Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Discovering Richard Rohr

A few weeks ago a colleague emailed me the name Richard Rohr and asked "Have you heard of him? I think you'd like him."

Monday I was in my retreat center's library. Couldn't find the book I was looking for, but stumbled upon Richard Rohr instead. Remembering my colleague's email, I picked up The Art of Simplicity. I passed a delightful hour reading him and feeling something deep in me resonate.

At the common meal, the director of the retreat center mentioned that he's going to a men's spirituality retreat. That's right, run by Richard Rohr.

Then today, I got an agenda for an upcoming leadership seminar. One of the speakers is a pastor named Tim Keel. Checked out his blog http://www.timkeel.com/Guess who he's been reading? Yep, Richard Rohr.

Who is this man? He's a Franciscan priest who believes deeply that the communal life requires letting other people's pain into your own life. He runs "The center for action and reflection" and he's also well known for his work with the Enneagram and men's spirituality.

In my brief introduction to him, I'm drawn to the message that vulnerability is required for transformation. It feels like a call to get out of my head and into my heart. A call away from contemplation for it's own good (I spend an awful lot of time just thinking) and into an active life engaged with others toward a common purpose.

A few quotes from Simplicity, by Richard Rohr

"By community I mean first of all living in such a way that others can get through to me and influence my life and I can get out of myself and serve their life." pg 65

"The act of our faith consists in donating and giving away what we don't yet have - that's why it's faith. That's so hard for us to understand: How can I give away something that I don't yet even have? Nevertheless I go out and heal others, even though I myself am not yet healed. I heal them through my brokenness, not through my power. Every church community that doesn't include an outwardly directed service for others, a service extending beyond itself, is simply not a Church, it's not Christ." pg 67

1 comment:

  1. Hey - Richard Rohr and the Center for Action and Contemplation hosted the Emerging Church gig I went to in March. He was excellent. I just got the DVD's from the event if you ever wanna watch them. Maybe we should do a "video" night, have a few people over, a few drinks, and watch the video. I've read a few small pieces of his, but not a book yet. The "to read" pile is too large!

    PS - Thanks for the offer of the potential truck. Looking at Oct. 30th as the "big" move day...Kate's coming over, a great parishoner, and it should be quick...plus food and drink on me. If you are free.

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