Image and Likeness
God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness.” —Genesis 1:26
Over the course of this year’s Daily Meditations, Richard Rohr explores how we can incarnate love in our unique context by unveiling the image and likeness of God in all that we see and do. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time!
Explore the Daily Meditations archive by browsing the years and months listed to the right (at the bottom of the page on mobile devices) or by using the search bar to find key words and topics.
Watch a short video and continue reading to learn more about this year’s theme, “Image and Likeness.”
In his 2018 Daily Meditations, Richard Rohr explores places in which God’s presence has often been ignored or assumed absent. The three monotheistic religions all teach that one Creator formed all things “out of nothing.” There is thus a radical unity at the heart of the universe’s pluriformity, resolving any conflict between diversity and the shared DNA found in all creation. This theo-logic allows us to see “the hidden wholeness” in all things and to confidently assert that “everything belongs,” despite all seeming evidence to the contrary. The distinction between natural and supernatural, sacred and profane, exists only as a mental construct, but never in the mind of the true mystic.
True mystics—those who have learned to see at the deepest, experiential level—know that everything is sacred. As Meister Eckhart said, “This whole world is pregnant with God!” Contemplation helps us see “beyond the shadow and the disguise” of things (Thomas Merton), to perceive reality at its depths. The universal Christ is a helpful name for the inspirited character of all material reality, or as Paul puts it, “He is everything and he is in everything” (Colossians 3:11). To see this is to have “the mind of Christ.”
Centuries of Christian theology confirm that the “image” described in Genesis refers to our eternal essence in God which cannot be increased or decreased. “Likeness” refers to our personal embodiments of that inner divine image. Though we differ in likeness, the imago Dei persists and shines through all created things. There are as many ways to manifest God as there are beings in the universe. Our personal and collective incarnations reveal aspects of the sacred through our personhood, relationships, fields of work and study, culture, economy, and justice.
What some call “sin” proceeds from the illusion of separation and irreconcilable differences—denying the objective divine image in our planet, living things, and any humans who are perceived as “other.” This is the primary source of all suffering and violence. Understanding our shared origin with all of creation gives us a strong foundation for living in loving relationship with all reality. Non-dual consciousness (which Father Richard calls the “contemplative mind”) allows us to be embodied and lovingly present to the sacred in all creatures, not just humans. Such wholeness sees and enjoys wholeness everywhere else—and thus calls it forth.
Richard dives deep into this theme with 1-2 week segments over a full year (see a rough outline below). Every Saturday includes a summary of the previous week’s meditations and an invitation to contemplative practice. “Gateway to Presence” (at the bottom of each meditation) is an invitation to deepen your experience of reading that day’s reflection.
We hope that reading these messages is a contemplative, spiritual experience for you. Click here to learn about contemplative prayer and other forms of meditation. For frequently asked questions—such as what versions of the Bible Father Richard recommends or how to ensure you receive every meditation—please see our email FAQ.
- Contemplative Consciousness
- Jesus of Nazareth
- Sermon on the Mount
- The Natural World
- Growing in Love’s Likeness
- Human Bodies
- Gender and Sexuality
- Perennial Tradition
- Primal and Indigenous Spirituality
- Taoism and Buddhism
- Early Christianity
- Eastern Christianity
- Western Christianity