definition, a mystic just lets go of all of it because they recognize that being loved by God is really all that is important and nothing else then bothers you, any sense of wanting it to be exclusive or wanting it because it will make you "superior" in some way is totally missing the mark.

I remember back years ago Barb posting a link to some little quiz or something that had to do with where we were on our spiritual journey. I remember going through the thing, checking off the "good" indicators that were showing how "advanced" I had become. When I was done I had to laugh at myself and add a checkbox that said "very proud of my humility".  Cheesy

For a long time after starting to follow Richard's stuff I used to complain that while it was tremendously interesting he never really seemed to give you any solid meaningful pointers on how to get to where he was talking about. I realize now that once you get yourself to that point of being able to sit in the silencce and actually listen to and "experience" God all the rest kicks in by itself. Until you have done that no explanation is adequate and anyone you try to explain it to won't understand. You can't have a way to do it because it isn't OUR doing, it's God that is doing it. Even telling someone how to let God do it becomes a matter of instructing somene in how to do it. One of those paradoxes he addresses so often that the doing requires not doing.

John, out of all you've written recently, I this this is the most amazing!  If you aren't already "there" then you don't have far to go.  If course "there" is kind of like "here" in that one is extremely omnipresent and the other forever absent.   Grin

Lana, what say you?  Do we give him partial credit toward his 5000 words for this?

Alan
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« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2012, 08:57:37 AM »

September 26, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
Evelyn Underhill [1] defines mysticism as “an overwhelming
consciousness of God and an overwhelming consciousness of one’s own
soul at the same time.” In my experience, that is exactly what I see
happening. There’s this wonderful sense of my own value, my own
significance, my own validation from above, from on high. “I was once
blind, but now I see.” I was once nobody and now I’m everybody—and
this change in self-image is simultaneous with a discovery of a true and
all-accepting image of God. No wonder so many people cry, or sing in
tongues, when this happens. Their boundaries are blown away.

Mystical experience is the best possible cure for low self-esteem. You
know you were chosen by the One who does the choosing! You know you are
intimately loved by the One who does all the loving! When the “Unmoved
Mover” says you are good; you would do well to accept His or Her
version of reality, and let go of your petty carping and complaining
about yourself.


Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2012, 12:24:59 PM »


Lana, what say you?  Do we give him partial credit toward his 5000 words for this?

Alan

Let's see...a picture is worth a thousand words....so this should make me about even.  Cheesy

   

   




The last one was only included knowing I have to convince Alan with this argument also. Smiley
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2012, 12:32:02 PM »

 


This was the one I saw most worthy of credit.  I'd say 2000 for a good show, plus the 1000 I already proposed.  Of course my vote means nothing because Lana has ultimate rule in matters of Your Writing Assignments!  Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2012, 12:34:00 PM »

When the “Unmoved Mover” says you are good; you would do well to accept His or Her
version of reality, and let go of your petty carping and complaining about yourself.


On my better days I totally know this but my "little self" still struggles with so many wounds that it's hard sometimes to remember that. As the old saying goes, when you're up to your ass in alligators it's hard to remember you are there to drain the swamp.
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2012, 09:11:25 PM »

Decisions, my goodness...the fire, where did it first start?

Officer Patty has nothing on Sir Sean Connery, and there could not be one thing John has forgotten from so many years ago while we RPG'd our way through the camp sight, hot tub and lot's of Amaretto on ice...then while everyone left, i was near the fire that always comforts me. It is the window i desire most next to music to reach my tarrying point with God. I told him how the "Dragon Rider in the Sky was Will watching over me...as he'd promised to me in real life. How i loved looking up into the night skies wondering exactly where he is, but knowing he is there. Sir Sean Connery does the voice of the beloved Dragon in Dragonheart...it is when i fell in love with dragons, and why Will knew that it could be the only handsome honorable steed in the night skies for me to love.

It is a love story really, of me and my son, and a most awesome friend i met that night...Thank you John, for the well earned 5000 words!

Lana
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« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2012, 09:23:54 PM »

Ok, i have to share more...

