Saturday, 24 April 2010

Richard Rhor - "The Naked Now" - Movement and Stillness

On page 23 of Richard Rohr's book "The Naked Now" “God becomes more of a verb than a noun, more a process than a conclusion, more a personal relationship” (ref a message by RR on the Trinity)
This  has been reminding me of some thoughts I have had recently about prayer being a dynamic participation with a Living God. We all instinctively relate contemplative prayer with stillness and there has been at least within me the intention of looking for that ‘still point’. However in prayer we are entering into ‘perichoresis’ (“ dance around") of the Trinity and therefore also entering into movement - a self emptying movement (kenosis). This became very clear when I heard a message by Cynthia Bourgeault on Kenosis as well as reading her books. My intention now in prayer is not static or containable but to, in the stillness,  recognise ‘not the noun but the verb’ and 'not the conclusion but the process’ referred to by RR. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 46 ‘Be still and know that I am God’ indicating stillness ... yet earlier on there is the verse that says ‘There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God’ indicating movement. Furthermore on reading TS Eliot’s ‘Burnt Norton’ from the 4 quartets he says so brilliantly ...

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where.
And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time.
The inner freedom from the practical desire,
The release from action and suffering, release from the inner
And the outer compulsion, yet surrounded
By a grace of sense, a white light still and moving ....

In the mind of God stillness and movement are not opposites but are held together in a way only He can do!
Praise Him!

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