Religion Renewal…

“In the West,

religion became preoccupied

with telling people what to know

more than how to know,

telling people what to see

more than how to see.”

                             ~Richard Rohr

Believe it or not, Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Priest in the Catholic tradition.  I find it very refreshing to find not only believers in Christianity, but a member of the leadership and fraternal order to have rediscovered the contemplative awakening of a relationship with the Presence that indwells each of us and I also find in Fr. Rohr a kindred spirit, so to speak, as he speaks and writes very similar to the Truths that I write about both on this blog and in my journals.

It was always frustrating to me to watch the Catholic tradition go through so many ills because of the member’s behaviors (much the same with all religions in fact) when I know at the heart of their tradition is this Truth:  “The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends….so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.”  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, prologue VI;25)

I hate that religion is more often used to control what people do rather than aid them into self-discovery and internal transcendence.  When I say this, I’m obviously referring to Western religion, as Eastern religions have a long tradition of encouraging the contemplative mind.  What religions in the West are desperately in need of is a renewal of contemplative practice and a deep desire to know that which they have long claimed to have sole proprietorship upon.

It is my prayer, my hope, and my mission to do all that I can possibly do to aid in the renewal of this Spirit within religion, as well as, assist in helping those religions to come together and support each other in unity rather than condemn each other in judgement.  It is for this reason I have renewed my activities in religious circles rather than remain isolated from them, for I can be of no use to others if I am not serving where they live. 

20 thoughts on “Religion Renewal…

  1. I completely agree, and share your calling :-). I consider myself a Christian, but I really am not religious any longer. Who am I to tell any other person they are wrong and I am right … when I ultimately cannot prove anything? Most Western institutions that I have visited or come across seem completely geared toward limiting people. I have come to believe that this is ultimately based in fear … fear that the masses will actually figure out that they can know God every bit as much, or far more even, than the pastors, priests, or televangelists they follow.

    That actually is why Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Catholic Church back in the 1500’s … he actually wanted the people to be able to have their own personal relationship with God (gasp! lol). What a concept!

    There is no greater calling than to be in Love – to be in an intimate relationship with our Creator. All of this other stuff is nothing more than a distraction from that … yet for some reason, millions of people think that the distraction is what is important … instead of the personal, very intimate relationship God wants to have with each of us.

    • I had a feeling you would agree on this, we seemed to have very similar philosophies, which I am glad to find. I consider myself a Christian as well, I just hesitate to call myself one until the term no longer refers to self-righteous bigot. That is a little harsh I suppose, I just want the term to mean: I center myself in Love! 🙂

    • I love the talk of knowing God intimately, as the 1 John 5:11-13 says “he who has the son, has life…these things have been written so that you may know that you have eternal life” and “this is eternal life that they may know you, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” John 17:3. The point of the Bible is that you can only know God as He reveals himself to you by his Holy Spirit in accordance with his Word the Bible. Jesus IS the Word of God incarnate. It is not about doing or not doing. It is about letting this living Word of God control you. These are the things that my blog try to point out. Religion is man trying to please God. True Christianity is about Jesus pleasing God on our behalf in us.

  2. Religion, especially the Catholic religion, has never changed it’s dogma, which is to control the masses.
    I appreciate your position stated in the last sentence of this post. It’s quite meaningful.

  3. Its true that religion, if rationally followed, will work as an order but any order that would bind humans down is something that needs to be condemned. Its a nicely written piece. 🙂

  4. “as well as, assist in helping those religions to come together and support each other in unity rather than condemn each other in judgement.”

    I won’t have anything to do with organized religion because of so many reasons I won’t go into here but I agree with your statement here very much. I was raised Roman Catholic and practiced for many years. The Wiccan symbol (the pentacle) isn’t in the picture you posted here and I consider it a legitimate religion also. I don’t believe there is any “right” or “wrong” walk of faith unless it hurts someone. “Harm None, Do as Ye Will”

    • Wiccan is a religion so is Paganism, I have no problems with them, in fact, I’m intrigued by them, as I am most religions. I agree, people of all creeds should allow each other to become who they believe they are meant to be as long as they do no harm to others as a result of that becoming! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  5. Reblogged this on shafiqah1 and commented:
    I am often spiritually touched by the ways religions bring us together, there are politics that wish to set man/woman against one another and nations and tribes against one another but the force of God or any of his many names called in many forms and shapes will always reconnect us to the center, this is the life force–the heart beating in our rib cages, thank you for this post.

  6. A Christian book I found helpful in connecting with God in contemplative prayer was “Open Mind Open Heart” by Thomas Keating. It provides an exercise to hopefully experience the presence of God in a very personal way.

  7. There is a saying that a pastor of mine said that I always think applies when talking about church. He said, “Hurt people, Hurt People.” We have to remember that in church there are people who have been hurt and will likely hurt people. I do think it is helpful in my walk to have people who are seeking what I am seeking. I find some like minded people in church. It is also a gateway to charities and programs that people can get involved in. I also believe it always comes back to love. That is what people respond to.

  8. Finally! A religious view I can get behind. Understanding is an important element in the human condition, and if we let fear or prejudice guide our instincts–beyond a reasonable limit–we are going to lose the very important connections we share with each other. This is what religions should be teaching, not fear and immediate judgement. Thanks for sharing this!

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