“The Franciscan priest Richard Rohr has written some thirty books, many of which are variations on the same theme. Not long into this book [Eager to Love] he says as much in a footnote. The idea that ‘our deepest identity is hidden from us,’ and that the purpose of authentic religion is to help us recover our true identity in God, is ‘the core message of this entire book, and really my only message in all of my books’ (pp. 66, 276). In this version of that theme, Rohr returns to his Franciscan roots to help us recapture the ‘experiential heart of the gospel,’ … which stands in stark contrast to spirituality that’s little more than theological concepts, religious ritual, and institutional conformity. Authentic spirituality [requires] … ‘mysticism’ … – experiential knowledge of spiritual things, as opposed to book knowledge, secondhand knowledge, or even church knowledge.’” Daniel Clendenin
“If they [Christians] are to live as true members of Christ and radiate the divine influence among the men with whom they are in contact, they will be obliged to develop rich interior lives of union with God…. To be a Christian then, is to be committed to a deeply mystical life. … By faith one not only consents to propositions revealed by God, one not only attains to truth in a way that intelligence and reason alone cannot do, but one assents to God Himself. One receives God. One says ‘yes’ not merely to a statement about God, but to the Invisible, Infinite God Himself….” Thomas Merton
“And all of us, with our unveiled faces like mirrors
reflecting the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the image that we reflect
in brighter and brighter glory;
this is the working of the Lord who is the Spirit.”
2 Corinthians 3:18
Moving From the Head to the Heart
It’s possible master knowledge about God (“book knowledge”) and still not have “experiential knowledge” of God. If we’re not careful, we can be “experts” on God who have no radical relationship with him – no transforming “assent” to his Invisible, Infinite person.
- Do you talk more about God than with him?
- Is your experience of God “secondhand?”
- What are you doing to “develop a rich interior life of union with God?”
Abba, protect me, and all of us who love you, from settling for less than you have for us.
For More: New Seeds by Thomas Merton
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”