Daily Riches: Imitating Jesus, Not Just Worshiping Him (Richard Rohr)

“One of the earliest accounts of Saint Francis, the ‘Legend of Perugia,’ quotes him as telling the first friars that ‘You only know as much as you do.’ His emphasis on action, practice, and lifestyle was foundational and revolutionary for its time and at the heart of Franciscan alternative orthodoxy (“heterodoxy”). For Francis and Clare, Jesus became someone to actually imitate and not just to worship. Up to this point, most of Christian spirituality was based in desert asceticism, monastic discipline, theories of prayer, or academic theology, which itself was often founded in ‘correct belief’ or liturgy, but not in a kind of practical Christianity that could be lived in the streets of the world. Many rightly say Francis emphasized an imitation and love of the humanity of Jesus, and not just the worshiping of his divinity. That is a major shift. Those who have analyzed the writings of Francis have noted that he uses the word doing rather than understanding at a ratio of 175 times to 5. Heart is used 42 times to 1 use of mind. Love is used 23 times as opposed to 12 uses of truth. Mercy is used 26 times while intellect is used only 1 time. This is a very new perspective that is clearly different from (and an antidote to) the verbally argumentative Christianity of his time, and from the highly academic theology that would hold sway from then on. …Francis and Clare’s approach has been called a ‘performative spirituality’ which means that things are only found to be true in the doing of them. At the level of idea, issues will be forever argued about, because thinking is invariably dualistic. Francis wanted us to know things in an almost ‘cellular’ and energetic way, and not just in our heads. This knowing is a kind of “muscle memory” which only comes from practice.” Richard Rohr

“…faith by itself isn’t enough.
Unless it produces good deeds,
it is dead and useless.”
James 2:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What’s wrong with “verbally argumentative Christianity?”
  • Does your faith require you to “imitate Jesus” in specific ways? How so?
  • In reality is your Christian life more about ideas and words (right doctrine), or actually imitating Jesus (loving practices)?
  • If … “You only know as much as you do.”, how much do you know?

Abba, help me practice daily what I believe.

For More: Eager to Love by Richard Rohr

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and God 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.”

Daily Riches: Reading the Human Story Beneath the Frightened Face (Brennan Manning) *

“Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain: It seeks truth in all it’s complexity. Genuine compassion means that in empathizing with the failed plans and uncertain loves of the other person we send out the vibration, ‘Yes, ragamuffin, I understand. I’ve been there, too.’ … Judgment depends on what we see, how deeply we look at the other, how honestly we face ourselves, how willing we are to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Brennan Manning

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:7-9

Moving from the Head to the Heart

  • Do you often make “snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain?”
  • Do you categorize people with labels (“lame”,”lazy”, “needy”) or amateur diagnoses (“low functioning”, “compulsive”, “addicted”) or plainly insulting terms (“clueless”,”hopeless”, “loser”)? How about when you’re driving? looking around at church? scanning the crowd at your kids concert or ball game? Can we agree that it’s easy not to love well?
  • Manning suggest we will judge less, and love more, if we look deeply within ourselves for explanations, and if we look beyond the surface (“deeply”) at others – “to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Will you join me in working on that?

Abba, I desperately want to read the human story behind the frightened face. Help me to learn a new way of looking at people – to look deeply beyond the fears and defenses, the disguises and the masks. Help me to breathe in your love, and breathe it out as your and my gift to the world.

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For More: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brannon Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)