Night and Day Monday Third Week of Lent

How is everybody doing ?

Are you finding your reflections going round and round or are you making any progress ??!!

 A few Richard Rohr reflections to start off this third week in the Lenten desert...

All God appears to want from us is honesty and humility (and they are finally the same thing). If God is holding out for human perfection, God is going to have a long wait. There is no other way to read Jesus’ stories of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) or the publican and the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14).
 In each story, the one who did wrong ends up being right—simply because he is honest and humble about it.
How have we been able to miss that important point?

 I suspect it is because the ego wants to think well of itself and deny any shadow material. Only the soul knows we grow best in the shadowlands

We are blinded inside of either total light or total darkness, but “the light shines on inside the darkness, and it is a light that darkness cannot overcome” (John 1:5). 

Ironically, it is in darkness that we find and ever long for more light. Did you know that even physics is now telling us that what looks like total darkness to the human eye is actually filled with neutrinos, which are light? 

Again, the mystics like John of the Cross knew this to be true on the spiritual level too
 From Breathing under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps,

Face the shadow side of yourself, but do not identify with it. It represents only part of who you are. Totally identifying with the shadow leads to much evil in the world. If you live there, you will be driven and motivated by fear, guilt, shame, and even malice.
 So there is a difference between relating to the denied parts of yourself (bringing light to them), and totally “acting them out” (which is to leave them in their unconscious and dark state).
 This is why it is so foundational to know yourself, and to learn to be honest about your real motivations.
When we meet our shadow self, our response should not be anger or surprise as much as sadness. 
I am sure this is what so many of our saints meant by “weeping over their sins,” which to most of us seemed a bit dramatic—or impossible. 
We can experience days of deep sorrow after encountering what we’ve denied in ourselves for a long time. We get a glimpse of how broken and needy we are. It is a huge humiliation to the ego, and so most people just refuse to do much shadowboxing.
The hero in us wants to attack, fix, or deny the existence of our dark side.
 We can also be tempted to share dramatically everything about it as a way to control it (sometimes called ventilating or dumping).
 The saint merely weeps over the shadow and forgives it—and by God’s grace forgives himself for being a mere human. 
He opens his arms to that which has been in exile and welcomes it home for the friend that it often is.
Adapted from On the Threshold of Transformation: Daily Meditations for Men

We are all complicit in and benefiting from what Dorothy Day called “the dirty rotten system.” That’s not condemning anybody; it’s condemning everybody because we are all complicit and enjoying the fruits of domination and injustice. (Where were your shirts and underwear made?)
 Usually the only way to be really non-complicit in the system is to choose to live a very simple life. That’s the only way out of the system! 
Thus most of the great wisdom teachers like Gandhi, Saints Francis and Clare, Simone Weil, Dorothy Day, Jesus and Buddha—lived voluntarily simple lives.
 That’s almost the only way to stop bending the knee before the system. This is a truly transfigured life in cultures which are always based on climbing, consumption, and competition (1 John 2:15-17).
Once we idealize social climbing, domination of others, status symbols, power, prestige and possessions, we are part of a never ending game that is almost impossible to escape.
 It has its own inner logic that is self-maintaining, self-perpetuating, and self-congratulating as well as elitist and exclusionary.
 It will never create a just or happy world, yet most Christians never call it into question. 
Jesus came to free us from this lie which will never make us happy anyway, because it’s never enough, and we never completely win.
Adapted from The Spiral of Violence: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Night and Day I Listen for You O Lord. My heart yearns for You..
Playing For Change : Higher Ground....

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