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Author Topic: Rohr Aug 21, 2013 -- It Is All About How You See  (Read 5774 times)
Alan
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« on: August 21, 2013, 03:57:07 AM »

Aug 21, 2013

It Is All About How You See
Meditation 26 of 53


I think the contemplative mind is the most absolute assault on the
secular or rational worldview, because it really is a different mind—a
very different point of view—that pays attention to different things.

The mind that I call the “small self” or the “false self” reads
everything in terms of personal advantage and short-term effort.
“What’s in it for me?” “How will I look?” “How will I look
good?” As long as you read reality from the reference point of the
small self of “how I personally feel” or “what I need or want,”
you cannot get very far. The lens never opens up.

Thus, the great religions have taught that we need to change the seer
much more than just telling people what to see—that is contemplation.
It does not tell people what to see as much as how to see.


Adapted from CAC Foundation Set: Gospel Call to Compassionate Action
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Linda Clare
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 11:07:59 AM »

Isn't that what the celebration of the Mass is supposed to lead the people to understand.  I have been to small group celebrations during retreats where we gather together and then file in like sheep to the celebration area.  It's so beautiful and meaningful to be a part of such a gathering.  Sometimes the mob mentality seeps into the weekly church celebration, especially on Easter!  Police are hired to protect us and the doors are closed and guarded.  It's necessary because people have been killed especially on Easter Sunday. 
 
I wonder if it's possible to create the retreat atmosphere at a weekly church Mass, especially on Easter Sunday.  I also wonder why Priests are moved around so much.  It takes a known leader to put people in that comfort zone of contemplation, but things seem so chaotic in many churches because of constant changes.  Even the music keeps changing for reasons I don't think are valid.  Politics have no business in a church that is a hierarchy not a democracy.  It causes division and destroys the peace that Sunday Mass is supposed to offer us a respite from.  Am I naive to long for unity?  I feel that our goal should be creating a peaceful atmosphere where we contemplate together.  Harmony in the Church must be achieved before individual contemplation will truly be successful.  (Somehow that came to me, I don't know if it's true).
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 10:07:55 PM »

Minds  and hearts need to be open to listen to the real questions and concerns that we have.  I don't care what the message of the day is supposed to be.  Forget the hierarchy and their thinking we're a bunch of sheep waiting for their brilliance to inspire us and lead us into contemplation over some contrived subject. 

The laity are the ones that Jesus was looking for to spread God's love.  Maybe we need to focus on what kind of people Jesus was drawn to.  The mass should be a lovely celebration of the word of God.  It should not have anything to do with fear of heaven or hell.  The sacraments are celebrations of love, the journey of life, ointment of the sick and dying.  I question what their meaning has become. 

I want to be drawn back to the faith, but I don't get the point right now.  I definitely don't want any them and they stuff, that's why the world is the mess that it is.  So many opinions, yet not many answers.  I'm so sad about the disrespect towards our President.  I don't know why, yet I hear so many short insults with no meaning to me.

We've had work done to our house because I did something really stupid, left the water on.  Mexicans have done the repair and they work with no breaks!  Yet, FB is constantly posting anti immigration posts.  Where is all this hate coming from?

Sorry for my ranting, this has been a tough summer for me.  You have no idea what I've had to endure.  This will most likely be my last post.  I somehow don't think I belong here.  Thanks for listening if you are.
Love,
Linda
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 08:38:08 AM »

Sorry for my ranting, this has been a tough summer for me.  You have no idea what I've had to endure.  This will most likely be my last post.  I somehow don't think I belong here.  Thanks for listening if you are.

I hope you don't leave Linda. I may not always respond but I am "listening." I know you have had much to deal with, especially with your mother and sister. And I know that you also have other longer term burdens that you bear.

Forget the hierarchy and their thinking we're a bunch of sheep waiting for their brilliance to inspire us and lead us into contemplation over some contrived subject.

I don't think what we have is what Jesus intended at all. I look at the early church which consisted of small groups supporting each other both spiritually and materially, all while living in fear of persecution. The whole hierarchical structure and "imperial" presence came from the Church becoming legalized and eventually being at the top of the heap and getting way too full of itself. While I don't think any of us would choose to live in fear and under persecution there is little doubt in my mind that those circumstances are where we are most led to actually live the gospel and "own" our faith.
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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 #4 on: September 05, 2013, 03:53:29 PM »

I agree, John.  The Church is what it is, but the politics bother my conscience. 

