Image by © David Hanson. Used with permission.    

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

Discharging Your Loyal Soldier

Sabbath Meditation

Saturday, May 3, 2014

: Discharging Your Loyal Soldier

Because we have lost the sense of the need for rites of passage, most people have no clear crossover to the second half of their own lives. (Sunday)

The Loyal Soldier wears the common disguise of loyalty, obedience, and old-time religion, which is all you have until you have experienced undeserved and unmerited love. (Monday)

God, life, and destiny have to loosen the Loyal Soldier’s grasp on your small self, which up to now has felt like the only “you” that you know and the only authority that there is.

God never leads by guilt or shame! (Wednesday)

When you discharge your Loyal Soldier, it will feel like a loss of faith or loss of self. But it is only the death of the False Self. (Thursday)

If the Loyal Soldier is the protector of the first half of life, Jesus is the protector of the world of grace and freedom. (Friday)

Rest: A Ritual

In order to move to the second half of life, we must respect, honor, and create closure for our Loyal Soldier. We need to “discharge” the Loyal Soldier because he or she has been in charge most of our lives. This stalwart part of our psyche has tried to protect us, but the time comes to let it rest so that we can live more authentically in peace and freedom.

Over the next few weeks, take the time to write down instances when you hear the familiar voices of your Loyal Soldier (and perhaps they have come to sound like the voice of God). After a month of recognizing and recording the voices, create a ritual in which you bring them to an altar or special place of prayer.

Acknowledge the ways in which Loyal Soldier has kept you safe and successful throughout your life (for example, obeying laws and staying within boundaries, repressing displays of emotion, hiding anything that would tarnish the ego’s image). Offer gratitude for this great service and assure Loyal Soldier that you no longer need to be defended.

Name some of the ways in which Loyal Soldier has had a negative, constricting effect on your life, such as keeping you from fully experiencing joy and intimacy. Speak aloud a prayer or intention: “I choose to hear and follow the voice of Love rather than the small and confining voices of my Loyal Soldier.”

Place the papers on which you’ve written Loyal Soldier’s admonitions in an old journal or box of mementos (as relics of your past) or bury them.

From time to time, your Loyal Soldier might need a reminder that he or she is not on active duty. When Loyal Soldier tries to keep your “enemy” self in shadows, gently repeat the process and live into the freedom of peacetime.

Gateway to Silence:
The war has ended. Go in peace.


On behalf of the men involved in Illuman and M.A.L.Es
we invite you to join Fr. Richard
for a conference sponsored by Illuman


Being a Generative Man: Water in the Desert

Friday, November 7–Sunday, November 9, 2014
Hyatt Tamaya, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico

Teachers include Richard Rohr, Belden Lane, and Adrian Scott.
Initiated men (who have completed a Men’s Rites of Passage)
are also invited to Soularize, November 5–7, 2014.

Register online at
or email Illuman at for more information.


Note: These events are organized by Illuman.
Please contact Illuman directly for more information and registration.



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