Everything is Sacred – 14 quotes from Richard Rohr’s book – Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi 

by Mark Votava

41YwunJqU-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1. Lightness of heart

“But I believe the lightness of heart comes from contact with deep feminine intuition and with consciousness itself; the firmness of foot emerges when the feminine principle integrates with the masculine soul and moves forward with confidence into the outer world.”

2. When you start with a negative

“When you start with a negative, it is almost impossible to ever get back to anything positive and wonderful. When you start with a positive, things tend to take care of themselves from within.”

3. Authentic love

“…authentic love is not possible without true inner freedom of conscience, nor will love be real or tested unless we somehow live close to the disadvantaged…, who remind us about what is important.”

4. The dualistic and contentious mind

“One wonders, however, if the dualistic and contentious mind that we now take as normative can understand, allow, or support this kind of radical spirituality…”

5. Everything is sacred

“…there is a shock involved when we suddenly see that incarnation is actually our ordinary life, now, everywhere. At first, it is a disappointment. But once we become practiced at a contemplative worldview, a ‘thisness’ way of seeing, there is nothing trivial anymore and all is grace. But those who have chosen a split world of sacred or profane don’t know how to live in a world where everything is sacred.”

6. More mature levels of mystical union

“When you get to the more mature levels of mystical union everything becomes a metaphor for the divine, and you grab for metaphors to concretize the mystery that is now in everything and everywhere!…”

7. Fragile and vulnerable

“The true Gospel always leaves us both fragile and vulnerable…”

8. Compassion and patience

“The most obvious change that results from such a holding and allowing is that we will naturally become much more compassionate and much more patient. Compassion and patience are the absolutely unique characteristics of true spiritual authority…”

9. The humble, honest, and suffering

“Seeming absence, ironically, becomes the deepest recognition of presence, because it is thus awaited and needed. The entire world is indeed sacramental and mediates the message, and yet it is hidden in such a way that only the humble and honest – and suffering – will find it.”

10. Living communities

“We need living communities to keep us accountable, growing, and honest.”

11. Taught to mistrust our own souls

“We were taught to mistrust our own souls – and thus the Holy Spirit!…”

12. Our own sifting – and recovering

“Once we go through our own sifting – and recovering – we will have a kind of real inner authority too, just by trusting what we know. It will probably never be an authority that needs to be formally licensed as such…”

13. Covenant with God’s poor

“Francis of Assisi became a living and dying ‘Covenant with God’s poor’ and with the universal suffering of humanity, just as Jesus had done…”

14. People who have lost, let go, and are refound

“What the crucified has revealed to the world is that the real authority that ‘authors’ people and changes the world is an inner authority that comes from people who have lost, let go, and are refound on a new level…”

Do we see that all of life is sacred?

My new book The Mystical Imagination: Seeing the Sacredness of All of Life (2015) is finally done! It is available on kindle and paperback!

“Our crowded, overly-consumed, hyper-active, digitally-addicted lifestyle is draining the life out of us. We are desperate to transcend the chaos and find a better way to live. We need a mystical imagination. Get ready to be transported into the depths of meaning as Votava breaks open the contemplative path and shows you how to live your life to the fullest.” Phileena Heuertz, author of Pilgrimage of a Soul: Contemplative Spirituality for the Active Life and founding partner, Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism

My first book The Communal Imagination: Finding a Way to Share Life Together (2014) is available on kindle and paperback also!

“Inside everyone there is a longing for community, to love and be loved. We are made in the image of a communal God. But in our hyper-mobile, individualistic, cluttered world… community is an endangered thing. And community is like working out – it takes work, sweat, discipline…  without that our muscles atrophy. Everybody wants to be fit, but not too many people want to do the work to get there. Mark’s book is sort of a workout manual, helping you rediscover your communal muscles and start building them up slowly. It is an invitation to live deep in a shallow world.”  Shane Claiborne, author and activist