richard rohr

Right Here and Now

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“In the garden of Gethsemane, the last words Jesus spoke to his apostles were, “Stay awake.” In fact, he says it twice. The Buddha offered the same wisdom; “Buddha” actually means “I am awake.”

Staying awake comes not from willpower but from a wholehearted surrender to the moment–as it is. If you can be present, you will experience what most of us mean by God, and you do not even need to call it God. It’s largely a matter of letting go of resistance to what the moment offers or of clinging to a past moment. It is an acceptance of the full reality of what is right here and now. It will be the task of your whole lifetime.”

– Richard Rohr, Just This

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Practicing Resurrection

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Here is a list I found of ways you can practice resurrection right now. These 12 ways are taken from Richard Rohr’s book Immortal Diamond.

  • Negativity: Refuse to identify with negative, blaming, antagonistic, or fearful thoughts (you cannot stop ‘‘having’’ them).
  • I’m sorry: Apologize when you hurt another person or situation.
  • Power of positivity: Undo your mistakes by some positive action toward the offended person or situation.
  • Lies: Do not indulge or believe your False Self—that which is concocted by your mind and society’s expectations.
  • Your relationship with God: Choose your True Self—your radical union with God—as often as possible throughout the day.
  • Look within: Always seek to change yourself before trying to change others.
  • Do for others: Choose as much as possible to serve rather than be served.
  • Good: Whenever possible, seek the common good over your mere private good.
  • Look after others: Give preference to those in pain, excluded, or disabled in any way.
  • Justice: Seek just systems and policies over mere charity.
  • Your voice: Make sure your medium is the same as your message.
  • Love: Never doubt that it is all about love in the end.

The Seven Last Words of Christ: Meditations on the Cross

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(Full disclosure: The author of this book is my friend.)

Yesterday, while in the middle of reading Jeff Blake’s new book “The Seven Last Words of Christ: Meditations on the Cross,” I had to stop and write to tell him how powerful it is. This short book is HANDS DOWN the best book I’ve read on the message of Jesus. At less than 40 pages the message is distilled to perfection, cutting through any filler or unnecessary repetition while also offering brief personal experiences by Mr. Blake that never take the reader off course.

My belief or faith is far, far away from rock solid. Like reading a passage from Richard Rohr, Henri Nouwen or Thomas Merton the words in these pages feel like an anchor of truth.  How so? While reading I felt the “how it isness” wash over me. I felt carried and at peace.  I also became aware of wanting to flee to distraction in the other direction to avoid letting it all sink in.  Am I the only one who does this? Stoping mid-chapter to write an email is a pretty good indicator I am misdirecting myself. (“Stop reading! Do something else! Tell the world!” You gotta love the ego. No really, you have to or it won’t leave you alone.)

I can’t say enough good things about “The Seven Last Words of Christ: Meditations on the Cross”, by Jeff Blake, so I won’t try. It’s awesome. Pick it up for Lent and read it. Read it more than once. You’ll be very happy you did.

Living in the Spirit

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“The more that we can put together, the more that we can “forgive” and allow, the more we can include and enjoy, the more we tend to be living in the Spirit. The more we need to reject, oppose, deny, exclude and eliminate, the more open we are to negative and destructive voices and to our own worst instincts.”

~ Richard Rohr, Preparing for Christmas