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Center for Action and Contemplation

Two Halves of Life: Week 2 Summary

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Two Halves of Life: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, June 19-Friday, June 24, 2016

By definition, authentic God experience is always “too much”! It consoles our True Self only after it has devastated our false self. (Sunday)

Second-half-of-life people, like Jesus and the prophets, live with their wills open to cooperate with God’s creative power. (Monday)

Eric Fromm, in his classic book The Art of Loving, says the healthiest people he has known are those who received from their two parents and early authority figures a combination of unconditional love and conditional love. (Tuesday)

In the second half of life, you are strong enough to hold together the contradictions in yourself and in others. And you can do so with compassion, forgiveness, patience, and tolerance. (Wednesday)

The gift of tears helps you embrace the mystery of paradox, of that which can’t be fixed, which can’t be made right, which can’t be controlled, and which doesn’t make sense. (Thursday)

Once you’ve met the Holy One who calls you beloved daughter or beloved son, you know you’re chosen, special, and beloved and you don’t need outer symbols to prove it. (Friday)


Practice: Patience

Although the transition from first half to second half of life can begin in a moment, it takes a lifetime to practice living consistently from this wider, non-dual awareness. Even as you weep over your shortcomings and catch yourself returning to old ways of thinking, trust that God is working in you and loving you the whole time.

Brother Joseph Schmidt writes of a time when Thérèse of Lisieux counseled someone who was impatient with her own impatience:

Thérèse was asking the sister . . . Can you be willing to be patient with yourself until God gives you the grace to be patient with the sisters? Can you accept and love yourself and not become your own adversary? Can you bear serenely the distress and personal trial of knowing that you have the weakness of impatience? Success in virtue is not the point. Love—love of the sisters in their weakness and love of yourself in your inadequacy—that, Thérèse was trying to say, is the point. [1]

So I invite you to practice patience. It surely does take practice, and God will no doubt allow you many opportunities to learn. When you are in a hurry or impatient for some particular outcome, first observe the sensation in your body. Notice what this impatience feels like, where it shows up—for example, your jaw, neck, chest, or gut. Be present to the feeling. Slowly expand your awareness to include what your senses are taking in from the outside world—what you see, touch, smell, or taste. Be present to this moment. Let the reality of both your impatience and the outer reality be as they are, without your attachment to them. It is what it is. And all is grace.

Gateway to Silence:
Take up your cross and follow me.=

[1] Joseph F. Schmidt, Walking the Little Way of Thérèse of Lisieux: Discovering the Path of Love (Word Among Us Press: 2012), 216.

For Further Study:
Ron Rolheiser and Richard Rohr, Adult Christianity and How to Get There (CD, MP3 download)

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

Richard Rohr, The Two Major Tasks of the Spiritual Life (CD, MP3 download)

Richard Rohr, Ron Rolheiser, and Edwina Gateley, Loving the Two Halves of Life: The Further Journey (CD, MP3 download)

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