I went to CAF to find help with dealing with the loss of my son so many years ago. I found fighting, cruelty, dishonor and pumped up ego's. Brotherhrolf found me wounded and brought me over to the water cooler and i was never the same. I met John via him on a quest for the holy grail, and believe me, John is a wonderful spontaneous role player and friend.

They let me mourn him, tell about him, and started my journey of healing. Today i was painfully brought to tears a few times over a song i heard twice in one day, that i love to sing along to that expresses very few lyrics, but a huge amount of emotion. It is a song about loss and coping via Avril Levigne (SP?) called "Wish you were here" Funny thing is, i was hurting, and Like many years ago, Johns spontinaety and healing powers make me see the beauty in the pain, rather than just the pain...

THAT is why seeing what i did in picture format was sooo worth the 5000 words!

Love and peace to you....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT1-sitWRtY&feature=colike

Lana
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2012, 05:44:12 AM »

September 27, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
We are told that St. Francis used to spend whole nights praying the same
prayer: “Who are you, God? And who am I?” Evelyn Underhill claims
it’s almost the perfect prayer. The abyss of your own soul and the
abyss of the nature of God have opened up, and you are falling into both
of them simultaneously. Now you are in a new realm of Mystery and grace,
where everything good happens!

Notice how the prayer of Francis is not stating anything but just asking
open-ended questions. It is the humble, seeking, endless horizon prayer
of the mystic that is offered out of complete trust. You know that such
a prayer will be answered, because there has already been a previous
answering, a previous epiphany, a previous moment where the ground
opened up and you knew you were in touch with infinite mystery and you
knew you were yourself infinite mystery. You only ask such grace-filled
questions, or any question for that matter, when they have already begun
to be answered.

Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2012, 07:04:28 AM »


They let me mourn him, tell about him, and started my journey of healing. Today i was painfully brought to tears a few times over a song i heard twice in one day, that i love to sing along to that expresses very few lyrics, but a huge amount of emotion. It is a song about loss and coping via Avril Levigne (SP?) called "Wish you were here" Funny thing is, i was hurting, and Like many years ago, Johns spontinaety and healing powers make me see the beauty in the pain, rather than just the pain...


I hadn't heard that song before Lana but I see a little bit of your healing there:

I can be tough, I can be strong
 But with you, it's not like that at all
 There's a girl that gives a shit
 Behind this wall, you just walk through it


I never cease to be amazed at the way God puts those little things where we need them, when we need them.
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2012, 07:11:18 AM »

Notice how the prayer of Francis is not stating anything but just asking
open-ended questions.


This reminds me very much of the moment that might identify the start of my own spiritual journey, one which I think I have probably related before.

I was doing my ski patrol traiining during the summer of 1996 at a hospital in Asheville and got there early that particular day. Having had a particularly bad day I went into the chapel, knelt down and simply asked "Why do I have so many troubles?" In response, within my head I got an answer that wasn't an answer at all but something that set me on a path of reflection: "You don't have many troubles, you only have one. Why don't you trust Me?"

When things aren't going well it's a question I still often reflect on.
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2012, 08:39:07 AM »

Notice how the prayer of Francis is not stating anything but just asking
open-ended questions.


This reminds me very much of the moment that might identify the start of my own spiritual journey, one which I think I have probably related before.

I was doing my ski patrol traiining during the summer of 1996 at a hospital in Asheville and got there early that particular day. Having had a particularly bad day I went into the chapel, knelt down and simply asked "Why do I have so many troubles?" In response, within my head I got an answer that wasn't an answer at all but something that set me on a path of reflection: "You don't have many troubles, you only have one. Why don't you trust Me?"

When things aren't going well it's a question I still often reflect on.

I really like that story.  You may have related it before, but if so I don't remember it.

I've often thought that planting a few good questions in someone's mind can be worth more than many answers.

Alan
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 08:56:39 AM »

Ok, i have to share more...

