The nearest habitable world beyond our Solar System might be right on our doorstep – astronomically speaking.

Scientists say their investigations of the closest star, Proxima Centauri, show it to have an Earth-sized planet orbiting about it.

What is more, this rocky globe is moving in a zone that would make liquid water on its surface a possibility.

Proxima is 40 trillion km away and would take a spacecraft using current technology thousands of years to reach.

Artwork of Proxima b

Finding is losing; losing is finding (Luke 17:33)

„Simone Weil and others have said that the very nature of spiritual truth is that it is paradoxical. Christianity should have known this. Our very template for God is the Trinity: Three Persons in One God.

We believe Jesus is fully human and fully divine at the same time. And Catholics believe that Mary is virgin and mother at the same time and that the Eucharist is simultaneously bread and Jesus.

All of these are seeming contradictions. They don’t make sense to the logical, dualistic, either/or mind. These beliefs are only understood by the nondual, both/and mind and at the level of soul. The church has taught people doctrines, but has not always taught the proper mind with which to understand them.

Thus the high degree of atheism, agnosticism, and “former” Catholics and Christians.

Let me give you some of Jesus’ and Paul’s paradoxical teachings that at first seem like contradictions, but when you hold them both together, when you live inside of them, “the third something” emerges. These are truths that can only be known at the level of inner experience. They cannot be controlled at the level of the head. When we open ourselves to paradox and mystery, we can finally be transformed at the deepest levels. Here are just a few of Jesus’ and Paul’s seemingly contradictory statements:

Finding is losing; losing is finding (Luke 17:33).

The poor are rich (Matthew 5:3); the rich are very poor (Mark 10:17-25).

Hunger is satisfaction (Matthew 5:6); satisfaction is emptiness (Luke 12:16-21).

Weeping is bliss; bliss is weeping (Matthew 5:4).   

The wise and learned do not understand; mere babes do (Matthew 11:25).

Folly is wisdom; the wise are ignorant (1 Corinthians 1:18-27).

Weakness is strength; strength is weakness (1 Corinthians 1:18-27; 2 Corinthians 12:10; 13:9).

Hold these paradoxes in silence and your lived experience. Let them teach you true wisdom and transform you. Holy people live inside of a very creative tension that is held together by grace and compassion, never by logic alone.”

Gateway to Silence: Welcome what is.


Adapted from Richard Rohr, A New Way of Seeing . . . A New Way of Being: Jesus and Paul (CAC: 2007), discs 1 and 2 (CD, MP3 download); and
Holding the Tension (an unpublished talk in Houston, Texas: 2007).

Afficher l'image d'origineAfficher l'image d'origine

Basilique de Vézelay, Yonne, France

„In every religion there are immature levels”

„First, I want to point out that violent, fundamentalist religious groups use God-talk constantly: „God is great. This is for God. I’m a martyr for God. I’m on God’s good side, but you’re going to hell.” Their words and behavior are rooted in dualistic thinking where everything is clear-cut black and white, good and bad. This is religion at its worst, entirely lacking in inner experience. And so we can imagine how someone might say, „God is great!” and pull out a gun to shoot thirty people or shout hate speech, having not experienced God as infinite and inclusive love.

I want to be honest and up-front about this. We’re dealing with a lot of low-level, dualistic thinking–in Christianity, in Islam, and in every religion at its immature levels. People use religion to cover their own malevolence, hatefulness, fear, and anger. It’s not just Islam. Christianity has been doing this for centuries. But we’ve got to do better.

How can we do better? To begin, we might put ourselves in the other’s shoes and imagine why someone is so hateful. While working in the Albuquerque jail for over a decade, I met many men who had been raised in a punitive, authoritarian, absolutist way, often with an absent or abusive father. Understanding another’s story can teach me compassion. It doesn’t mean I let someone take advantage of me. But it does open my heart and help me recognize that they are victims, too. They’ve been wounded, too. Yet they are still objectively an image of God, created in God’s image.”

Gateway to Silence

Be here now.



Adapted from Richard Rohr, Exploring and Experiencing the Naked Now(CAC: 2010), disc 3, (CD, DVD, MP3 download).


Bernard de Clairvaux

Bernard de Fontaine, abbé de Clairvaux, né en 1090 à Fontaine-lès-Dijon1 et mort le 20 août 1153 à l’abbaye de Clairvaux, est un moine français, réformateur de la vie religieuse.

Mémoire: ce 20 août.

