Richard Rohr on The Evolution of Mystic Consciousness

Let’s take a look at the history of mysticism to find our roots and see how we had it, how and why we largely lost it, and to recognize that now we are in the midst of a rediscovery and new appreciation for the mystical, nondual, or contemplative mind (use whichever word you prefer; they are all pointing in the same direction).

Before 800 BC, it seems most people experienced their union with the Divine and Reality through myth, poetry, dance, music, fertility, and nature. Karl Jaspers (1883-1969) called this Pre-axial Consciousness. Although living in an often-violent world and focusing on survival, people still knew that they belonged to something cosmic and meaningful. They inherently participated in an utterly enchanted universe where the “supernatural” was everywhere. This was the pre-existent “church that existed since Abel,” spoken of by St. Augustine, St. Gregory the Great, and the Second Vatican Council. Owen Barfield (1898-1997) called this state of mind “original participation.” [1] It is reflected in most of the indigenous religions to this day. As Pope John Paul II said, Native Americans have known from the beginning what it’s taking us Catholics a long time to realize: that the Great Spirit has always been available and loveable in the natural world. [2]Read More »

Advertisements

Richard Rohr on ‘Incarnational Mysticism’

Years ago, someone asked if I could sum up all my teachings in two words. My response was “incarnational mysticism.” The first word, “incarnational,” is Christianity’s specialty and should always be our essential theme. We believe God became incarnate. The early Fathers of the Church professed that God, by taking on human flesh, said yes to all that was physical, material, and earthly. Unfortunately, Christianity lost this full understanding.

Many Christians are scared of the word “mysticism.” But a mystic is simply one who has moved from mere belief or belonging systems to actual inner experience of God. Mysticism is more represented in John’s Gospel than in the three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) which give us the basic story line of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. In fact, the primary reason many are not moved or attracted to John’s Gospel is because they were never taught the mystical mind.Read More »

Ritualul și rolul său | irisologie

Source: Ritualul și rolul său | irisologie

Am citit cu interes acest text. In ce ma priveste, ca ‘high church Anglican’ sunt mai pozitiv fata de ritualul religios decit sunteti dvs. Observ ca traseele noastre religioase sunt opuse, si poate de aici vine diferenta: al dvs este de la ritualul religios catolic (fie el si unul nominal), la saracia simbolica cultului evangelic, in vreme ce a mea este de la aceasta din urma, la bogatia liturgica si sacramentala a crestinismului istoric. In ce ma priveste, teologia, si in special interactiunea cu teologia ortodoxa, este cea care a determinat in cea mai mare masura aceasta traiectorie.
Acestea fiind spuse, dati-mi voie sa fac citeva observatii.
1. Omul este o fiinta simbolica si nu poate trai fara simboluri, metafore, modele, si, in cele din urma, fara ritual. Omul este singura fiinta are marcheaza ritualic nasterea unui prunc, isi celebreaza nunta si isi ingroapa mortii, intre multe altele.
2. Ritualurile de trecere, nu sunt doar apanajul omului primitiv. Chiar daca rolul ritualurilor de trecere a slabit in modernitate, acestea continua sa existe, slava Domnului, ele izvorind din natura omului creat dupa chipul lui Dumnezeu. In definitiv, botezul crestin tocmai asta este – un ritual de trecere (fara singe insa, caci pe acesta l-a varsat Cristos). In aceasta privinta refuz fara ezitare conceptia penibila a lui Zwingli despre sacramente, care le transforma in simple semne – daca e asa, adica daca singura lor ratune este sa semnifice, intr-un fel sau altul – caci aceasta este natura semnului: semnificatul este important, nu semnul utilizat, moartea si invierea cuiva in Cristos, de ce nu ‘facem botezul’, de exemplu, cu candidatul intrind cu hainele de strada intr-un dulap – semnificind mormintul, si iesind din el cu haine albe, semnificind invierea sau ‘nasterea din nou’ (intre altele, un concept biblic minor, a carui importanta a fost exagerata de evanghelici). La fel, am putea lua ‘cina’ cu brinza si lapte, daca vinul si piinea sunt doar semne arbitrare. Dar nu sunt. Cum nu e nici apa. Bunul nostru simt de spune asta, chiar daca bezmeticcul Zwigli ar vrea sa credem altceva.
3. Ruptura sacru-profan, oricit de folositoare ar fi ea pentru Eliade si istoria religiilor, este inselatoare din perspectiva crestina. Scopul lui Cristos, nu este sa creeze un soi de homo religiosus, la care doar dimensiunea sacra conteaza, ci ‘ a aduce toate lucrurile in ascultare de Dumnezeu, in Cristos’ (Efes. 1:10). Cu alte cuvinte, daca moderrnitatea a incercat profanarea (si eliminarea) sacrului, Cristos a venit sa sacralizeze intreaga existenta.
4. Da, modernitatea a incercat sa desvrajeasca lumea – lipsa de ritual a evanghelicilor, care sunt copii ai modernitatii, este o alta expresie a acestui efort – dar a esuat lamentabil. Avem de-a face, asa cum bine remarca multi sociologi ai religiei (inclusiv Peter Berger insusi – Dumnezeu sa-l odihnasca, cel care promova cindva teoria secularizarii, iar apoi a realizat ca s-a inselat), lumea a intrat, in postmoderrnitate, intr-un proces de revrajire, chiar daca, asa cum subliniam intr-un pasaj din teza mea de doctorat, este vorba de o revrajire in care transcendentul nu este inca pe deplin restaurat in locul care i se cuvine.
5. Cred ca evenimentul cristic nu schimba prea mult in nevoia omului de ritual. Inainte de Cristos, ritualul arata inainte, spre venirea lui, in vreme ce dupa inviere el arata inapoi, catre ceea ce a facut posibila mintuirea noastra. Atit si nimic mai mult.
In concluzie, convingerea mea este ca fara ritual omul nu este om, ci doar o jivina, fie ea si cuvintatoare.

