Week Five: Free from Fear
In Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr writes that we find freedom from our fears and anxious thoughts by facing them.
In this moment of awareness, we may find that our fears and wounds appear to be even worse than we have realized. There is no way around this. There is no way to avoid this.
As we face our thoughts, we will develop the capacity to trust in our crucified Lord who conquered all of suffering and death, identifying with our weaknesses and still rising to new life.
Much like the silent mystery of the Resurrection, our new life will come from God in ways that we cannot detect but that cannot be denied:
“The wounds to our ego are our teachers and must be welcomed. They must be paid attention to, not litigated. How can a Christian look at the crucified and not get this essential point?”
“A lot that’s called orthodoxy, loyalty, and obedience is grounded in fear. I do a lot of spiritual direction, and when I get underneath the language of orthodoxy and obedience, I find fear… We call it loyalty, but it’s often fear.”
“Most people become their thoughts. They do not have thoughts and feelings; the thoughts and feelings have them… So we have to observe, but also not let the observer become an accusing tyrant.”
“In the silence of contemplation, we will observe the process whereby we actively choose and create what we pay attention to. that’s why the first twenty minutes are usually so terrible.”
“In reality our growth is hidden. It is accomplished by the release of our current defense postures, by the letting go of fear and our attachment to self-image. Thus, we grow by subtraction much more than by addition. It’s not a matter of more and better information.”