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The Prophetic Path - Summary
The Prophetic Path - Summary

A Full Prophet

Friday, December 29, 2023

As we draw this year’s meditations on The Prophetic Path to a close, Richard Rohr reminds us of the loving heart of the prophets:

We need the wisdom of a “full prophet,” one who can love and yet criticize, one who can speak their words of correction out of an experience of gratitude, not anger. We have to pray to God to teach us that. I don’t know how else we learn it. We can’t learn it in our minds rationally. God has to soothe our angry hearts and spirits. God has to allow us to come to a place of freedom, a place of peace, and a place of fullness before we can speak as a prophet. [1]

A prophet must hold on to the truth of their anger, especially as it is directed toward injustice—but the danger of the anger is that when we let it control us, we’re not a help anymore. That’s why we have so many false prophets in America and in the world today. They are so angry. I want to sit there and say, “I agree with you. That situation deserves anger, but you’re not a good messenger because you’re only making me more angry. You’re feeding your anger by letting it become your ego.” Of course, in my early life that was me. I think what we see in the Hebrew prophets is autobiographical. My early social justice sermons at New Jerusalem just edged people out of the room. I’m sure many of them thought, “I don’t think we want to hear Richard today. He’s on one of his tirades.” They saw me at my angriest when I had just come back from Latin America and Africa. Anger is usually a necessary starting place, but it is never the full message. [2]

That’s why I always go back to prayer. It’s the only way for me. I rest in God, let God massage my heart for a while, cool me down and say, “I love you. You don’t have to save the world, Richard. You don’t have to ‘play’ the prophet and you don’t have to do anything except what I tell you to do.” The more I rest there with God, the next time the words come out so differently.

We’ve got to learn how to discern the Spirit. We have to listen to our own hearts and discern where the voices are coming from. Are they harsh, angry, hurtful, resentful, cynical voices telling us we’ve got to go out and do some righteous thing? Or are they coming from a place of freedom and a place of peace?

The prophet is the one who can be a faithful lover, who is truly seeking the whole and seeking the good, and not just seeking the self. We can tell after a while the difference between someone who is operating out of their own anger and compulsions, and someone who is operating out of the heart of God. [3]


[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Prophets (San Antonio, TX: Catholic Charismatic Bible Institute, 1980), audio recording. No longer available for purchase.

[2] Adapted from Mike Petrow, Paul Swanson, and Richard Rohr, “Catching Up with Richard Rohr,” Everything Belongs, season 1, ep. 1 (Albuquerque, NM: Center for Action and Contemplation, 2023), podcast. Available as MP3 audio.  

[3] Rohr, Prophets.

The prophetic path is a daily choice to walk along an ever-unfolding landscape.

Story from Our Community:  

Aloha, everyone.… My goal for every [period of] meditation is to quiet the mind enough to “hear” the voice of God within my heart. When I am able to quiet my thinking, often thoughts rush in to fill the void. One way I’ve found to avoid this rush of thoughts is to repeat one of the many sacred names of God until eventually, a thought-less silence fills me. Sometimes this silent openness brings with it an awareness of what I must do as an individual, at this time and in this place, to deepen my loving relationship with God. When I hear a subtle and quiet voice within me, I know that my next challenge is to, without reservation, be willing to change. It may be the most difficult part of the listening practice—but it’s so important. I have found that the willingness to change is essential to knowing and loving God and living in Love…. Malama Pono e malama kou kino; take care of the spirit of your heart, and take care of your body, health and wellness. Aloha. —Michael Y.

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