Letting Go into God

Letting Go into God It is said that Francis’ great prayer, which he would spend whole nights praying, is “Who are you, God? And who am I?” Contemplative prayer helps us to live into these questions. Who am I? As we observe our minds in contemplation, first we recognize how many of our thoughts are defensive, oppositional, paranoid, self-referential, or in some way violent. Until we recognize how constant that dualistic mind is, we have no motivation to let go of it. We learn to say, “That feeling is not me. I don’t need that opinion to define me. I Read More …

Bodily Knowing

Bodily Knowing St. Francis objectively experienced mutual indwelling with Jesus and with all of God’s creatures. We see this most clearly late in his life when the cruciform shape of reality became the very shape of Francis’ body. He received the marks of the five wounds of Christ (this is historically documented from many sources). Francis learned the message, price, and glory of love in the very cells of his body. Full knowing is always psychosomatic knowing, and Francis seems to exemplify someone who fully absorbed the Gospel with his entire being, not just with his head. This is kinesthetic knowing and Read More …

Beloved Community Resources

The following list is a short collection of books, articles, and other resources on Beloved Community. Articles The Beloved Community: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Prescription for a Healthy Society, by Jeff Rittman, January 19, 2014 The Episcopal Church – Beloved Community Overview Materials The Episcopal Church – Preparing to Become the Beloved Community Advent Materials For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies, by Courtney Ariel with Sojourners, August, 16, 2017 How the Protestant Reformation Led to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Washington Post, October 31, 2017 The King Philosophy, The King Center What do we mean when we say “Building the Read More …

Saying Grace

Saying Grace Many cultures have a beautiful tradition of saying a prayer before or after a meal, expressing gratitude and asking for blessing. If we are accustomed to praying over our food, it may become a rote, almost thoughtless gesture. Yet it is another opportunity to intentionally open ourselves to receive and participate in grace. The food is already blessed simply by its existence. God doesn’t require our words of thanks. But it does us good to “say grace,” to verbally acknowledge the grace that is everywhere, even and especially in the giving of lives—plant and animal—for our sustenance. If Read More …

Living in the Flow

Living in the Flow By being observant of your own emotional life and perhaps getting in touch with your own unconscious, you might become aware of your psychological blockages to experiencing grace and mercy. Try to feel, especially in your body, when you are tight, emotionally stingy, constricted, and in a withholding state—and when you are “in the flow” without any holding back or reserve. If you cannot distinguish between these two inner states in your own self, you may be able to notice them in others. There are numerous nonverbal cues most of us learn to read very early. Read More …

Establishing Healthy Conscious Moral Norms

Establishing Healthy Conscious Moral Norms Violence often begins by making the “other” less-than, dehumanized, demoralized, or demonized in some way. The violence occurring in the United States, from the capital insurrection, Seattle, arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson (black men) at Starbucks, the ‘Muslim ban’, and other violence all occurred because an “other” was demonized in some way. You’re not white, you’re not Christian, you’re not a Democrat (or Republican), so you are less than human and I can harm you. One doesn’t have to spend much time on social media to read the plethora of demonizing comments, even Read More …

Body Prayer

Body Prayer If the incarnation is true and we are the Body of Christ, then prayer is fully experienced when it is also from the bottom up, when we “pray from the earth” at the energetic, cellular level. Adam and Eve must receive and breathe the breath of YHWH for themselves. Only then are humans, composed of both breath and soil, fully alive. There are many forms of body prayer—for example, chant, walking meditation, dance, yoga, tai chi, pilgrimages, prayer beads, gestures, and breathing exercises. Choose a contemplative movement to repeat as you pray. Rather than think your prayer, energetically Read More …

The Sacred Heart

The Sacred Heart As a Catholic, Richard Rohr was often puzzled by the continued return to heart imagery among our saints and in our art. The “Sacred Heart” of Jesus and the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” where both are pointing to their blazing heart, are images known to Catholics worldwide. We may wonder what people actually do with these images. Are they mere sentiment? Are they objects of worship or objects of transformation? Such images keep recurring because they must have something important, good, and perhaps even necessary to teach the soul. What might that be? Many have described prayer Read More …