A new book by Franciscan Fr. Richard Rohr has been on my wish list for a good while now and so I was delighted to find this link today that provides a few extracts and an up and coming interview with the man himself on Wednesday.
I was also saddened to hear that Rohr is retiring soon and began to realise that other people who have been my stalwart spiritual mentors for so large a part of my life are likely to disappear from the stage soon; e.g. Ron Rolheiser must be near retirement age too. Oh dear , who will replace them I wonder ?!
Extract from the book below :-
Rohr writes: In the second half of life, we can give our energy to making even the painful parts and the formally excluded parts belong to the now unified field—especially people who are different, and those who have never had a chance.
If you have forgiven yourself for being imperfect and falling, you can now do it for just about everybody else.
If you have not done it for yourself, I am afraid you will likely pass on your sadness, absurdity, judgment and futility to others. This is the tragic path of the many elderly people who have not become actual elders, probably because they were never eldered or mentored themselves.
Such people seem to have missed out on the joy and clarity of the first simplicity, perhaps avoided the interim complexity, and finally lost the great freedom and magnanimity of the second simplicity as well.
We need to hold together all of the stages of life, and for some strange, wonderful reason, it all becomes quite “simple” as we approach our later years.
In fact, if this book is not making it very simple for you, I am doing it wrong and you are hearing it wrong.
The great irony is that you must go through a necessary complexity (perhaps another word for necessary suffering) to return to any second simplicity.
There is no nonstop flight from first to second naiveté."
A Few Reflections
As for myself these days, I drift in and out of periods of acute awareness of time passing, suffering, ageing and all the time -worn sentiments and anxieties that brings with it.
Then interspersed with this is a sublime belief that all will be well... and sometimes the image below says it better than I can !