What if the path to deeper understanding lies on the edge of societies, institutions, and our own understanding? This month, we reflect on the legacy of St. Francis of Assisi, a spiritual teacher who lived on the edge of the inside of the Catholic Tradition. Fiercely dedicated to compassion and simplicity, St. Francis took inspiration from the stillness of the natural world, the wisdom of our own experiences, and the belief that all our welcome at God’s table—without exception.
CAC Founder Richard Rohr writes: “I’m convinced that one of the only reasons Roman Catholicism has lasted is because we have these satellites of freedom on the edge of the inside—religious communities of Benedictines, Jesuits, Dominicans, Franciscans, Sisters of Charity, Sisters of Mercy, and many more. Bishops have their questions of concern, and we have different questions, as do most of the laity. Structurally, the church survived because the religious orders and most of the laity just got on with trying to live the gospel.”
In October’s We Conspire articles, contributors explore moments, places, and ideas that echo St. Francis’ role of being an outlier within an organizational structure. As you read, we invite you to reflect on your own experience. In what ways do you find yourself on the “edge of the inside” within groups you belong to?
Co-Director of Discerning Deacons, Casey Stanton, offers her reflections of staying true to our own individual interpretations of Jesus’ message. Join her in the call for new voices to speak at the table of spiritual leadership.
Rev. Stephen A. Gaertner, O.Praem. shares how the ancient Norbertine tradition of hospitality is not only alive and well—but expanding its circle of welcome. Feel inspired to cultivate your own space of stillness in this moving reflection on the Norbertine Spirituality Center located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Can science reveal that Love dwells at the heart of the cosmos? In this thought-provoking video, Sr Ilia Delio OSF, explores the scientific and spiritual intersections of Teilhard’s theory of evolution and Christian mysticism. Learn more about how the arc of the universe bends towards connection, expansion, and ultimately, Love in this fascinating talk from Franciscan thinker and academic, Ilia Delio.
We Conspire is a series from the Center for Action and Contemplation featuring wisdom and stories from the growing Christian contemplative movement. Sign up for the monthly email series and receive a free invitation to practice each month.