Monday, July 20, 2009

Here or Not


Sometimes, when you are living this intensely and this painfully, it's difficult to figure out whether you are present to your life or whether you've inadvertently slipped away for awhile.

And so for some pondering, today I'm stealing this from The Mercy Blog:

I would love to make you love Scripture, and go there for yourself, to find both your own inner experience named, and some outer validation of the same.

Only when the two come together, inner and outer authority, do we have true spiritual wisdom.

We have for too long insisted on outer authority alone, without any teaching of prayer, inner journey and maturing consciousness. The results for the world and for religion have been disastrous.


I am increasingly convinced that the word prayer, which has become a functional and pious thing for believers to do, is, in fact a descriptor for inner experience. That is why all spiritual teachers mandate prayer so much. They are saying, “Go inside and know for yourself!”

I offer these reflections to again unite what should never have been separated: Sacred Scripture and Christian spirituality…

This marvelous anthology of books and letters called the Bible is all for the sake of astonishment! It’s for divine transformation, theosis, not intellectual or “small self” cosiness.

The genius of the biblical revelation is that we will come to God through what I’m going to call the “actual,” the here and now, or quite simply what is…

God is always given, incarnate in every moment and present to those who know how to be present themselves.

Let’s state it clearly: One great idea of the biblical revelation is that God is manifest in the ordinary, in the actual, in the daily, in the now, in the concrete incarnations of life. That’s opposed to God holding out for the pure, the spiritual, the right idea or the ideal anything. This is why Jesus stands religion on its head!

That is why I say it is our experiences that transform us if we are willing to experience our experiences all the way through.

“God comes disguised as our Life” (a wonderful line I learned from my dear friend and colleague, Paula D’Arcy).

~ Richard Rohr, from Things Hidden pp. 5, 7, 15-17

8 comments:

karengberger said...

Father Rohr's book of daily devotions, "Radical Grace," is the only one I could read (a little bit, every day) while Katie was sick, and for months after her passing. He never sugar-coats the truth; he always deals with life as it is, and helps me to find God in the midst of it. I love his daily emails & books. Hearing him speak again (last September) was a huge gift. He is, for me, a real example of what Jesus was trying to get us to see (and be). Glad that we share admiration for what God has given us in him.

Karen and Joe said...

I especially love the last line, thanks to your friend, Paul. I'm trying to be present in my life, but know that I escape a lot into denial and numbness. I'm absorbing my new painful reality one small bit at a time. Trying to integrate, but it's a slow train coming. It hurts.

Gannet Girl said...

I think that's Richard Rohr's friend Paul! I was just going to try to find out who he is . . .

And yes, it's excruciating. One mopped floor at a time.

Gannet Girl said...

A very quick google search indicates that the individual in question is a Paula not a Paul.

That's what I get for lifting a quote without checking it!

MikeF said...

Glad you found it worth lifting! I just thought it was wonderful... but I didn't discover that Paul was Paula either... Oops... Corrected now!

Daisy said...

That's a great quote, GG. Thank you for that. I've only read one Rohr book (Everything Belongs) and really appreciated it. I agree with Karen, above, about his non-sugar-coating and am grateful for it.

Mich

karengberger said...

His friend is Paula D'Arcy, a writer who experienced the excruciating deaths of both her husband and young daughter at the same time (in a car accident). She alone survived, with her unborn baby, who is now a grown woman. Paula has written several beautiful books; "The Gift of the Red Bird" is one I highly recommend. She also has a website: http://www.redbirdfoundation.com/2.html

Gannet Girl said...

Thank you so much for the link, Karen. You probably know from reading this blog that we lost my 28yo mother and year old brother in the same way.