“When you can become little enough, naked enough, and honest enough, then you will ironically find that you are more than enough. At this place of poverty and freedom, you have nothing to prove and nothing to protect. Here you can connect with everything and everyone.” RICHARD ROHR @ CAC.ORG
“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” ― Dave Ramsey,
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” Janis Joplin ME AND BOBBY MCGEE
Same message, different messengers. Fr. Richard is speaking to our sense of spirituality, Dave Ramsey is addressing rampant consumerism, and Janis….well, we’re not quite sure which drummer Janis was following but all three of them speak of freedom from ourselves, from that inherent, squeaky, little voice which tells us that who and what we are is just not good enough. It’s the voice that enslaves us to religious doctrine, to consumerism and to self-doubt.
Fr. Richard is of the Franciscan order and a proponent of the ancient mystics including Jesus of Nazareth. He teaches that rather than climbing the ladder to heightened spiritual awareness, we need to descend, to strip ourselves of ourselves, and recognize our Oneness with all of humanity. When we lower and join into the world of poverty and oppression with the masses we then become One. When we earnestly harbor compassion and good will for all of God’s creatures, when we strip of worldly desires, we have nothing more to lose and thereby become free.
Like most of you, for me to grasp this concept of our reality is difficult. It requires a revolutionary definition of self which is totally alien to modern Christian orthodoxy and absolutely anathema to today’s popular “prosperity Gospel”. Mother Teresa, of course, would be an excellent role model. But, we cannot all give up jobs, families, commitments to go work in the slums of a 3rd world country. However, we can make a conscious effort to eschew the trappings and trap of wealth and consumerism by recognizing the wisdom and truth of the ancients and by living lives which uphold and honor the rights of all of God’s creation.
“…..nothing to kill or die for, and no religion too…” John Lennon IMAGINE”