The Perennial Tradition
Summary: Sunday, November 20-Friday, November 25, 2016
The Perennial Tradition recognizes there is a Divine Reality underneath and inherent in the world of things; there is in the human soul a natural capacity, similarity, and longing for this Divine Reality; the final goal of existence is union with this Divine Reality. (Sunday)
Jesus didn’t come to create a new or exclusive religion. He came to reform and reinvigorate the very meaning of all religion—and ground it in human nature and creation itself—which is universal. (Monday)
If it is the truth, it is true all the time and everywhere, and sincere lovers of truth will take it wherever it comes from. If it is true, it is common domain, and “there for the mind to see in the things that God has made” (Romans 1:20). (Tuesday)
What we seek is what we are, which is exactly why Jesus says that we will find it (see Matthew 7:7-8). God is never an object to be found or possessed as we find other objects, but the One who shares our own deepest subjectivity—or our “self.” (Wednesday)
“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God who is Father of all, over all, through all, and within all, and each one of us has been given our own share of grace.” —Ephesians 4:5-7 (Thursday)
“The love of God creates in us such a oneing that when it is truly seen, no person can separate themselves from another person. . . . In the sight of God all humans are oned, and one person is all people and all people are in one person.” —Julian of Norwich (Friday)
Practice: Giving Thanks
Many cultures and religions have a beautiful tradition of saying a prayer before or after a meal, expressing gratitude and asking for blessing. If we are accustomed to praying over our food, it may become a rote, almost thoughtless gesture. Yet it is another opportunity to intentionally open ourselves to receive and participate in Love. The food is already blessed simply by its existence. God doesn’t require our words of thanks. But it does us good to “say grace,” to verbally acknowledge the giving of life—plant and animal—for our sustenance.
If you have a practice of saying grace, bring greater awareness and presence to it. Find or create a prayer to voice your gratitude. This Hindu blessing, from the Bhagavad Gita, is said before meals:
This ritual is One. The food is One. We who offer the food are One. The fire of hunger is also One. All action is One. We who understand this are One.
Indeed, it is all One in the immense and undiscriminating Love that is God.
Gateway to Silence:
All truth is one.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: Daily Meditations (CAC: 2016), 150.
For Further Study:
Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (2013)
Cynthia Bourgeault, James Finley, and Richard Rohr, Returning to Essentials: Teaching an Alternative Orthodoxy (CAC: 2015), CD, MP3 download