Message from February 20, 2022

The musical highlighting of Grace and Prayer this week is a wonderfully inspiring testimony of the spiritual side of Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, and Josh Groban. It is insightful and encouraging when the world of famous entertainers intersects with our lives in a spiritual way. God speaks to us in unexpected ways.

Living in prayer . . . Prayer in living

When we live from our true self in God, religion is not about requirements; it’s about relationship, the quality and capacity of our relatedness to God and to others. Just by being, just by walking from here to there, becomes a prayer. That’s why Paul can say pray always: pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. 1Thessalonians 5:17. He can’t mean that we should walk around saying the Lord’s Prayer all day! But we can pray always when we live in conscious union with God. The surprise for most of us is that this place of relationship with God is really not about being perfect. The self in God will still make mistakes, but it lives from a center other than its own. It’s hard to get a feel for this until we’ve met a centered person, someone grounded and in union with God.My definition of Christianity at one time was that a Christian is someone who has met one, because this whole thing is contagious! When we meet a person of a certain quality of maturity, we too can become more mature. We meet a patient person and we learn how to be patient. We meet a loving person and we learn how to be loving. That’s the way human beings operate. When we meet a really grounded, happy, and free person, we become more like that because we’ll be satisfied with nothing less. This whole thing, our Faith, spreads through and by the quality of our relationships. In prayer, it is possible to experience that quality of relationship with God. In that place, we know we’re not being manipulated, we’re not being used, we’re not being judged, we’re not being evaluated. Who wouldn’t want to go there? It’s the place of ultimate freedom. It’s the state that every one of us wants to live in. That’s why we should pray for some set time each day, because when we do, we slowly learn to live in this place. We become a reflection of our own experience. We ourselves become our best teacher—as the Holy Spirit inspires us. The Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Romans 8:16). God rubs off on us. It’s almost that simple.

Richard Rohr

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