Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Prayer, Politics, and Love

A friend recently turned me on to Richard Rohr's daily meditation emails. So far they have been good, though my friend feels they may be too intellectual for some. I am catching up, and read one today from a few days ago. But they don't seem to be limited by a time frame, so that's okay!

The topic for this week is "Action and Contemplation" which is what Fr. Rohr named his organization, the Center for Action and Contemplation. This meditation has things to say about politics which I think are very helpful. I will just provide you the link so you can read it for yourself:

As often happens when I am learning a new life concept, I have been put in situations recently that help illustrate this concept. There were two particular times when I heard a group of folks, one who would call themselves liberals, and one who would call themselves conservative. I do not identify with either group, and for the most part choose to be silent in these discussions except with people I know well. And in both cases, these conversations were inappropriate for the venue. I only say this to show that when I am open to change and improvement in my life, situations present themselves that allow me to do this.

My experience is similar to Fr. Rohr's, though he has certainly enlightened me as to the reasons. I confess I have at times felt the same way about my own convictions. It impresses upon me the need for an inner life, an appreciation and experience of love. Love embodies good, in relation to God, to ourselves, and to others. The absence of it is something akin to evil, which has no life of its own. Many of us live in this emptiness in at least a part of our lives.

Love requires a commitment, even if the commitment is only for a day. But would you rather be a day laborer, or a long-term employee? With every commitment comes benefits. I think what Rohr is trying to say, is that we need this long-term commitment to ourselves. This is the foundation of love on which any action, political or otherwise, must be based, if it is to be full, and not empty.