Thursday, February 25, 2016

Richard Rohr and Faith Development...

Richard Rohr on Faith Development...

"There are many models of human and spiritual development. We could describe three stages as Simple Consciousness, Complex Consciousness (both "fight and flight"), and Non-Dual Consciousness ("the unitive way" or "third way"). More recently, I have been calling the developmental stages Order; Disorder & Reorder. In short, I see this pattern in the Bible and in human lives:

1. Order: We begin with almost entirely tribal thinking, mirroring the individual journey, which starts with an egocentric need for "order" and "self." Only gradually do we move toward inclusive love.

2. Disorder: We slowly recognize the invitation to a "face to face" love affair through the biblical dialogue of election, failure, sin, and grace, which matures the soul. This is where we need wisdom teachers to guide us through our "disorder."

3. Reorder: Among a symbolic few, there is a breakthrough to unitive consciousness (for example, figures like Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David, the Psalmists, many of the prophets, Job, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and Paul). This is also what some call enlightenment or salvation.

Conservatives normally get trapped in the first stage, progressives are trapped in the second, and only a minority of either group seem to get to the third. The last stage is considered dangerous to people in the first stage, and rather unknown and invisible to people in the second stage. If you are not trained in a trust of both love and mystery, and also some ability to hold anxiety and paradox, all of which allow the divine entry into the soul, you will not proceed very far on the spiritual journey. In fact, you will often run back to stage one when the going gets rough in stage two. The great weakness of much Western spirituality is that there is little understanding of the necessity of darkness and "not knowing" (which is the transformative alchemy of faith). This is what keeps so much religion at stage one."


"Love is the source and goal, faith is the slow process of getting there, and hope is the willingness to move forward without resolution and closure."


Adapted from Richard Rohr, Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality (Franciscan Media: 2008), 54-55.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Desire to desire...

Here's something I should have said on Sunday!

"God even creates the desire within us to do the desiring for love and for God. So all we need to do is to keep praying for the desire to desire, especially on those many days when the well feels dry, ordinary, or boring." (Richard Rohr)

Psalm 42:1