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Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations

Seven Underlying Themes of Richard Rohr's Teachings

Fifth Theme: The separate self is the problem, whereas most religion and most people make the shadow self the problem. This leads to denying, pretending, and projecting instead of real transformation into the Divine (Transformation).

An Inconvenient Truth
for Much Religion

Meditation 2 of 53

It is really shocking how little Jesus is shocked by human failure and sin. In fact, it never appears that he is upset at sinners at all. He is only and consistently upset at people who do not think they are sinners. This momentous insight puts him centuries ahead of modern psychology and right at the center of rare but authentic religion. So much so, that most Christianity itself never notices or addresses this pattern. It is an “inconvenient truth.”

Early-stage religion is largely driven by ego needs: the need to be right, the need to feel morally superior, the need to be safe, and the need to project a positive image to others. At that point, religion has little to do with any real search for God; it is almost entirely a search for oneself, which is necessary—and which God surely understands. But we do this by trying to repress and deny our actual motivations and goals. These are pushed into the unconscious and called the shadow self. The shadow is not the bad self, but simply the denied or rejected self, which is totally operative but allowed to work in secret—and never called to accountability from that hidden place.

In my 42 years as a priest, it is clear to me that most people (not just religious people) focus on denying their shadow self—to keep feeling good about themselves—and their ego then enjoys a perpetual holiday. It is a massive misplacement of spiritual attention. You can be a prelate or priest in the church with a totally inflated ego, while all your energy goes into denying and covering up your shadow—which then gets projected everywhere else. What you don’t transform, you will transmit.

— June 2012

The Daily Meditations for 2013 are now available
in Fr. Richard’s new book Yes, And . . . .

Yes, And ... Daily Meditations. The new book by Richard Rohr (book cover)

“The spiritual gift of discernment is when seemingly good things can be recognized as sometimes bad things, and seemingly bad things can also be seen to bear some good fruit…. It invites people into what I call ‘Yes/And’ thinking, rather than simplistic either/or thinking.”


      — Richard Rohr, Yes, And: Daily Meditations

Join Fr. Richard for a teaching on Sic et Non,
the ancient practice of “Yes and No.”

Live Webcast
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. (MDT)

Register today and get a signed copy of the book at

Note that the webcast will be available for replay for 90 days after the live event;
pre-registration required by Monday, August 5, 2013.

Read Fr. Richard’s introduction to Yes, And,
“The Jesus Hermeneutic,” at Huffington Post!

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