Tree and Chair 2 (detail), © by David S. McKee, 2012  

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Mysticism: Inner Experience

Experiencing God

Monday, January 13, 2014

Don’t let the word “mystic” scare you off. It simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone. In fact, Jesus seems to say that divine union is the whole point! (See, for example, John 10:28-38 or John 15:1-9.)

Some call this movement conversion, some call it enlightenment, some transformation, and some holiness. It is Paul’s “third heaven,” where he “heard things that must not and cannot be put into human language” (2 Corinthians 12:2, 4). Consciously or not, far too much organized religion has a vested interest in keeping you in the first or second heaven, where all can be put into proper language and deemed certain. This keeps you coming back to church, and it keeps us clergy in business.

This is not usually the result of ill will on anybody’s part; it’s just that you can lead people only as far as you yourself have gone. Transformed people transform people. When they talk so glibly about what is always Mystery, it’s clear that many clergy have never enjoyed the third heaven themselves, and they cannot teach what they do not know. Theological training without spiritual experience is deadly. As Pope Francis says, such preaching bores “the one who is doing it and also the one who has to listen to it.”


Adapted from The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See, pp. 29-30

Gateway to Silence:
We are one in Love.

 
 

Turning information into transformation . . .

  • A New Way of Seeing, A New Way of Being: Jesus and Paul
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  • Contemplative Prayer (CD, MP3 download)
  • Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (book)

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