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The Prophetic Path: Motivated by Love
The Prophetic Path: Motivated by Love

The Prophetic Path: Motivated by Love: Weekly Summary

Saturday, December 2, 2023

I hope the gospel frees us to live inside of a life that is larger than the one our small selves have imagined. The larger life of the Body of Christ cannot be taken from us. It is the very life of God which cannot be destroyed. —Richard Rohr

I never know today what’s going to happen to me tonight, but I do know as I walk alone, I walk with my hand in God’s hand.
—Fannie Lou Hamer

What’s the use of saying the Divine Office well, of sharing the Eucharist, if one is not impelled by love? What’s the use of giving up everything and coming here to the desert and the heat, if only to resist love? —Carlo Carretto

One thing is becoming increasingly clear to me: that You cannot help us, that we must help You to help ourselves. And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves. And perhaps in others as well. —Etty Hillesum

Descendant of slave and of slave owner, I had already been called poet, lawyer, teacher, and friend. Now I was empowered to minister the sacrament of One in whom there is no north or south, no black or white, no male or female—only the spirit of love and reconciliation drawing us all toward the goal of human wholeness. —Pauli Murray

We only get this one chance to live this life of love. Every day is a lesson in love, learning how not to bind up ourselves and our neighbors, but in fact, to free ourselves and others. —Richard Rohr

Week Forty-Eight Practice

The Spinning Top

Father Richard invites us to center ourselves and all we do each day in the flow of God’s love:

When I studied The Divine Comedy in college, I was fascinated that Dante had some of the souls in the highest heaven spinning around. It seemed silly to me that the great reformer St. Peter Damien just “whirled” into deeper and deeper love.

Then, a few years ago in Istanbul, I attended the prayer of the Sufi whirling dervishes. Again, in this sacred dance, there was a spinning around a calm and fixed center. In fact, a dervish cannot fake a calm center and survive the prayer. One foot has to be firmly, calmly grounded in a Stable Love or they cannot do the dance; one hand raised and one hand grounding.

Only later did I see the near perfection of this symbol. When I changed my Trinitarian imagination from three different kinds of love flowing toward me and through me to one swirling motion of Love within me, I found the visual symbol that my soul needed. I keep a small figure of a whirling dervish on my desk so I can be reminded of it each day.

Atomic energy, photosynthesis, various theories of soul, the beating heart of every creature, have all recognized that there is a spinning top of Love sustaining everything from its own center. Can we grasp this realization of exactly how we are created in the image of this Whirling Love? [1]

We’ve got to keep whirling in the midst of all that today’s going to demand of us. We’ll have to do this and that. We’ll have to feel this and that. But we’ve got to keep the stable center by a conscious choice for love. If we practice returning to that Love, it will become truly real and vital. We must allow, notice, and draw upon this divine, inherent spinning of love within us, between the three—and of course, we become the fourth! [2]

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Just This (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2017), 67–68.

[2] Adapted from Richard Rohr, CAC Morning Sit, September 27, 2023. Unpublished meditation.

Image Credit: A path from one week to the next—Loïs Mailou Jones, Shapes and Colors (detail), 1958, watercolor on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Madison Frambes, Untitled 4 (detail), 2023, naturally dyed paper and ink, Mexico, used with permission. Madison Frambes, Untitled 1 (detail), 2023, naturally dyed paper and ink, Mexico, used with permission. Click here to enlarge image.

For this series of pieces for CAC [I explore] the loneliness of grief, and the fleeting moments of beauty, grounding, and community that make it bearable.
Madison Frambes, artist

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