From a sermon on The Song of Songs by Bernard of Clairvaux

Now bear with my foolishness for a little.  I want to tell you of my own experience, as I promised.  Not that it is of any importance.  But I make this disclosure only to help you, and if you derive any profit from it I shall be consoled for my foolishness; if not, my foolishness will be revealed. 

I admit that the Word has also come to me – I speak as a fool – and has come many times.  But although he has come to me, I have never been conscious of the moment of his coming.  I perceived his presence, I remembered afterwards that he had been with me; sometimes I had a presentiment that he would come, but I was never conscious of his coming or his going. 

And where he comes from when he visits my soul, and where he goes, and by what means he enters and goes out, I admit that I do not know even now; as John says: ‘You do not know where he comes from or where he goes.’ 

There is nothing strange in this, for of him was it said, ‘Your footsteps will not be known.’  The coming of the Word was not perceptible to my eyes, for he has no color; nor to my ears, for there was no sound; nor yet to my nostrils, for he mingles with the mind, not the air; he has not acted upon the air, but created it. 

His coming was not tasted by the mouth, for there was no eating or drinking, nor could he be known by the sense of touch, for he is not tangible.  How then did he enter?  Perhaps he did not enter because he does not come from outside? 

He is not one of the things which exist outside us.  Yet he does not come from within me, for he is good, and I know that there is no good in me.  I have ascended to the highest in me, and look!  the word is towering above that.  In my curiosity I have descended to explore my lowest depths, yet I found him even deeper.  If I looked outside myself, I saw him stretching beyond the furthest I could see; and if I looked within, he was yet further within. 

Then I knew the truth of what I had read, ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’  And blessed is the man in whom he has his being, who lives for him and is moved by him.

You ask then how I knew he was present, when his ways can in no way be traced?  He is life and power, and as soon as he enters in, he awakens my slumbering soul; he stirs and soothes and pierces my heart, for before it was hard as stone, and diseased. 

So he has begun to pluck out and destroy, to build up and to plant, to water dry places and illuminate dark ones; to open what was closed and to warm what was cold; to make the crooked straight and the rough places smooth, so that my soul may bless the Lord, and all that is within me may praise his holy name. 

So when the Bridegroom, the Word, came to me, he never made known his coming by any signs, not by sight, not by sound, not by touch.  It was not by any movement of his that I recognized his coming; it was not by any of my senses that I perceived he had penetrated to the depths of my being. 

Only by the movement of my heart, as I have told you, did I perceive his presence; and I knew the power of his might because my faults were put to flight and my human yearnings brought into subjection.  

I have marvelled at the depth of his wisdom when my secret faults have been revealed and made visible; at the very slightest amendment of my way of life I have experienced his goodness and mercy; in the renewal and remaking of the spirit of my mind, that is of my inmost being, I have perceived the excellence of his glorious beauty, and when I contemplate all these things I am filled with awe and wonder at his manifold greatness.


By Don Francisco
For years we have had this collection of short articles posted on line and we slowly add to them as new topics come up.  We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we’re sharing how we see things.  As we all share, our perspectives are widened, and it becomes easier to lay aside fear and dead religion and to choose instead pathways of freedom, boldness, and love.  We hope you enjoy the mythbusters.

Myth #8 – Christians should not hang out with non-Christians

This myth comes from the false belief that being with people who are different will lower the spirituality of a believer. However, nothing lowers true spirituality more than a separatist attitude.

True spirituality is a loving, serving attitude towards God and people, a thankful and joyful countenence, and wonder and respect for all life. It’s as simple as that. Some people think that spirituality means having a prune face and being angry at sinners. Jesus was only angry at prunefaced religious people. They misrepresented the heart of God. 

When the Bible says, „love not the world”, it means we should not be driven by desires for fame and riches. But that is completely different than deciding not to love people. When Jesus said that the harvest is ready, but the workers are few, He didn’t mean there are not enough pastors. He meant that there are not enough people who love the way God does. Nothing spins a life around faster than knowing God loves us just as we are.  Most Christians don’t even know this simple fact – and that’s why many feel they have to lock themselves in closets so they can try to be more holy. 

The religious leaders of Jesus day did not hang out with other people, but Jesus did!  In fact He hung out with people who the religious leaders considered to be untouchable. He saw right through the outside and into the heart.  Jesus did not like to hang out with the high up religious leaders, but He hung out with everybody else. 

Nothing affects the world more positively than people who know they are loved by God. They make everyone around them feel special. They literally carry the love and healing of God around with them. They are not overcome by fear, but they are outgoing.  Jesus said we should let our light shine. And that means loving  others with no awareness of our differences.