Sunday, July 18, 2010

From Richard Rohr

Today's meditation from Richard Rohr was stunning, and I wanted to share it in it's entirety here:

Question of the Day:
What struggles have given me a deeper insight
into the workings of the Holy Spirit?

The best thing that I can possibly do as a teacher/preacher is to help people to recognize and trust their own deeper spiritual intuitions.  I am convinced this is what we would call the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  We are not alone; guidance is always being offered. 
My great disappointment in so much of institutional religion is that I don’t think it helps people to trust their deeper spiritual intuitions.  So often it appears to be doing a non-stop flight over all of that.  Often we give people answers to questions they have not yet struggled with or suffered for.  So the answers that they finally have are not deeply understood or deeply felt.  They are not their own answers, and are forgotten easily.
(Richard Rohr, "The Authority of Those Who Have Suffered")


It feels odd to post a critique of institutional religion. I'm probably the biggest proponent of the organized church that I know.  And I don't particularly care what form it takes, either.  I've met Jesus powerfully at mass, and in a crazy charismatic church, and in a home church, and sitting in the dark in a car with a friend.  I feel strongly that each one of those moments, and everything in between encompasses the body of Christ.

That said, Rohr's words hit me strongly.  Because I've had people offer me answers to questions I didn't know I had, and they weren't my answers.  I needed to go through a lot of painful experiences to have answers to those questions.  I wrote, in one way or another, about some of those experiences here, here, and here over the last week.  I'm grateful for those experiences, and for the answers that came in the midst of suffering.

They've changed the way I pray.  Though I prefer to be left alone at times to simply live out my own "mysteries of faith", my nature is to fix it.  Quick answers.  "Easy" solutions.  Box that problem up into manageable sizes.  I've learned to really value the friends who ask me to listen for my own spiritual intuition (as Rohr puts it).  And I'm learning to emulate them as I walk with others through hard parts of their journeys.


Allie, Dearest said...

I always want to try to help people get to the answer as quickly as possible, avoiding all possible detours. But you're right, if they don't learn how to find directions on their own, the next time they wander down this path will be like starting at the very beginning. If they have to start at the beginning with learning how to struggle through, it's better they start now, and not three or four months/ years from now.

I like easy answers too much, I fear.

Lisa said...

oh my, I would so much prefer the easy answers. I guess I've just also learned that if I can get past my own preference for easy, sometimes what comes in the harder moments, is so much better.