Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dangerous and Delusional religion...

'I told God that I thought he ought...!' is an interesting but let's face it common approach to prayer. However well disguised within us it is probably more common than we would wish to admit. Some interesting Rohr thoughts on prayer indicate a perception is that it is too easy to allow prayer to become something 'you do to achieve a desired effect.' The result being a putting of the 'ego back in charge'

 "As soon as you make prayer a way to get what you want, you’re not moving into any kind of new state of consciousness. It’s the same old consciousness, but now well disguised: “How can I get God to do what I want God to do?” It’s the egocentric self deciding what it needs, but now, instead of just manipulating everybody else, it tries to manipulate God."

The impact Rohr suggests is a 'dangerous and often delusional religion'. His point? 'If religion does not transform people at the level of both mind and heart, it ends up giving self-centered people a very pious and untouchable way to be on top and in control. Now God becomes their defence system for their small self!'

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Transform or Transmit...

Interesting thoughts today by Richard Rohr... and great application by David Alton

"Pain teaches a most counterintuitive thing—that we must go down before we even know what up is. It is first an ordinary wound before it can become a sacred wound. Suffering of some sort seems to be the only thing strong enough to destabilize our arrogance and our ignorance. I would define suffering very simply as “whenever you are not in control.”

All healthy religion shows you what to do with your pain. If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it. If your religion is not showing you how to transform your pain, it is junk religion. It is no surprise that a crucified man became the central symbol of Christianity.

If we cannot find a way to make our wounds into sacred wounds, we invariably become negative or bitter—because we will be wounded. That is a given. All suffering is potentially redemptive, all wounds are potentially sacred wounds. It depends on what you do with them. Can you find God in them or not?

If there isn’t some way to find some deeper meaning to our suffering, to find that God is somehow in it, and can even use it for good, we will normally close up and close down, and the second half of our lives will, quite frankly, be small and silly."

Post Scriptum thanks to David Alton

Kintsugi (金継ぎ?) (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (金繕い?) (Japanese: golden repair) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold. ...... a tube of No Nails and some gold airfix paint isn't quite as effective or meaningful.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Prayer of Thomas Merton...

Saw this as a benediction on 'the work of the people' website...

I have no idea where I am going. 
I do not see the road ahead of me. 
I cannot know for certain where it will end. 
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. 
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. 
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. 
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. 
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

For what we are about to receive...!

I came across this little prayer which has got me thinking today about what it is to be content.

"Lord, our prayer is simple, our desire is great. Teach us to give glory to you when we receive what you want to give us, when you want to give it to us, and to the extent that you want to give to us."

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Practice of the Better

Any new structures of emerging Christianity cannot be in opposition to any existing church structures or anybody at all. Any antagonistic action merely creates an “equal and opposite reaction.” “The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better” is one of our core principles at the CAC. Just do it better yourself, and don’t waste any time criticizing others or the past! This, in fact, purifies your own commitment and motivation. Don’t bother being against anybody, anything, any group, or any institution. That will only keep you at a low level of ego, while falsely feeling superior. It is a most common mistake. You can, however, practice simple avoidance or quiet noncooperation with immature organizations, but don’t waste time or energy being oppositional to anything. We need positive energy now over negative criticism of anything. It is almost as if consciousness has now grown up to see this—and do this!