Daily Riches: Embraced By an All-embracing Love (Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Richard Rohr)

“Love people even in their sin, for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all of God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand of it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God’s love is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As we take another, it means that God is choosing us now and now and now. We have nothing to attain [we need to] …become aware of God’s loving presence in our lives, we have to accept that human culture is in a mass hypnotic trance. We’re sleep-walkers. All great religious teachers have recognized that we human beings do not naturally see; we have to be taught how to see. Jesus says further, ‘If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light’ (Luke 11:34). Religion is meant to teach us how to see and be present to reality. That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, ‘Be awake.’ …Prayer is not primarily saying words or thinking thoughts. It is, rather, a stance. It’s a way of living in the Presence, living in awareness of the Presence, and even of enjoying the Presence. The contemplative is not just aware of God’s Loving Presence, but trusts, allows, and delights in it. All spiritual disciplines have one purpose: to get rid of illusions so we can be present. These disciplines exist so that we can see what is, see who we are, and see what is happening.” Richard Rohr

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the LORD.

…Then I said, ‘It’s all over! I am doomed,

for I am a sinful man, I have filthy lips….”

Isaiah 6:1, 5

.

Moving From Head to Heart

  • God loves the whole world “with an all-embracing love”–including “loving people even in their sin.” Do you love the world God has made? …people even in their sin?
  • Are you aware of God maintaining you in every breath you take? …choosing you “now and now and now?”
  • Does your answer to the second question explain your answer to the first?
  • Is your intention to trust and delight in God’s presence daily?

Abba, embrace others with my hands.

For More: Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

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Thanks for reading and sharing my blog! – Bill

Daily Riches: The Impact of Others on Your Emotional Health (Pete Scazzero, Francis Fenelon, Oswald Chambers and Thomas Merton)

“We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs.” Francis Fenelon

“Before we can conquer the world we must conquer the self.” Oswald Sanders

“In this journey of emotionally healthy spirituality, we are talking about radical change at the core of our being. At least two critical forces hinder such a profound shift. First, the pressure of others to keep us living lives that are not our own is enormous. And second, our own stubborn self-will is much deeper and more insidious than we think. The possibility of self-deception is so great that without mature companions we can easily fall into the trap of living in illusions.” Pete Scazzero

“A current of useless interior activity constantly surrounds and defends an illusion. I cannot find God unless I renounce this useless activity, and I cannot renounce this activity unless I let go of the illusion it defends. And I cannot get rid of an illusion unless I recognize it for an illusion.”  Thomas Merton

“I want to do what is good,
but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong,
but I do ….”
Romans 7:19

Moving From the Head to the Heart

We must “correct our own faults” and let God deal with the faults of others. Most of us don’t do this easily, and, as Scazzero points out, when we do manage to focus on radical change at the core of our being “at least two critical forces hinder such a profound shift.”

  • Change is not only hard for us, but for others who are comfortable with the “system” we share with them. Change shakes up everything and everyone. Have you noticed others working hard to resist your determined efforts to change? If so, how do you handle that?
  • Have you learned that your own “stubborn self-will is much deeper and more insidious than you think?”
  • Are you perhaps under the illusion that those around you want you to change? or that personal change will occur somewhat efficiently now that you are seriously motivated?

Jesus, grant me mature friends to help me recognize the illusions at work in my life.

For More: No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton

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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.”

Daily Riches: Seeking God, Escaping Illusion (Thomas Merton)

“This is what it means to seek God perfectly: to withdraw from illusion and pleasure, from worldly anxieties and desires, from the works that God does not want, from a glory that is only human display; to keep my mind free from confusion in order that my liberty may be always at the disposal of His will; to entertain silence in my heart and listen for the voice of God; …to love all men as myself; to rest in humility and to find peace in withdrawal from conflict and competition with other men; to turn aside from controversy and put away heavy loads of judgment and censorship and criticism and the whole burden of opinions that I have no obligation to carry; to have a will that is always ready to fold back within itself and draw all the powers of the soul down from the deepest center to rest in silent expectancy for the coming of God, poised in tranquil and effortless concentration upon the point of my dependence on Him; to gather all that I am, and have all that I can possibly suffer or do or be, and abandon them all to God in the resignation of a perfect love and blind faith and pure trust in God, to do His will.” Thomas Merton

“So like a fish going towards the sea, we [monks] must hurry to reach our cell*
for fear that if we delay outside we will lose our interior watchfulness.”
Anthony the Great

“Any trial whatever that comes to you can be conquered by silence.” Abbot Pastor

“Go, sit in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.” Abbot Moses

*an ancient term for a quiet, private place to be with God

“But when you pray,
go into your room [and]
close the door”
Jesus, in Matthew 6:6

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What two or three aspirations in Merton’s words resonate most with you? Can you form a prayer around them?
  • The dessert fathers had a plan for escaping the grip of illusion, confusion and judgment, and for cultivating liberty, peace and “silent expectancy for the coming of God.” Do you have such a plan?

Abba, help me to abandon myself to you in the resignation of a perfect love.

For More: The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton

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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: The Impact of Others on Your Emotional Health (Pete Scazzero, Francis Fenelon, Oswald Chambers and Thomas Merton)

“We can often do more for other men by trying to correct our own faults than by trying to correct theirs.” Francis Fenelon

“Before we can conquer the world we must conquer the self.” Oswald Sanders

“In this journey of emotionally healthy spirituality, we are talking about radical change at the core of our being. At least two critical forces hinder such a profound shift. First, the pressure of others to keep us living lives that are not our own is enormous. And second, our own stubborn self-will is much deeper and more insidious than we think. The possibility of self-deception is so great that without mature companions we can easily fall into the trap of living in illusions.” Pete Scazzero

“A current of useless interior activity constantly surrounds and defends an illusion. I cannot find God unless I renounce this useless activity, and I cannot renounce this activity unless I let go of the illusion it defends. And I cannot get rid of an illusion unless I recognize it for an illusion.”  Thomas Merton

“I want to do what is good,
but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong,
but I do ….”
Romans 7:19

Moving From the Head to the Heart

We must “correct our own faults” and let God deal with the faults of others. Most of us don’t do this easily, and, as Scazzero points out, when we do manage to focus on radical change at the core of our being “at least two critical forces hinder such a profound shift.”

  • Change is not only hard for us, but for others who are comfortable with the “system” we share with them. Change shakes up everything and everyone. Have you noticed others working hard to resist your determined efforts to change? If so, what has been your response?
  • Have you learned that your own “stubborn self-will is much deeper and more insidious than you think?” If so, how have you responded to that?
  • Are you perhaps under the illusion that those around you want you to change? or that personal change will occur somewhat efficiently now that you are seriously motivated? now that you are practicing disciplines for “radical change at the core of your being?”

Jesus, grant me mature friends to help me recognize the illusions at work in my life.

For More: No Man Is An Island 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.”