I went to CAF to find help with dealing with the loss of my son so many years ago. I found fighting, cruelty, dishonor and pumped up ego's. Brotherhrolf found me wounded and brought me over to the water cooler and i was never the same. I met John via him on a quest for the holy grail, and believe me, John is a wonderful spontaneous role player and friend.

They let me mourn him, tell about him, and started my journey of healing. Today i was painfully brought to tears a few times over a song i heard twice in one day, that i love to sing along to that expresses very few lyrics, but a huge amount of emotion. It is a song about loss and coping via Avril Levigne (SP?) called "Wish you were here" Funny thing is, i was hurting, and Like many years ago, Johns spontinaety and healing powers make me see the beauty in the pain, rather than just the pain...

THAT is why seeing what i did in picture format was sooo worth the 5000 words!

Love and peace to you....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT1-sitWRtY&feature=colike

Lana

Thanks for your post.  I did not realize that the connections here were that much deeper than those I am familiar with at CAF.  Okay, this is a "faith community", though the visitations are a little rare sometimes.  I am getting it.
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 03:45:19 PM »

Thanks for your post.  I did not realize that the connections here were that much deeper than those I am familiar with at CAF.  Okay, this is a "faith community", though the visitations are a little rare sometimes.  I am getting it.

The forums were started in 2005, as a place to have discussions about topics that were forbidden or difficult due to the moderator actions and poster culture.  Specifically, centering prayer and offering each other advice on psychological issues.  And now you have heard Lana's story and Lana thank you for sharing that.   Smiley  Centering prayer was impossible to discuss because of the libel against it by even the CA apologists in both articles they wrote and in the AAA section -- so finally a pro-CP person asked the topic to be banned.  For mental illness, CAF is OK with talking about in general, but if it sounded like we were giving each other "medical" advice (and we were -- prayers, strategies to try, etc.) they could be liable, and I can certainly understand that.  Here at WF we have no assets, so no lawyer would bother suing us!  Grin

So we started off with CAF blessings because our rule here is as long as we are not jerks and are respectful of each other, all is good!  It was a bit rocky the first few days, because people were coming over here and bashing CAF mod staff.  Well the CAF admin saw this and took away my signature with the advertisement to WF.  So we exchanged a few emails and came to terms.  We don't bash their moderator actions (we bash their posters all the time though Wink ) and we all are happy.  I think they like that I invite people over here, who seem to be trying to make a point at CAF but find the culture too hard.  For us, it gives us a New Point of View, which we like, and for CAF it's Good Riddance, because I tend to take away some of the posters who tend to cause waves.

And then, since we have our hands on the controls, we can make changes with little decision time.  Like we can add a section, or even make a semi-private section in case a person has personal issues and only wants to discuss those invited.  Things like that.  And we've done a little of those things over the years.  Now it's pretty quiet, but I'm ready to add a few more to the group, and that's why I invited you.

But as I once heard Ted Nugent say on a radio talk show, "If you ain't making waves, then you ain't paddling!"

Alan
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 04:14:28 PM by Alan » Logged

... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2012, 07:05:18 PM »

R.I.P. James, and to the member loss due to illness, Reens.

We have lost a wide range of story tellers and commentators...even spectators (James) when we'd ask why he didn't post, he'd respond, "had nothin to say...what part of my actions didn't you understand?"

LOL, and to know James is to know that he simply told you the factual truth, very matter a factly, and never split bones on getting right to the point. Love'd him to bits, and miss his commentary, even the silent ones....lol

And reens is unable to be here...that one still breaks my heart, but we are meant to believe that God has a plan, and just possibly God has more faith in our abilities in moving forward and it being OUR turn to direct our own traffic. But it is indeed his faith that simply makes me try harder to see the splendid rainbows in his faith in me that makes a hard day simply another faithfully "academic" day at the wheel~

Lana
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« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2012, 03:59:22 AM »

September 28, 2012



Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE

   
The German Jesuit, Karl Rahner [1], said something like this (although his
German is hard to translate): “The infinite mystery that you are to
yourself and the infinite mystery that God is in God’s self proceed
forward together as one.” In simple English, as you uncover God’s
loving truth, you uncover your own, and as you uncover your own truth,
you fall deeper into God’s mercy and love. I’ve certainly seen this
in my own little journey. When I come to a breakthrough in my own shadow
work, my own sinfulness, my own self-knowledge, or in wonder at my own
soul, it invariably feeds and invites the other side, and I want to go
deeper with God.

