Thursday, March 31, 2011

RIVER OF LOVE - Richard Rohr

"When we learn to enjoy and trust the presence of God, we will naturally turn to that presence in prayer.  When the church is no longer teaching the people how to pray, we could almost say it will have lost its reason for existence.  Prayer is the ultimate empowerment of the people of God, and that may be why we clerics prefer laws and guilt, though they often disempower us and make us live in insufficiency and doubt.  Prayer, however, gives us a sense of abundance and connectedness. An overemphasis on social prayer (i.e. attendance at services where the clergy happen to be in charge) has left many of our people passive, without a personal prayer life and comfortable with “handed-down religion” instead of first-hand experience.  We don’t do God any favors by keeping the people passive and unaware."

~ Richard Rohr From Everything Belongs, p. 147 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Where do contemplative people come from? Contemplative people come from all walks of life and personalities. Eventually, contemplative people seem to take on some of the same characteristics like simplicity, justice, caring for the poor, but these characteristics are more the fruit of a contemplative life than common characteristics present at the beginning of a contemplative journey.

The common characteristic of contemplative people is that they all seem to have been visited by grace in a way that tore back the veil to time and eternity. Author James Finley eloquently puts it this way, looking back:

…We are able to see moments of love, birth, religious experience, justice, aesthetic inspiration, or of sensing the incomprehensible stature of simple things, we glimpsed a great depth, which we intuit to be the hidden depths of the life we are living*…
These glimpses into the depths “have occasioned within us the DESIRE for a more abiding, daily awareness of the depths so fleetingly glimpsed*” along with the “riddles*” or mystery that go along with them. 

This weekend I have been feeling this desire; the desire to abide, and to be constantly aware of the divinity of the present moment. How about you? Looking back...Was there a time in your life where you sensed there must be something more? Did you have a "glimpse into the depth of things? Maybe at some point you sensed the "incomprehensible stature of simple things?" Or through a "moment of love, birth, religious experience, justice, aesthetic inspiration" you sensed the "depths of the life you are living."

Learning to pray: If you have the desire to abide and live in the present moment and mystery of God’s grace, accept the invitation to “join in the general dance*.”

*“Contemplative Heart” James Finley

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Litany of Penitence for Lent

We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people

We confess to you, Lord.

Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.

Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

We confess to you, Lord.

Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

Accept our repentance, Lord. 
Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us; 
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great. 
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
 By the cross and passion of your Son our Lord, 
Bring us with all your saints to the joy of his resurrection.