Richard Rohr on Nonviolence – Taking Jesus Seriously

How is it that after two thousand years of meditation on Jesus Christ we’ve managed to avoid everything that he taught so unequivocally? This is true of every Christian denomination, even those who call themselves orthodox or doctrinally pure.  We are all “cafeteria Christians.” All of us have evaded some major parts of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): the Beatitudes, Jesus’ warning about idolizing “mammon,” his clear directive and example of nonviolence, and his command to love our enemies being the most obvious. Jesus has always been too much for us. He is the only true “orthodoxy” as far as I can see.

In fact, I have gone so far as to say, if Jesus never talked about it once, the churches will tend to be preoccupied with it (abortion, birth control, and homosexuality are current examples), and if Jesus made an unequivocal statement about it (for example, the rich, the camel, and the eye of a needle), we tend to quietly shelve it and forget it. This is not even hard to prove.Read More »

John Dear on the Signs of a Prophet – 2

(HERE is the source of this text. Continued from HERE)

Seventh, a prophet confronts the status quo. With the prophet, there is no sitting back. The powerful are challenged, empires resisted, systemic justices exposed. Prophets vigorously rock the leaky ship of the state and shake our somnolent complacency. . . .

Eighth, for the prophet, the secure life is usually denied. More often than not the prophet is in trouble. Prophets call for love of our nation’s enemies. They topple the nation’s idols, upset the rich and powerful, and break the laws that would legalize mass murder. The warlike culture takes offense and dismisses the prophet, not merely as an agitator but as obsessed and unbalanced. Consequently, the prophet ends up outcast, rejected, harassed, and marginalized—and, eventually, punished, threatened, targeted, bugged, followed, jailed, and sometimes killed.

Ninth, prophets bring the incandescent word to the very heart of grudging religious institutions. There the prophet confronts the blindness and complacency of the religious leader—the bishops and priests who keep silent amid national crimes; the ministers who trace a cross over industries of death and rake blood money into churchly coffers. A bitter irony and an ancient story—and all but inevitable. The institution that goes by the name of God often turns away the prophet of God.Read More »

John Dear on the Signs of a Prophet – 1

(via Richard Rohr)

First, a prophet is someone who listens attentively to the word of God, a contemplative, a mystic who hears God and takes God at God’s word, and then goes into the world to tell the world God’s message. So a prophet speaks God’s message fearlessly, publicly, without compromise, despite the times, whether fair or foul.

