Friday, February 12, 2010

Quoting Others

I have never intended this blog to be a place where I continually quote the writings of others. It is a place where I write my thoughts and feelings, and process them. It's also a place to record what is happening now, in my words.

During the past week, however, the Center for Action and Contemplation's daily devotional emails have exactly described and illuminated my spiritual journey, so I am going to post a few more of them here. They are too important not to share, and I couldn't say this nearly as well as Fr. Rohr does. So if you don't want to read Rohr, skip this posting.
"In order to let suffering transform us, we must let it take us to the edge of our own inner resources where alone we can 'fall into the hands of the living God' (Hebrews 10:31), even against our will. We must pray for the profound grace of this second stage of softening and opening in the presence of suffering.
"My personal opinion is that this is the very meaning of the phrase 'deliver us from evil' in the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer). We aren’t asking to avoid all suffering. It is more that we pray, 'when the big trials come, God, hold onto me, and don’t let me turn bitter or blaming—an evil that leads to so many other evils. When I am led to the edge of my own resources may I fall into YOU, who are my true and lasting Source.' ”   Excerpted and adapted from “Opening the Door: Great Suffering and Great Love” from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
"Our path of ongoing transformation (after the great falling into Love) largely consists in struggling with our own shadow self, facing interior conflicts and moral failures, undergoing rejection, abandonment, or humiliations, and learning to experience any limitations gracefully. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but these are the common gateways into deeper consciousness and the flowering of the soul. They alone prune away the illusions and pretenses of the false self. (See John 15:2 for example.)
"These daily experiences give us a privileged window into our actual truth, because seemingly impossible contradictions are now staring us in the face; and we can only seek holiness in what is, what is right now, and who we really are, not in any idealism or pretty feelings which never last.
"Some form of 'weeping,' forgiveness, and radical self-acceptance are usually necessary to invite one into this utterly new and contemplative mind." Excerpted and adapted from “Opening the Door: Great Suffering and Great Love” from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See

"In the process of transformation ('conversion' if you prefer), as we learn to face the contradictions that we ourselves are, we become living icons of both/and. We find the hidden wholeness of God underlying our weaknesses. Once we can accept mercy, it is almost natural to hand it on to others. (See the story of the unforgiving debtor in Matthew 18:23-35.) We always become conduits of what we ourselves have received.
"If we have never needed mercy, and do not face our own inherent contradictions, we can go from youth to old age, dualistically locked inside of a mechanistic universe of counting merit and measuring worthiness—at which no one ever wins! That, in my opinion, is the 'sin against the Holy Spirit.' Jesus says it 'cannot be forgiven' because in that state there is a refusal to even need mercy or forgiveness. 'We are doing quite well by ourselves, God, but thanks anyway!'
"Make sure you are always in need of mercy. My daily attempts at contemplation convince me of that. I never fully succeed at prayer." Excerpted and adapted from “Opening the Door: Great Suffering and Great Love” from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See
If you'd like to receive daily devotional emails from the Center for Action and Contemplation, follow this link.

Photos by David Gerstenberger, taken inside the Arc de Triomphe stairwell, Paris, July 2009.


Karen said...

I love reading your words, Karen. You are such a gifted writer. I also really enjoyed your quotes today. I want to read Rohr, just have trouble taking in much still. The quotes are bite-size and manageable. I signed up for the daily devotions and will look forward to that each day, so thank you for the link on that too. You are a BIG help to me in this painful journey and I send an equally big thank you and a hug. I am so glad you speak my language. said...

Love all these quotes; we've definitely been lurking in the same spaces these last few days!

Thanks for sharing; these are messages we all long to hear.

Elizabeth said...

I am stunned, this week, reading Fr. Rohr's words about suffering, transformation and pain. They have sustained me.

Dawn ~ BJSMomma said...

I enjoyed this very much...also added to some much needed "words of wisdom" and balm for a hurting heart..but alas...I am breathing and trusting!

You and your family are always a thought and prayer away..same road..same journey..same longings...AND you live in the place with the Mountain that I LOVE!
Have a beautiful blessed weekend.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Do you think it is coincidence that you are being delivered all of these important words that are near and dear to your heart; to assist you on your spiritual journey?
I think not.

Daisy said...

Those are excellent quotes, Karen. Thank you for them. Definitely what I needed to hear...over and over, actually. Particularly the "deliver us from evil" perspective. Excellent.

Also liked the pics.


deb said...

I had to return, and read these thoroughly, slowly.

Thank you for sharing them, Karen. And I will sign up for them, I know Elizabeth mentioned it before as well.