I don’t understand the physics of this, but it is said that the reason a bird sitting on a hot wire does not get electrocuted is quite simply because it does not touch the ground to give the electricity a pathway. That is what the Welcoming Prayer is doing, and that is what I am asking you to do. Stay like a bird, sitting on the hot wire, holding the creative tension, but do not ground it in a bad way by thinking of it, by critiquing it, by analyzing it. Actually welcome it in a positive way. Hold on to it. As a Christian, I think that is what Jesus was doing on the cross. He was holding all the pain of the world, at least symbolically or archetypically; and though the world had come to hate Jesus, he refused to hate back.
Jesus revealed to us how to bear the pain of the world instead of handing on the pain to those around us. When you stop resisting suffering, when you can really do something so foolish as to welcome the pain, it leads you into a broad and spacious place where you live out of the abundance of Divine Love. I can’t promise you it will leave that quickly or that easily. To forgive is not the same as to forget.
Forgiveness has the power to lead you to your True Self in God. Because the hurts of life are so great, you cannot let go of the pain on your own. At that point, you need to draw from a Larger Source. What you are doing with forgiveness is changing your egoic investment in your own painful story—which too often has become your ticket, and sometimes your very identity. Forgiveness is one of the most radically free things a human being can do. When we forgive, we have to let go of our own feelings, our own ego, our own offended identity, and find our identity at a completely different level—the divine level. I even wonder if it is possible to know God at all—outside of the mystery of forgiveness (Luke 1:77).
— Richard Rohr (Adapted from The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis) from Yes, and…Daily Meditations
- The Welcoming Prayer
- Choosing To Let Go, Choosing To Forgive
- Love The Questions Themselves
- God Will Wound You Deeply
- The Courage Of The Seed
- Why God Makes Us Wait