Friday, February 4, 2011

Real Change

Every day I receive a devotional e-mail from Richard Rohr, a Catholic leader. He has one of the best understandings of grace that resonates with me. Today's devotional really speaks to me. Thought I would share:

We operate with the assumption that giving people new ideas changes people. It doesn’t. Believing ideas is, in fact, a way of not having to change in any significant way, especially if you can argue about them. Ideas become defenses.

If you have the right words, you are considered an orthodox and law-abiding Christian. We burned people at the stake for not having the right words, but never to my knowledge for failing to love or forgive, or to care for the poor. Religion has had a love affair with words and correct ideas, whereas Jesus loved people, who are always imperfect.

You do not have to substantially change to think some new ideas. You always have to change to love and forgive ordinary people. We love any religion that asks us to change other people. We avoid any religion that keeps telling us to change.

Does this speak to you like it does to me? I read this and realized I've already learned this without knowing I've already learned it. I read one time that when we really learn is when we hear something that we've already learned in our life but we haven't verbalized it. We hear someone say it aloud and we say YES!!

Sometimes we think that's where we learned it, but as I experienced here, I read this and thought I already know this. I love the way this is written. It expresses truth as I've learned it and experienced it.
Not that I continually practice it, but I KNOW it, I really know it!


Cathy_H said...

I just discovered Richard Rohr. And something inside me is really excited that you've discovered him too.

As I read his works, my soul resonates. But all of my Southern Baptist background leaves me afraid.

There is a wide chasm between what it takes to be counted socio-politically as a Christian and the God I know in my heart. The thing I love about reading Richard Rohr is that he is far more articulate than I am about illustrating the chasm.

Mary Burleson said...

Cathy, exactly! You put it so well. Yes, there is a chasm, at least in my experience. I don't often meet someone who relates to this. We still attend a So Bapt church, and we still minister in SBC's. I think people sense life and realness in us and what we say, but I can't honestly say it's reciprocal. Our kids have experienced this also and we have rich fellowship with them. That's something we're so grateful for. Richard Rohr explains it kind of like reaching adulthood in your Christianity. Thanks for writing. I always enjoy and appreciate your comments. MB