 I guess I'm pulling back because I'm embarrassed with my own openness.  I've never been on anything like this before and and after I put it out there, I read it and swallow hard with what I read.  I feel self centered which I normally am not.  I need to deal with this through prayer and then return when I'm ready to help others.

I don't expect you or anyone to answer me, I've been gone on and off all summer!  I'm not following other people at all.  I worry more about bringing others down, since I'm going through a lot.  I'll be back when I have more positive things to say.

You are so sweet and helpful!  This has nothing to do with not being answered.
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Linda Clare
Alan
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 06:37:38 AM »

Linda Clare,

Like John, I have been paying attention and reading here, as well.  For a couple reasons I haven't been posting too much lately, but the biggest one is that I actually got involved in another group where I could do some venting and have some discussions even much more direct and honest than I have ever had here -- and frankly even dare to have here -- and have been spending a lot of time there and not looking at how to grow WordsFree.  It has helped me a lot, and opened me up tremendously.  I feel like a couple months in that group has done a lot to undo some of the damage and inhibitions I got after being on CAF so much for over 8 years.  It is a group like I've never imagined before, and has done so much for me it's giving me ideas on some things to do with WordsFree.  I never really delved as far into my "shadow self" with anyone before, but have revealed things within the group that I never thought I'd say to anyone ever, and it turns out I'm not so different than the others.  Stuff that I can hardly think to tell anyone I know, especially a priest.  There are some therapists, doctors, drug addicts, straight, gay/lesbian, bi, and quite a few people I have no idea what they do in "real life."  They can speak of things religious and sacrilegious, and have love and hugs and incredibly strongly worded insults, all in the same thread; it's not for the faint of heart.  The discussions go so fast at times that I can literally be sitting right there watching the posts come in and can't keep up with reading and responding.  Some teach yoga, Zen, and other disciplines and many of them know far more about some of the world's masters of enlightenment (or "waking up" or "born of the spirit" or "entering the kingdom" or as Richard Rohr calls it, starting the second half of spiritual life) and they have a direct way of speaking I've never participated in before.  Several have written books; I downloaded and am reading the Kindle version of one written by a guy who used to be a Buddhist then a Jesuit monk Francis Bennett, called "I Am that I Am."  It has been of immense value to be in the same group as these people, to where I've opened up myself, amazingly -- and most people thought I was already pretty "opened up."  Grin

So in essence I've kind of been "on retreat" but if there is one thing I've learned, is that in the right environment where I can open up without inhibitions or trying to "color inside the lines," I've learned about myself and others in way that have really moved me along myself to get used to all the new ideas and ways of thinking I've come to enjoy over the last few years.  People who know me IRL have noticed the difference.  My pastor has appointed me to the pastoral council, and I am going to co-chair a communications effort to the parish that is critical for us in a time of great financial stress in the parish, and I'm totally up to it.

I have Forkfoot to thank for bringing me into the group.  As he says, all in the group are "enlighteny" in that they are all seeking spiritual growth, but not all are "enlightened."  And they can fight and bicker as well as they joust, but in a refreshingly honest way, even amazingly rude at times (no way can I overstate that) -- but there is an overall concern and love for Truth and for each other that overshadows the whole thing.  In fact, I was going to come here and post about it, but I'll mention now that my mother died Wednesday; I did not post it on my public Facebook, but I did post within the group.  Because as wild as they are, they are not shallow like most of my "public" friends on FB seem to be.  In short, this has been some very intensive group therapy for me!  Cool

When I see that you have felt bad about being too open, my first reaction is that's exactly the kind of thing we hope we can help you with; being honest with yourself through being honest with others and sharing reactions.  And as always, we have controls so if there are things too sensitive to share, or that you want to, John and I can set up restricted access sections, and of course we also have member-only sections.

So I feel kind of bad about not posting here much, but I do come here and read what is posted.  But I have gained so much and I'm ready to put that to work in helping others.  I hope you stick around because I think we're just seeing the tip of the iceberg about how to get to "where we want to go" (the kingdom) and how much healing there is to be had.  And if you feel like you're "pushing it" by revealing some of these things, as long as you have a loving and accepting environment -- particularly one where others have useful things to say to you -- I think it just might do you and us a lot of good.  I haven't even taken time to tell John about any of this, so he'll find out here and now.  For myself, I have noticeably "leveled up" and continue to heal even after I believed I was healed.  I wish to start bringing some of that back here.  Smiley

Alan
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 08:31:12 AM »

Quote Linda:
I feel self centered which I normally am not.  I need to deal with this through prayer and then return when I'm ready to help others.

