I am co leading a 4 part workshop on the book - "Everything Belongs" by Richard Rohr. We had our first session yesterday and I put together notes for it. (unfortunately I could not attend because of a church emergency - see previous post)
However, as I started to work on next week's notes, I thought it might be helpful to share what we are discussion. So, here are the notes from the first chapter as well as questions for reflection. I would appreciate any comments.
Notes on Chapter One – Center and Circumference
We are a circumference people, with little access to the center.
Our “skin” is not bad; it’s just not our soul or spirit.
The path of prayer and love and the path of suffering seem to be the two Great Paths of transformation
You do not resolve the God question in your head – or even in the perfection of moral response. It is resolved in you, when you agree to bear the mystery of God: God’s suffering for the world and God’s ecstasy in the world.
Journey to the Core…the most important way is to live and fully accept our reality.
We do not find our own center; it finds us. Our own mind will not be able to figure it out….. We do not think ourselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking.
We do not really know what it means to be human unless we know God. And in turn we do not really know God except through our own broken and rejoicing humanity.
It seems that we Christians have been worshiping Jesus’ journey instead of doing his journey.
What does “We do not find our own center, it finds us.” Mean to you?______
Calmly Held Boundaries
• Those who rush to artificially manufacture their own identity often end up with hardened and overly defended edges.
• Many others give up their boundaries before they have them, always seeking their identity in another group, experience, possession, or person.
• Others let go of their edges too easily in the name of being tolerant and open-minded
How have you struggled with boundaries?_______________________________
Traveling the road of healthy religion and true contemplation will lead to calmly held boundaries which need neither to be defended constantly nor abdicated in the name of “friendship.”
The Third Way – that emerges only when you hold the tension of opposites.
• People who have learned to live from their center in God know which boundaries are worth maintaining and which can be surrendered, although it is this very struggle that often constitutes their deepest “dark nights.”
• Only when we rest in God can we find the safety, the spaciousness, and the scary freedom to be who we are, all that we are, more than we are, and less than we are. Only when we live and see through God can “everything belong.”
How would you describe the “Tension of Opposites” in your own life?____________