Rumblings have begun. Throughout various Christian churches people are calling for reformation. Acceptance among some denominations to allow for female Priests and Deacons that in years past were not allowed. Acceptance among some denominations for same sex relationships. Attention paid to the hows and why they Bible was written and what God really hopes we glean from it. Sifting through facts – and fiction. Droves of people seeking (Christian) Spiritual Enlightenment.
Below I have posted (with links) the first of this years series of Daily Meditations by Ftr Richard Rorh . I am excited to see these current writings (this is past due!) on rebuilding the Christianity from the bottom up. Here I will admit, I have not yet read volumes of his writings. I haven’t known about him all that long. I looked him up after hearing his name in a homily. I realized I knew what he spoke about and hadn’t realized there were other people who thought this way, who understood a Spiritual (vs. Reglious) Path. Though for sure he is a Franciscan Priest, he is open to and accepting of other Christian denominations as well as other Religions. We are all one. Please – be sure to look him up. If you’re interested in Spiritual growth – he is a Spiritual Master.
The teachings I am familiar with in his writings are spot on and respect persons of the 21st century. There is a call to return to the very basic teachings of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the reason for Christianity. Too many well meaning people over the centuries have twisted and turned His very simple teachings. The church is shrinking. These twists and turns are responsible for this loss of belief.
I know the Roman Catholic Church must oil their wheels and make shifts far more quickly than they are used in order to properly grow in Christ. This trend of closing parishes and “speak” of a smaller but stronger church is not going to please our Father. It shows a lack of growth from within the walls. Most of the men of the church are glued to very old fashioned ways, and have confused ways of man that not are what the direct teachings of Jesus Christ were. Said with love.
Accepting we must return back to the teachings of Jesus – His roots. Simple, Basic Truths. Love. God is Love, Love is God. However, considering the work of Jesus with the many disciples we know his intention was to teach of our loving God, simple commandments and living in love and respect for one another.
The Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church hold power. They know they do. I pray the Holy Spirit touches them deeply within, in ways they have never felt before. They hold the power of change. They hold the power of growth. Power has been known to be dangerous. Blessed, divine power is to be used for the good of all. As painful as it may be to study, learn accept and make changes – it must be. For the good of the people – who are “the church”.
In upcoming articles I will be sharing more thoughts on the shrinking church, outdated rules, laws and traditions and how they affect the current slump in attendance. Idea’s of how change may really be for the overall good and growth of God’s children and our (my) Christian faith. – I teach 8th & 9th grade faith formation (part of the Confirmation classes). Tuesday night three kids showed up – none attend Mass (church). Last night five kids showed up, two never attend mass, one skips past the question and the other two – on rare occasion, even though mom goes every week. The future of the church. Foreboding? Changes need to be made, WD-40 for the squeaky wheels. The time has come.
From the Bottom Up: Introduction
Making Christianity Relevant Again
Sunday, January 1, 2017
“Our religion is not working well. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and often as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. . . . It would seem Jesus’ teaching about the reign of God has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. It’s time to rediscover the Gospel and rebuild from the bottom up.” —Richard Rohr
“What will make a difference to the future is awakening to a faith that fully communicates God’s love—a love that transforms how we believe, what we do, and who we are in the world. —Diana Butler Bass 
Our religion is not working well. Another year has ended—a new year begins—in which suffering, fear, violence, injustice, greed, and meaninglessness still abound. This is not even close to the reign of God that Jesus taught. And we must be frank: in their behavior and impact upon the world, Christians are not much different than other people.
The majority of Christians are not highly transformed people, but tend to reflect their own culture more than they operate as any kind of leaven within it. I speak especially of American Christians, because I am one. But if you are from another country, look at the Christians where you live and see if the same is true there.
Let’s be honest: religion has probably never had such a bad name. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and often as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. Some of us are almost embarrassed to say we are Christian because of the negative images that word conjures in others’ minds. Young people especially are turned off by how judgmental, exclusionary, impractical, and ineffective Christian culture seems to be. The church seems hostile toward most science (the objective outer world) and thus unable to talk about its inner dimensions with any authority. As we saw in the recent U.S. election, Christians overall showed little prophetic or compassionate presence.
Most Christians have not been taught how to plug into the “mind of Christ;” thus they often reflect the common mind of power, greed, and war instead. The dualistic mind reads reality in simple binaries—good and bad, right and wrong—and thinks itself smart because it chooses one side. This is getting us nowhere.
Throughout the history of Christianity, it would seem Jesus’ teaching has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. Could this be the real core of the Gospel? Such people experience God rather than merely having disconnected ideas about God. We need the mind of mystics now to offer any kind of alternative—contemplative or nondual—consciousness. We need practice-based religion that teaches us how to connect with the Infinite in ways that actually change us from our finite perspectives.
We must rediscover what St. Francis called the “marrow of the Gospel.” It’s time to rebuild from the bottom up. If the foundation is not solid and sure, everything we try to build on top of it is weak and ineffective. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that so much is tumbling down around us. It’s time to begin again. This will be our new Daily Meditation theme: rebuilding from the bottom up. Auspiciously, this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s important attempts at reform.
In the year 1205, Jesus spoke to Francis through the San Damiano cross: “Francis, rebuild my church, for you see it is falling into ruin.” If Jesus himself says the church is falling into ruin, I guess we can admit it also without being accused of being negative or unbelieving. Maybe we have to admit it for anything new and good to happen.
Through these daily reflections I will delve into the meaning of Christianity’s powerful “first principles,” or essential elements, in this order: God as Trinity, the Cosmic Christ, the life and teaching of Jesus, and other teachings of Incarnational and Mystical Christianity. Even if you aren’t Christian, I hope you will find universal principles here that you can apply to your own spiritual journey.” R. Rorh