Reach the universal through concrete encounter. The one is the way to the many; the specific is the way to the spacious; the now is the way to the always; the here is the way to everywhere
The way to any universal idea is to proceed through a concrete encounter (with creation, with people, especially in vulnerability and with those at the margins). The one is the way to the many; the specific is the way to the spacious; the now is the way to the always; the here is the way to everywhere; the material is the way to the spiritual; the visible is the way to the invisible. When we see contemplatively, we know that we live in a fully sacramental universe, where everything is an epiphany.
Epiphany week reflections from Fr. Richard Rohr
We must discover and accept what unique part of the divine mystery is ours to reflect. The most courageous thing we will ever do is to bear humbly the mystery of our own reality, to trust our divine image and grow in God’s likeness. (Sunday)
The world today tends to be cynical about most things. We have a hard time believing in an enchanted world, a sacred or benevolent universe. Why would we if we see only at the surface level? Everywhere we turn, every time we watch the news, we see suffering. We have become skeptical about God’s goodness, humanity’s possibilities, and our planet’s future. We can’t help seeing what is not and are often unable to recognize or appreciate what is, with a deeper seeing or second gaze. From the very beginning, we see that nature is good, humans are good, and God is good. I have never met a loving human being who did not also believe in the foundational goodness of people and all of creation. We are sons and daughters of God, and all creatures are our brothers and sisters. We come forth from God, we have the privilege of co-creating with God, and we will return to God. Each being uniquely reflects part of the mystery of God for a while on this earth, before returning home. Remember, the divine image is objectively held by all people, but we each have to choose to grow in our likeness to God. That is our primary task on this earth. God always sees and loves the image; we tend to get distracted by the likeness. We must discover and accept what unique part of the divine mystery is ours to reflect. All each of us can give back to God is what God has already given to us. We must choose it, respect it, and allow it to blossom.
Contemplation allows us to experience the reality of our participation in God’s nature for ourselves. Once we plug into the Divine consciousness, God can work through us for the good of the world. (Monday)
We are not so much human beings trying to become spiritual. We’re already inherently spiritual beings and our job is learning how to be good humans! (Tuesday)
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to [us] as it is, infinite.” —William Blake (Wednesday)
“Man [sic] is the image of God, and his inner self is a kind of mirror in which God not only sees Himself, but reveals Himself to the ‘mirror’ in which He is reflected.” —Thomas Merton (Thursday)
When we see contemplatively, we know that we live in a fully sacramental universe, where everything is an epiphany. (Friday)
Sunday, January 7, 2018