The Deeper Voice of God – 7 quotes from Richard Rohr’s book – Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life

by Mark Votava

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1. There is a deeper voice of God

“There is a deeper voice of God, which you must learn to hear and obey in the second half of life.  It will sound an awful lot like the voices of risk, of trust, of surrender, of soul, of ‘common sense,’ of destiny, of love, of an intimate stranger, of your deepest self…  The true faith journey only begins at this point.  Up to now everything is mere preparation.  Finally, we have a container strong enough to hold the contents of our real life, which is always filled with contradictions and adventures and immense challenges…”

2. Live in the now that is given

“All that each of us can do is to live in the now that is given.  We cannot rush the process; we can only carry out each stage of our lives to the best of our ability…”

3. Offer shame, guilt, warnings, self-doubt

“Paradoxically, your loyal soldier gives you so much security and validation that you may confuse his voice with the very voice of God.  If this inner and critical voice has kept you safe for many years as your inner voice of authority, you may end up not being able to hear the real voice of God…  The loyal soldier is the voice of all your early authority figures.  His or her ability to offer shame, guilt, warnings, boundaries, and self-doubt is the gift that never stops giving.  Remember, it can be a feminine voice too; but it is not the ‘still, small voice’ of God (1 Kings 19:13) that gives us our power instead of always taking our power.”

4. The old “evacuation plan for the next world”

“The false self makes religion into the old ‘evacuation plan for the next world,’ as my friend Brian McLaren puts it.”

5. The great difference between transformed and nontransformed people

“That seems to be the great difference between transformed and nontransformed people.  Great people come to serve, not to be served.  It is the twelfth and final and necessary step of the inspired Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Until and unless you give your life away to others, you do not seem to have it yourself at any deep level…”

6. No longer need to divide the field of every moment

“You no longer need to divide the field of every moment between up and down, totally right or totally wrong, with me or against me.  It just is.  This calm allows you to confront what must be confronted with even greater clarity and incisiveness.  This stance is not passivity at all.  It is, in fact, the essential link between true contemplation and skillful action.  The big difference is that your small and petty self is out of the way, and if God wants to use you, which God always does, God’s chances are far better now!”

7. The True Self is very hard to offend

“There is too much defensive behavior and therefore too much offensive behavior in the first half of life to get to really substantial questions, which are what drive you forward on the further journey.  Human maturity is neither offensive nor defensive; it is finally able to accept that reality is what it is…  The offended ones feel the need to offend back those who they think have offended them, creating defensiveness on the part of the presumed offenders, which often becomes a new offensive…  The True Self, you see, is very hard to offend!”

Which quote do you love the most?