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Wholeness and Healing
Wholeness and Healing

Connecting to the Whole

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Father Richard describes the holiness we experience through connection and healing:

Holiness reveals itself through our capacity for positive connection. The more we can make connections, and the more with which we can connect, the “holier” we are. God is precisely the One who connects all things, one to another. Before enlightenment or wholeness, we rank things up or down; afterward, we connect things horizontally—almost automatically!

Many have said most of our problems today tend to be psychological, but the solution is always spiritual. Only healthy, great religion is prepared to realign, re-heal, and reconnect all things, and reposition us inside the whole universe of things. Thomas Merton said the True Self should not be thought of as anything different than life itself—not my little life, but the Big Life. [1]

I’m not going to call the True Self just “life” or “being.” More basically, I’m going to call it “love.” We were made for love and love is who we are, as I believe we are metaphysically created out of the infinite love relationships that are the Trinity (see Genesis 1:26–27). There is increasing evidence that love is the basic physical structure of the universe, as revealed in all things existing in orbital, contextual, magnetic, and sexual ways. The Song of Songs (8:6) says love is as strong as death, and the flash of love is a flash of fire, a flame of YHWH. Everything can be seen as a little experience of the Big Flame. We’re just a little tiny flicker of a much-larger flame that is Life itself, Consciousness itself, Being itself, Love itself, God’s very Self. Once we say it, it seems obvious. What else would it be?

On one level, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit can all be thought of as one and the same. Each of these point to something larger than the self, shared with God, and even eternal. That’s what Jesus means when he speaks of “giving” us the Spirit or sharing his consciousness with us. One whose soul is thus awakened has the “mind of Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 2:10–16). That doesn’t mean the person is psychologically or morally perfect, although such a transformed person does see things in a much more expanded and compassionate way. Ephesians calls it a “spiritual revolution of the mind” (4:23)—and it is!

In chapter 14 of John’s Gospel, Jesus calls this implanted Spirit the “Advocate” (v. 16) who is “with you and in you” (v. 17), makes us live with the same life that he lives (v. 19), and unites us to everything else (v. 18, 20). He goes on to say that this “spirit of truth” will “teach you everything” and “remind you of all things” (v. 26) as if we already knew this somehow. Talk about being well-equipped from a Secret Inner Source. Religion’s main and final goal is to reconnect us (re-ligio) to the Whole, to ourselves, and to one another—and thus heal us.


[1] Merton’s key book on the True Self is New Seeds of Contemplation (New York: New Directions, 1961).

Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016), 348–349, 350.

Image credit: A path from one week to the next—Alma Thomas, The Eclipse (detail), 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Alma Thomas, Snow Reflections on Pond (detail), 1973, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Alma Thomas, Snoopy—Early Sun Display on Earth (detail), 1970, acrylic on canvas, Smithsonian. Click here to enlarge image.

Many pieces form a collective, which makes a whole. We heal together.

Story from Our Community:  

Thank you for your meditation on “The Spirituality of Letting Go” on April 23, 2023. It really speaks to the stage of life I have been experiencing. I have great compassion for my old way of being, and I now celebrate my wholeness as a human and divine being. I feel sad when I see so much suffering in our world. I pray that more human beings will experience the joy of coming home to themselves. —Brigit M.

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