Welcome to Day 13. This week we are talking about prayer. Today read Psalm 42, Proverbs 3 (ask God to give you a wisdom just for you) and John 7:37-44. You know the other stuff we are doing.
There is much about Richard Rohr that I don’t agree with. Those things don’t bother me. What bothers me is what I do agree with. I believe he has some lessons to teach us that we must hear. It will stretch us. It will challenge us. But it will turn our hearts in a direction that is vital. Remember these two thoughts, “If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always gotten.” Or “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. My thought for today is that not all truth can be known the same way. If you want to know what 2+2 is you get out your calculator. If you want to know what chicken tastes like you get out your frying pan. Some knowledge, especially big knowledge like love, suffering, eternity, grace, and God can only be truly known by experience, by entering into the PRESENCE of God. Silence, meditation, contemplation are paths to that experience. So…I’m asking you to do something different. Read this quote from Rohr today with an open mind and consider “con TEM pla tiv” prayer.
“We will explore contemplation and nondual consciousness more in a few weeks, but for now let me briefly define the practice of contemplative prayer: In a silent posture of self-emptying, we let go of habitual thoughts and sensations and connect with an Inner Witness (Romans 8:16)—God’s presence within—that gazes back at ourselves and out at reality with an Abiding Love. Contemplation is learning how to offer “a long, loving look at the Real.”” Richard Rohr, What The Mystics Know
I know, I know. Some of us are saying, “Say WHAT?” It’s a different language. It’s a different way of thinking and expressing. But that is the whole point. Much of the judgmental, legalistic, divisive way of doing Christianity today is because we try to ‘know’ God the same way we know Microsoft Office or KETO or geometry (all three things that seem unknowable to me.) We do life in the absolute and the black and white, so we do God in the same way. And what comes out is a “my way or the highway” approach to others. So we are divided, bitter, fearful.
Prayer is about entering into His presence, what St. John of the Cross called, “the cloud of unknowing,” and perhaps coming out of that a little less sure of ourselves and a lot more sure of Him. See you tomorrow.