Sunday, February 21, 2016

all of life is sacred

I love reading Richard Rohr. This is from one of his devotionals last week. If you would like to sign up for them, here is the link:

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Jesus and Francis had a genius for not eliminating or punishing the so-called negative side of the world, but incorporating it and using it. Francis, merely imitating Jesus, goes to the edge of town and to the bottom of society; he kisses the leper, loves the poor, and wears patches on the outside of his habit so everyone will know that this is what he's like on the inside. Francis doesn't hide from his shadow side, but weeps over it and welcomes it as his teacher.

The history of almost every religion begins with one massive misperception; it begins by making a fatal distinction between the sacred and the profane. Low-level religions put all their emphasis on creating sacred places, sacred time, and sacred actions. While I fully appreciate the need for this, it unfortunately leaves the majority of life "un-sacred." I remember reading about an Irish missionary's attempt to teach the Masai people about the Catholic Sacraments. The missionary said that a sacrament is a physical encounter or event in which you experience Grace or the Holy. The people were then confused and disappointed when they were told there were only seven such moments (and all of these just happened to revolve around a priest). One Masai elder raised his hand and said, "We would have thought, Father, there would be at least seven thousand such moments, not just seven."

In authentic mystical moments, any clear distinction between sacred and profane quickly falls apart. One henceforth knows that all of the world is sacred because most of the time such moments happen in secular settings...... Once you surrender to this Christ mystery in your oh-so-ordinary self and body, you begin to see it every other ordinary place too...... As St. Bonaventure, the philosophical interpreter of Francis, said (quoting Alan of Lille), "Christ is the one whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere." [1]

You don't have to go to sacred places to pray or wait for holy days for good things to happen. You can pray always, and everything that happens is potentially sacred if you allow it to be. Once we can accept that God is in all situations, and that God can and will use even bad situations for good, then everything becomes an occasion for good and an occasion for God. "This is the day Yahweh has made memorable, let us rejoice and be glad in it!" (Psalm 118:24).

It's a beautiful day in God's world, where ever you are in it, be sure to see the good.

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