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Author Topic: Rohr Meditations -- Week of 12/9/2012 -- COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!  (Read 4403 times)
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« on: December 09, 2012, 07:09:21 AM »


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me . . . he has sent me to bring
good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim
liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners.” ~Isaiah 61:1 [1]

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+61:1&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

In this reading from Isaiah, the prophet describes the coming Servant of
Yahweh. It is precisely this quote that Jesus first uses to announce the
exact nature of his own ministry (Luke 4:18-19 [2]). In each case Jesus
describes his work as moving outside of polite and proper limits and
boundaries to reunite things that have been marginalized or excluded by
society: the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the downtrodden.

[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+4:18-19&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Jesus’ ministry is not to gather the so-called good into a private
country club, but to reach out to those on the edge and on the
bottom—to tell those who are “last” that they might just be first!
That is almost the very job description of the Holy Spirit, and
therefore of Jesus. Today some call it God’s unique kind of justice or
“restorative justice.” God present with us and in us, Emmanuel,
justifies things by restoring them to their true and full identity in
Himself, as opposed to “retributive justice” which seeks only reward
and punishment.

Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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ncjohn
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 04:59:57 PM »

Jesus’ ministry is not to gather the so-called good into a private
country club, but to reach out to those on the edge and on the
bottom—to tell those who are “last” that they might just be first!


Gee, and I thought our job was to weed out the slackers so we could have a "smaller, purer church."

Now I'm all confused..... Roll Eyes
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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
Alan
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piggysiggy
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2012, 04:52:59 AM »

December 10, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


    “The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works
    that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me.”
        ~ John 5:36
        http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+5:36&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

The Scriptures very clearly teach what we call today a “bias toward
action.” It is not just belief systems or dogmas and doctrines, as we
have often made it. The Word of God is telling us very clearly that if
you do not do it, you, in fact, do not believe it and have not heard it.

The only way that we become convinced of our own sense of power,
dignity, and the power of God is by actually doing it—by crossing a
line, a line that has a certain degree of nonsensicalness and
unprovability to it—and that’s why we call it faith. In the crossing
of that line, and acting in a new way, then and only then, can we really
believe what we say we believe in the first place. We do not think
ourselves into a new way of living as much as we live ourselves into new
ways of thinking. Lifestyle issues ask much more of us than mere belief
systems.

Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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ncjohn
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 04:14:31 PM »


The Word of God is telling us very clearly that if
you do not do it, you, in fact, do not believe it and have not heard it.


I can go along with this. The idea that "fatih without works is dead." You'll invest yourself totally in what you truly believe in and if you truly love and are grateful to God your actions are going to reflect that.

Quote

We do not think ourselves into a new way of living as much as we live ourselves into new
ways of thinking. Lifestyle issues ask much more of us than mere belief
systems.


I've heard Richard say this many times and I'm just not sure I buy into it. As he notes above, until you truly believe in something you're not likely to invest yourself greatly in it of your own will.

It is true, as I know from experience, that sometimes we have to do something while we don't believe it until we either come to believe it or come back to believing it. For instance I think there are times in every marriage when you things just aren't right and you're tempted to throw in the towel. In my case it took a lot of me forcing myself to tell my wife I loved and cherished her even while I didn't believe it myself until I got back to believing it again.

In general though I think you tend to do repetively what you believe in and your way of thinking is unlikely to change from that. Love and gratitude are conscious responses of will and it takes work over time for them to be ingrained as a way of thinkiing, much less a way of being. I don't think it's likely that you're going to become a loving or grateful person by virtue of acting like one. It's circular because you're not likely to invest yourself in changing unless you think there is a reason or need to change. Even if the inspiration of faith or love comes out of a totally non-dualistic, contemplative state, you are still going to consider and think about how you would implement that and why you would want to.

Maybe I'm missing something in what he's saying though. I know that at times he is just speaking from a higher level of consciousness than I have come to so it's possible he is simply speaking about something for which I just don't yet have a frame of reference.
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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
Alan
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 07:06:00 AM »

December 11, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


One of the major problems in the spiritual life is our attachment to our
own self-image—either positively or negatively created. We confuse
this idea of ourselves with who we actually are in God. Our ideas about
things are not the things in themselves. Concepts of themselves are not
immediate contact with reality.

Who we are, and forever will be, in God, is a much more enduring and
solid foundation. As Paul says, in my paraphrase, I no longer live as a
mere “I,” but Christ lives in me and I live in Christ (Galatians
2:20 [1]). God always sees his son, Jesus, in me, and cannot not love him
(see John 17:22-23 [2]). What the Gospel promises us is that we are
objectively and inherently children of God (see 1 John 3:2 [3]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+2:20&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17:22-23&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV
[3]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+John+3:2&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

This is not a moral worthiness that we attain; it is ontological,
metaphysical, and substantial worthiness, and cannot be gained or lost.
When this given God-image becomes our self-image, we are home free, and
the Gospel is just about the best good news that we can hope for! What a
good word with which to face this dark time of winter; and a happy word
for our friends in Australia and South Africa who are beginning their
summer.


Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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Alan
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 07:25:27 AM »

Jesus’ ministry is not to gather the so-called good into a private
country club, but to reach out to those on the edge and on the
bottom—to tell those who are “last” that they might just be first!


Gee, and I thought our job was to weed out the slackers so we could have a "smaller, purer church."

Now I'm all confused..... Roll Eyes

Our ex-pastor -- the one that banned me from parish property for being a "loose cannon" by telling him of the problems within his ranks -- was of the "smaller, purer Church" mindset.  The result so far has been financial problems so great that the chickens are coming home to roost.  Our school has gone from having to rent portable classrooms to now shutting down a part of the school building and the next thing to go are several of the grades.  Other parishes have had problems like ours and have been lost entirely -- first the school, then the church.  Thank you Father B, for bringing us to where we are now.  Sad

Alan
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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 #6 on: December 12, 2012, 03:44:43 AM »

December 12, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


In more ways than one, we are waiting in darkness. Isaiah prophesied
Jesus’ birth, saying, “The people walking in darkness have seen a
great light” (Isaiah 9:2 [1]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+9:2&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Yet, the darkness will never totally go away. I’ve worked long enough
in ministry to know that moral evil isn’t going to disappear, but the
Gospel offers something much more subtle and helpful: “the light
shines on the inside of the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome
it” (John 1:5 [2]). Such is the Christian form of yin-yang, our own belief
in paradox and mystery.

[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1:5&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

We must all hope and work to eliminate darkness, especially in many of
the great social issues of our time. We wish world hunger could be
eliminated. We wish we could stop wasting the earth’s resources on
armaments. We wish we could stop killing people from womb to tomb.

But at a certain point, we have to surrender to the fact that the
darkness is part of reality, and my logical mind does not know why. But
the only real question becomes how to trust the light, receive the
light, and spread the light. That is not a capitulation to evil any more
than the cross was a capitulation to evil. It is real transformation
into the unique program of the Crucified and Risen Christ. This is the
one pattern that redeems reality instead of punishing evil or thinking
we can eliminate it entirely. Our main job is to face it in ourselves.


Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2012, 12:03:07 PM »


It is true, as I know from experience, that sometimes we have to do something while we don't believe it until we either come to believe it or come back to believing it. For instance I think there are times in every marriage when you things just aren't right and you're tempted to throw in the towel. In my case it took a lot of me forcing myself to tell my wife I loved and cherished her even while I didn't believe it myself until I got back to believing it again.


Well, it perhaps you "did" something there that led to a "belief".  Bill Glasser writes about it too.  He draws a triangle between "think" "feel" and "do".  He says that it so common that people can see that what we feel affects what we think, and vice versa.  He draws arrows. Also, he says it is very easy to see that what we think and feel affect what we do.  What we don't realize is that the arrows go back the other direction from what we do, that what we do also affects what we think and feel. 

This can be as subtle as the smile that Thich Nhat Hanh says to do in meditation.  For me, though, when I choose to do stuff for my wife, I find myself filled with love.  It really works for me.  There also is certainly some effect when one does something nice for people that one doesn't know. 

The phenomenon also must have something to do with the results of a study I read recently, that people give more money to charity when you have them recall giving before.  There is an additive effect.
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ncjohn
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 03:24:40 PM »


Well, it perhaps you "did" something there that led to a "belief".  Bill Glasser writes about it too.  He draws a triangle between "think" "feel" and "do".  He says that it so common that people can see that what we feel affects what we think, and vice versa.  He draws arrows. Also, he says it is very easy to see that what we think and feel affect what we do.  What we don't realize is that the arrows go back the other direction from what we do, that what we do also affects what we think and feel. 

This can be as subtle as the smile that Thich Nhat Hanh says to do in meditation.  For me, though, when I choose to do stuff for my wife, I find myself filled with love.  It really works for me.  There also is certainly some effect when one does something nice for people that one doesn't know. 

The phenomenon also must have something to do with the results of a study I read recently, that people give more money to charity when you have them recall giving before.  There is an additive effect.

I think we're back into the catch-22, or chicken-egg, situation here. All the situations you're describing here involve first deciding to do something and then feeling something due to the results.

