Meditations from Richard Rohr


“We must keep in mind that the purpose of the exploration of prayer is not to get anywhere. We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. ”

“The prayer of words attempts to express our dependence on the great mystery of God. The prayer of silence is not so much to express, but to experience that dependence.”

“We have to pray for the grace of a beginner’s mind. The beginner’s mind is a posture of eagerness, of spiritual hunger. It knows it needs something. To acknowledge oneself as a beginner is to be open to transformation.”

“Grace will lead us into fears and voids, and grace will fill us, if we are willing to stay in the void. We mustn’t engineer an answer too quickly. To stay in God’s hands, to trust, means that to a certain degree I have to stop taking hold of things myself. I have to hold instead to a degree of uncertainty, fear and tension. This takes practice and grace. As long as we stay in the world of preference and choice, we keep ourselves as the first reference point. Prayer lives in a spacious place. It is free of personal needs or meanings or even interpretations.”

“Who I really am. That’s a place of utter simplicity. Perhaps we don’t want to go back there often precisely because it’s so simple. It feels so unardorned. There’s nothing to congratulate myself for. I can’t prove any worth, much less superiority. There, I am naked and poor and I feel like nothing.”

“The only true perfection available to us is the honest acceptance of our imperfection.”

“True contemplation looks for the place of perfect simplicity. You can’t stay there, but if you know this simplicity once, it is enough for a whole lifetime. You know your life is radically okay. That you are a child of God. You are in union. There is nothing to prove, nothing to attain. Everything is already there.”