Second, morning, noon, and night, the prophet is centered on God. The prophet does not do his or her own will or speak his or her own message. The prophet does God’s will and speaks God’s message. . . . In the process, the prophet tells us who God is and what God wants, and thus who we are and how we can become fully human.

Third, a prophet interprets the signs of the times. The prophet is concerned with the world, here and now, in the daily events of the whole human race, not just our little backyard or some ineffable hereafter. The prophet sees the big picture—war, starvation, poverty, corporate greed, nationalism, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. The prophet interprets these current realities through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of analysts or pundits or Pentagon press spokespeople. The prophet tells us God’s take on what’s happening.Read More »

Richard Rohr on Prophets

Read More »

Warning: This Post Could Be Hazardous to Your Paralysis | UnTangled

Source: Warning: This Post Could Be Hazardous to Your Paralysis | UnTangled

Kelly Flanagan on digital detox. NOT A SAFE POST! 🙂

Richard Rohr Meditation: Saved by the Cross

Source: Richard Rohr Meditation: Saved by the Cross

In case you wondered what Fr Rohr thinks about the Cross (I know my dear friend Eugen Matei does). This spells it out a bit.

Richard Rohr – Love at the Core of the Gospel

Franciscans never believed that “blood atonement” was required for God to love us. We believed that Christ was Plan A from the very beginning (Colossians 1:15-20, Ephesians 1:3-14, John 1:1-18). Christ wasn’t a Plan B after the first humans sinned, which is the way most people seem to understand the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Great Mystery of Incarnation could not be a mere mop-up exercise, a problem-solving technique, or dependent on human beings messing up.  The Incarnation was not motivated by a problem but by love.

Did God intend no meaning or purpose for creation during the first 13.8 billion years? Did the sun, moon, and galaxies have no divine significance? The fish, the birds, the animals were just waiting for humans to appear? Was there no Divine Blueprint (“Logos”) from the beginning? This thinking reveals the hubris of the human species and our tendency to anthropomorphize the whole story around ourselves.Read More »

The Gift of Awakening | Dr David G Benner

Source: The Gift of Awakening | Dr David G Benner

Awakening is a call we find in all religious traditions.
Did you ever receive this call? And, if you did, how di you respond to it, if, indeed, you did respond?

Rob Bell – What Is the Bible?

I have just finished reading Rob Bell’s latest book, titled What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything. I really loved it and I think every evangelical should read it. The book does not say anything new, nor does the author claim to do so. It merely presents at a popular level what theologians and Bible scholars have said about it in the last hundred years.

You may ask, what is then so important about it? Here is my answer.Read More »

Walter Brueggemann – Maundy Thursday: Belonging and Washing

“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” —John 13:14–15

The disciples watched with indignation and astonishment, this Lord become a servant. As they watched, their anxiety ebbed some. And he said to them: “Do you know what I have done to you?”

The disciples are always concrete operational. They said, “Yes, you washed our feet.”

More than that, he said. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” Read More »

Christine Mangala Frost – The Human Icon: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs

