Daily Riches: The Limits of Religion and Science (Richard Rohr, Robert Russell, John Buchanan, Arthus Bogel and Simone Weil)

“The living God is related to the categories and formal arguments of our abstract thinking as fire is related to paper.” Arthus Bogel

“Great science, which we once considered an ‘enemy’ of religion, is now helping us see that we’re standing in the middle of awesome Mystery, and the only response before that Mystery is immense humility. Astrophysicists are much more comfortable with darkness, emptiness, non-explainability (dark matter, black holes), and living with hypotheses than most Christians I know. Who could have imagined this?” Richard Rohr

“I am … reminded of the humility of those early theologians who knew that when we seek to speak of God we do so only out of the glimmers of understanding that sparkle amid the vast background of uncomprehended mystery….” Robert J. Russell

“In a recent sermon [Rev. John Buchanan] writes that the science that many Christians had felt over the centuries to be ‘our greatest threat … is now teaching us the ancient truth about mystery, a truth that used to be ours – that when it comes to ultimate truth, the most appropriate posture is modesty, silence, reverence, not propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating.’” Kathleen Norris quoting Buchanan

“The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation.” Simone Weil

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said,
‘Here am I, here am I.’”
Isaiah 65:1

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Has the living God ever burned up what you had all figured out on “paper?” Can you be comfortable with “non-explanability?”
  • Do you think of “the mysteries of faith” as something to be analysed and explained, or something to be lived with and savored?
  • Do your religious or scientific convictions lead to “propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating” or to “modesty, silence, reverence?”
  • Many world-class scientists are people of faith. I you’re not aware of them, why not do a little checking?

Abba, help me to think clearly and critically, but may my faith be bigger than the best of my figuring and explaining. May I constantly be moving from the head to the heart, from thinking and believing to doing and loving.

For More: Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. 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: Preparation for Ministry (James Martin, Brennan Manning and Tagore)

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy.

I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Rabindranath Tagore

“Over the past twenty-two years as a Jesuit, I have worked in a variety of what you might call service-related positions. While a novice in Boston, beside the time at the homeless shelter, I worked in a hospital for the seriously ill. Also during my novitiate, I worked with Mother Teresa’s sisters in the slums of Kingston, Jamaica, in a hospice for the sick and dying. During philosophy studies in Chicago, I worked with gang members and at a community center helping unemployed men and women find jobs. After that came my two years in Kenya with refugees. …It would take me into some of the worst slums in the world and introduced me to some people who were certainly the poorest of the poor, and yet whose great faith astonished me. Later, during my theology studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, I worked as a prison chaplain, spending time with men and women from poor backgrounds who had sometimes committed terrible crimes … and who were desperate for someone to talk to. And since ordination I continue to do service in the form of sacramental ministry like hearing confessions, presiding at funerals, and accompanying people in difficult times. These works all brought me joy.” James Martin

“A two-year leave of absence from the Franciscans took Brennan to Spain in the late sixties. He joined … an Order committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor – a lifestyle of days spent in manual labor and nights wrapped in silence and prayer. Among his many and varied assignments, Brennan became an aguador (water carrier), transporting water to rural villages via donkey and buckboard; a mason’s assistant, shoveling mud and straw in the blazing Spanish heat; a dishwasher in France; a voluntary prisoner in a Swiss jail, his identity as a priest known only to the warden; a solitary contemplative secluded in a remote cave for six months in the Zaragoza desert.” Brennan Manning

“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived,
none is greater than John the Baptist.”
Matthew 11:11

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • My ministry preparation was almost entirely academic. Now that seems profoundly misguided and inadequate. What’s your experience?
  • Has your “book learning” been tested and enhanced by “street learning?”
  • Can you trust God to use you no matter what your journey has been?

Abba, use me.

For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning


“Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. –  Bill

Daily Riches: The Acid Test of Theology (Dallas Willard)

“Modern attempts to think about God independently of historical revelation have been thoroughly victimized by currents of nineteenth– and twentieth-century philosophy that simply make knowledge of God …an impossibility.  …This forces one to handle the texts and traditions of Jesus in such a way that he can never bring us to a personal God whom we can love with all our being. But things often turn out little better for theology on the right. It tends to be satisfied with having the right doctrines or traditions and to stop there without ever moving on to consuming admiration of, delight in, and devotion to the God of the universe. On the one hand, these are treated as not necessary, because we have the right answers; and on the other hand, we are given little, if any, example and teaching concerning how to move on to honest and full-hearted love of God. The acid test for any theology is this: Is the God presented one that can be loved, heart, soul, mind, and strength? If the thoughtful, honest answer is; ‘Not really,’ then we need to look elsewhere or deeper. It does not really matter how sophisticated intellectually or doctrinally our approach is. If it fails to set a lovable God – a radiant, happy, friendly, accessible, and totally competent being – before ordinary people, we have gone wrong. We should not keep going in the same direction, but turn around (repent?) and take another road. …The theologian who does not love God is in great danger, and in danger of doing great harm….” Dallas Willard

“If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge
… but do not have love,
I am nothing.”
1 Corinthians 13:2

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

Jesus hoped we would know him, love him, and follow him. After his resurrection it became clear we also should worship him. It doesn’t always work that way.

  • Has your philosophy or theology made a loving relationship with Jesus impossible for you?
  • Has fighting for the truth (right doctrine) become more important to you than loving others well (right relationships)?
  • Does your faith rest in a God who is “a lovable God – a radiant, happy, friendly, accessible, and totally competent being?” Will you determine to look “elsewhere or deeper” for that God if necessary?

Abba, may I know you in truth, in spite of your mystery and my hang-ups.

For More: The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. 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)