“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

Eventually, you are led by grace into the non-dual state (“not totally one, but not two either!”). (…) I use Jesus’ words: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). This is unitive consciousness, where you live in conscious, loving communion and trust with God and everyone else. God is no longer out there or over there or separate from you.

Henceforward, as Teresa of Avila says, “You find God in yourself, and you find yourself in God.” This is largely an inner experience, an inner knowing. It is truly following Christ, who is a mixture of humanity and divinity. You know that you are the Body of Christ and that your source is Divine, while you are still quite ordinary and human.

Every other aspect of your persona—your roles, your titles, your functions, even your bodily self—is seen as a passing form, a passing ego possession. At this point, you know your body is not fully you. You have found your soul, your True Self, who you are “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), who you are before you did anything right or anything wrong. Frankly, you have discovered your soul, which is that part of you that already knows, already loves, is already in union with and can quite naturally say “yes” to God.

When you learn how to trust this Divine Indwelling (and that’s what it is—it’s God in you doing the God-thing through you), when you learn how to draw from that place, you can find happiness any hour of any day, and anywhere. You can “pray always.” You also realize this is what you were created for. Heaven is not later. Heaven and salvation are whenever you live in conscious union with God, which means conscious loving union with everything else, too.

Richard Rohr

CA&C Newsletter, Thursday, February 6, 2014

Adapted from The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis

„How is your heart feeling today?”

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Emotional Sobriety

June 19 – June 24, 2022

Detoxing Our Hearts

Buddhist author Valerie Mason-John encourages us to remain emotionally sober by practicing a detox of the heart, allowing ourselves to experience waves of emotion and let them go:

Our hearts could be described as huge muscles that open and close, shrivel and expand, soften and harden, love and hate. We have to work diligently to keep our hearts open, just as we have to work to keep other muscles in the body strong. Purifying our hearts is an ongoing process, like physical exercise. . . .

If we are to detox our hearts, build up our heart muscles, and become happier, we must cultivate mindfulness in everything we do. . . . With the presence of awareness we can see there is no need to hold on to or push away our thoughts, feelings, and emotions. They will come and go of their own accord. If we push them away or cling to them they will stay in our hearts and accumulate. Similarly, if we allow our thoughts to be like clouds in the sky, they will pass. Even the dark, heavy clouds eventually pass.  

How is your heart feeling today? Awareness begins in the heart. This turning inward can be a revolutionary act. We might ask ourselves how we feel when we wake up in the morning. . . . Befriend your feelings and see them as a warning to take care of yourself throughout the day. Try not to eradicate or block the experience. Only acknowledge them, then let go. Let the muscles of your heart soften, let your tears dilute your toxins, let the heart stay open.

If you remember, ask yourself in the middle of the day how your heart is. This will help to keep it open, and you may find that what you were feeling in the morning is quite different from what you are feeling at midday. This is impermanence: the universal law of change.

Freedom from Our Passions

Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God. —Matthew 5:8

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Episcopal priest and CAC teacher emerita Cynthia Bourgeault writes of the difference between our modern understanding of emotions and the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers:

In the psychological climate of our own times, our emotions are almost always considered to be virtually identical with our personal authenticity, and the more freely they flow, the more we are seen to be honest and “in touch.” A person who gravitates to a mental mode of operation is criticized for being “in his head”; when feeling dominates, we proclaim with approval that such a person is “in his heart.”

In the Wisdom tradition, this would be a serious misuse of the term heart. Far from revealing the heart, Wisdom teaches that the emotions are in fact the primary culprits that obscure and confuse it. The real mark of personal authenticity is not how intensely we can express our feelings but how honestly we can look at where they’re coming from and spot the elements of clinging, manipulation, and personal agendas that make up so much of what we experience as our emotional life today. . . .

In the teachings of the Christian Desert Fathers and Mothers, these intense feelings arising out of personal issues were known as the “passions,” and most of the Desert spiritual training had to do with learning to spot these land mines and get free of them before they did serious psychic damage. In contrast to our contemporary usage, which tends to see passion as a good thing, indicating that one is fully alive and engaged, the Desert tradition saw passion as a diminishment of being. It meant falling into passivity, into a state of being acted upon (which is what the Latin passio actually means), rather than clear and conscious engagement. Instead of enlivening the heart, according to one Desert Father, the real damage inflicted by the passions is that “they divide our heart into two.”. . .

The heart, in the ancient sacred traditions, has a very specific and perhaps surprising meaning. It is not the seat of our personal affective life—or even, ultimately, of our personal identity—but an organ for the perception of divine purpose and beauty. . .

Finding the way to where our true heart lies is the great journey of spiritual life. . . . [1]

Bourgeault describes contemplation and letting go as the pathway back to the heart’s wholeness:

The core practice for cleansing the heart, for restoring the heart to its organ of spiritual seeing, becomes supremely, in Christianity, the path of kenosis, of letting go. The seeing will come, and it’s a part we still have to work on in Christianity, but the real heart of emotion is the willingness to let go, to sacrifice . . . your personal drama, the letting go at that level, so that you can begin to see. [2]

[1] Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2003), 32–34. 

[2] An Introductory Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault: Course Transcript and Companion Guide (Wisdom Way of Knowing: 2017), 124. Now available through the online course Introductory Wisdom School (Albuquerque, NM: Center for Action and Contemplation, 2019).

