Order, Disorder, Reorder: Part Three
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Summary: Sunday, August 23—Friday, August 28, 2020
To arrive at the Reorder stage, we must endure, learn from, and include the Disorder stage, transcending the first naïve Order—but also still including it! (Sunday)
I was always being moved toward greater differentiation and larger viewpoints, and simultaneously toward a greater inclusivity in my ideas, a deeper understanding of people, and a more honest sense of justice. God always became bigger and led me to bigger places. (Monday)
The final stage of birthing labor is the most dangerous stage, and the most painful. . . . The medical term is “transition.” Transition feels like dying but it is the stage that precedes the birth of new life. —Valarie Kaur (Tuesday)
God dreams of a time when love and mutual respect will bind humanity together, and the profound beauty of creation will be treasured. —Jim Antal (Wednesday)
We are one, and our wars and racial divisions cannot defeat the wholeness that lies just below the horizon of human awareness. —Barbara Holmes (Thursday)
Only the whole self is ever ready for the whole God, so Reorder always involves moving beyond the dualistic mind toward a more spacious, contemplative knowing. (Friday)
Practice: The Welcoming Prayer
Only in the final Reorder stage can darkness and light coexist, can paradox be okay. We are finally at home in the only world that ever existed. This is true and contemplative knowing.
I’d like to offer you a form of contemplation—a practice of accepting paradox and holding the tension of contradictions—called “The Welcoming Prayer.”
First, identify a hurt or an offense in your life. Remember the feelings you first experienced with this hurt and feel them the way you first felt them. Notice how this shows up in your body. Paying attention to your body’s sensations keeps you from jumping into the mind and its dualistic games of good/bad, win/lose, either/or.
After you can identify the hurt and feel it in your body, welcome it. Stop fighting it. Stop splitting and blaming. Welcome the grief. Welcome the anger. It’s hard to do, but for some reason, when we name it, feel it, and welcome it, transformation can begin.
Don’t lose presence to the moment. Any kind of analysis will lead you back into attachment to your ego self. The reason a bird sitting on a hot wire is not electrocuted is quite simply because it does not touch the ground to give the electricity a pathway. Hold the creative tension, but don’t ground it by thinking about it, critiquing it, or analyzing it.
When you’re able to welcome your own pain, you will, in some way, feel the pain of the whole world. This is what it means to be human—and, also, what it means to be divine. You can hold this immense pain because you too are being held by the very One who went through this process on the Cross. Jesus held all the pain of the world, at least symbolically or archetypally; though the world had come to hate him, he refused to hate it back.
Now, hand all of this pain—yours and the world’s—over to God. Let it go. Ask for the grace of forgiveness for the person who hurt you, for the event that offended you, for the reality of suffering in each life.
I can’t promise the pain will leave easily or quickly. To forgive is not to forget. But letting go frees up a great amount of soul-energy that liberates a level of life you didn’t know existed. It leads you to your True Self.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of Saint Francis, disc 6 (Sounds True: 2010), CD; and
Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Crossroad: 1999, 2003), 159.
For Further Study:
Jim Antal, Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change (Rowman & Littlefield: 2018).
Barbara A. Holmes, Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently, 2nd ed. (CAC Publishing: 2020).
Valarie Kaur, See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love (One World: 2020).
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life (Jossey-Bass: 2011).
Richard Rohr, The Wisdom Pattern (Franciscan Media: 2020).
Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis, ed. Leah D. Schade and Margaret Bullitt-Jonas (Rowman & Littlefield: 2019).