It is only by attending to desires that we may encounter our deepest self, the image of God within…the degree to which we value or devalue human desire [is] the key to our inner growth.

Philip Sheldrake, theologian

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson (via kathrynwiebe)

To be touched by them (person with joy) is to be blessed of God. They give even as they have been given. Their presence is a benediction and grace. In them we hear the music in the score and in their faces we sense a glory which is the very light of Heaven.”

All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

Julian of Norwich

The gate of heaven is first of all in one concrete place, better if carried with you, and best when found everywhere. That is the progression of the spiritual life.

Richard Rohr, OFM

Why do so many of the great religions which had their origins in the mystery come ultimately to be social service agencies, or in their religious life to be preoccupied with form and concerned more with the container than the content?

Abraham Heschel

The “openness” that is asked of contemplatives by the Church is then not a mere matter of relaxation, not an expedient for making life more livable. The real purpose of openness is to renew life in the Spirit, life in love.

Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O Contemplation in a World of Action, p. 140

Doctrines Are for the Sake of Experience

Christians speak of the “paschal mystery,” the process of loss and renewal that was lived and personified in the death and raising up of Jesus. We can affirm that belief in ritual and song, as some Christians do in the Eucharist. However, until we have personally lost our own foundation and ground, and then experienced God upholding us so that we come out even more alive on the other side, the expression “paschal mystery” is little understood and not essentially transformative. It is a mere theological affirmation or liturgical acclamation.

“Cross and Resurrection” is a doctrine that most Christians would probably intellectually assent to, but it is not yet the very cornerstone of their own life philosophy. That is the difference between mere belief systems and a living faith. We move from one to the other only through actual encounter, surrender, trust, and an inner experience of presence and power. Then it is our “secret” discovery too, and not just a church theology.

From Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, Richard Rohr pp. 62, 63

#doctrine #spirituality #paschal mystery