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Center for Action and Contemplation
One Reality
One Reality

Sacred Reality 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

This week the Daily Meditations focus on the third of CAC’s Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy:  

For those who see deeply there is only One Reality. By reason of the Incarnation, there is no truthful distinction between sacred and profane. [1]  

Father Richard Rohr finds the Scriptures, creation, and his Franciscan tradition echoing this theme:  

I grew up, as I’m guessing many of us did, with the language of natural and supernatural or sacred and profane. We were taught there were good things and there were bad things. Actually, that division—the belief that the world is divided into either good or bad—was condemned as a heresy called Manichaeism in the fifth century. Jesus overcame that absolute distinction by putting the sacred and the profane together. He united the spiritual and the material, the divine and the human, together in himself. He’s both at the same time. Once we encounter the Christ mystery, we know there’s only One Reality. We can no longer divide the world into natural and supernatural or sacred and profane. It’s all supernatural and sacred. [2]  

The sacred is established from the very beginning of creation and it is universal.   

Sometimes we called this original reality “natural law,” affirming that things have an inherent goodness and unfolding to them. Genesis called it the Divine “image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The apostle Peter finally understands this when he says, “God has made it clear to me that I must not call anyone profane or unclean” (Acts 10:28). Paul says it in one succinct phrase: “Ever since God created the world, God’s everlasting power and deity—however invisible—have been there for the mind to see in the things that God has made” (Romans 1:20).  

We live in an enchanted universe. Before the human incarnation of God in Jesus, there was the first and original incarnation through light, water, land, sun, moon, stars, plants, trees, fruit, birds, serpents, cattle, fish, and “every kind of wild beast,” according to Genesis (1:3-25). [3] 

The Franciscan theologian St. Bonaventure (c. 1217–1274), building on Jesus’ incarnation and Francis’ love of all nature, saw the traces or footprints of God in everything. The whole world is the “incarnation” of the God mystery, and indeed the very “Body of God” (see Romans 8:19–23). Jesus is the microcosm of the macrocosm, the hologram of the whole, the corporate personality for humanity—in other words, the stand-in for everything and everyone else (see Colossians 1:15–20).  

“The soul’s journey into God,” as Bonaventure put it, was to learn how to see the unity of all being, how to look for this partially hidden God, and how to honor those footprints everywhere once they were seen. It was a surrender to gratitude—and to immense confidence that we are a part of something very good. The result is a continuous life of appreciation, reverence, non-consumption, and simple joy—while still living a very helpful life in the world! [4] 


[1] To learn more about the CAC’s Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy, visit this webpage

[2] Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Seven Themes of an Alternative Orthodoxy, no. 3, accessed June 2, 2023, MP3 audio.  

[3] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Yes, And…: Daily Meditations (Cincinnati, OH: Franciscan Media, 2019), 122. 

[4] Rohr, Yes, And…, 164. 

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

Our divinely-given identities and experiences color our horizons like a sunrise. 

Story from Our Community:  

It’s 2:08 a.m. I have just given my son time, attention, and a clean set of night clothes. Jeffrey is disabled and, at 51 years of living in our family, depends totally on our loving care. I am often awake at this hour, and sometimes I find myself longing for words of blessing and grace. I know this is also the hour the Daily Meditations are posted. I sit at my kitchen table with my cell phone. I am never disappointed. I experience words of grace if my eyes are open and my mind and heart are ready to receive. The words are reminders of the Spirit’s energy in the world and in my world. The words bring a new perspective, a new understanding, a new direction for me. I am blessed and grateful. —Linda B.  

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