Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In the Garden of Spirituality – Geoffrey Robinson

“We are not on earth to guard a museum,
but to cultivate a flowering garden of life.”

– Pope John XXIII

The Wild Reed’s series of reflections on religion and spirituality continues with an excerpt from Roman Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson’s book, Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church: Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus.


It is God’s will that every single human being, regardless of age, gender, color, race, caste, religion, or sexual orientation, should grow to become all she or he is capable of being. In this way the human race as a whole can grow to become all it is capable of being.

In harmony and to the extent possible for each individual, we are called to develop our potential in seven areas: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, artistic, moral, and spiritual. By doing this, we learn to use to the full all the gifts God has given us to help our world to grow.

To help us to do this, God invites us to share in an eternal plan of life in all its fullness through the reign of God within our hearts.

Which particular path we walk in seeking this eternal plan, Jewish or Christian or Muslim, Catholic or Orthodox or Protestant, is important, but the sincerity of our search is even more important.

We constantly live the tension that we must both walk humbly with others, and at the same time find our individual way to God by taking personal responsibility for the choices we make.

A path to God is authentic if it eventually forces us to find God in the very depths of our own being. Within the Christian community the real authority of any person is directly proportional to the integrity and authenticity of this experience of God within one’s own depths.

It is persons, not religions, that God loves. God is happy when persons of any or no religion do things that help others, saddened when they do things that harm others, and loves all of them always, whatever they do.

For more of Geoffrey Robinson’s insights, see the previous Wild Reed post:
An Australian Bishop’s “Radical” Call for Reform

Others highlighted in The Wild Reed’s “In the Garden of Spirituality” series include: Zainab Salbi, Daniel Helminiak, Rod Cameron, Paul Collins, Joan Chittister, Toby Johnson, Joan Timmerman, Uta Ranke-Heinemanm, Caroline Jones, Ron Rolheiser, James C. Howell, Paul Coelho, Doris Lessing, Michael Morwood, Kenneth Stokes, Dody Donnelly, Adrian Smith , Henri Nouwen, L. Patrick Carroll, S.J., Jesse Lava.

Images: Michael J. Bayly.

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