Rohr on Paradox

From Fr. Richard Rohr's daily devotional today:


I don’t think the important thing is to be certain about answers nearly as much as being serious about the questions.
When we hold the questions, we meet and reckon with our contradictions, with our own dilemmas, and we invariably arrive at a turning point where we either evade God or meet God.
When we hang on the horns of the dilemma with Christ—between heaven and earth, between the divine and the human realms—it creates liminal space.  All transformation takes place when we’re somehow in between, inside of liminal space. 


elly said...

I love this! And yes, I'm still here, I've just been insanely busy this summer.
I think when I first started to realize that I was full of doubt and questioning everything, it was really scary and upsetting. I felt like I needed to resolve those uncertainties ASAP, and define my faith quickly so in case anyone asked what I thought about something, I'd have words to say. I felt somewhere between "Christian" and... agnostic? I needed to pinpoint exactly where I fell on that continuum and I wanted a label for myself.
Now I'm not as worried about that. While I don't want to ever "give up" on the questions, I feel more comfortable living with them, and at the same time, I don't need to deny my relationship with Love/God just because I don't understand Deuteronomy and Revelations.
In college I wrote a paper about the liminal space surrounding ancient ritual for Dance History class. The in-between time that was neither part of regular life nor ritual was necessary for entry into a deep, sacred experience. Maybe when we see it that way, times of questioning and feeling in limbo are precedents before entry into deeper levels of faith and understanding.
Thanks for putting this up, Peter! It went well with my coffee this morning. :)

Peter J Walker said...

Awesome, Elly! So glad you liked it - me too!

The labels you mention, "Christian" and "agnostic." Are they mutually exclusive? I recently heard a Christian author/professor call himself an "Evangelical Humanist." Two words I rarely hear together.

I often feel quite agnostic, but it comes in waves, so I won't quite claim that label, though I'm perfectly comfortable with it.

Ultimately, you're absolutely right: "times of questioning and... limbo are precedents before entry into deeper levels of faith..." Or perhaps limbo IS a deeper level of faith. We just haven't been trained to recognize it.

elly said...

Hmm, no... they're not mutually exclusive! But I hadn't thought of it that way before... though I just noticed one of my Facebook friends has his religion listed as "Christian Agnostic." I think I/we are just very conditioned to recognize "Agnostic" as being one step away from the OTHER "A"-word (the godless one!). ;)

Thanks, as always, for holding this safe, non-judgmental space.

George Elerick said...

i like this too bro! - i love the poetry behind the tension that is the liminal space. where we both wrestle and dont wrestle, where we find peace and disruption all in the same place..great post!!

Peter J Walker said...

GEORGE! I didn't even WRITE this post. Go read something I actually wrote and comment on that ;) I've been browsing your Huffington stuff. Nice job on the most recent.

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