The purpose of spiritual law is to sharpen your own awareness about who you really are and who God is for you. There you will recognize your own radical insufficiency and, in that same movement, find God's fullness.
Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation
St. Paul Writing His Epistles (detail), circa 1618-1620, attributed to Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632).
St. Paul Writing His Epistles (detail), circa 1618-1620, attributed to Valentin de Boulogne (1591-1632).      
Understanding Paul Non-Dually
Grace and Law, Part II
Monday, April 13, 2015  

Why did Paul come to the subtle but crucial understanding of the limited and dangerous possibilities of law/requirements? Probably because Paul himself had been a man of the law, and he saw where it led him: to "breathing threats to slaughter the Lord's disciples" (Acts 9:1). As he tells us in Philippians (3:4-8), Paul was a perfect law-abiding Pharisee. "As far as the Law can make you perfect, I was faultless," he says. He seems to be wondering, "How could such perfect religious observance still create hateful and violent men like me?" That was Paul's utterly honest question, and he had the humility to answer it honestly. (Many folks today would be wise to ask the same question of themselves.)

 

What is the law really for? It's not to make God love you. God already loves you, and you cannot make God love you any more or any less by any technique whatsoever. The purpose of spiritual law is to sharpen your own awareness about who you really are and who God is for you. Then you will recognize your own radical insufficiency and, in that same movement, find God's fullness. If you have ever tried to get rid of a negative thought by mere will power, instead of by a "Higher Power," you have surely experienced this reality.

 

God not only allows us to make mistakes, but even uses our mistakes in our favor! That is the brilliant Gospel economy of grace, and it is the only thing worthy of being called "good news and a joy for all the people" (Luke 2:10). When you come out of the boxing ring of the creative tension of law and grace, you will know that you have finally won the match; but ironically, you will have won it by losing!
Adapted from Things Hidden; Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 82-84;
and New Great Themes of Scripture, disc 4 (CD)
Gateway to Silence
"When I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).

"Pope Francis has exercised a worldwide and major imaginal change . . .

[just as] Francis and Clare have done for eight hundred years.

They told us by their lives that Christianity could be

joyful, simple, sweet, and beautiful." -Richard Rohr, Eager to Love

 

Explore the timeless, compelling wisdom of St. Francis

and learn how it can transform your life and the world

through two unique opportunities.

 

______________________________________________________________

 

A self-paced, online course

featuring audio and video teachings by Father Richard

 

The Franciscan Way: Beyond the Bird Bath

May 6-June 24, 2015

(Registration closes April 22)

 

Register at cac.org 

 

______________________________________________________________

 

A conference in New Mexico

with Richard Rohr, Ilia Delio, and Shane Claiborne

 

The Francis Factor:
How Saint Francis and Pope Francis are changing the world

August 30-September 1, 2015

 

Register at cac.org/events/the-francis-factor

 

2015 Daily Meditation Theme

Richard Rohr's meditations this year explore his "Wisdom Lineage," the teachers, texts, and traditions that have most influenced his spirituality. Read an introduction to the year's theme and view a list of the elements of Fr. Richard's lineage in CAC's January newsletter, the Mendicant.  

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