Monday, June 24, 2013

How do we breathe under water? (Richard Rohr)


I am indeed saying that only people who have suffered in some way can save one another — exactly as the Twelve Step Program discovered. Deep communion and dear compassion is formed much more by shared pain than by shared pleasure. I do not know why that is true. We are not saved by any formulas or theologies or any priesthood extraneous to the human journey itself. 'Peter, you must be ground like wheat, and once you have recovered, then you can turn and help the brothers' (Luke 22:31-32), Jesus says to Peter. Was that his real ordination to ministry? No other is ever mentioned. I do believe this is the only ordination that matters and transforms the world. Properly ordained priests might help bread and wine to know what it is, but truly ordained priests help people to know who they are, as they 'help the brothers and sisters.'

"Only those who have tried to breathe under water know how important breathing really is, and will never take it for granted again. They are the ones who do not take shipwreck or drowning lightly; they are the ones who can name 'healing' correctly, they are the ones who know what they have been saved from, and the only ones who develop the patience and humility to ask the right questions of God and of themselves.

"You see, only the survivors know the full terror of the passage, the arms that held them through it all, and the power of the obstacles that were overcome. All they can do is thank God they made it through! For all the rest of us it is mere speculation, salvation theories, and 'theology.' "