Blessed Are Those Who Hunger for Justice Friday, RR Daily Meditations, February 2, 2018

Sermon on the Mount

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger for Justice
Friday, February 2, 2018

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice: they shall have their fill. —Matthew 5:6

This Beatitude is surely both spiritual and social. Most Bibles to this day soften this Beatitude: “hunger and thirst for what is right” or “for righteousness” are the more common faulty translations. But the word in Greek clearly means “justice.” Notice that the concept of justice is used halfway through the Beatitudes and again at the very end. The couplet emphasizes an important point: To live a just life in this world is to identify with the longings and hungers of the poor, the meek, and those who weep. This identification and solidarity is in itself a profound form of social justice.

My friend John Dear, who has spent his life in the struggle against the injustice of violence, writes about this Beatitude:

Righteousness is not just the private practice of doing good; it sums up the global responsibility of the human community to make sure every human being has what they need, that everyone pursues a fair sense of justice for every other human being, and that everyone lives in right relationship with one another, creation, and God.

. . . Jesus instructs us to be passionate for social, economic, and racial justice. That’s the real meaning of the Hebrew word for justice and the Jewish insistence on it. Resist systemic, structured, institutionalized injustice with every bone in your body, with all your might, with your very soul, he teaches. Seek justice as if it were your food and drink, your bread and water, as if it were a matter of life and death, which it is. . . . Within our relationship to the God of justice and peace, those who give their lives to that struggle, Jesus promises, will be satisfied. . . .

image

How do we hunger and thirst for justice? By making global justice a priority in our lives. This Beatitude requires us to join a grassroots movement that fights one or two issues of injustice and to get deeply involved in the struggle. Since all issues of injustice are connected, fighting one injustice puts us squarely in the struggle against every injustice. As Martin Luther King Jr. said over and over again, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Befriend the victims of systemic injustice, side with them, listen to their stories, let their pain break your heart, join the movements to end injustice, tithe your money to the cause, and commit yourself to the struggle. . . .

While [it] may take a long time, our nonviolent persistence and truth-telling will eventually win out and bear the good fruit of justice. Truth is on our side; God is on the side of justice. “The arc of the moral universe is long,” Martin Luther King Jr. said famously, “but it bends toward justice.”

(Citatet som Richard Rohr hänvisar till kommer inte från Martin Luther King Jr ursprungligen utan från Theodore Parker , klicka på namnet så kan du läsa lite mer om honom. Däremot så är som jag förstår det Martin Luther King Jr i allra högsta grad förknippad med detta citat och den otroligt modiga kamp han förde för rättvisa och mot förtryck och rasism – artikel här att läsa om du är intresserad. //Tillfrisknande1)

 

 

Stories from the Bottom

Most of political and church history has been controlled and written by people who have the access, the power, and the education to write books and get them published. One of the few subversive texts in history, believe it or not, is the Bible! The Bible is most extraordinary because it repeatedly and invariably legitimizes the people on the bottom, and not the people on the top. The rejected son, the barren woman, the sinner, the leper, or the outsider is always the one chosen by God. Please do not take my word on this, but check it out for yourself. It is rather obvious, but for some reason the obvious needs to be pointed out to us. In every case, we are presented with some form of powerlessness–and from that situation God creates a new kind of power. This is the constant pattern which is hidden in plain sight.

Many barren women are mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, and we repeatedly see God showing them favor. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, was barren and past child-bearing years when God blessed her with baby Isaac (Genesis 17:15-19). Rachel, Jacob’s wife, was barren until God ”opened her womb” and she bore Joseph (Genesis 30:22-24). Barren Hannah poured out her soul before the Lord, and God gave her Samuel (1 Samuel 1).

Even before Moses, God chose a ”nobody,” Abraham, and made him a somebody. God chose Jacob over Esau, even though Esau was the elder, more earnest son and Jacob was a shifty, deceitful character. Election has nothing to do with worthiness but only divine usability, and in the Bible, usability normally comes from having walked through one’s own wrongness or ”littleness.” We see this especially in Mary, a ”humble servant” (Luke 1:48). God chose Israel’s first king, Saul, out of the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest and weakest tribe. The pattern always seems to be that ”the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20:16). This is so consistently the pattern that we no longer recognize its subversive character. They became merely sweet rags to riches stories.

One of the more dramatic biblical stories in this regard is the story of David. God chose him, the youngest and least experienced son of Jesse, to be king over the nation. His father, who had many sons, did not even mentioned David as a possibility, but left him out in the fields (1 Samuel 16). David was thus the forgotten son who then became the beloved son of Yahweh, the archetypal whole man of Israel, laying the foundation for the son of David, Jesus.

