Ethiopian Mother and Child, © Niall Crotty, used with permission   

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

The True Self

The Mirroring Gaze

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I have heard it said that the gaze of delight between a mother and the baby at her breast is the beginning of the capacity for intimate relationship. We spend the rest of our lives hoping for that moment again: that kind of safety; that kind of security; that kind of feeding; that kind of living inside of one world, where we are delighted in and loved. That is the True Self. Perhaps the most perfect image of this we can find is the Madonna with the Baby Jesus. This is the most common painting in Western art museums, I am told, probably because there is absolute wholeness mirrored in the gaze of love between mother and child. As Jung said, we paint the images our soul needs to see.

We also become the God we connect with. That’s why it’s so important to know the true God, and not some little, punitive, toxic god, because then you don’t grow up, but live in fear and pretense. Contemplation, as Thomas Keating says, is the divine therapy. We know God and we know ourselves by inner prayer journeys and not by merely believing in doctrines or living inside of church structures. God’s way of dealing with us becomes our way of dealing with life and others. We eventually love others, quite simply, as we have allowed God to love us, which should create quite a loving world.

Adapted from True Self/False Self, disc 3 (CD)

Gateway to Silence:
Becoming who I am


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Fr. Richard introduces us to the biblical writer who has often been misunderstood. Paul's message is not individualistic but cosmic, not moral but mystical, not so much about Jesus but about the Christ.


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