Mystical Certitude

From C A & C, newsletter, today the 20th of May

Truly, you are a God who hides, O God of Israel, the Savior. —Isaiah 45:15

Father Richard closes this week’s meditations on how God is encountered not through words but through humble “not knowing”:

I want to point out that there are two different kinds of certitude: mouthy and mystical.

Just for the sake of alliteration and cleverness, I call the first one “mouthy certitude.” Mouthy certitude is filled with bravado, overstatement, quick, dogmatic conclusions, and a rush to judgment. People like this are always trying to convince others. They need to get us on their side and tend to talk a lot in the process. Underneath the “mouthiness” is a lot of anxiety about being right. Mouthy certitude, I think, often gives itself away, frankly, by being rude and even unkind because it’s so convinced it has the whole truth.

We have to balance mouthy certitude with “mystical certitude.” Mystical certitude is utterly authoritative, but it’s humble. It isn’t unkind. It doesn’t need to push its agenda. It doesn’t need to compel anyone to join a club, a political party, or even a religion. It’s a calm, collected presence, which Jesus seems to possess entirely. As Jesuit Greg Boyle writes, “There is no place in the gospel where Jesus is defensive. In fact, he says, ‘Do not worry what your defense will be’ [Luke 12:11]. Jesus had no interest in winning the argument, only in making the argument.” [1]

Those who know always know that they don’t know. That’s the character of the mystic. The very word “mystical” comes from the Sanskrit “mū,” which was associated with being tongue-tied or hushed to silence. This Indo-European root shaped the words “mystery,” “mystic,” “mute,” “mumble,” and others. It’s when we come before what the scholar Rudolph Otto (1869–1937) called the “mysterium tremendum” [2]—the tremendous mystery of God—and we can’t find the words. All we can do is mutter, because we know whatever just happened is beyond words, beyond proving, and beyond any kind of rational certitude. Our present notion of God is never it, because if we comprehend it, it is not God. If you happen to have the charismatic gift of speaking in tongues, it is a physiological experience of the ineffability of true spiritual experience. Maybe we all need to pray in tongues!

The only people who grow in truth are those who are humble and honest. This is traditional Christian doctrine and is, in effect, the maxim of Alcoholics Anonymous. Without those two qualities—humility and honesty—we just don’t grow. If we try to use religion to aggrandize the self, we will end up just the opposite: proud and dishonest. Humility and honesty are really the same thing. A humble person is simply someone who is naturally honest about their own truth. You and I came along a few years ago; we’re going to be gone in a few more years. The only honest response to such a mystery is humility.

[1] Gregory Boyle, The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness (New York: Avid Reader Press, 2021), 130.

[2] Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy, trans. John W. Harvey (London: Oxford University Press, 1923), 12.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate: Seeing God in All Things (Albuquerque, NM: Center for Action and Contemplation, 2010).  Available as CDDVD, and MP3 download; and

Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1999, 2003), 120.

God Is with Us through It All

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Father Richard shares how we can receive the miracle of new life by embracing our own difficulties and “deaths” as Jesus did

Death is not only physical dying. Death also means going to the full depths of things, hitting the bottom, going beyond where we’re in control. In that sense, we all go through many deaths in our lives, tipping points when we have to ask, “What am I going to do?” Many people turn bitter, look for someone to blame, and close down. Their “death” is indeed death for them because there is no room for growth after that. But when we go into the full depths and death of anything—even, ironically, the depths of our own sin—we can come out the other side transformed, more alive, more open, more forgiving of ourselves and others. And when we come out the other side, we know that we’ve been led there. We’re not holding on; we’re being held by a larger force, by a larger source that is not our own. That’s what it means to be saved! It means that we’ve walked through the mystery of transformation.

The miracle of it all—if we are to speak of miracles—is that God has found the most ingenious way to transform the human soul. God uses the very thing that would normally destroy us—the tragic, the sorrowful, the painful, the unjust deaths that lead us all to the bottom of our lives—to transform us. There it is, in one sentence. Are we prepared to trust that?

Jesus’ death and resurrection is a statement of how reality works all the time and everywhere. He teaches us that there’s a different way to live with our pain, our sadness, and our suffering. We can say, “Woe is me,” and feel sorry for ourselves, or we can say, “God is even in this.” And that’s what Jesus did on Good Friday. 

None of us crosses over this gap from death to new life by our own effort, our own merit, our own purity, or our own perfection. Each of us—from pope to president, from princess to peasant—is carried across by unearned grace. Worthiness is never the ticket, only deep desire. With that desire the tomb is always, finally empty, as Mary Magdalene discovered on Easter morning. Death cannot win. We’re finally indestructible when we recognize that the thing which could destroy us is the very thing that could enlighten us.

Friends, the Easter feast is a reminder to all of us to open our eyes and our ears and to witness what is happening all around us, all the time, everywhere. God’s one and only job description is to turn death into life. That’s what God does with every new springtime, every new life, every new season, every new anything. God is the one who always turns death into life, and no one who trusts in this God will ever be put to shame (Psalm 25:3).

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Reality Moves Toward Resurrection,” homily, March 27, 2016. 

Epopeea unei carti – Richard Rohr, Caderea intru inaltare — Persona

Richard Rohr, Căderea întru înălțare Sincer să fiu, nu-mi amintesc exact de la cine am auzit pentru prima dată numele preotului franciscan american Richard Rohr. Să fi fost, probabil, prin 2010. Am început, imediat, să caut scrierile lui și m-am abonat la newsletter-ul lui zilnic, pe care îl primesc și acum. În aprilie 2011 a […]

Epopeea unei carti – Richard Rohr, Caderea intru inaltare — Persona