Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I’m not much of a reader.

For example, back in September 2003 I picked-up a copy of Richard Rohr’s book Everything Belongs: The Gift Of Contemplative Prayer, but only got around to actually reading it in this past month.

[page 53] The contemplative secret is to learn to live in the now. The now is not as empty as it might appear to be or that we fear it may be. Try to realize that that everything is right here, right now. When we’re doing life right, it means nothing more than it is right now, because God is in this moment in a nonblaming way. When we are able to experience that, taste it and enjoy it, we don’t need to hold on to it. The next moment will have its own taste and enjoyment.

I’d bought it simply because I’d flicked through it in the Wesley Owen bookshop in Kingston and found something that spoke clearly to me.

Today, I’ve no idea what that bit was.

As I’ve gone through though, I have marked a large number of passages that spoke to me today, notably stuff about liminal space.

[page 126] Our awareness of the supportive presence of God is outside of and beyond our power to express in word or conceive in thought.

Rather than review the book (which in its procontemplative-stance broadly balances the proactive-stance of my previous read Who Stands Fast?) I thought I’d just quote some of the bits that I liked...

[page 124] We all want to be with people around whom we feel safe and forgiven just by being next to them. You know they’ll receive you. You know you can show your darkest part to them. Some people have the gift in their very person to tell you, “It’s okay.”

[page 46] People the most obedient to commandment and church formulas can very often be the hardest to convert. They’ve taken the symbol for the substance. They’ve taken the ritual for the reality. They’ve taken the means for the end and become inoculated from the experience of the real thing. That’s called idolatry when we worship and protect the means. It actually keeps you from the journey to the end. Religions are only the fingers that point to the moon, not the moon itself.

[page 99] In general, law gives helpful information, but it cannot give spiritual strength or transformation.

[page 103] We grow by subtraction much more than by addition.

[page 110] Too often people think it is necessary that we all see God in the same way (which is impossible anyway), but what is really necessary is that we all follow God according to what God tells us.

[page 113] More interestingly, we Catholics are always canonizing saints, pronouncing them to be in heaven for sure. They are our role models; we can imitate them. But in the entire history of the church, it has never been declared that a single person is in hell. Even Judas. The church has never said, “This person is definitely in hell.” We almost hold out for universal restoration: that the true meaning of the raising of Jesus is that God will turn all our human crucifixions into resurrection.

Available here.


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