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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 9/30/2012 -- FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM  (Read 5429 times)
Alan
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« on: September 30, 2012, 11:42:36 AM »

September 30

Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM

    
Mysticism is when God’s presence becomes experiential and undoubted
for a person. You can see a kind of courage and self-confidence in the
mystics. That puts them in an extraordinary category. Most of us believe
things because our churches tell us to believe them and we don’t want
to be disobedient members of the church so we say “I believe” as we
do in the creed.

A mystic doesn’t say “I believe.” A mystic says “I know.” A
true mystic ironically speaks with an almost arrogant self-confidence
and, at the same time, with a kind of humility. When you see this
combination of calm self-confidence, certitude, and patient humility,
all at the same time, you can trust you are in the presence of a person
who has had an actual “encounter” with God or the Holy.

Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 11:15:04 AM by Alan » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2012, 11:46:37 AM »

I have had these experiences, and I know what he's talking about.  How to speak the truth without qualifiers, and not sound arrogant at the same time.  Most people's language doesn't seem to be precise enough to discern the difference between speaking with confidence and truth, compared with boastful puffing up.

This is what I have found on CAF.  It's very difficult to speak from a position of experience on matters that everyone else is speaking from matters of beliefs and teachings.  And they think I'm putting myself above them.

Alan
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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 #2 on: September 30, 2012, 04:12:22 PM »

Good enough.  Now I can firmly say that I will never be considered a mystic. 

I will say what qualifies me right now to the heights of non-mysticism:  I have doubts about God's presence.  I might even say that I spend a good deal of time living in doubt.  (not that it worries me or give me any stress, I am fine with my doubt.)

That said, if there is a God, I have a confident and, yes, even somewhat "arrogant" knowledge about what God is like.  I think that I point in the right direction.   God loves us unconditionally, is kind and gentle.   

My faith, to some degree, has to do with believing in an afterlife, because the option is incomprehensible.  I start from there.   
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2012, 04:56:56 PM »

Good enough.  Now I can firmly say that I will never be considered a mystic.  

I will say what qualifies me right now to the heights of non-mysticism:  I have doubts about God's presence.  I might even say that I spend a good deal of time living in doubt.  (not that it worries me or give me any stress, I am fine with my doubt.)

I don't see any of this as a particular problem.  I have no question that there is God, an Ultimate Truth, etc.  But I can see how everybody has an image of God that I suppose works for them -- or it doesn't -- and I don't believe in them any more.  I'm not even convinced that God is "personal" in the way that we think of "personal" as having an ego and a particular persona.  So to me, when we say "God thinks this or that," I tend more to suspect that these are tendencies built into us, built in by the Lord if you will, that act upon us in ways that we don't understand.

Another model of God is, all of both what is in my imagination and beyond it.  That would be kind of a "Cloud of the Unknowing" kind of God.

For me, another model that works is, "anything that controls me."  So my own urges can be my gods in that definition.

But a man in some ambiguous time and space, observing and thinking about us as if He had a human mind?  I'm totally without opinion on that.  It doesn't work for me but whatever.  To me it doesn't make sense.

I consider all the models (aka "images) of God I hear, including even non-Christian ones.  Every model gives me a different point of view on reality -- so it's all good information.  It's a question of how you use the information to advantage.  That's my engineering approach; I'll never objectively know if it's true (though by definition it won't be) so the next question is whether it's useful.  Or as a buddy told me once, "if your God isn't working for you, then you need a new God."

Quote
That said, if there is a God, I have a confident and, yes, even somewhat "arrogant" knowledge about what God is like.  I think that I point in the right direction.   God loves us unconditionally, is kind and gentle.  

My faith, to some degree, has to do with believing in an afterlife, because the option is incomprehensible.  I start from there.  

It sounds backwards of the way I've taken it on.  I am totally confident there is a God, or at least "mystical forces," but I cannot describe it.  At times I cannot even speak of it and when I try, I already hate my words so much before I pronounce them that I just cannot speak at all.  I hate my words because they pretend they're going to describe that which cannot be described, a.k.a. an eternal mystery and they fall so short as to anger me at one time, then disappoint, although now I can usually let it go.  If I don't try to speak of it, then it will speak through me.

So we are taught, "God thinks this and does that," and then we sort of have this catch-all "God works in mysterious ways," to cover the fact that we really don't know what we're talking about.  I used to argue up one way and down another "God/Jesus isn't really like that, He is more like this," until I realized that the strategy of telling people their images of God are flawed.  The only thing I can do it to become as close to a Christ as I can allow God to make me.  Then I can start acting like a Christ instead of arguing all the time about what Jesus of Nazareth would have said or done when He walked the earth as one.

