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Breathing Under Water: Day 1

Posted by Richard Rohr, OFM on 11/9/15 3:27 AM

Breathing Under WaterTo mourn for one is to mourn for all. To mourn with all is to fully participate at the very foundation of Being Itself. For some reason, which I am yet to understand, beauty hurts. Suffering opens the channel through which all of Life flows and by which all creation breathes, and I still do not know why. Yet it is somehow beautiful, even if it is a sad and tragic beauty.

What humiliated and wounded addict cannot look on the image of the crucified Jesus and see himself or herself? Who would not rush toward surrender and communion with such a crucified God, who against all expectations, shares in our powerlessness, our failure, and our indignity? Who would not find himself revealed, renamed, and released inside of such a God?

Spend some time reflecting on an image of the crucified Christ. You might want to explore several until you find one that resonates with your own experience. Write about your reaction to the suffering he endured. You see, only the survivors know the full terror of the passage, the arms that held them through it all, and the power of the obstacles that were overcome. All they can do is thank God they made it through!

For all the rest of us it is mere speculation, salvation theories, and “theology.” Think about stories you’ve read about people who have survived some sort of natural disaster. You might want to look for some online accounts. As you ponder their experience, let memories of your own close calls (actual or metaphorical) surface. There is no shortage of suffering in the world around us. Find a cause that resonates with you and reach out in whatever ways you can to help alleviate some of that suffering.

In this way, you can participate in God’s saving grace and pass on to others the gift you yourself have received.


Breathing Under Water

Topics: Richard Rohr, Spirituality, Inspiration, Breathing Under Water