Monday, November 23, 2009

The great commandment...

The great commandment is not "Thou shalt be right."  Instead, the great commandment is, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."  Just stay inside of the Great Compassion, the Great Stream, the Great River of Divine Love.  Don’t push that river, just stay in it, and you know what?  You are already there!

All that is needed is surrender and gratitude.  Our job is simply to thank God for being part of it all, and allow it to happen.  The many burdens we carry are not just ours. We are in this together. The sin that comes up in us is not just our sin; it is the sin of the world.  The joy that comes up in us is not just our personal joy; it is the joy of all creation.  We are in this together as the living Body of God.

All we can do is accept and give thanks.

Richard Rohr, adapted from Everything Belongs, pp. 89-90

It's important that we don't interpret this as quietism, a philosophy of "Don't do anything and it will all come right in the end." Acceptance and thanksgiving, especially under the hardest of circumstances, are anything but easy options!

We so easily forget that it isn't down to us to make it all come right, not even by praying for the right things. We don't know what "the right things" are (Romans 8:26) - we cannot even imagine the mind of God in bringing about the liberation of creation (Romans 8:20-24), but we can pray as Jesus taught us, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done..." and we can pray the words of the Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner" knowing that, as Rohr says, "The sin that comes up in us is not just our sin; it is the sin of the world." Knowing that, consciously identifying with the sin and the pain and the brokenness of the world, is probably the hardest, yet probably the most redemptive, of all acts of prayer. And it can only be done through a love that loves God above all, and our fellow creatures as our very selves (Matthew 22:37-40)


  1. This is hitting me deeply in a way that I cannot even express.

  2. Boy, the urge to be in control of our lives goes down so deep, doesn't it. The urge to be right comes with that, and it's all fear based.

    Thank you for this. I am needing it at the moment.

    Oh, and by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MIKE!!!!!!


  3. Thank you, Sue! And Ruth, too!