Alan
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2012, 06:03:02 PM »

Then I can start acting like a Christ instead of arguing all the time about what Jesus of Nazareth would have said or done when He walked the earth as one.


AMEN to that Alan...it is a little bit of dying to self I believe. But getting back to  the meditation, i must say that it is the VERY first time i fully comprehended what being mystic was. Although i do not feel right calling myself this, i have to side with me being mystic because i KNOW, and have seen, and conversed with Jesus himself. I call this tarrying. BUT i can not articulate it any further than saying, it is sooo complete. I call this a knowing, one you absolutely can not back away from, life altering as well because you can never go back to the way you were before.

Lana
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 07:44:45 PM »

Then I can start acting like a Christ instead of arguing all the time about what Jesus of Nazareth would have said or done when He walked the earth as one.


AMEN to that Alan...it is a little bit of dying to self I believe. But getting back to  the meditation, i must say that it is the VERY first time i fully comprehended what being mystic was. Although i do not feel right calling myself this, i have to side with me being mystic because i KNOW, and have seen, and conversed with Jesus himself. I call this tarrying. BUT i can not articulate it any further than saying, it is sooo complete. I call this a knowing, one you absolutely can not back away from, life altering as well because you can never go back to the way you were before.

Lana

Maybe it's because you weren't raised using the faulty model of God -- the Mean Judge, Jury, and Executioner but He loves us -- that most of us grew up with?  Wink

Alan
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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 #6 on: October 01, 2012, 06:19:33 AM »

October 1, 1012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM

   
In the first six centuries most of the mystics were identified with the
early desert fathers and mothers of Egypt, Asia Minor, Syria, and the
area of Palestine. Then the search for encounter moves into the
monasteries where it becomes more academic trying to explain itself. And
later St. Francis would bring mysticism from the monasteries to the
streets and cities. He said “Don’t speak to me of Benedict and
Augustine. God has shown me a different way!” (Although Francis had
nothing personal against these saints, he did have great inner clarity
about what was his to do, and knew that the church would try to put him
inside of its known modes of religious life.)

Franciscan men are not monks (from Greek monos, “alone”). We are
called friars (“brothers”). A friar is one who mixes with the
people. Often we were found near city centers in Europe, because we were
a part of city life, the working people, and the poor. This was the
beginning of a real “alternative orthodoxy,” a kind of practical
mysticism of the streets, and with those who were on the edges of
society. In fact, our poorly named “vow of poverty” was to
structurally assure that we would stay on the edge and not become
establishment people. St. Clare and the “Poor Clare” Sisters tended
to live this much better than we, the later “ordained” friars.
(Francis himself refused ordination to the priesthood.)

Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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Lanasshoebox
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2012, 11:43:51 AM »

Absolutely not raised with fear of GOD. Appreciation, power, awe, and so on...yes!

Any idea of fear came from other people trying to say that God said something...but i never bit.
Although i must admit it made me doubt a little in the fire and brimstone rep the old testament got.

You see, my views were built on Jesus alone. I added God to my views latter. I dealt with the teacher,
not the principal. He ran things, but i liked the one on one i got from Jesus. THEN i added the HS.
I love the HS dude, he rocks, and is the foundation in, "THE KNOWING" i experience in tarrying with Jesus.

If it is of fear, it is not of the Lord....Game set match!

IMHO
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2012, 12:06:59 PM »

...Game set match!

Amen!
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2012, 06:44:32 AM »

October 2, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Feast of the Guardian Angels


St. Bonaventure and John Duns Scotus observed what St. Francis was
seeing and doing, and took it to the universities of Paris, Cologne, and
Oxford where they translated it into a systematic philosophy and
theology. God, for them as intellectuals, was not just “out there”
but just as much “in here”—the transcendent was also within. Grace
is inherent to creation from the first Chapter of Genesis (1:1-2 [1]). Grace
is not something you invite into the world but something you discover
already in the world.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1:1-2&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

This is why Franciscanism normally had no trouble with evolutionary
thinking. Bonaventure wrote The Tree of Life and The Soul's Journey into
God—images of growth and development from within while basking in the
sunshine from without. Duns Scotus taught “the univocity of all
being,” in other words, that we could use the word “being” with
one consistent voice—for the natural world, animals, humans, angels,
and God. Then he further taught that each act of creation is absolutely
chosen, free, and unique in the universe (his doctrine of haecceity [2]).
Both St. Bonaventure and Duns Scotus created an entire philosophical
system out of Francis’ uneducated, but intuitive, genius.