Linda, this is exactly what this site is here for and why it has been of such tremendous value to the small handful of us who have been here for a long time.

We all have times when we're carrying the cross and times when we're helping someone else do that. There is nothing "self centered" about being on the receiving end and it is an honor to us--as I know you would recognize it to be to you--on those occasions when we're able to be on the helping end.

In our self-reliant society though it may actually be more important for us to learn how to accept help gracefully when we need it. In fact it is a great thing, however humbling and even embarrassing it may feel, to learn how to be able to make ourselves vulnerable enough to let others know we could use some help.

This is exactly the small group "church" that I was referring to from the early church. When you're a small group you can know each other well and actually come to care about each other in ways that are too overwhelming in large groups, especially the megaparish setting. It is the small home church where we support and nourish each other, and hold each other accountable in ways that are acceptable because of the credibility we hold with each other.

As Alan noted, if what you want or need to talk about is sensitive we would be more than happy to set up an area where we confine it to those you can feel comfortable with and  you can invite them there.

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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 #7 on: September 06, 2013, 08:32:26 AM »

Wow Alan, no I didn't know any of that. I'm sorry to hear about your mother though from what little I did know I don't think this would have been unexpected.
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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 #8 on: September 06, 2013, 06:32:17 PM »

Alan,
I'm so sorry you lost your mom.  My mom seems to on her last leg also.  It's been a very tough summer being around the family when every one has so much pain to deal with right now.   I know I need some help with so many issues that continue to surface.  I hope you're doing well with such a void in your life.  Is your family supportive and together during this difficult time?

Your new job sounds right up your alley!  I know you"ll be terrific at it.  I enjoyed helping people when I was the director of music.  I spent a lot of time on the phone.  After the parish changed, I felt like I had no business spending time on the phone.  Many if the musicians still miss that extra time I spent as a pastoral musician. 

I hope you'll be more specific in how you have been helped.  I don't think I'm a namby pamby, and I was accepted by the liberal movement in the Church.  I was Tom Conry's accompanist at a retreat in the mountains.  He and the leaders were so enthusiastic!  That was over 20 years ago.  They talked about the Kingdom on earth.  I felt like it was an extraordinary journey they were on and I so wanted to be a part of it.  Then, life slammed into me and I went to battle.  The last few years have been a much needed rest for me.

I so much appreciate you and John taking the time to write me.  I have felt so alone and lost lately.  I'm not depressed,  because I have a wonderful husband and terrific friends.  I'm just feeling shallow somewhat for thinking of myself first when the family says things that are so absurd to me.  I don't even know what day it is.  I'm just dreading what's ahead of me.  That shows no faith on my part and I know that.

I hope you will bring that enthusiasm and bluntness to this group, Allen.
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« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2013, 11:48:04 AM »

Alan,
I'm so sorry you lost your mom.  My mom seems to on her last leg also.  It's been a very tough summer being around the family when every one has so much pain to deal with right now.   I know I need some help with so many issues that continue to surface.  I hope you're doing well with such a void in your life.  Is your family supportive and together during this difficult time?
Yes, very supportive.  And as far as things go, everything was as calm as could be.  Her funeral has been prearranged and prepaid for two years now; she even picked out her own prayer cards and flowers and stuff.  And the paperwork for her and my dad's trust are all in order.  So complication-wise, about all we still needed to do is set a date, finalize the wording of the Obit, provide her burial clothes and recent photos for the hair/makeup, and pick the hymns and readings for Mass.  (Actually I thought we'd done that but apparently not.)  I totally advise preplanning, and if possible, pre-paying for funerals.  Compared to my dad's in 2002, where we had to go in after the fact and sit for hours making a ton of decisions when we least wanted to, this is a piece of cake.  As far as prepaying, they said funeral costs double about every 8 years.  All the services -- including catering at the wake and everything -- are all guaranteed; the only prices that are subject to change and adjustment are for the transportation from Wichita to Chicago, and the cost of the obituary listings -- which are expensive as hell IMO.

Quote
I hope you'll be more specific in how you have been helped.  I don't think I'm a namby pamby, and I was accepted by the liberal movement in the Church.  I was Tom Conry's accompanist at a retreat in the mountains.  He and the leaders were so enthusiastic!  That was over 20 years ago.  They talked about the Kingdom on earth.  I felt like it was an extraordinary journey they were on and I so wanted to be a part of it.  Then, life slammed into me and I went to battle.  The last few years have been a much needed rest for me.

