Richard Rohr: Everything Belongs

In his daily meditations e-mail, Friar Richard Rohr wrote today:

I believe that we have no real access to who we really are except in God. Only when we rest in God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be

who we are,
all that we are,
more than we are,
and less than we are.

Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.”

All other systems exclude, expel, punish, and protect to find identity for their members, usually in ideological perfection or some kind of “purity.” The contaminating element always has to be searched out and scolded. Apart from taking up so much useless time and energy, this effort keeps us from the one and only task of love and union.

I just love that final paragraph. It's not entirely accurate to say "all OTHER systems," though. Christianity, in its pure or ideal form, may not be inherently exclusive. But in practice, we have been just as guilty of excluding, expelling, punishing, protecting, and avoiding "the other." That named thing we blame for... everything. Whatever that other is.

Still, it's encouraging to be reminded that in its DNA, Christianity retains an embracing spirit - an attitude of universal redemption and reconciliation: all things in created harmony.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

Thanks for the quote, Peter. I'm fairly new to Richard Rohr's writing, but in the last year or so I've found his ideas have had quite an impact on me. It seems like he dredges up some deep, deep truths that maybe subconsciously I always knew were there but were never brought into the light.

As far as the above quote, I'm not sure that Rohr is trying to elevate christianity above any of the other religions, in terms of the tendency to scapegoat, etc. It seems to me that when the quote's taken in its original context, he's differentiating between what he'd call true or mature spirituality (regardless of which religion it stems from) vs. the religious system itself (irrespective of which particular religion, since they all seem to share that same weakness).

Popular Posts