The Human Icon: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs
By Christine Mangala Frost
Paperback ISBN: 9780227176351
RRP: £25.00
Publication Date: 27/04/2017
Also available in ebook formats.
The Book: Despite the history that divides them, Hinduism and Orthodox Christianity have much in common. In The Human Icon, Christine Mangala Frost explores how both religions seek to realise the divine potential of every human being, and the differences in their approach. Frost, who has experienced both the extraordinary riches and the all-too-human failings of Hinduism and Orthodox Christianity from the inside, is perfectly placed to examine the convergences and divergences between the two faiths.
Inspired by a desire to clear up the misunderstandings that exist between the two, The Human Icon is a study in how two faiths, superficially dissimilar, can nevertheless find meeting points everywhere. The powerful intellectual and spiritual patristic traditions of Orthodox Christianity offer a rare tool for revitalising too-often stalled dialogue with Hinduism and present the chance for a broader and more diverse understanding of the oldest religion in the world.
Tracing the long history of Orthodox Christianity in India, from the Thomas Christians of ancient times to the distinctive theology of Paulos Mar Gregorios and the Kottayam School, Frost explores the impact of Hindu thought on Indian Christianity and considers the potential for confluence.
With a breadth of interest that spans Hindu bhakti, Orthodox devotional theology, Vedānta and theosis, as well as meditational Yoga and hesychastic prayer, Frost offers a fresh perspective on how the devotees of both faiths approach the ideal of divinisation, and presents a thoughtful, modern methodology for a dialogue of life.
The Author: Christine Mangala Frost is a Guest Lecturer and Research Associate at the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge, where she edits and presents their outreach programme, The Way. Born in India and raised Hindu, she converted first to Anglicanism and then, in 1997, to Orthodox Christianity. She is the author of several journal articles on interfaith issues, as well as three novels, including The Firewalkers (1991), which was shortlisted for both the Deo Gloria Award and the Commonwealth First Book Prize.
* * *
Find below a PDF flyer for this new publication.
The book will be out on 31 May. HERE is the Amazon link where it could be pre-ordered.

 

Border Dwelling – A Fascinating and Uncomfortable Calling


Mexican boy at the border

One of the ways I tend to describe my challenged identity to those who want to know who I really am is to say that I am a ‘border dweller, negotiating traffic between opposing realities‘. It is a fascinating position, as you are able to look critically at both realities, and to be enriched  equally by both. It is, however, also a dangerous position, since those who are there are usually shot at from both sides. Yet, to be authemtic, one has to be what one is called to be, as unconfortable as that might sound.

Today I found a very interesting article, written by Robert Hunt, an American Methodist author I usually read with great interest (with a simple search, you may find a few of his texts on my blog, especially on topics related to Palestine and Israel). The article I mentioned here, titled ‘Privilege and Loss of Personnhood‘, ends with a fabulously rich poem in prose by Gloria Anzaldúa, which sumarises well my feelings about what it means to be a ‘border dweller’, be it in Mexican terms, in this case. Here it is:

* * *

To Live In The Borderlands
by  Gloria Anzaldúa

To live in the Borderlands means you
are neither hispana india negra espanola
ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed
caught in the crossfire between camps
while carrying all five races on your back
not knowing which side to turn to, run from;

To live in the Borderlands means knowing
that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years,

is no longer speaking to you,
the mexicanas call you rajetas,
that denying the Anglo inside you

is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black;

Cuando vives en la frontera
people walk through you, the wind steals your voice,
you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat,
forerunner of a new race,
half and half-both woman and man, neither-a new gender;

To live in the Borderlands means to
put chile in the borscht,
eat whole wheat tortillas,
speak Tex-Mex with a Brooklyn accent;
be stopped by la migra at the border checkpoints;

Living in the Borderlands means you fight hard to
resist the gold elixir beckoning from the bottle,
the pull of the gun barrel,
the rope crushing the hollow of your throat;

In the Borderlands
you are the battleground
where enemies are kin to each other;
you are at home, a stranger,
the border disputes have been settled
the volley of shots have scattered the truce
you are wounded, lost in action
dead, fighting back;

To live in the Borderlands means
the mill with the razor white teeth wants to shred off
your olive-red skin, crush out the kernel, your heart
pound you pinch you roll you out
smelling like white bread but dead;

To survive the Borderlands
you must live sin fronteras.
be a crossroads.

prețul unui ochi și prețul unui dinte | JURNAℓ SCOȚIAN

Source: prețul unui ochi și prețul unui dinte | JURNAℓ SCOȚIAN

Pr. Florescu, din nou, absolut superb:
‘Crucea ta o să fie când ai să duci de bunăvoie necazul altuia, nu necazul tău. Crucea nu este să fii tu olog, ci să porți după tine un olog. Crucea nu este să fii bolnav, ci să îngrijești cu dragoste un bolnav. Crucea este atunci când rabzi pentru altul, nu pentru tine. Când nu le mai cauți pe ale tale, ci pe ale celuilalt.’

