Monday, August 30, 2010

When the mind and heart are one

This echos so much of what I said in my last talk at church - I agree wholeheartedly and find that comfort with which we divide ourselves is so commonplace that we don't even question it any more.

Richard Rohr:

When our brain is separated from our heart we will invariably think dualistically, because we ourselves are split. The last 500 years, when we came to rely upon printed words for truth, rational thinking was idealized into what we ironically call “The Enlightenment” (largely beginning in the18th century). This period separated the mind from the heart rather totally, and we might add, since this time war has been almost non stop, and Christianity began to divide into all head people or all heart people, as we often still have today. Both lose half of the picture.

When the human person is split, we find ourselves either in a “war culture”—or in the culture wars that we have in America today—or both. It seems we have to hate somebody or something when we cannot resolve the contradictions that are everywhere—first of all within ourselves. As Jesus said, “the lamp of the body is the eye” (Luke 11:34). And the eye sees most truthfully when it looks out from that place where the mind and the heart are one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Raising my voice

When a man is singing and cannot lift his voice, and another comes and sings with him, another who can lift his voice, the first will be able to lift his voice too. That is the secret of the bond between spirits.

Source: Martin Buber, Ten Rungs: Hasidic Sayings

Add your thoughts at inward/outward

Sunday, August 08, 2010

How can suffering be redemptive?

The Gospel was first heard by people who were longing and thirsty, who were poor and oppressed in one sense or another. They knew their need and their emptiness. So we must go to the same place within ourselves to hear the Gospel. We must find the rejected and fearful parts within each of us and try to live there, if life has not yet put us there. That should allow us a deeper communion with the oppressed of the world, who are by far the majority of the human race since the beginnings of humanity.

If we wish to enter more deeply into this mystery of redemptive suffering—which also means somehow entering more deeply into the heart of God—we have to ask God to allow us to feel some of their pain and loneliness, not just to know it intellectually. It is what we feel that we finally act on. Knowing is often just that, and nothing more.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Job and the Mystery of Suffering, p. 15