Dying is not extraneous to life; it is part of the mystery. And you do not understand life until you stand under death. Yet both sides of the mystery must be experienced and trusted. The Eastern religions speak of the yin and yang of things; nature religions simply speak of darkness and light; the Jewish people speak of slavery and deliverance; we Christians speak of death and resurrection. But we are all pointing to God’s universal pattern of trust and transformation. This is rightly spoken of as being “reborn,” but has less to do with an emotional Church experience than a realigning life experience.
Yes, God is dying in all things, but God is risen in all things too. And both at the same time! There is suffering in all things, as the Buddhists so honestly say. There’s ecstasy in all things, as the Sufis so honestly say. There are both wild beasts and angels in the wilderness of human life, as the Gospels say. People who see “the better angels of our nature” (Abraham Lincoln) while not avoiding “the essentially tragic nature of human existence” (Miguel de Unamuno) are always the seers, the mystics, the prophets, the Great Souls, the fuel that keeps history advancing. —Richard Rohr, Hope Against Darkness: The Transforming Vision of Saint Francis in an Age of Anxiety
Monday, June 4, 2012
fr. richard rohr
I've been preoccupied with St. Francis of Assisi lately and am reading Richard Rohr's stuff about him. Read this this morning on the way to work and it quite cheesily took my breath away.