"For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes." - Dag Hammarskjold

Sunday, November 3, 2013

celebrating lives greatly full :: richard rohr

If we are so blessed, once in a lifetime, a writer comes along that opens up a whole new world for us.  Or maybe, as in my case, gives the world we knew a whole new meaning. We see it with new eyes. This is what spiritual teacher and Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr, did for me.

I first encountered Fr. Richard's teachings about 10 years ago, thanks to a set of CDs that were in the library at my silent retreat house. I listened to his words... and there was no going back.  I knew instantly this was a voice that spoke to my heart. (Listen to this short talk on Prayer as a state of communion - you'll see what I mean.)

R. Rohr, seated on the right

A few years ago, I had Hubby drive me to Boston so that I could attend a week-long series of evening classes with Fr. Richard at Boston College.  A year later, I had the pleasure of attending a weekend workshop with him here in the Ottawa Valley.  Then just last February, I attended a conference in Chicago where he spoke, along with Fr. Lawrence Freeman (World Community for Christian Meditation). His teachings remain relevant and challenging. Inspired and inspiring.

You can imagine the joy and gratitude I felt when I received an email from Fr. Richard, accepting my invitation to share his gratitude on this blog!  I am so honoured to share this post from my teacher and spiritual mentor. 

My Long Gratitude

Richard Rohr

Of the many daily, totally gratuitous things I am grateful for, the things I too often take for granted, I think my long standing gratitude is for the gift of the Christian proclamation so early in life—but precisely in a way that kept growing and unfolding throughout my life.

Yes, I was grateful as a little Catholic boy in Kansas to be a part of such a warm and even insular community, as it was in the 1940s and 50s.  It gave me ground, security, and a foundational happiness in being itself.  Then I was grateful to be exposed by the
Franciscans in Ohio and Michigan to a huge world of ideas, philosophy, art, poetry, culture, and theology that made me aware of how catholic Catholic should be, and this gave me a foundational happiness in my mind.  Finally, I am grateful that my role allowed me to teach all over the world from my home here in New Mexico, to meet so many beautiful human beings, discover new depths of communion through many trials and stages, and this gave me a foundational happiness in my very heart and soul.

Now I am just grateful that being an ordinary man can be more than enough, and it allows me to name, enjoy, and tell others about what I have been given to see. The message of Christ is not finally about him at all (which he seems to be quite happy about, since that is the whole poiint!), but a liberating message about us, the movement of history, and in fact everything.  Now I have much and even everything to be grateful for, and even the inner and outer trials that got me here.

1 comment:

  1. What an absolute delight and treasure! After I read this, I spent a few hours on YouTube, listening to Fr. Richard speak. He is a pleasure to listen to, and to learn from. I have picked up "Everything Belongs" again, just so I can continue to listen to him, to his wise and gentle words. Thank you for introducing me to him, Jo-Anne. And thank you for that wonderful picture from Chicago!!!! xoxo