Richard Rohr has done it again; popped up with words quite profound and timely to yet another personal situation. To refresh you, back in November of last year I shared with you another one of his Daily Meditations on the subject of self-respect and self-awareness. That particular Meditation hit me squarely in the face like a 2x4 and has helped guide me to a calmer state of mind.
Well - today's Daily Meditation from Fr. Rohr once again gets right to the heart of a particular situation that has been unfolding for the past several days:
Beginner’s mind is a posture of eagerness, of spiritual hunger. The beginner’s mind knows it needs something, just as children do. This is a rare feeling in today’s treacherously seductive culture. Because we are offered so many things that are immediately satisfying (albeit in a superficial way), it is hard to remain spiritually hungry. We give answers too quickly, take away pain too easily, and too commonly stimulate ourselves with nonsense. In terms of soul work, we dare not get rid of pain before we have learned what it has to teach us. Much that we call entertainment, vacations, or recreation are merely diversionary tactics, and they do not “re-create” us at all. The word vacation is from the same root as vacuum, and means to “empty out,” not to fill up. One wonders how many people actually have such vacations!
We must be taught HOW to stay with the pain of life, without answers, without conclusions, and some days without meaning. That is the path, the perilous dark path of true prayer. It is how contemplative prayer differs from the mere recitation of prayers (which can actually be another diversionary tactic instead of any kind of self-emptying). [bolded emphasis mine]
A friend of nearly 25 years has decided that I am capable of truly heinous behavior that is so far out of character for me that I wonder what is going on inside his head. And it's all because he eavesdropped on a conversation that actually had nothing to do with him at all. He made a decision about me based on his own opinion and not based in reality. A decision that, in fact, he had no business making because he stuck his nose in where it didn't belong.
He has decided to throw away a very long friendship because for some perverse, twisted reason that escapes all logic ... he believes he is right - when in his heart he has to know he is wrong. Else I've been deluded about this friendship for a very long time.
His recent statements have hurt me deeply, far more than I'm willing to admit. And yet perhaps I should admit the pain, at least within myself, so I can navigate my way thru it to that place of "true prayer".
I don't think Fr. Rohr is counseling people to dwell on and wallow in their pain. Rather that we stop trying to force ourselves to get over it and rather let prayerfulness and God guide us thru it at whatever pace is required for us to recover and learn from the pain and experience.
Easy to say - ten times harder to actually do. And I'm willing to try because for the past few days I have been driving myself to distraction trying to find reason in what this person has said and done.