In case after case, the victim becomes the real victor, leading Rene Girard to speak of ”the privileged position of the victim” as the absolutely unique and revolutionary perspective of the Bible. Without it, we are hardly prepared to understand the ”folly of the cross” of Jesus. Without this bias from the bottom, religion ends up defending propriety instead of human pain, the status quo instead of the suffering masses, triumphalism instead of truth, clerical privilege instead of charity and compassion. And this, from the Christianity that was once ”turning the whole world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations, Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Different Way of Knowing Prayer – Richard Rohr 3/3

Appendix till Richard Rohrs Daily Meditations 2018
3. A Different Way of Knowing Prayer Richard Rohr

Klicka här för att se Richard Rohr berätta själv.

Richard Rohrs icke editerad script från ovan video, den första video nr 3 av 3:
A Different Way of Knowing Prayer Richard Rohr, Unedited Transcript

Let me offer you just one example of what I might mean by a practice. Probably, the most universal and common one is what we call prayer. Now, you’ve all heard that word all your life, but we largely thought of it as talking to God, or making announcements to God, and when we say practice, we are not talking about a merely mental exercise or even a verbal exercise, but somehow something that includes embodiment, physicality. So, here at the center, for example, we practice a form of centering prayer, where we sit together for 20 minutes in the morning in a somewhat disciplined posture, there is not a perfect one, but you sit there not in your ideal world, not in your identity world. In fa ct, that’s exactly what you let go off. Just this morning as we did, I looked around the circle, which I probably shouldn’t have been doing, and I said, you know, what, we are all absolute equals now. We are just naked beings sitting in our nakedness witho ut our identity, without our smarts just being in the presence of God. Now, that might seem like that’s almost nothing. Actually, it ends up being almost everything, because you have to get back to what Thomas Merton called beyond the shadow and beyond the disguise, where you knock on the hard bottom of your own reality. That’s what practice does for you. It gives you the discipline to get out of your head and much more in your soul, in your body where you frankly, you learn in a different way, you know in a different way. It really is practice is a different way of knowing the moment and therefore of knowing yourself. I hope that makes sense, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. (länk till pdf)

Läs mer här om hur du kan signa upp dig för att få dagliga meditationer i din email.

Contemplative Practices:

Books and recordings by CAC core faculty:

Cynthia Bourgeault

  • Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (book)           
  • Chanting the Psalms (book and CD)
  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice (book)

James Finley

  • Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (book)
  • Merton’s Palace of Nowhere (book)

Richard Rohr

  • Beginners Mind (CDMP3 download)
  • Contemplative Prayer (CDMP3 download)
  • Emotional Sobriety: Rewiring Our Programs for Happiness (DVDCDMP3 download)
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (book)
  • The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (book)

Additional recommended resources:
Barbara Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Källa: Allt är utdrag från cac.org från sidan: https://cac.org/contemplation-dm/

Practice – Based Spirituality: Beyond Belief – Richard Rohr 2/3

Appendix till Richard Rohrs Daily Meditations 2018
2. Practice – Based Spirituality: Beyond Belief Richard Rohr

Klicka här för att se Richard Rohr berätta själv.

Richard Rohrs icke editerad script från ovan video, den första video nr 2 av 3:
Practice – Based Spirituality: Beyond Belief Richard Rohr, Unedited Transcript

Some have predicted that the future of Christianity cannot be just belief based. We’ve pretty much tried that for most of our history. We have to be also practice based. We have to find something that rewires this and reconnects this. We call that practice. There is nothing to believe, there is nothing to disbelieve. Our fight against it’s just do it, try this, and see if this practice does not force you to think or feel or see o r hear in a different way. So, oft – times if you are not used to practice based Christianity, I’ll be honest, they sometimes feel oh this is silly, oh this is childish, or you are playing with me, but don’t knock at it till you’ve tried it, and you might ev en ask sometimes why am I afraid to do this simple almost childlike thing. That might be our very indication of our resistance and the line that we have to cross, so I just offered to you as an invitation, and I think at the end of a few months you will se e for yourselves there is nothing to believe here. There is only something to experience and then you will know for yourself. You will feel for yourself. It’s not Richard’s feeling. It’s now something that has emerged out of your own body and soul, mind an d heart, and that is the way Jesus said we are supposed to love both God and our neighbor. You can’t do it just with your head, or even with just your willpower or your behavior. Somehow they have to act as one, and that’s what a good practice teaches you. Trust me on that. (länk till pdf)

 

Läs mer här om hur du kan signa upp dig för att få dagliga meditationer i din email.