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

Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 05:20:14 AM »

October 3, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM


In most paintings of people waiting for the Holy Spirit they are looking
upward, with their hands outstretched or raised up, the assumption being
that the Holy Spirit will descend from “up” above. In the Great
Basilica in Assisi where St. Francis is buried, there’s a bronze
statue of him honoring the Holy Spirit. His posture and perspective are
completely different from what we have come to expect. He’s looking
down into the earth with expectation and desire! This is the change of
perspective that became our alternative orthodoxy—although it should
have been mainline orthodoxy! He was merely following the movement of
the Incarnation, since Christians believe that the Eternal Word became
“flesh” (John 1:14 [1]), and it is in the material world that God and
the holy are to be found.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:14&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Francis recognized and took to the logical conclusion the implications
of the Incarnation. If God became flesh in Jesus, then it is in the
world, the physical, the animal, in the natural elements, in human
sexuality that God must be found. Speak of embodiment, physicality, and
the world—use whatever words you want—these are the hiding places
and the revelation places of God. This is how Christianity was supposed
to change everything. Most of us just kept looking up, when God in Jesus
had, in fact, come down. (This is the foundation of Franciscan
mysticism.) On this day in 1226, Francis died at sunset and asked to lie
naked and exposed on the earth as he died. The friars were embarrassed,
but conceded to his wish. Now you know that it made total sense.

Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 05:20:42 AM »


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM
Tuesday, October 4, 2012
Feast of St. Francis


On our great feast day of Francis, let me elaborate a little further on
what we Franciscans believe to be “the Univocity of all Being.”
Univocity, in Latin, means “one voice.” When you speak of God, when
you speak of angels, when you speak of humans, when you speak of
animals, when you speak of trees, when you speak of fish, when you speak
of the earth, you are using the word “Being” univocally, or with one
foundational and common meaning.

They all participate in the same Being to varying degrees. And being is
One, as is God. It might seem like an abstract philosophical position,
but I hope you can see how life-changing it is. Now we have an inclusive
and consistent universe where everything is sacred, where you can’t
divide the world into the sacred and profane anymore. God is revealed in
everything and uses everything without exception (1 Corinthians 15:28 [1],
Colossians 3:11 [2]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+15:28&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians+3:11&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Thus later biographers have brilliantly called Francis “an authentic
spiritual genius” and “our one sincere democrat” (lowercase
“d”). Today we bless all the creatures in his honor!


Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 02:48:28 AM »

October 5, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM


Easter, not Christmas, was the big celebration for the first 1200 years
of Christianity. It was the Franciscans who popularized (and
sentimentalized) Christmas. For Francis, if the Incarnation was true
then Easter took care of itself. He told us to celebrate Jesus’ birth
and created the custom of the creche, or nativity scene. To his normally
fasting friars, he said “Even the walls should eat meat on Christmas
Day!” Incarnation was already redemption for him. Once God became a
human being, then nothing human or worldly was abhorrent to God. The
problem was solved forever.

Resurrection is incarnation coming to its logical conclusion. If God is
already in everything, then everything is from glory and unto glory.
We’re all saved by mercy, without exception. We’re all saved by
grace, so there’s no point in distinguishing degrees of worthiness
because God alone is all good and everything else in creation
participates in that one, universal goodness to varying degrees. There
is no absolute dividing line between worthy and unworthy people in the
eyes of God, because all our worthiness is merely participation in
God’s.


Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Alan
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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2012, 01:54:25 AM »

October 6, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

FRANCISCAN MYSTICISM


The two adjectives most applied to God by Franciscan mysticism were
goodness and humility. Hardly any of us would think to call God humble,
but Francis did. He fell in love with the humility of God because if God
emptied himself and hid himself inside the material world as in Jesus,
and waits so patiently for us to grow up, then God is very humble
indeed.

Francis fell in love more with Jesus’ humanity than with his divinity.
It was his humanity that he wanted to draw close to and imitate. Only in
a humble state, and among the humble, could Francis easily and naturally
see God. He even loved humble creatures like worms, and crickets, and
little lambs because they more truthfully revealed the Mystery of Jesus.

Some art historians say that Western Christian art changed after
Francis. Giotto, the early Renaissance painter and architect, for
example, moved from the depiction of exclusively sacred scenes and
religious icons, to the painting of natural life: animals, nature, and
human encounters. It is never the same afterwards, because this world
and God’s world are now revealing themselves as one.

Prayer:
I will seek the goodness and humility of God.
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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