Uncommon Generosity, Uncommon Courage …

 

Full Interview

There are two ways to be holy.

There are people who labor all day in the worst of conditions, for instance, for the neediest people in the world. Other people love them for it. Call them saints; call them courageous; call them the “salt of the earth.” Indeed they are. Then there are other people who see the conditions in which the neediest people in the world are left to live and they work to see that those conditions are changed. And people denounce them for it. Call them unrealistic. Call them enablers. Call them unfaithful to their country—and even to their church. Continue reading “Uncommon Generosity, Uncommon Courage …”

Richard Rohr appearing on ‘Super Soul Sunday’ …

The season premiere of the two-time Emmy award-winning daytime series Super Soul Sunday, featuring Oprah’s inspirational interviews with today’s top thinkers, visionaries and spiritual leaders, returns with all-new episodes on Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 11 a.m. PT/ET on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) featuring Fr. Richard Rohr! Tune in this season for conversations with guests like Paralympian Amy Purdy, Rob Bell, Richard Rohr, Joan Chittister, Jon Kabat-Zinn and best-selling author Michael Pollan. Continue reading “Richard Rohr appearing on ‘Super Soul Sunday’ …”

I Will Not Let You Go Until You Bless Me …

It is true that if you read the Jewish literature and you read Jewish history, happiness is not the first word that comes to mind  … And yet somehow or other when all of that is at an end, we get together and we celebrate … And that to me is how I have always defined my faith as a Jew. The definition of a Jew, Israel is at it says in Genesis 34, one who struggles, wrestles, with God and with humanity and prevails. And Jacob says something very profound to the angel.  He says, “I will not let you go until you bless me.” And that I feel about suffering. When something bad happens, I will not let go of that bad thing until I have discovered the blessing that lies within it.  When my late father died — now I’m in mourning for my late mother — that sense of grief and bereavement suddenly taught me that so many things that I thought were important, externals, etc., all of that is irrelevant. You lose a parent, you suddenly realize what a slender thing life is, how easily you can lose those you love. Then out of that comes a new simplicity and that is why sometimes all the pain and the tears lift you to a much higher and deeper joy when you say to the bad times, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”
—  Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks (excerpted from an interview with Krista Tippett: On Being – The Dignity of Difference)

Somehow, within every crisis lies the glorious possibility of rebirth. I have found, and so surely have many others, that the events that at the time were the most painful, were also those that in retrospect most caused us to grow. They helped us to make difficult but necessary decisions. They forced us to ask: “Who am I and what really matters to me?” They moved us from the surface to the depths, where we discovered strengths we did not know we had, and a clarity of purpose we had hitherto lacked. I have learnt to say to every crisis: “I will not let you go until you bless me”.  The struggle is not easy. Though Jacob was undefeated, after it he “limped”. Battles leave scars. Yet God is with us even when he seems to be against us. For if we refuse to let go of him, He refuses to let go of us, giving us the strength to survive and emerge stronger, wiser, blessed.
Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks (excerpted from “Credo: How Jacob conquered the defining crisis of his life” published in The Times on May 29, 2009)

Joy will sneak up on you when you view your hardest lessons as gifts from God.
— Charles Swindoll from Insights for Living

Turn your wounds into wisdom.
— Oprah Winfrey