Contemplative Practices:

Books and recordings by CAC core faculty:

Cynthia Bourgeault

  • Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (book)           
  • Chanting the Psalms (book and CD)
  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice (book)

James Finley

  • Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (book)
  • Merton’s Palace of Nowhere (book)

Richard Rohr

  • Beginners Mind (CDMP3 download)
  • Contemplative Prayer (CDMP3 download)
  • Emotional Sobriety: Rewiring Our Programs for Happiness (DVDCDMP3 download)
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (book)
  • The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (book)

Additional recommended resources:
Barbara Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Källa: Allt är utdrag från cac.org från sidan: https://cac.org/contemplation-dm/

Reading as Spiritual Practice: Uniting Heart, Mind, and Body – Richard Rohr 1/3

Appendix till Richard Rohrs Daily Meditations 2018
1. Reading as Spiritual Practice: Uniting Heart, Mind, and Body Richard Rohr

Klicka här för att se Richard Rohr berätta själv.

Richard Rohrs icke editerad script från ovan video, den första video nr 1 av 3:
Almost 10 years ago, a member of our staff here at the center in New Mexico came to me and said what about if we start putting online some of the many things you talk about.

I am afraid I talk about too many things, and he said, let’s try to get them down into smaller pieces and offer them to people on a daily basis, and I thought, well, I don’t know who is going to listen to that, but it grew from there. And every year it seems more people checked in and the staff encouraged me by drawing from more of my writings and talks and little by little we had a full – blown set of daily meditations, and I know that they introduced a lot of ideas that sometimes at first bl ush probably seem scary, edgy, new, dangerous. I don’t think they are. Believe it or not, I pride myself in being a traditionalist. I would never have the courage to say the things I do or say them with any kind of self – confidence if I couldn’t draw from s cripture, from the whole 4000 – year tradition of Judaism and Christianity and find them bookmarked throughout that tradition in saints and mystics and profits and counsels of the church. That’s what tells me, okay Richard, you might be on the right course, at least somewhat right course. So, that’s what we are going to offer you. I think it amounts to a mini course in mystical Christianity.

Now don’t be scared by that word mystical. For me, mystical simply means experiential, that it’s not all up here in the head. It’s not just sentimentality in the heart. It’s not just body feelings, but it’s somehow putting all of those together, and when I mean experiential, that’s what I mean and that’s what I want you to be able to experience where head and heart and bod y and soul are all working together. So, when you hear words like non – dual consciousness, mysticism, don’t be scared. I am really plugging in to that Christianity that most of you first learned maybe as a little child, but probably you understood it, how c ould you not, with the mind of a little child, and if we are talking about experiential Christianity, we also want to introduce you if you don’t mind me saying it to adult Christianity. Nothing less is going to feed this world.

We don’t have time for relig ious baby talk just to make us feel secure. We need to say what does that really mean, what does that really mean for me, and what does that really mean for the world? So, I’d love to invite you into that journey and it is a journey, and I promise you that we are going to go together to some place very good. Thank you for your trust. (länk till pdf)

Läs mer här om hur du kan signa upp dig för att få dagliga meditationer i din email.

Contemplative Practices:

Drumming: Practicing surrendering the mind and attuning the body through rhythm

Walking Meditation: Taking slow, mindful steps

Ecstatic Dance: Moving freely to music

Chanting: Singing with intention

Centering Prayer: Observing and letting go of all thoughts without judgment during a period of silence

Lectio Divina: Reading short passages of text in a contemplative way

Christian Meditation: Repeating scripture or a sacred word as a mantra

Welcoming Prayer: Welcoming any feeling, sensation, or emotion that arises in the midst of your day

YHWH Prayer: Consciously saying God’s name through each breath

Pranayama: Breathing mindfully

Loving Kindness Meditation: Recognizing your inner source of loving kindness and sending love to others

Books and recordings by CAC core faculty:

Cynthia Bourgeault

  • Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening (book)           
  • Chanting the Psalms (book and CD)
  • The Heart of Centering Prayer: Nondual Christianity in Theory and Practice (book)

James Finley

  • Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (book)
  • Merton’s Palace of Nowhere (book)

Richard Rohr

  • Beginners Mind (CDMP3 download)
  • Contemplative Prayer (CDMP3 download)
  • Emotional Sobriety: Rewiring Our Programs for Happiness (DVDCDMP3 download)
  • Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (book)
  • The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (book)

Additional recommended resources:

Barbara Holmes, Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church
Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

