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Center for Action and Contemplation

Living in the Flow

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Father Richard uses the language of “flow” to further our experiential understanding of what it means to live in a Trinitarian cosmos:  

The Trinity can only be understood with the contemplative mind. It is only God in you that understands; your small mind cannot. This is participative knowledge. The Trinity can’t be proved rationally. You must experience its flow in your life on different levels: You must have moments where you know that a Big Life is happening in you (Holy Spirit), yet beyond you (Father), and also as you (Christ)!  

Unfortunately, Christians mostly gave up even trying to understand the Trinity. But, if we’re resolved that we want to go into the mystery, then I think we must seek to understand the Trinity experientially and contemplatively. To approach the Trinity in this way is not to understand at all, but to “stand under” a waterfall of infinite and loving Flow.  

If the Trinitarian life flows between us, then every aspect of our lives is something that we can allow, enjoy, and steward. Trinitarian theology offers us the understanding that we are being guided and we are participating in the Great Mystery. And it has very little to do with us individually, except, like Mary in Nazareth, our “yes” seems to be crucial. It matters. God does not operate uninvited or undesired.  

You are a part of the flow. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and you too—to the degree you say “yes”—are also a giving and a receiving, constituted by the same relationships of love that are the Trinity. (Enjoy that for the rest of your life!) You dare not stop this flow without losing your essential self. Each person of the Trinity welcomes one hundred percent of what is offered, which is entire and unrestricted, and then pays it forward one hundred percent. This flow is the origin of our notions of grace and an abundant universe. There is Divine Generosity at the center of everything.  

You can live this Trinitarian mystery yourself. Trust love, trust communion, trust vulnerability, and trust mutuality. Always seek to be in relationship, finding little ways to serve others, to serve people who are sick or poor and cannot pay anything back. Know that our hearts have been given to us so that they may be handed on, just like the Trinity. And we’ll begin to know ourselves inside this mystery called Love. There is actually nothing more to say. We could end our discussion right here.  

Don’t try to work this out too much with your head. Just trust the flow of the most natural, dynamic, and positive energy that’s already flowing through you. It will always feel like Love. 


Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016), 257–258, 261–262. 

Image credit: A path from one week to the next— Jenna Keiper, Untitled. Jenna Keiper, Untitled. Izzy Spitz, Untitled. Watercolor. Used with permission. Click here to enlarge image. 

On retreat, the CAC staff used watercolors to connect to our collective grief. This is one of the watercolor paintings that came from that exercise. 

Story from Our Community:  

I have been following the CAC Meditations and have been practicing a more contemplative and conscious prayer and meditation time. I have been having chronic pain around my neck and this pain has driven me to a deeper prayer life. Today I was sitting in my “chapel” and I welcomed the Holy Spirit. [As I] settled into this time with God, I realized that I needed acceptance of my painful situation…. Amazing Grace gently played in my mind as I thanked God for Grace. Then I heard within my mind a loud horn—which really had my attention, as this horn was distinct—which immediately was followed by a peace that washed over me. My fear released, immediately. I was able to let go and know that the Love of God will sustain me. —Tom M. 

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