“As we look at history, and even as we read the Scriptures, there seems to be evidence that violence has worked at times and failed at times, just as nonviolence has worked at times and failed at times. In the end, the question is, Which looks most like Jesus?”—Common Prayer
By praying out what we are holding without reserve we can actually be doing the very opposite of what the express language communicates. This becomes evident in those who, by expressing themselves in this way, work through their feelings and act in more reasonable and gracious ways in the aftermath of the unfettered expression.
“Holy One, so often we claim to see but prefer our blindness. Send us teachers and saints whose lives speak loudly of faith and perseverance to guide us when we unknowingly stray from wisdom’s course. Help us to find the Way, the Truth, and the Life in this world of shortcuts, deception, and death. Amen.”—Common Prayer
Peter Rollins: On the Idolatry of Certainty and Satisfaction
In contrast to the usual understanding of the “Good News” as a message offering satisfaction and certainty, Peter will be offering a radical and destabilizing alternative, arguing that it actually invites us to embrace the idea that we can’t be whole, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret. Decrying the popular view of God as a type of product that will render us complete, remove our suffering and reveal the answers, he will offer the blueprint for an incendiary faith that courageously embraces brokenness, resolutely faces up to unknowing and joyfully accepts the difficulties of existence.
I found it very interesting when Thomas Merton, the famous Benedictine monk, applied to become a hermit and it was met with resistance for years. Merton felt the Abbot was resisting Merton’s request for personal reasons. That battle is quite a read!
The resistance to Merton’s request wasn’t without merit. Even Merton knew the dangers of living out one’s spirituality in isolation. That’s what I’m up against. I no longer am a part of a local church community. Neither are many of you! In a way, we are like Merton who are living as kind of hermits out in the world, many of us in isolation from other Christians and church communities…
“Coffee makes people think. We can only guess at the philosophical discussions, debates, disputes, and dialogues that have taken place over coffee in its history. Coffee has historically been a beverage that sparks the exercise of intellectual energy, often of the more radical variety, resulting in verbosity, and on occasion leading to heresy and sedition.”—Donald Schoenholt
“To enter into solidarity with a suffering person does not mean that we have to talk with that person about our own suffering. Speaking about our own pain is seldom helpful for someone who is in pain. A wounded healer is someone who can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about his or her own wounds. When we have lived through a painful depression, we can listen with great attentiveness and love to a depressed friend without mentioning our experience. Mostly it is better not to direct a suffering person’s attention to ourselves. We have to trust that our own bandaged wounds will allow us to listen to others with our whole beings. That is healing.”—Henri Nouwen (via azspot)
“Yet the past can be changed. Something can happen today that causes us to radically reinterpret it. Perhaps, in light of the new reality, we start to view it like a prophecy pointing to toward the present, or a period of waiting or preparing. The point is that there is no way of nailing a single meaning to historical situations. To live is to risk. To risk the past as much as the future.”—Peter Rollins (via otherjournal)
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
“Go to the people.
Live among them.
Learn from them.
Start with what they know.
Build on what they have.
But of the best leaders,
when their task is accomplished,
when their work is done…
the people will remark:
“We have done it ourselves.”—John Perkins
“The world does not need answers either. Answers are easy to come by: You Google them. No, what the world really needs from you now is the courage to ask the right questions without apology, without fear, and without end. It needs those who will lead from the vantage point of new questions, not old answers. From the point of view of enduring values, not denominational politics; from the perspective of global needs, not parochial interests.”—Sister Joan Chittister