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

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Mysticism: Inner Experience

How Would Jesus Think?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In the early 1960s, Karl Rahner stated that if Western Christianity does not rediscover its mystical foundations and roots, we might as well close the doors of the churches. He was right because without a contemplative mind, we are offering the world no broad seeing, no real alternative consciousness, no new kind of people. Rahner’s point, quite simply, is that we must learn to think as Jesus thought.

Until people have had some level of inner religious experience, there is no point in asking them to follow the ethical ideals of Jesus or to really understand Christian doctrines beyond the level of formula. At most, such moral ideals and doctrinal affirmations would only be the source of deeper anxiety!

You quite simply don’t have the power to obey the law, especially on issues like forgiveness of enemies, nonviolence, humble use of power, and so on, except in and through union with God. Nor do doctrines like the Trinity, the Real Presence, or the Incarnation have any meaning that actually changes your life without inner experience.

Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 80-81

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
    (CD, MP3 download)
  • Contemplative Prayer (CD, MP3 download)
  • Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (book)

Find these and other educational resources at


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