Richard Rohr and the Ambivalence of Spirituality

I am sharing on this occasion Richard Rohr‘s blog as I have done occasionally.  I will say as I usually do, I really should just shut up and post the link to Rohr’s blog on my blog each day.  He says everything I could ever want to say and more.  But, if I did that, then I wouldn’t have any fun in my life, would I?

Richard appreciates the literary nature of the Bible.  He sees it as a “story’ and therefore needing interpretation.  And, if you think about it, our own life and the life of humankind and of the universe itself is a “story” and it is the job of each generation to interpret this story…and various parts of it…and make it meaningful to the contemporary world.  Richard does an excellent job in this hermeneutic endeavor with the Christian story.



A Big Surprise Meditation 16 of 49

I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever, and revealing them to the little ones. (Luke 10:21 and Matthew 11:25)

We grow spiritually much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. That might just be the central message of how spiritual growth happens; yet nothing in us wants to believe it, and those who deem themselves “morally successful” are often the last to learn it.

If there is such a thing as human perfection, it seems to emerge precisely from how we handle the imperfection that is everywhere, especially our own. What a clever place for God to hide holiness, so that only the humble and earnest will find it! A “perfect” person ends up being one who can consciously forgive and include imperfection (like God does), rather than one who thinks he or she is totally above and beyond any imperfection.

It becomes sort of obvious once you say it out loud. In fact, I would say that the demand for the perfect is often the greatest enemy of the good. Perfection is a mathematical or divine concept; goodness is a beautiful human concept. We see this illusionary perfectionism in ideologues and zealots on both the left and the right of church and state. They refuse to get their hands dirty, think compromise or subtlety are dirty words, and end up creating much more “dirt” for the rest of us, while they remain totally “clean” and quite comfortable in their cleanliness.
Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
pp. xxii-xxiii



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