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

In the same way, when my heart opens up in a new recognition of the
nature of God, it always invites me into deeper and daring honesty,
deeper self-surrender, deeper shadow work with my own illusions and my
own pretensions. The two will always feed one another, and that’s why
people who go deeper with God invariably have a very honest evaluation
of themselves. They are never proud people. They can’t be, because the
closer you get to the Light, the more you see your own darkness. And the
closer you get to your own ordinariness (which sometimes includes
darkness), the more you know you need the Light.

Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2012, 08:52:01 AM »


Richard's Daily Meditations

MYSTICAL LOVE
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Festival day of Michael and all the Angels

   
A very little bit of God goes an awfully long way. When another’s
experience of God isn’t exactly the way I would describe it, it
doesn’t mean that they haven’t had an experience of God or that
their experience is completely wrong. We have to remain with Francis’
prayer: “Who are you, God, and who am I?” Isn’t there at least ten
percent of that person’s experience of God that I can agree with?
Can't I at least say, “I wish I could experience God in that way”?

What characterizes anyone who has had just a little bit of God is that
they always want more of that experience! Could it not be that this
Hindu, this Sufi, this charismatic, this Jewish woman has, in fact,
touched upon the same eternal Mystery that I am seeking? Can’t we at
least give one another the benefit of the doubt? I can be somewhat
patient with people who think they have the truth. The problem for me is
when they think they have the whole truth.

The mystic probably represents the old shibboleth, “Those who really
know don’t speak too quickly. Those who speak too quickly don’t
really know.” Maybe that is a good reflection on this feast of the
angels (“messengers” of God), but with a few exceptions, like
Gabriel (Luke 1:28-38 [1]), they hardly ever speak.


Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2012, 10:00:06 AM »

Could it not be that this
Hindu, this Sufi, this charismatic, this Jewish woman has, in fact,
touched upon the same eternal Mystery that I am seeking? Can’t we at
least give one another the benefit of the doubt? I can be somewhat
patient with people who think they have the truth. The problem for me is
when they think they have the whole truth.

The mystic probably represents the old shibboleth, “Those who really
know don’t speak too quickly. Those who speak too quickly don’t
really know.” Maybe that is a good reflection on this feast of the
angels (“messengers” of God), but with a few exceptions, like
Gabriel (Luke 1:28-38 [1]), they hardly ever speak.


Prayer:
"Who are you, God, and who am I?"

I love that prayer.  It sends me to a place of mystery and wonder. 

And I love the part about "giving the benefit of the doubt".   I think that giving the benefit of the doubt is part of the narrow path when it comes to forgiving our shadows.  A priest I know once said in a Bible study that we should always give the benefit of the doubt. 

We have all our shortcomings, and we can ask "Why do I have this fault?"   Well, I can, on the one hand, say that the shortcoming comes from the devil, that the shortcoming is only meant to tear me down.  On the other hand, I can see my issue as a gift from God, and try to discern why it is a gift.  Every time I do this, I reach a point where I can see my own compulsion or fault as a gift from God, and this becomes the obvious Truth. 

Actually, though, it is the seeking that reveals the Truth, whether we give the benefit of the doubt or not.  It is key, though, to know that I haven't reached the Truth yet when I still feel negatively about something or someone, some aspect of myself.  It is the negative thinking that shows me that there is something more to forgive.

Finally, there is a lot to be said for keeping our mouths shut, but there is also a time to challenge others' thinking, and I think that is what Fr. Rohr is doing.  I think this is an age where it is time to challenge people when their idea of truth is something that excludes certain people from the good of humanity or points at certain people or aspects of ourselves as evil. 
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