A Little Bit of God
by Fr. Richard Rohr
Let me put it this way. A very little bit of God goes an awfully long way. And when someone else’s experience of God isn’t exactly the way I would say it, it doesn’t mean that other people have had no experience of God or that their experience is completely wrong. We have to remain with Francis’ question: “Who are you, God, and who am I?” Isn’t there at least ten percent of that person’s experience of God that I can agree with? That I can say, “That’s good! You know, I wish I understood God in that way.”
What characterizes anyone who has had just a little bit of God is that they always want more! Could it be that this Hindu, this Sufi, this Jewish woman has, in fact, touched upon the same eternal Mystery? Can’t we at least give one another the benefit of the doubt? I can be somewhat patient with people who think they have the truth, the problem is those who think they have the whole truth.
It seems to me that too quickly categorizing others as wrong or mistaken is consummate arrogance and is not honoring the mystic’s journey. The mystic always knows it can’t easily be talked about. It’s beyond words. It’s ineffable. It will always be mystery; and this experience of something that is always mystery and is always bigger than our ability to understand it, is, in fact, what makes one into a mystic. It allows us to use the old shibboleth, but with a new twist: “Those who really know don’t talk too easily. Those who talk too easily don’t really know.”
Adapted from Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate (CD/DVD/MP3)
“Who are you, God, and who am I?“
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
– Romans 13:9
I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary — the evil it does is permanent.
– Mahatma Gandhi
In many parts of the world the people are searching for a solution which would link the two basic values: peace and justice. The two are like bread and salt for mankind.
– Lech Walesa
from his Nobel Lecture
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