“Jesus kept telling his Jewish listeners about good, holy non-Jews, like the Samaritan man and the Syro-Phoenician woman. But even his disciples struggled to accept that the outsider could be accepted. If you’re stuck in the first half of life, with your explanation about why you’re the best, you will hold on strongly because it’s all you have, and change always feels like dying. Often the only thing that can break down your natural egocentricity is discovering that the qualities you hate in others are actually within you. You’re not so moral after all. You’ve imagined doing ‘bad’ things; and if you could get away with it, you know you’d do it. The only reason you don’t is because you’re afraid. Fear is not enlightenment. Fear is not the new transformed state of the risen Christ that we’ve been promised. Fear keeps you inside of a false order and will not allow any reordering.
“Unless you somehow weep over your own phoniness, hypocrisy, and woundedness, you probably will not let go of the first half of life. The gift of tears helps you embrace the mystery of paradox, of that which can’t be fixed, which can’t be made right, which can’t be controlled, and which doesn’t make sense. But if you don’t allow this needed disappointment to well up within you (good guilt), if you surround yourself with your orthodoxies and your certitudes and your belief that you’re the best, frankly, you will stay in the first half of life forever and never fall into the Great Mercy. Many religious people never allow themselves to ‘fall,’ while many sinners fall and rise again.” Richard Rohr #guidoreni #revolutionoftenderness