Yes, there is the ongoing feedback loop so that you always have one thing influencing the next. But in the end, outside of autonomic responses, actions are the results of thoughts. You will indeeed have emotions in some cases that are reflective of the results that may enourage or discourage repeating the action. But you don't, except maybe in rare cases like sleepwalking, engage in actions outside of conscious thought. Even doing something good, that you also perceive as good, does not guarantee that you'll desire to do it again since others may influence how you fee about or evaluat it, or even your own evaluation may find it not worth the amount of effort involved.

The idea that you are going to act your way into a new way of thinking without first having considered the action just isn't making sense to me. But I'm still able to consider that I may just be missing what he was trying to say.
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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 #9 on: December 13, 2012, 11:34:16 AM »

December 13

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!
 
 
When the Scriptures are used maturely, they proceed in this order:

1. They confront us with a bigger picture than we are used to, “God’s kingdom” that has the potential to “deconstruct” our false and smaller kingdoms.

2. They then have the power to convert us to an alternative worldview by proclamation, grace, and the sheer attraction of the good, the true, and the beautiful (not by shame, guilt, or fear which are low-level motivations, but which operate more quickly and so churches often resort to them).

3. They then console us and bring deep healing as they “reconstruct” us in a new place with a new mind and heart.
Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, pp. 64-65


Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
 
 
 
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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 #10 on: December 14, 2012, 06:44:38 AM »

December 14, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


Kingdom people are history makers. They break through the small kingdoms
of this world to an alternative and much larger world, God’s full
creation. People who are still living in the false self are history
stoppers. They use God and religion to protect their own status and the
status quo of the world that sustains them. They are often fearful
people, the nice proper folks of every age who think like everybody else
thinks and have no power to break through, or as Jesus’ opening words
put it, “to change” (Mark 1:15 [1], Matthew 4:17 [2]).

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+1:15&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV
[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+4:17&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

Why do we love and admire kingdom people like Mary and Joseph, and then
not imitate their faith journeys, their courage, their non-reassurance
by the religious system? These were two laypeople who totally trusted
their inner experience of God and who followed it to Bethlehem and
beyond. Mary and Joseph walked in courage and blind faith that their own
experience was true—with no one to reassure them they were right.
Their only safety net was God’s love and mercy, a safety net they must
have tried out many times, or else they would never have been able to
fall into it so gracefully.


Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, pp. 66-68
https://cac.org/store/books/item/1040-preparing-for-christmas-larger-size


Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2012, 02:33:20 AM »

December 15, 2012


Richard's Daily Meditations

COME EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US!


G. K. Chesterton wrote, “When a person has found something which he
prefers to life itself, he [sic] for the first time has begun to
live.”

Jesus in his proclamation of the kingdom told us what we could prefer to
life itself. The Bible ends by telling us we are called to be a people
who could say, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20 [1]), who could
welcome something more than business as usual and live in God’s Big
Picture. We all have to ask for the grace to prefer something to our
small life because we have been offered the Shared Life, the One Life,
the Eternal Life, God’s Life that became visible for us in this world
as Jesus.

[1]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+22:20&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;KJV

What we are all searching for is Someone to surrender to, something we
can prefer to life itself. Well here is the wonderful surprise: God is
the only one we can surrender to without losing ourselves! The irony is
that we actually find ourselves, but now in a whole new and much larger
field of meaning.


Adapted from Preparing for Christmas with Richard Rohr, pp. 45, 71-73
https://cac.org/store/books/item/1040-preparing-for-christmas-larger-size


Prayer:
Come Emmanuel, God with us!
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2012, 11:03:23 AM »

What we are all searching for is Someone to surrender to, something we
can prefer to life itself.


Amen. Not many guides out there though to lead the way.
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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 #13 on: December 15, 2012, 01:02:28 PM »

December 15, 2012

Well here is the wonderful surprise: God is
the only one we can surrender to without losing ourselves! The irony is
that we actually find ourselves, but now in a whole new and much larger
field of meaning.


Also this is where I think it's critical that the God we surrender to is not actually an idol.  For example: if we surrender to the "god" that is our value systems for ourselves, or someone else's value system for us, we are being completely fooled and it's not going to work.  If we surrender to a God who is arbitrary and mean and looking for us to sin at every turn, it's not going to work.  If we surrender to a God that is really social pressure from other religious people, it's not going to work.  If we surrender to a God who is keenly interested in whom we vote for, same thing.

The God who I am interesting in falls pretty closely to that described in the Cloud of the Unknowing.  God is beyond my ability to image or even abstract, so I cannot have an image of "God Himself," but only in a mental construct I have personally built.  My analytical mind wants to isolate this "God" but it cannot because God is beyond human analysis.  That's why it gets so complicated when we try to figure Him out, and why it's so crucial to understand that God's thoughts and ways are not like ours.  (As is iterated several times in scripture.)  If we fail to fully recognize that we will spend our lifetime chasing images and idols that we construct, or otherwise adopt.

Alan
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