Källa: Allt är utdrag från cac.org från sidan: https://cac.org/contemplation-dm/

In the Beginning and the End – RR:s daily meditation Sunday, December 31, 2017

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation Image credit: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico by Nicholas Kramer, CAC staff – representing the spaciousness and freedom within us that is a reflection of the imago Dei.
Week One
 
Introduction: Image and Likeness

In the Beginning and the End
Sunday, December 31, 2017

God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness.” —Genesis 1:26

Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. —Revelation 22:17

As we turn toward a new year, we embark on a new theme in the Daily Meditations: Image and Likeness. Centuries of Christian theology confirm that the “image” described in Genesis refers to our eternal essence in God which cannot be increased or decreased. It is the soul’s objective union with God. You (and every other created thing) begin with a divine DNA, an inner destiny as it were, a blueprint tucked away in the cellar of your being, that begs to be allowed, to be fulfilled, and to show itself.

“It is the Holy Spirit poured into your heart, and it has been given to you” (Romans 5:5). My “I am” is merely a further breathing forth of the eternal and perfect “I Am Who Am” of the Creator (Exodus 3:14). This “beingness” precedes all doing. I am loved—or better, I am love—before I do anything right or wrong, worthy or unworthy. To put it philosophically, ontology precedes morality. Without doubt, this is our “original blessing.” The divine indwelling is a gratuitous gift, standing presence, and guarantee. We are the containers, temples, and recipients of this gift. In a certain sense, it had nothing to do with us. And yet it is our own inherent and irrevocable dignity. I call it the True Self, an immortal, imperishable diamond.

The indwelling divine image moves toward fulfillment in each of us throughout our lifetimes. “Likeness” refers to our personal and unique embodiment of that inner divine image. It is our gradual realization of this gift. We all have the same objective gift, but different ways of saying yes and consenting to it. There are as many ways to manifest God as there are beings in the universe. Our personal and collective embodiments reveal aspects of the sacred through our personhood, relationships, fields of work and study, culture, economy, politics, and justice. Though we differ in likeness, the imago Dei persists and shines through all created things.

Earlier this year we explored divinization or theosis, the process of becoming our truest selves. The clear goal and direction of biblical revelation is toward a full mutual indwelling. We see the movement toward union as God walks in the garden with naked Adam and Eve and “all the array” of creation (Genesis 2:1). The theme finds its climax in the realization that “the mystery is Christ within you, your hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). As John excitedly puts it, “You know him because he is with you and he is in you!” (John 14:17). The eternal mystery of incarnation will have finally met its mark, and “the marriage feast of the Lamb will begin” (Revelation 19:7-9). As in the beginning, so in the end. Amen. Let it be so.

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.
Center for Action and Contemplation
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Image credit: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico by Nicholas Kramer, CAC staff – representing the spaciousness and freedom within us that is a reflection of the imago Dei.

Nip them in the bud

Ur gårdagens Daily Meditation med Richard Rohr:

  We are not free until we are free from ourpwm  compulsiveness, our own resentments, our own complaining, and our own obsessive patterns of thinking. We have to catch these patterns early in their development and nip them in the bud. And where’s the bud? It’s in the mind.

 Any later behaviors are just a response to the way our minds work. We can’t walk around all day writing negative, hateful mental commentaries about other people, or we will become hate itself.

If we don’t choose love and compassion, the human mind naturally goes in the other direction, and we risk joining a vast majority of people who live their later years trapped in a sense of victimhood, entitlement, and bitterness.

Vackra tankar om kärlek

Så otroligt vackert! Från Richard Rohrs dagliga meditationer som man kan prenumerera här

Love Summary for the Year:
Week 2

Suffering for Love
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
(Feast of the Holy Innocents)

