Richard Rohr

Love greater prevails

I was counseling a young married man recently, and he was very discouraged with himself. No matter what, he could not stop being irritated at others, biting off people’s heads, resenting every little thing. He said in desperation and anguish, “How can I change this? I don’t know how to be different!”He sounded like Paul: “What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”(Romans 7:24). Then I asked him if he was that way with his two little children, and without any hesitation he said, “No, not at all, hardly ever.”

You see the point, I am sure. The only way to be delivered from our “body of death”is a love that is greater, a deeper connection that absorbs all the negativity and irritation with life and with ourselves.  Richard Rohr ‘Breathing Under Water’

spacer

A design for living that really works

Scattered thoughts written by Richard Rohr in ‘Breathing Under Water’

People’s willingness to find God in their own struggle with life—and let it change them—is their deepest and truest obedience to God’s eternal will….“God comes to us disguised as our life!”

……

The Jewish name for the Holy One, literally unspeakable, is “Yahweh,” which we now believe was an imitation of the sound of breathing in and breathing out.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

…..

You see the point, I am sure. The only way to be delivered from our “body of death” is a love that is greater, a deeper connection that absorbs all the negativity and irritation with life and with ourselves. Until we have found our own ground and connection to the Whole, we are all unsettled and grouchy.

…..

Do you know why most of us are called to marriage, and even “saved” by marriage and children, even marriages that do not last forever? Marriage and parenting is made to order to steal you from your selfishness. It first of all reveals your selfishness to you…and then if you stay in there, and fall into a love that is greater, it is usually much easier from there. Not without work, however, because the ego and the shadow do not “go gentle into that good night,” as Dylan Thomas would say.

DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT

Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

spacer

Transfiguring ugliness

The revelation from the cross and the Twelve Steps, however, believes that sin and failure are, in fact, the setting and opportunity for the transformation and enlightenment of the offender—and then the future will take care of itself. It is a mystery that makes sense to the soul and is entirely an “economy of grace,” which makes sense only to those who have experienced it.  –‘Breathing Under Water’ Richard Rohr

spacer

…where sin increased, grace increased all the more…

God does not directly destroy evil, the way our heroic and dualistic minds would like to imagine. God is much wiser, wastes nothing, and includes everything. The God of the Bible is best known for transmuting and transforming our very evils into our own more perfect good. God uses our sins in our own favor! God brings us—through failure—from unconsciousness to ever-deeper consciousness and conscience. How could that not be good news for just about everybody?. –‘Breathing Under Water’ Richard Rohr

waterr

spacer

Loving through wounds

And to be fully honest, I think your heart needs to be broken, and broken open, at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others. As Simeon told Mary, “A sword will pierce your heart, so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare” (Luke 2:35). –‘Breathing Under Water‘  Richard Rohr 

spacer