‘Only by living completely in the world can one learn to believe. One must abandon every attempt to make something of oneself- even to make of oneself a righteous person.’ Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote this in a letter from prison a year before the Nazis hanged him for resisting Nazism and plotting to assassinate Hitler. ‘I can and I must throw myself into the thick of human endeavor, and with no stopping for breath,’ said Teilhard, who by no means stopped for breath. But what distinguishes living ‘completely in the world’ (Bonhoeffer) or throwing oneself ‘into the thick of human endeavor’ (Teilhard), as these two prayerful men did, from any other life lived in the thick of things? A secular broker’s life, a shoe salesman’s life, a mechanic’s, a writer’s, a farmer’s? Where else is there? The world and human endeavor catch and hold everyone alive but a handful of hobos, nuns, and monks. Were these two men especially dense, that they spent years learning what every kid already knows, that life here is all there is? We live in all we seek. The hidden shows up in too-plain sight. It lives captive on the face of the obvious- the people, events, and things of the day- to which we as sophisticated children have long since become oblivious. What a hideout: Holiness lies spread and borne over the surface of time and stuff like color…….Annie Dillard
can we look directly into the core of our lives? into the sacred meanings behind our naked journey? can we see what the mystics see? how, ultimately, does joy sing to sadness? may we edify our heart’s dedication….
I believe the deeper self is what most traditions were referring to as the soul or the True Self, and what some might call ‘the collective unconscious,’ because when you live there you are somehow ‘shared’ and participating in Something Larger. You are not doing it; it is being done to you. I can then begin to enjoy all things in themselves, and not in terms of their usefulness or importance or threat to me. Equanimity is the very nature of the soul. When this happens to you, you are now a living paradox: at one and the same time utterly connected to everybody else in a compassionate and caring way, and absolutely free to be your own self. Your identity comes from within. This is identification with the awareness behind thought, consciousness itself, pure being, or the perspective of the soul……Richard Rohr
The place God calls you to
is the place where your deep gladness
and the world’s deep hunger meet.