Wisdom and the Mind of Christ | Dr David G Benner

Source: Wisdom and the Mind of Christ | Dr David G Benner

David Benner on accessing the mind of Christ

Phileena Heuertz – Active Contemplation in Response to Socio-polticial Upheaval

v90a6vpg

My dear friend Phileena Heuertz has just published on the website of her organisation, Gravity Center, a reflection on the way in which a comptemplative stance could help Christians in the US (and I would say, anywhere in the world) get some perspective ‘from above’ on the messy world in which we live.

Here is summary of her suggestions, which she gathers under the acronym ACTION:

Be (A)lert.

Be (C)ourageous.

Be (T)houghtful.

Be (I)nquisitive.

Be (O)pen.

Be (N)ourishing.

Rear HERE the entire text.

Scot McKnight – Why Be Anglican: Worship

anglican

I am doing a series on the blog about why I became Anglican, and last week I looked at the church calendar, and this week I want to dip into “worship,” by which I mean Sunday morning worship service. (I do not equate worship with Sunday morning worship, but Sunday morning worship is worship.)

If the church calendar shapes the church themes, the church liturgy for Holy Eucharist is shaped by a customary set of elements of the worship service. Each of these is needed, each is integrated into the other, and each is formative for Christian discipleship. To repeat from last week’s blog post, I don’t idealize or idolize Anglican worship, but I believe it is a mature, wise, and deeply theological tradition at work.

I have taken for my text this morning last week’s worship guide, or bulletin. Here are the elements of our worship and eucharist celebration: processional hymn, a call to worship, the Word of God, the proclamation of the Word of God, the Nicene Creed, prayers of the people, confession of sin, passing the peace, and then we move into Eucharist beginning with an offering, doxology, the great thanksgiving, breaking of bread, a prayer of thanksgiving and we close with a blessing.Read More »

Richard Rohr – How Jesus Interpreted Scripture

richard-rohr

Biblical messages often proceed from historical incidents, but the actual message does not depend upon communicating those events with perfect factual accuracy. Any good writer knows that! Spiritual writers are not primarily journalists. Hebrew rabbis and scholars sometimes used an approach called midrash in which they reflected on a story to communicate all of its underlying message. Scripture can be understood on at least four levels: literal meaning, deep meaning, comparative meaning, and hidden meaning. Midrash allowed and encouraged each listener to grow with a text and not to settle for mere literalism, which of itself bears very little spiritual fruit. Some Christians do the same today with mature, reflective reading of Scripture (lectio divina), but Jesus and ancient Jewish teachers were much more honest and up front about this.

Whatever is received is received according to the manner of the receiver. This was drilled into me during my seminary education. People at different levels of development will interpret the same text (or homily) in different ways. There is no one right way to interpret sacred texts. Such a singular approach was a defensive posture that emerged more strongly after the fights of the Reformation and the attacks of the Enlightenment. How you see is what you see; the who that you bring to your reading of the Scriptures matters. Is it a defensive who? An offensive who? A power-hungry who? A righteous who? Surely, this is why we need to pray before reading a sacred text!Read More »

Andrei Plesu – O „piatra de poticnire“ pe tema libertatii

Andrei-Plesu

Nota: Nu stiu cum mi-a scapat acest exceptional text al lui Andrei Plesu din Dilema, despre riscurile libertatii. Redau aici doar primele paragrafe ale textului, si paragraful final, care mi se pare genial, si care exprima mult mai bine decit as fi putut-o face eu vreodata, propriile mele framintari si convingeri legate de ;roblema libertatii. Sper ca acestea vor fi suficiente motivatii ca sa cititi intregul text pe situl revistei.

