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Thursday, September 14, 2017

John Dear Attributes of a Prophet 

First, a prophet is someone who listens attentively to the word of God, a contemplative, a mystic who hears God and takes God at God’s word, and then goes into the world to tell the world God’s message. So a prophet speaks God’s message fearlessly, publicly, without compromise, despite the times, whether fair or foul.
Second, morning, noon, and night, the prophet is centered on God. The prophet does not do his or her own will or speak his or her own message. The prophet does God’s will and speaks God’s message. . . . In the process, the prophet tells us who God is and what God wants, and thus who we are and how we can become fully human.
Third, a prophet interprets the signs of the times. The prophet is concerned with the world, here and now, in the daily events of the whole human race, not just our little backyard or some ineffable hereafter. The prophet sees the big picture—war, starvation, poverty, corporate greed, nationalism, systemic violence, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction. The prophet interprets these current realities through God’s eyes, not through the eyes of analysts or pundits or Pentagon press spokespeople. The prophet tells us God’s take on what’s happening.
Fourth, a prophet takes sides [the “bias toward the bottom” or the “preferential option for the poor”]. A prophet stands in solidarity with the poor, the powerless, and the marginalized. . . . A prophet becomes a voice for the voiceless. Indeed, a prophet is the voice of a voiceless God.
Fifth, all the prophets of the Hebrew Bible are concerned with one main question: justice and peace. They call people to act justly and create a new world of social and economic justice, which will be the basis for a new world of peace. Justice and peace, they learned, are at the heart of God; God wants justice and peace here on earth now. And the prophet won’t shy away from telling us that if we want a spiritual life, we must work for justice and peace.
Sixth, prophets simultaneously announce and denounce. They announce God’s reign of justice and peace and publicly denounce the world’s regimes of injustice and war. Like Martin Luther King, Jr., they hold high the alternatives of nonviolence and disarmament and lay low the obsolete ways of violence and weapons.

Seventh, a prophet confronts the status quo. With the prophet, there is no sitting back. The powerful are challenged, empires resisted, systemic justices exposed. Prophets vigorously rock the leaky ship of the state and shake our somnolent complacency. . . .
Eighth, for the prophet, the secure life is usually denied. More often than not the prophet is in trouble. Prophets call for love of our nation’s enemies. They topple the nation’s idols, upset the rich and powerful, and break the laws that would legalize mass murder. The warlike culture takes offense and dismisses the prophet, not merely as an agitator but as obsessed and unbalanced. Consequently, the prophet ends up outcast, rejected, harassed, and marginalized—and, eventually, punished, threatened, targeted, bugged, followed, jailed, and sometimes killed.
Ninth, prophets bring the incandescent word to the very heart of grudging religious institutions. There the prophet confronts the blindness and complacency of the religious leader—the bishops and priests who keep silent amid national crimes; the ministers who trace a cross over industries of death and rake blood money into churchly coffers. A bitter irony and an ancient story—and all but inevitable. The institution that goes by the name of God often turns away the prophet of God.
Tenth, true prophets take no delight in calling down heavenly bolts. Rather, they bear an aura of compassion and gentleness. They are good and decent, kind and generous. They’ve learned to cultivate joy and now exude joy. . . .
Eleventh, prophets are visionaries. In a culture of blindness, they offer insight. In a time of darkness, they light our path. When no one else can see, the prophet can. And what they see is a world imbued with God’s purposes: a world of justice and peace and security for all, a world where all of creation is safe and at rest. The prophet holds aloft the vision—it’s ours for the asking. The prophet makes it seem possible, saying “Let’s make it come true and we shall be blessed.”
Finally, the prophet offers hope. Now and then, they might sound despairing, but only because they have a heightened awareness of the world’s darkest realities. These things overwhelm us; we would rather not hear. But hearing is our only hope. For behind the prophet’s unvarnished vision lies a hope we seldom understand—the knowledge that God is with us, that the kingdom of God is at hand. To realize that hope, we must trust ourselves to plumb the depths and trust God to see us through.



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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Lencioni, P. (2002) The Five Dysfunctions of a Team 

"...a fractured team is just like a broken arm or leg; fixing it is always painful, and sometimes you have to rebreak it make it heal correctly. And the rebreak hurts a lot more than the initial break, because you have to do it on purpose" 37

 " find someone who can demonstrate trust, engage in conflict, commit to group decisions, hold peers accountable, and focus on the results of the team, not their own ego 169

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 Dysfunction #1: Absence of Trust The fear of being vulnerable with team members prevents the building of trust within the team.
Dysfunction #2: Fear of Conflict The desire to preserve artificial harmony stifles the occurrence of productive ideological conflict.
Dysfunction #3: Lack of Commitment The lack of clarity or buy-in prevents team members from making decisions they will stick to.
Dysfunction #4: Avoidance of Accountability The need to avoid interpersonal discomfort prevents team members from holding one another accountable.
Dysfunction #5: Inattention to Results The pursuit of individual goals and personal status erodes the focus on collective success.

 #1 Absence of trust The root cause of absence of trust lies with team members being unable to show their weaknesses; to be vulnerable and open with one another. The absence of trust is a huge waste of time and energy as team members invest their time and energy in defensive behaviors, and are reluctant to ask for help from – or assist – each other. Teams can overcome this dysfunction by sharing experiences, following through in multiple ways, demonstrating credibility, and developing strong insight into the unique characteristics of team members.

 #2 Fear of Conflict Teams that are lacking trust are incapable of having unfiltered, passionate debate about things that matter, causing team members to avoid conflict, replacing it with an artificial harmony. In a work setting where team members do not openly express their opinions, inferior decisions are often the result. When working in teams you need to understand that conflict is productive.