Authentic love is of one piece. How you love anything is how you love everything.  Love is a quality of relationship more than a statement about the worthiness or deservedness of the object loved. (Read that twice!)
Jesus commands us to “Love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” and he connects the two great commandments of love of God and love of neighbor, saying they are “like” one another (Matthew 22:40). So often, we think this means to love our neighbor with the same amount of love—as much as we love ourselves. We love others from the same Source, with the same Love, that allows us to love ourselves, others, and God at the same time! That is, unfortunately, not the way most people understand love, compassion, and forgiveness, but it is the only way loving truly will ever work. How you love is how you have accessed Love, just as it is between the three Persons of the Trinity.
You cannot sincerely love or forgive someone inside of dualistic consciousness. Try it, and you’ll see it can’t be done. We have done the people of God a great disservice by preaching the Gospel to them but not giving them the tools whereby they can obey that very Gospel. As Jesus put it, “Cut off from the vine, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). The “vine and the branches” are one of the greatest Christian mystical images of the nonduality between God and the soul. In and with God, I can love everything and everyone—even my enemies. Alone and by myself, with only my will power and intellect, I won’t be able to love in difficult situations or over the long haul. Trying to be compassionate and loving through our own efforts will eventually lead to cynicism and disillusionment.
“One always learns one’s mystery at the price of one’s innocence,” as Robertson Davies wrote. [1] The original meaning of “innocent” is unwounded, so apparently we all need to suffer what I call a “sacred wound.” Today’s feast, strangely named “The Holy Innocents,” shows us that even the innocent and good ones will often be wounded by society, culture, and even family. Somehow wounding is part of the human journey. We are all “holy innocents,” each carrying our unique woundedness.
Sarah Fields says that “Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.” [2] I guess we could say that King Herod and the poor soldiers who massacred the Jewish children (Matthew 2:16-18) were just not ready to deal with the pain underneath, which made them incapable of compassion—for that is where compassion comes from—holding the pain of the world.
Until we love and until we suffer, we all try to figure out life and death with our minds. Love, I believe, is the only way to initially and safely open the door of awareness and aliveness, and then suffering for that love keeps the door open and available for ever greater growth. We dare not refuse love or suffering or we close the door to life itself. By honoring God’s image in our own deep capacity to love, and then extending it to both the innocent and the non-innocent, we achieve the triumph of love—for we also are wounded.

Gateway to Silence:
Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi

Living simply

Från Richard Rohrs Daily meditation:

Practice: Living Simply
We discover simplicity in the silence of contemplative prayer. As we let go of thought and sensation, we reconnect with our Center, our source of abundance and enoughness. I invite you to consider ways beyond your contemplative practice in which you can live more simply. Quaker teacher Richard Foster suggests ten principles for expressing simplicity outwardly. [1] Here’s his list in my words:
Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status or prestige.
Learn the difference between a real need and an addiction. Then find support and accountability to regain “sobriety,” freedom from addiction.
Develop a habit of giving things away.
Avoid unnecessary and short-lived technological gadgets that promise to “save time.”
Enjoy things without owning them. For example, take advantage of public libraries and parks.
Nurture awe and appreciation for nature. Spend more time outdoors!
Get out—and stay out—of debt.
Use plain, honest speech. Say what you mean and keep your commitments.
Reject anything that oppresses others. For example, buy Fair Trade products.
Seek God’s kingdom of love and justice foremost. If anything distracts you from that purpose, let it go.

Gateway to Silence:
Live simply so that others may simply live.

Step 12

Richard Rohr Daily meditation

Step Twelve

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Step Twelve tells addicts that they will never really come to appropriate the power and importance of the first eleven steps until and unless they personally take it upon themselves to give it away to other people in need. This necessary reciprocity, a pattern of outflow and inflow, is one that many Christians have never committed to, and the whole religion has suffered because of it. I am convinced that in neglecting the need to serve and to pay back, many Christians lose whatever they might have gained in their private devotions; in fact they live inside a false peace, and sometime even a well-disguised narcissism.

If I have grown at all in my decades of being a priest, it’s in part through this role of being a preacher and teacher. I have had to stand before crowds for years and describe what I thought I believed, and then I often had to ask myself, ”Do I really believe that myself?” In my attempt to communicate something, I usually found that I’d only scratched the surface of understanding it myself. In sharing, in giving it away, you really own it for yourself and appreciate more fully its value, beyond what you ever imagined.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, ”Helping others is the foundation stone of your recovery. A kindly act once in a while isn’t enough. You have to act the Good Samaritan every day, if need be. It may mean the loss of many nights’ sleep, great interference with your pleasures, interruptions to your business. It may mean sharing your money and your home, counseling frantic spouses and relatives, innumerable trips to court, hospitals, jails and asylums.”  A little later the Big Book says, ”Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others.”

This reminds me of Pope Francis’ description of the Church as a field hospital: ”a Church that goes forth toward those who are ‘wounded,’ who are in need of an attentive ear, understanding, forgiveness, and love.”

Bill Wilson ends his own story with this: ”There is, however, a vast amount of fun about it all. I suppose some would be shocked at our seeming worldliness and levity. But just underneath there is deadly earnestness. Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.”

I have often said that the Twelve-Step programs are the best at helping people achieve sobriety from an addictive substance. But if people do not seriously practice all the steps in their daily lives, especially Step Eleven (prayer and meditation) and Step Twelve (action and service) they will not progress. We can be very grateful for Bill Wilson and his friend Dr. Bob Smith for cooperating with the Spirit and designing a practical program for suffering humanity.

Gateway to Silence
Thy will be done.