Daily Riches: The Spiritual Journey is a Series of Humiliations (Thomas Keating and Richard Rohr) *

“The spiritual journey is not a career or a success story. It is a series of humiliations of the false self that become more and more profound. These make room inside us for the Holy Spirit to come in and heal. What prevents us from being available to God is gradually evacuated. We keep getting closer and closer to our center. Every now and then God lifts a corner of the veil and enters into our awareness through various channels, as if to say, ‘Here I am. Where are you? Come and Join me.'” Thomas Keating

“The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines.” Richard Rohr

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He lifts up;
and every branch that bears fruit,
He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.”
John 15:1,2 [my trans.]

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to think of the Christian journey as “a series of humiliations?”  as a painful cutting away? as a “path of descent?”
  • If the “false self” consists of all the masks we wear, our defense mechanisms and egocentric way of life, can you see why it must be “humiliated” or put in its place? Can you see the need for this in your life?
  • Can you see God’s good behind it (availability, fruitfulness, transformation) and hear his invitation: “Here I am. Where are you? Come and Join me.”?

Abba, thank you for seeking greater intimacy with me – for evacuating and pruning away what hinders me from that intimacy – and from fruitfulness. Here I am Lord, willing to embrace the necessary humiliation and loss to be made more whole.

__________

For More: The Human Condition: Contemplation and Transformation by Thomas Keating

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Thomas Merton’s goal is his writing is the same as mine in this blog: “The purpose of a book of meditations is to teach you how to think and not to do your thinking for you. Consequently if you pick up such a book and simply read it through, you are wasting your time. As soon as any thought stimulates your mind or your heart you can put the book down because your meditation has begun.” I’m not Thomas Merton (!), yet I hope these Daily Riches will lead you into much life-enriching mediation. – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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