The kingdom is on earth.  I know that from personal experience because I was one of the fortunate ones.  I have lots of opinions on the wide/narrow path thing, but I guarantee it's not just a "lottery" and I just happened to get lucky.  It may be a gift, but there is more to it in my experience than just going around wishing and praying something to happen.

Quote
I so much appreciate you and John taking the time to write me.  I have felt so alone and lost lately.  I'm not depressed,  because I have a wonderful husband and terrific friends.  I'm just feeling shallow somewhat for thinking of myself first when the family says things that are so absurd to me.  I don't even know what day it is.  I'm just dreading what's ahead of me.  That shows no faith on my part and I know that.
When Jesus said, "But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."

Interesting that "of God" is in parenthesis.  If Jesus's experience is anything like mine, each person can have a "kingdom" which shares characteristics of Jesus's, but it personal.

Anyway when He says "seek the kingdom," to me that translates roughly into "do what you need for your own mental health, and everything else will come easier."  I think it's perfectly wonderful for us to take care of ourselves, and shameful that people would lay on us that doing so is self-centered and therefore somehow "bad."  Like in an airplane emergency, you put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help others with theirs.  Wink

Quote
I hope you will bring that enthusiasm and bluntness to this group, Allen.

I will.  I'm on limited time right now, but just to stir things up I'll make a couple random comments.  These are things I believe myself, not necessarily from the group; there isn't a whole lot of talk about Catholic there, although it does come up from time to time. I just feel more empowered to write these things now that I've been in the group and seen an environment like that.  There, personal opinion is of value.  On CAF, having personal viewpoints about the things of the kingdom is probably what got me banned; apparently you can only speak of the kingdom if you are mindlessly quoting "approved" sources.

That's why I'm sure those in the Church that actually work on and live the teaching of Jesus are all hidden away in cloisters and monasteries; the things they would have to say wouldn't fly well with many bishops and priests, whose primary interests are in protecting the Church, not shepherding the people in the current generation.  And for God's sake, if more Catholics actually understood Jesus's teachings, Catholic Answers would go out of business -- so they must silence their mystics.  If they do say something critical of the Church, let's make sure to kill them and then if after the fact we make them saints, they can no longer judge our stupidity.

So how about another one ... Ahem:  "entering the kingdom" and "being virtuous" are two completely different things.  The first is a condition of the mind and its way of interpreting the surrounding world; the second is behavioral adherence to a moral code.

OK here's another one:  "entering the kingdom" doesn't require actual belief in the things we profess in the Creed.  The Creed is useful to keep the Church in alignment with its past and project it into the future, but IMO of only intellectual value to any given sheep of Jesus.  The scripture are so clear on this -- that it isn't about a bunch of head knowledge and theology -- it's painful.... here are but a couple examples:

1 Cor 8:1b-2
... we realize that “all of us have knowledge”; knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up.  If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know.

And yet, every week we all say, "we believe that we KNOW these things to be true."  And we obsess over the technicalities of moral this and that.

1 Cor 1:17-25
17  For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence,* so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning.

18
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19
For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
20
Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
21
For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
22
For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23
but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,o
24
but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.


This is why Jesus's true teachings do not align with the business plan of those who make profit by being apologists and trying to make everybody else into one.  Angry

OK here's another thing controversial:  I think it's ridiculous that using condoms is considered a sin.  The only justifications I've heard for this are stupid.  Onan-ism is the main one I've heard to justify this teaching; it's ridiculous to form a moral code out of God getting pissed off because a guy didn't want to knock up someone other than his own wife.  Besides, that in Genesis anyway which the Church herself teaches is figurative.  And if we are going to hold condoms as sinful because of Onan's situation, then it should also be a sin NOT to impregnate your brother's wife if the brother dies and leaves her without a son.  Does not compute.

There, hope that gets it rolling... Wink

Alan
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2013, 01:46:43 PM »

Oh, and as always, all opinions are welcome -- whether or not they agree with my own.  Smiley

Alan
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2013, 11:34:03 PM »

Got Mom buried today.  Heading back to Wichita tomorrow.  We will stay overnight in St. Louis at the seminary where Matt lives.  We stayed there on the way, and it was very cool.  They put Andrew in a student room, and Julie and me in a guest room.  Then we went to 7:30 Mass and had breakfast with all the kids.
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2013, 05:55:25 PM »

I'm glad to hear everything went well.  Your lives sound wonderful!
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