The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Thursday, May 25, 2017

You can never have enough...

Our unhealthy economics and politics persist because even Christians largely operate out of a worldview of scarcity: there is not enough land, water, money, and housing for all of us; and in America there are never enough guns to keep us safe. A saint always knows that there is more than enough for our need but never enough for our greed. In the midst of the structural stinginess and over-consumption of our present world, how do we possibly change consciousness and teach the mind to operate from mercy and graciousness? It will always be an uphill battle, and it will always depend upon a foundational and sustained conversion. Even the churches tend to be stingy with grace and mercy, as Pope Francis continues to point out.

Only our personal experiences of unconditional, unearned, and infinite love and forgiveness can move us from the normal worldview of scarcity to the divine world of infinite abundance. That’s when the doors of mercy blow wide open! That’s when we begin to understand the scale-breaking nature of the Gospel. Catholics and much of the world are now stunned to observe a pope who exemplifies this worldview in our time. We can no longer say it is impossible idealism. – Fr. Richard Rohr

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Our purpose...

"Man was created for a certain end. This end is to praise, to reverence and to serve the Lord his God and by this means to arrive at eternal salvation. All other beings and objects that surround us on the earth were created for the benefit of man and to be useful to him, as means to his final end; hence his obligation to use, or to abstain from the use of, these creatures, according as they bring him nearer to that end, or tend to separate him from it."
— St. Ignatius of Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, p.18

Monday, May 22, 2017

Embrace your mistakes!

What is the law really for? It’s not to make God love you. God already loves you, and you cannot make God love you any more or any less by any technique whatsoever. The purpose of spiritual law is to sharpen your awareness about your own weaknesses and about who God is for you in that situation. When you recognize your own radical inability to really obey the purpose of the law and, in that same moment ask for God’s mercy, you have achieved its deepest purpose. If you have ever tried to get rid of a negative thought by mere will power, instead of by a “Higher Power,” you have surely experienced this reality. Surrender is the goal, not personal success.

God not only allows us to make mistakes, but even uses our mistakes in our favor! That is the brilliant Gospel economy of grace, and it is the only thing worthy of being called “good news and a joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10). When you come out of the boxing ring of the creative tension of law and grace, you will know that you have finally won the match; but ironically, you will have won by losing! – Fr. Richard Rhor