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Summary: A Time of Unveiling
Summary: A Time of Unveiling

A Return to Unveiling

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Inspired by Father Richard Rohr’s reading of the apocalyptic scriptures in light of the significant challenges humanity faces today, our theme this year has been “A Time of Unveiling.” At the beginning of this year, Father Richard wrote:

I’m convinced we are living in a time of unveiling—when reality is being revealed as it always has been and always will be. Systems of evil have become both more brazen and banal, our sense of “normal” has been upended, and yet in the midst of it, God continues to invite us to deeper trusting love. A few weeks into the pandemic, some people even began to use the word “apocalyptic” to describe what was taking place. Often, this word is used to scare people into some kind of fearful, exclusive, or reactionary behavior, all in expectation of the “end times.” But the word “apocalyptic,” from the Greek apokálupsis, really just means “unveiling.”

When things are “unveiled,” we stop taking a whole lot of things for granted. That’s what major events like the COVID-19 pandemic do for us. They reframe reality in a radical way and offer us an invitation to greater depth and breadth—and compassion. If we trust the universal pattern, the wisdom of all times and all places, including the creation and evolution of the cosmos itself, we know that an ending is also the place for a new beginning. Death promises a new kind of life. [1]

While the events of this past year may have brought this “unveiling” to the surface for many of us in new and pressing ways, Father Richard and others have been naming this impending shift for many years. What he wrote three decades ago remains true:

The myths of modernism are dying all around us. Our sophistication and complexity are self-destructing. For several hundred years we were convinced in the West that progress, human reason, and higher technology would resolve human tragedy. They clearly have not. Without denying the gifts of mind and science, we now doubt their messianic promise. More analysis does not necessarily mean more wisdom, and having more options is not necessarily freedom. The accumulation of things is not likely to bring more happiness, and time saved is rarely used for contemplation.

Progress has too often been achieved at the expense of the earth, and human reason has too easily legitimated war, greed, and the pursuit of a private agenda, while technology pays those who serve it, especially the moguls of capitalism, militarism, and big pharma. Our Western philosophy of progress has led us to trust in our own limitlessness and in our future more than in the quality and the mystery of the now. Religion at its best is always concerned with the depth and breadth, paradox and wonder of things. In this sense we have become an impatient and irreligious people. The paschal mystery, the yin and yang of all reality, is outshouted by the quite recent and unproven slogan: “We can have it all!” [2]

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, “When Things Are Unveiled,” Daily Meditation, January 8, 2021.

[2] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go (Crossroad Publishing: 1991, 2003), 15.

Story from Our Community:
Thank you, Richard Rohr and CAC, for showing us how to use this unveiling as a time of spiritual growth! I am learning that this “unveiling” is really an opening and healing of my own consciousness. As John says in Revelation, the spiritual world is here and now. It’s only our own cloudy consciousness that needs to be awakened. —Beverly N.

Learn more about the Daily Meditations editorial team.

Image credit: Nicholas Kramer, Untitled (detail), 2021, photograph, Seattle. Used with permission.
Image inspiration: Here, in these bare rose sepals, is the pattern of life: the budding of spring, the bloom of summer, the wilting of autumn, the barrenness of winter. In accepting this process, we unveil and make room for new life, new growth, new blooms.
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