Sunday, June 26, 2016

How God Loves us in Our Imperfections: 'Simplicity: The Art of Living' by Richard Rohr

“Our problem consists in the fact that we're so conscious of not being good. And you need a great deal of trust to believe God’s pronouncement that everything God created is very good. We seem to believe that only perfect things are lovable -- that’s our problem. Yet the Gospel’s say very clearly that God loves imperfect things. But it is only the imperfect and broken who can believe that. Thus it happens that God throws a party - and the “good” people don’t come. That’s why God says that the crippled, the lame, and the blind are to be invited -- and they would be ready.” (58) ~ Simplicity: The Art of Living by Richard Rohr

Being an "imperfect" person, and especially an imperfect Catholic, Fr. Rohr's words strike a familiar chord with me. There was a time in my faith formation, when I listened to the traditionalist mindset in the Church, that I thought God would withhold grace from me because of my imperfections, for I indirectly thought "only perfect things are lovable" and that through piety I could become lovable enough. This is a misreading of the Gospel and a false interpretation of God's amazing love, a misreading that many traditionalist voices nurture in the searching faithful. God loves us in the ugliness of our imperfections so much that he became human and died a torturous death for each one of us, even me. It took God permitting me to feel the pain of intrapersonal rejection. In reconciliation, for instance, priests have reminded me to forgive and love myself, to avoid scrupulosity, and to stop beating myself up. These messages, through prayer and Scripture, finally make sense and shine a light on my once inaccurate view of God’s redemption and love.

Have you ever had a similar experience? Where in your walk of faith have you had a revelation that brought you closer to Jesus, where you cleared a hurdle that you did not even know existed?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

How Western Civilization has Changed the Gospel Message: Richard Rohr

“Ever since the Sermon on the Mount, the Gospel and Western civilization have been on a collision course. But the collision course turned into a one-way street. And the winner wasn’t Jesus; the winner was Western civilization. We’ve taken Jesus over and placed a crown on his head; not a crown of thorns but a royal crown, which he expressly rejected.” (24)

~ Simplicity: The Art of Living by Richard Rohr

This is an eye opener, and Fr. Rohr is right. The true meaning of the text and Christ's words have become a springboard for Western civilization's biased agenda. This is much food for thought.