In his Daily Meditations this year, Franciscan Richard Rohr helps us learn the dance of action and contemplation. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time! Learn more about the 2020 theme—watch a short intro and explore recent reflections. Scroll down to read the most recent post.
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Reality Initiating Us: Part Two
Lesson Four: Passing Over to Life
Thursday, April 9, 2020
It is true that you are not in control, for “can any of you, for all your worrying, add a single moment to your span of life?” (Luke 12:25-26).
If we cannot control life and death, why do we spend so much time trying to control smaller outcomes? Call it destiny, providence, guidance, synchronicity, or coincidence, but people who are connected to the Source do not need to steer their own life and agenda. They know that it is being done for them in a much better way than they ever could. Those who hand themselves over are received, and the flow happens through them. Those who don’t relinquish control are still received, but they significantly slow down the natural flow of Spirit.
When we set ourselves up to think we deserve, expect, or need certain things to happen, we are setting ourselves up for constant unhappiness and a final inability to enjoy or at least allow what is going to happen anyway. After a while, we find ourselves resisting almost everything at some level. It is a terrible way to live. Giving up control is a school to learn union, compassion, and understanding. It is ultimately a school for the final letting go that we call death. Right now, as we face social restrictions, economic fragility, and the vulnerability of our own bodies, is there something deeper that you can surrender to, that can ground you in disruption?
Surrendering to the divine flow is not about giving in, capitulating, becoming a puppet, being naïve, irresponsible, or stopping all planning and thinking. Surrender is about a peaceful inner opening that keeps the conduit of living water flowing to love. But do know this: every time we surrender to love, we have also just chosen to die. Every time we let love orient us, we are letting go of ourselves as an autonomous unit and have given a bit of ourselves away to something or someone else, and it is not easily retrieved—unless we choose to stop loving—which many do. But even then, when that expanded Self wants to retreat back into itself, it realizes it is trapped in a much larger truth now. And Love wins again.
Jesus surely had a dozen good reasons why he should not have had to die so young, so unsuccessful at that point, and the Son of God besides! By becoming the Passover Lamb, plus the foot-washing servant, Jesus makes God’s revelation human, personal, clear and quite concrete. Jesus is handed over to the religious and political powers-that-be, and we must be handed over to God from our power, privilege, and need for control. Otherwise, we will never grow up, or participate in the Mystery of God and Love. It really is about “passing over” to a deeper faith and life.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond, (Jossey-Bass: 2013), 65;
Wondrous Encounters: Scripture for Lent, (Franciscan Media: 2011), 134-135; and
Adam’s Return (Crossroad Publishing Company: 2004), 162-163.
In 2012 as Fr. Richard Rohr’s focus shifted to founding the Living School and recovering a Christian path to unitive consciousness, his male-specific work transitioned away from the CAC into Illuman, a global nonprofit organization committed to carrying on Fr. Richard’s work to recover traditional patterns of male initiation, affirm a path to masculine healing, reveal the true and false self, and honor the path of descent. They seek to form future generations of men who will restore these practices, serving to build a world that celebrates the beauty of all beings through the power of ritual, image, story, and council. If you’re interested in learning more about Illuman, you can sign-up for information on their next event, Soularize 2020: A Path to Masculine Healing, featuring Fr. Richard as a guest speaker.