Looking for God’s Goodness in contemplation and prayer. Our society shows all the signs of classic addiction, and it is helpful to think about this as a metaphor for what the biblical tradition called “sin.” In Breathing Under Water, Richard Rohr draws the connection between the Gospel and the Twelve Step Program. It is helpful to see sin, like addiction, as a disease, a very destructive disease, instead of merely something that was culpable, punishable, or “that makes God unhappy.” If sin indeed made God unhappy, it was because God desires nothing more than our happiness and wills the healing of our disease. The healing ministry of Jesus should have made that crystal clear; healing was about all that He did, with much of His teaching illustrating the healings—and vice versa. It is rather amazing that this did not remain at the top of all church agendas.
As Carol Bieleck says in her poem, we cannot stop the drowning waters of our addictive culture from rising, but we must at least see our reality for what it is, seek to properly detach from it, and build a coral castle and learn to breathe under water. The New Testament called it salvation or enlightenment; the Twelve Step Program called it recovery. The trouble is that most Christians pushed this great liberation off into the next world, and many Twelve Steppers settled for spirituality in the Twelve Steps. May we all learn to breathe under water.
Breathing Under Water
I built my house by the sea.
Not on the sands, mind you, not on the shifting sand.
And I built it of rock.
A strong house by a strong sea.
And we got well acquainted, the sea and I.
Not that we spoke much.
We met in silences.
Respectful, keeping our distance, but looking our thoughts across the fence of sand.
Always, the fence of sand our barrier, always, the sand between.
And then one day, —and I still don’t know how it happened— the sea came.
Without welcome, even not sudden and swift, but a shifting across the sand like wine, less like the flow of water than the flow of blood.
Slow, but coming.
Slow, but flowing like an open wound.
And I thought of flight, and I thought of drowning, and I thought of death.
And while I thought the sea crept higher, till it reached my door.
And I knew then, there was neither flight, nor death, nor drowning.
That when the sea comes calling you stop being neighbors well acquainted, friendly-at-a-distance, neighbors and you give your house for a coral castle,
And you learn to breathe underwater.
Fortitude to Love. Weekly Reflection Summary.
Sunday. Mystery. As humans we are mystery.
Monday. Mercy and Kindness. God‘s mercy is free, it’s a gift.
Tuesday. Foundation of Trust. Trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to His love and the future to His providence. St. Augustine
Wednesday. Keys to My Heart. The moments I accept that God is God, and I am His beautiful creature.
Thursday. Peace of Forgiveness. Trust in the Lord with all your heart.
Friday. Knowing I’m not God. My Lord, My God.