HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

FR RICHARD ROHR is one of the great inspirations of my life and I’m grateful to my friend Ivon Prefontaine for reminding me recently of Richard’s Daily Meditations.

In a series of Meditations on his “lineage”, whilst planning the opening of a new Living School for Action and Contemplation Fr Richard’s meditation on Sunday read

Orthopraxy in much of Buddhism and Hinduism

Orthopraxy is usually distinguished from orthodoxy. Orthodoxy refers to doctrinal correctness, whereas orthopraxy refers to right practice. What we see in many of the Eastern religions is not an emphasis upon verbal orthodoxy, but instead upon practices and lifestyles that, if you do them (not think about them, but do them), end up changing your consciousness.

This was summed up in the Eighth Core Principle of the Center for Action and Contemplation: We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking. I hope that can be a central building block of the Living School.

And – joyfully – today I’ve been chestily croaking ALLELUIA! upon reading today’s thoughts about the witness of art

Unique witness of mythology, poetry, and art

My earliest recordings often included mythological stories, poetry, or art to make the point. Many people are more right-brained learners than left-brained. When you bring in a story, or a poem, or refer to a piece of art, you can see people’s interest triple: “Wow, I’m with you!” Whereas, if you stay on the verbal level all the time, their eyes glaze over, they lose interest, they lose fascination and identification with the message.

I don’t think Western preachers and teachers have really understood the importance of art in general. Until people can “catch” the message with an inner image, it usually does not go deep. We’ve also been afraid of myths that weren’t Christian. In fact, we were afraid of the very word “myth.” We thought it meant something that wasn’t true when, in fact, it’s something that’s always true—if it’s a true myth. This will be a very important substratum of the Living School curriculum.

One of the things I most love and admire about Richard Rohr is his generosity of heart, mind, soul and body. He’s open to seeing the Divine all around us, open to contemplation and to receiving the Wisdom from traditions other – though as he shows us, not always so very “other” – from his own. I love that Fr Richard balances the importance of both orthodoxy and orthopraxy; that he both thinks deeply and feels profoundly. That, it seems to me, is what the call of Jesus Christ – and of other great spiritual masters and teachers – is really all about. As Richard has it, “living ourselves into a new way of thinking”. That’s something all of us can do, all of the time, with or without particular religious frameworks – though many, in the living, will thrive in the kind of religious environment that seeks – as the word religion intends (from Latin religare – “to reconnect, to bind together”) – to bind up the whole.

My friend Mimi is a generous contemplative – Between Night And Day; as is the marvellous Rebecca Koo – Heads or Tails; and Bill Wooten’s – The Present Moment brings a wonderful word from Thomas Merton – and a stunning photo; Francesca Zelnick is as special as her Today’s Special; David Herbert is one of my diocesan friends and I love his latest post (and we share affection for Parker Palmer); and Rachael Elizabeth’s been having a good time doing Christology and incense-sampling ( ! ) in Durham; James Fielden – always showing us “The Way Home” – meditates exquisitely upon Time; Ginny at “Chasing the Perfect Moment” writes about Re-creation; Ria Gandhi has been wondering about who and what’s Beautiful and has flagged up one answer here; Jenni has been Watching the Symphony here.

What are we looking at in all these human “works of art”. What do I see as I reflect upon the colours, upon the wide spectrum that arches over the whole of my life?

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus

Holy, Holy, Holy

Multi-coloured and blessed sanctity – God’s art: whether we’re always aware of it – or not …

9 thoughts on “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY

  1. There is so much glory in this post Simon, I’m not sure where to begin..Certainly the concept of ‘orthopraxy’ gives definition to that which so complements true belief. Living the spiritual meaning of love, sharing friendship generously, caring for others with sensitivity and goodwill with the awareness that all hearts beat without regard to ethnicity, religion, gender, etc… I applaud Richard Rohr, though I do not know him…and I thank you, for including me in your joyous and loving thoughts today. I feel quite full of blessings today – for which I thank you..me

  2. Simon, thanks for including me in your thoughts today. As Merton so aptly said ” Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” Be well, my friend.

  3. Thank you dear Mimi. Is life a little cooler for you over there now? Thank you, as ever, for sharing your own joy :). Even on busier days when there’s little time for blogging I rarely miss looking you up …

  4. Then you will see your name in my post this morning…as well as a commentary on the heat..:-)

  5. Simon, I am touched and honored that you would include me in your lovely post among so many inspiring writers/bloggers. I so agree with this – “That, it seems to me, is what the call of Jesus Christ – and of other great spiritual masters and teachers – is really all about.” And -“As Richard has it, “living ourselves into a new way of thinking”. Wonderful to reflect in the common mind and open heart. Thank you for the creativity you inspire within each of us in each post you write. Again, you truly represent God in a fashion that nourishes the soul. How lucky your parishioners are to be able to walk into your church each and every week. Fortunately, we all have you now. 🙂

  6. Dear Ginny, you’re really too kind. But your kindness is nonetheless very much appreciated. Thank you. Your own words – and “Callings” too – inspire me x

  7. Simon! Thank you for the link here and for your generous affirmation! You always give me something good and rich to think about as well as challenge me with something that stretches me! You are a beautiful soul. Thank you!

  8. Thank you so so much for including me in this post here! 😀
    Sending lots and lots of love and smiles your way! 😀
    And yes, the monsoons have begun 🙂

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