Week One: Surrender to God’s Mercy
If everything belongs in our contemplative practice, then we must give up the charade of denial or wearing a mask to hide our flaws and pain. Our only hope will be completely surrendering to God’s mercy.
Once we face our pain, struggles, and failures, we remove ourselves from religious systems that gain their power from setting moral standards that cannot be violated by their members or call for simplistic answers. This is why those who have faced their own dark sides and found God’s mercy are so able to share mercy with others.
This month we’ll look at Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, with quotes this week about the process of exposing and moving beyond the obstacles that keep us from intimacy with God:
“In God’s reign ‘everything belongs,’ even the broken and poor parts. Until we have admitted this in our own soul, we will usually perpetuate expelling systems in the outer world of politics and class. Dualistic thinking begins in the soul and moves to the mind and eventually moves to the streets. True prayer, however, nips the lie in the bud. It is usually experienced as tears, surrender, or forgiveness.”
“In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of the pain before we have learned what it has to teach us.”
“We do not find our own center; it finds us… We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.”
“It seems that we Christians have been worshipping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey.”
“It is much easier to belong to a group than it is to know that you belong to God. Those who firm up their own edges and identity too quickly without finding their center in God and in themselves will normally be the enemies of ecumenism, forgiveness, vulnerability, and basic human dialogue.”
Read more in Everything Belongs