"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
By: Fr. Richard Rohr
Most people have never actually met themselves. At every moment, all our lives long, we identify with our thoughts, our self-image, or our feelings. We have to find a way to get behind this view of ourselves to discover the face we had before we were born. We must discover who we are in God, who we’ve always been—long before we did anything right or anything wrong. This is the first goal of contemplation.
Imagine you are sitting on the bank of a river. Boats and ships—thoughts, feelings, and sensations—are sailing past. While the stream flows by your inner eye, name each of these vessels. For example, one of the boats could be called “my anxiety about tomorrow.” Or along comes the ship “objections to my husband” or the boat “I don’t do that well.” Every judgment that you pass is one of those boats. Take the time to give each one of them a name, and then let them move on down the river.
This can be a difficult exercise because you’re used to jumping aboard the boats—your thoughts—immediately. As soon as you own a boat and identify with it, it picks up energy. This is a practice in un-possessing, detaching, letting go. With every idea, with every image that comes into your head, say, “No, I’m not that; I don’t need that; that’s not me.”
Sometimes, a boat turns around and heads back upstream to demand your attention again. Habitual thoughts are hard to not be hooked by. Sometimes you feel the need to torpedo your boats. But don’t attack them. Don’t hate them or condemn them. This is also an exercise in nonviolence. The point is to recognize your thoughts, which are not you, and to say, “That’s not necessary; I don’t need that.” But do it very amiably. If you learn to handle your own soul tenderly and lovingly, you’ll be able to carry this same loving wisdom out into the world.
Gateway to Silence:
Reference: Adapted from Richard Rohr, Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2004), 94-95.
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
All Advent Angels Annunciation Bedtime Prayer Be Present Be True To Yourself Bible Bible Verse Blessed Mother Blessed Mother Teresa Blessings Camino Camino De Santiago Pilgrimage Charity Christ Christian Christmas Compassion Contemplation Daily Advent Inspirational Challenges Daily Devotional Daily Reading Reflections Daily Reflections Dear Pilgrim Divine Love Divine Mercy Do Not Judge Dr. Wayne Dyer Encouragement Faith Faith In God Faith In The Lord Fasting Father Donald Calloway Reflection Finding Yourself Forgiveness Gifts God Gods Guidance God's Love Gods Love Gods Love Good Friday Gratitude Healing Healing Of The Family Tree Holy Land Holy Spirit Humility Ignatian Spirituality Ignatius Of Loyola Jesus Joel Osteen Journey Joyce Meyer Joy In The Lord Jr. Justice Lectio Divina Lent Lenten Reflection Letting Go Life Live In The Moment Lord Love Marianne Williamson Martin Luther King Mary Meditation Meditations Medjugorje Medjugorje Pilgrimages Mercy Miracle Morning Reflection Nazareth New Years Resolutions Night Prayer Novena Oswald Chambers Patience With God Peace Pentecost Poem Pope Benedict XVI Positive Thinking Pray Prayer Prayer For Healing Prayers For Children Prayers For The Sick Prayer To The Holy Sprit Pray For Enemies Psalm Reflection Rely On Jesus Rest Richard Rohr Self-denial Serve Others Shine Simplify Sing A New Song Sing Unto The Lord Sit With God In Silence Spirituality Spiritual Journey Stations Of The Cross St. Clare St. Francis St. Francis Xavier Storms In Life Suffering Surrender Take Care Of Yourself Thanksgiving Thirst For God Thomas Merton Trust Unjustly Virgin Mary Wait For The Lord Walk With God Worrying Bible Verse
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen
Camino De Santiago Pilgrimages Medjugorje Pilgrimages Marketplace
Prayerful Path Blog Camino de Santiago Blog Blessed Mother Guide Us
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Support our ministry