Monday, July 24, 2017

Photo: Summer Browns

Spirituality: "Christ is the Archetype" Richard Rohr

Christ is the Archetype and Model for the rest of creation as Scripture clearly teaches (Ephesians 1:3-14; Colossians 1:15-20). Yet Christians have instead focused on proving that Jesus is “God,” which felt necessary to put our group out in front and to solidify our own ranks. By pulling Jesus out of the Trinity and making him a mere “problem solver,” Christianity has no overarching vision or explanation for what it all means. We haven’t fully understood how the Christ “holds all things together” (Colossians 1:17). We were more eager to make Jesus the “top” than to make him the “whole,” and thus we ended up with a religion largely concerned with exclusion.

As a result, Christianity constantly divided into smaller tribes. “Why do you try to parcel up Christ?” Paul asked (see 1 Corinthians 1:13). Jesus became an arguable “text” outside of any larger “context.” If the Eternal Christ is forgotten or ignored, Jesus becomes far too small, a mere local “god” instead of a universal principle. Many Christians still see the universe as incoherent, without inherent sacredness, a center, direction, or purpose beyond personal survival itself. Many Christians focus on “saving their own soul” with little care for the world as a whole. Massive disbelief is the result. It is hard to feel privately holy or good when the universe is neither holy nor good.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Photo: Archways

Spirituality: The Joy of the Gospel, Par. 10

The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: “Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others”. When the Church summons Christians to take up the task of evangelization, she is simply pointing to the source of authentic personal fulfilment. For “here we discover a profound law of reality: that life is attained and matures in the measure that it is offered up in order to give life to others. This is certainly what mission means”. Consequently, an evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral! Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ”.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Photo: A Sleepy Saturday

Spirituality: The Joy of the Gospel, Par. 9

Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others. As it expands, goodness takes root and develops. If we wish to lead a dignified and fulfilling life, we have to reach out to others and seek their good. In this regard, several sayings of Saint Paul will not surprise us: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14); “Woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).

Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo: The Seal

Prayer: Thomas Aquinas

Give us, O Lord, steadfast hearts, which no unworthy affection may drag downward. Give us unconquered hearts, which no tribulation can wear out. Give us upright hearts, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo: Heart and Soul

Spirituality: "Awakenings" Richard Rohr

Suddenly, your awareness of this awakens you to that which transcends this. By “this” I mean whatever it is you might happen to be aware of at the moment when the awakening occurs. Your heart quickens by this friend’s unexpected act of kindness. Or perhaps the expansion of awareness occurs as you are looking down into the upturned face of this child. Or you may look up to see this lone bird circling in a cloudless sky. In a fleeting flash you realize that there is nothing missing anywhere. The reality of everything around us is manifesting the fullness of reality itself.

The coming and going of our moments of awakening begin to graze our hearts with longing. This is what makes us seekers of the inner way—this longing, in which we find ourselves going about with a certain holy discontent, restlessness, or homesickness. Consciously and unconsciously, we go about asking: Why do I spend so many of my waking hours trapped on the outer circumference of the inner richness of the life I am living? How can I live in more daily abiding awareness of the transcendent depths so fleetingly glimpsed?