* * *

Una dintre cele mai frumoase teme ale teologiei creștine este tema libertății acordate de Creator omului, așa încît din alcătuirea sa (gîndită „după chipul și asemănarea“ Autorului) să nu lipsească un atribut esențial: dreptul la alegere și inițiativă. Nu există „persoană“, în sens deplin, fără liber arbitru, fără autonomia deciziei și fără răspunderea propriilor decizii. Dumnezeu nu ne vrea „gata programați“, ființe teleghidate, care fac „ce trebuie“ pur și simplu pentru că nu au, în codul lor de fabricație, altă variantă. Dumnezeu nu vrea să dialogheze cu niște roboți, într-o lume „perfectă“ prin monotonie. Din punctul de vedere al Creatorului Atotputernic, această „concesie“ făcută libertății umane este un sacrificiu, o autolimitare. Un fel de a-Și atenua „atotputernicia“. Cu alte cuvinte, Dumnezeu renunță la ceva din „absolutitatea“ Sa, pentru a lăsa spațiu liber de manifestare creaturii Sale (incluzînd posibilitatea greșelii, a orgoliului și, la limită, a apostaziei). Dumnezeu lasă, deci, o șansă paradoxală derapajului, erorii, impurității, ne-iubirii, ne-credinței. Cîți suverani sînt capabili de așa ceva?Read More »

Why Be Anglican?

I begin a series that will seek to shed some light on why I am Anglican. Image used with permission. More than twice a month I am asked “Why did you become Anglican?” The answer to […]

Source: Why Be Anglican?

I get this question too, a lot. So, here is some answer, even if here and there my enphases would be slightly diffeerent than those of Scot McKnight.

Practicing Presence | Dr David G Benner

Source: Practicing Presence | Dr David G Benner

Do we really try to practice presence at leaast from time to time?
Or do we really know what that is?
Here is, possibly, a good question for the beginning of the new year.

Levente Horvath – The Promise of Living, not Just of Thinking to Be A Christian

celtic-cake
Celtic birthday cake (via Cami Di)

Note: I have received this birthday meditation from my friend Levente Horvath, addressed, again, to ‘a son of Advent’, and I have decided to share it with you.

* * *

As a Christian I shouldn’t try to think my way into a different way of living, but to live my way into a different way of thinking (paraphrasing Rohr). And of what does this different/new way of thinking consist? It is not just thinking that I am sharing the same confession of faith with the brethren, not that we agree with each other in our brains, but something far more beyond that. It is receiving others as I was received by Christ. As Jean-Louis Chrétien put it, “The first hospitality is nothing other than listening.” By listening, I pave the way toward living a “receiving-others-into-my-life, into-my-own personality”- lifestyle instead of living a life of pure thinking. In the New Testament Greek the word person (PERSONA in Latin) comes from PROSOPON, meaning “face-to-face.” This word in modernism was substituted with the word individual, INDIVIDUUM, the unit which cannot be further divided. But persona means turning to the other person, being open to listen to, receive, and let the person become part of me. This lets me be(come) a GENUINE PERSON. That is the secret of a Christian fellowship, of Christian living in, and as a member of, His Body. Rational abstraction is misleading, an illusion of living. Read More »

Brian Zahnd – Christian Certitude: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

enns-sin-of-certainly

Do you love your faith so little that you have never battled a single fear lest your faith should not be true? Where there are no doubts, no questions, no perplexities, there can be no growth.

– George MacDonald

In my spiritual memoir, Water To Wine, part of the story I tell involves my own journey away from cheap certitude toward an authentic faith. It is a phenomenon of modernity that certitude (mental assent toward something as an absolute empirical fact) has become confused with faith (an orientation of the soul toward God in the form of deep trust).

That this phenomenon is prevalent among certain streams of Christians is strangely ironic since this involves genuflecting at the altar of empiricism and privileging knowledge over faith. Privileging empiricism above faith as the final arbiter of truth is a hallmark of modernity, but it is also antithetical to Christianity.

Certitude is a poor substitute for authentic faith. But certitude is popular; it’s popular because it’s easy. No wrestling with doubt, no dark night of the soul, no costly agonizing over the matter, no testing yourself with hard questions. Just accept a secondhand assumption or a majority opinion or a popular sentiment as the final word and settle into certainty.

Certitude is easy…until it’s impossible. And, that’s why certitude is so often a disaster waiting to happen. The empty slogan “the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” is cheap certitude, not genuine faith.Read More »

First Sunday of Advent 2016 – Light Shines in Darkness

AdventWreath-celtic

In him was life,
and that life was the light of the people.
The light shines in darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
(John 1:4-5)

Advent is a season of waiting. The anticipation of things to come. The desperate hope that the darkness of the world is not the end of the story; but one day light will prevail.

