The Return of the Prodigal Son (detail) by Bartolom´┐Ż Esteban Murillo, 1667/1670, National Gallery of Art.    

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Subverting the
Honor/Shame System

Purifying Motivation

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jesus tells us to give alms, and fast, and pray secretly (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18). These are the three religious disciplines honored by most historical religions. Whenever you perform a religious action publicly, it enhances your image as a good, moral person and has a strong social payoff. Jesus’ constant emphasis is on interior religiosity, on purifying motivation and intention. He tells us to clean the inside of the dish instead of being so preoccupied with cleaning the outside, with looking good (Matthew 23:25-26). The purifying of our intention and motivation is the basic way that we unite our inner and our outer worlds. (Please read that twice!)

All through the spiritual journey, we should be asking ourselves, “Why am I doing this? Am I really doing this for God, for truth, or for others? Or am I doing it for hidden reasons?” The spiritual journey could be seen as a constant purification of motive until I can finally say, “I have no other reason to do anything except love of God and love of neighbor. And I don’t even need people to know this.” When I can say this I have total and full freedom. I can no longer be bought off! Finally I realize that my life is not about me. It’s about Love.

Adapted from Francis: Subverting the Honor/Shame System
(CD, MP3 download)

Gateway to Silence:
You are precious in my eyes, you are honored,
and I love you (Isaiah 43:4).


New book from Richard Rohr


Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation


“Richard Rohr at his best . . . as he challenges us to develop a vision and discipline for what lies at the heart of all religion—compassion. This is a small book packing a big wallop.” — Ronald Rolheiser, O.M.I.


Drawing from Fr. Richard’s talks at the 2013 Festival of Faiths with the Dalai Lama, Silent Compassion focuses on the divine silence that offers peace, calls us to compassion, and brings wholeness of being.


Now available at


Did you get this message forwarded from someone else? Wish to sign up for CAC's email lists yourself? Subscribe to CAC email lists here.

You are receiving this message because you subscribed to the CAC’s “Daily Meditations and CAC Updates ” email list. You can unsubscribe or change your email preferences at any time. If you would like to change your email address, please email a request to with your current and new email addresses.

Please do not reply to this email. For more info about:

•  Living School, visit

•  CAC Events, visit

•  CAC Bookstore, visit

•  Supporting CAC, visit

•  Technical Help, email