Monday, December 08, 2014

In the Garden of Spirituality – Richard Rohr

“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 Richard Rohr's presentation "The Eternal Now . . . and How to Be There." This excerpt deals with prayer and in particular with what it means to, as St. Paul says, "pray always."

The Eternal One has come forth and has taken on form and manifestation—which is us, which is the whole planet, the animals, plants, and elements, the galaxies and all the endless forms and faces that have come forth from God. Our job as conscious humans is to bring the beauty and goodness of everything to full consciousness, to full delight, to full awareness. When you understand that, you can understand what Paul means when he says that in the end “God will be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), which is surely where Augustine got the courage to say the same.

When Paul says to “pray always” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), he can’t mean to walk around saying the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” all day. Prayer is basically a total life stance. It is a way of being present in the world in which we are present to the Presence and present to the Presence in all things. In a certain sense, you either pray always (or almost always) or you do not pray at all.

Being fully present to the moment and to God would be total conversion, but we’re all still learners on that path. I hope we’ve learned how to appreciate at least one or two moments, how to rest and abide in one or two special moments, and to learn to say, “This is good. This is enough. In fact, this is everything.” Once you recognize that it’s all right here, right now, then you’ll carry that awareness everywhere else.

– Richard Rohr
Adapted from the MP3 audio file "The Eternal Now . . . and How to Get There"

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Prayer and the Experience of God in an Ever-Unfolding Universe
Karl Rahner on the Need for Prayer
Michael Morwood on the Divine Presence

Opening image: Michael J. Bayly.

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