For those invested and paying attention to the political realities of the Middle East, often darkness seems to rule the day. There is much darkness to lament.

The darkness of the Syrian conflict that has raged for more than half a decade and has

resulted in the displacement and death of millions… Read More »

Sever Voinescu – Sunt convins ca Dumnezeu ne iubeste

sever-voinescu
Sever Voinescu

Sectiunea de spiritualitate a revistei Formula As a publicat recent un foarte interesant interviu cu domnul Sever Voinescu, redactor-şef al revistei Dilema, un intelectual care nu face un secret din angajarea lui religioasa.

Redau aici inceputul acestui interviu. Multumesc pentru acest link prietenului meu, domnul Ioan T Morar.

* * *

– În ultimii ani, cititorii dvs. v-au putut cunoaşte o latură neştiută a personalităţii dvs.: aceea de creştin practicant. Cum a început drumul dvs. spre Dumnezeu? Cum aţi descoperit bucuria cre­dinţei?

– Am simţit misterul teribil al lui Dumnezeu, încă înainte să ştiu bine ce-i cu el. Credinţa a crescut în mine natural, cumva firesc, fără să fi existat vreun moment zero, vreo revelaţie sau vreun şoc exis­ten­ţial, cum au fost, de exemplu, cele ale Sfântului Apostol Pavel sau al Fericitului Augustin. Pur şi simplu, în procesul de descoperire de sine, prin care trece orice om în anii primei tinereţi, eu am desco­perit în mine un credincios. Nu am fost niciodată altfel. Lecturile şi un anumit anturaj m-au ajutat enorm să înţeleg ce e cu mine, abia mai târziu. Cât despre mărturisirea credinţei mele – simt nevoia să o fac tot mai des, cu cât văd că lumea de­vine tot mai necredincioasă. În cazul meu, mărtu­risirea credinţei creştine este, mai ales, o apologetică. Pe măsură ce se înteţesc atacurile la adresa creştinis­mului, simt nevoia să vorbesc lumii despre splendoa­rea credinţei mele. Sunt sigur că dacă aş fi trăit într-o lume mai încreştinată şi mai îmbisericită, precum cea medievală, de pildă, nu aş fi vorbit prea mult despre credinţa mea. Precizez că nu împărtăşesc deloc pre­judecata Evului Mediu ca ev întunecat, obscurantist, plin de demoni şi ignoranţă, în mare diferenţă faţă de vremurile noastre, inteligente, luminoase şi deschise. Nici vorbă! Evul Mediu a fost o vreme cu lumini şi umbre precum este şi cea de astăzi. Iar ignoranţa şi prostia colectivă de azi nu este cu nimic mai prejos decât cea din Evul Mediu.

– Aţi avut o educaţie religioasă în familie?

– Mai degrabă, nu. Cum v-am spus, întâi am fost credincios şi abia apoi mi-am dat seama de asta…Read More »

Richard Rohr – What do we mean by “contemplation”?

Richard Rohr – What are “the politics of Jesus”?

Thanks to my friend Manu for the link.

Richard Rohr – A Nonviolent Atonement

richard-rohr

Jesus’ teachings seem to have been understood rather clearly during the first few hundred years after his death and resurrection. Values like nonparticipation in war, simple living, and love of enemies were common among his early followers. For example, the Didache, written around AD 90, calls readers to “share all things with your brother; and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish.” [1] At this time, Christianity was countercultural, untouched by empire, rationalization, and compromise.

However, when the imperial edict of AD 313 elevated Christianity to a privileged position in the Roman Empire, the church increasingly accepted, and even defended, the dominant social order, especially concerning war, money, and class. Morality became individualized and largely sexual. Formal Christianity slowly lost its free and alternative vantage point, which is probably why what we now call “religious life” began, and flourished, after 313. People went to the edges of the church and took vows of poverty, living in satellites that became “little churches,” without ever formally leaving the big church.Read More »