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Author Topic: Rohr Nov 27, 2013 -- Looking Over Its Shoulder  (Read 708 times)
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« on: November 27, 2013, 06:12:48 AM »

Nov 27, 2013
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation:
Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy
---------------------------------------------------

Quote
Seventh Theme: Reality is paradoxical and complementary. Non-dual
thinking is the highest level of consciousness. Divine union, not
private perfection, is the goal of all religion (Goal).


Looking Over Its Shoulder
Meditation 19 of 52


Our practice of contemplation is not the avoiding of “distractions,”
as was foolishly taught, but instead we use them “to look over their
shoulder” for God! This was the brilliant insight of the author of the
fourteenth-century book, The Cloud of Unknowing [1] (Chapter 32). The
persistence of the distraction can actually have the effect of steadying
your gaze, deepening your decision, increasing your freedom, your
choice, and your desire for God and for grace—over this or that
passing phenomenon. The same can be true with any persistent temptation.

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

The “shoulders” of the distraction almost become your necessary
vantage point and they create the crosshairs of your seeing. Who would
have thought? It is an ideal example of how God uses everything to bring
us to God. I wasted years on trying to deny, repress, or avoid
distractions and “dirty” thoughts—which never worked very well.
Many gave up on prayer and the spiritual life because of it.

It is not the avoidance of problems that makes you a contemplative, but
a daily holding of the problem, straight on (while not letting it hold
onto you)—and finding a resolution in the much deeper and more
spacious “peace of Christ, which will guard your heart and your
mind” (Philippians 4:7 [2]). I never knew it would take such hourly
vigilance to guard my heart and my mind from anger, judgment, fear,
jealousy, and negativity of any kind. Only the vast peace of Christ can
do it. Now it is almost my only daily discipline, much, much harder than
poverty, chastity, and obedience ever were!

[2]: http://biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+4:7&version=NIV;MSG;DRA;EXB


Adapted from Contemplation in Action, p. 18
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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