 #3 Lack of Commitment Without conflict, it is not easy for team members to commit and buy-in to decisions, resulting in an environment where ambiguity prevails. People will buy into something when their opinions are included in the decision-making process – for example through debate. Productive teams make joint and transparent decisions and are confident that they have the support of each team member. This is not as much about seeking consensus but making sure everyone is heard.

#4 Avoidance of accountability When teams don’t commit, you can’t have accountability: “people aren’t going to hold each other accountable if they haven’t clearly bought into the plan”. In a well-functioning team, it’s the responsibility of each team member to hold one another accountable and accept it when others hold them accountable. Very often, the key to success is the measurement of progress: making clear what the team’s standards are, what needs to be done, by whom and by when. 

#5 Inattention to Results A team can only become results oriented when all team members place the team’s results first. When individuals aren’t held accountable, team members naturally tend to look out for their own interests, rather than the interests of the team. Teams can overcome this dysfunction by making the team results clear and rewarding the behaviors that contribute to the team’s results. The primary role of the leader in overcoming these dysfunctions is to lead by example and set the tone for the whole team. This includes being the first one to be vulnerable, encouraging debate and conflict, making responsibilities and deadlines clear, setting the team’s standards, and last but not least being clear on the team’s results.

  Members of teams with an absence of trust… 
Conceal their weaknesses and mistakes from one another
Hesitate to ask for help or provide constructive feedback
Hesitate to offer help outside their own areas of responsibility
Jump to conclusions about the intentions and aptitudes of others without attempting to clarify them
Fail to recognize and tap into one another’s skills and experiences
Hold grudges
Dread meetings and find reasons to avoid spending time together

Members of trusting teams… 
Admit weaknesses and mistakes
Ask for help
Accept questions and input about their areas of responsibility
Give one another the benefit of the doubt before arriving at a negative conclusion
Take risks in offering feedback and assistance
Appreciate and tap into one another’s skills and experiences Focus time and energy on important issues, not politics
 Offer and accept apologies without hesitation
 Look forward to meetings and other opportunities to work as a group

 Teams that fear conflict… 
Have boring meetings
Create environments where back-channel politics and personal attacks thrive
Ignore controversial topics that are critical to team success
Fail to tap into all the opinions and perspectives of team members
Waste time and energy with posturing and interpersonal risk management

Teams that engage in conflict…
 Have lively, interesting meetings
Extract and exploit the ideas of all team members
Solve real problems quickly
Minimize politics
Put critical topics on the table for discussion

 A team that fails to commit… 
 Creates ambiguity among the team about direction and priorities
Watches windows of opportunity close due to excessive analysis and unnecessary delay
Breeds lack of confidence and fear of failure
Revisits discussions and decisions again and again
Encourages second-guessing among team members

A team that commits… 
 Creates clarity around direction and priorities
Aligns the entire team around common objectives
Develops an ability to learn from mistakes
Takes advantage of opportunities before competitors do
Moves forward without hesitation
Changes direction without hesitation or guilt

 A team that avoids accountability… 
 Creates resentment among team members who have different standards of performance
Encourages mediocrity
Misses deadlines and key deliverables
Places an undue burden on the team leader as the sole source of discipline

A team that holds one another accountable… 
Ensures that poor perfromers feel pressure to improve
Identifies potential problems quickly by questioning one another’s approaches without hesitation
 Establishes respect among team members who are held to the same high standards
Avoids excessive bureaucracy around performance management and corrective action

 A team that is not focused on results…
 Stagnates/fails to grow
Rarely defeats competitors
Loses achievement-oriented employees
Encourages team members to focus on their own careers and individual goals
Is easily distracted

A team that focuses on collective results… 
 Retains achievement-oriented employees
Minimizes individualistic behaviour
Enjoys success and suffers failure acutely
Benefits from individuals who subjugate their own goals/interests for the good of the team
Avoids distractions



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Sunday, August 06, 2017

The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope 

Ignatius and Francis are alike, too, in that they fuse two qualities that are seldom found combined in a person.  On the one hand, Ignatius (As this Francis) had raw political ability, which some might call charm: capacity for reading people, earning their trust, inspiring them, organising them to work for high ideals, together with enormous skills as a natural leader, teacher, and negotiator. On the other hand Ignatius (like Francis) was a mystic, who lived and led by discerning spirits, choosing whatever served the greater good, God's greater glory, which Jesuits described with the Latin word magis. Spiritual guides or so and good governance, and those in power almost never saints. Ignatius and Francis are among the few that break the mold. Pp55

He was restoring what had been lost: not spurning the church and its doctrines but seeking to recover their meaning and purpose, which were to reveal Christ. That meant to being against somethings, and offending some people, but only in order for the church to be more like it is, not to turn into something else.88

The pope - Clung to the idea of reform rather than rupture, reform not revolution,  89

He asked the priests if they were mediators or intermediaries. The mediator he said, was a bridge, he put others together at his own expense. An intermediary, on the other hand, was the one who profited at the expense of others. In both cases, a priest stands between, in the middle; yet there is a world of difference. The mediator is a pastor who is evangelising fervour is born of an encounter with Christ, he grows in his belonging to gods holy faithful people, where as an intermediary is a state cleric, functionary in whom the further has long died and who lives mainly for himself. 245

The understanding of the Catholic Church in its first centuries was that it was many yet one; plural yet united; local and universal. The church as a whole was more than the sum of its parts-it was a universal body, including Rome-yet the local diocese was not merely a department or province of a world church, but surely the church in that place 255

This was not just good theology-or, to be more exact, ecclesiology-but had implications for the way the church was governed.  Often throughout the Middle Ages Pope sort exert control over local diastases, to gain freedom from Medling Princes, or to push through reforms; yet they face pushback if they tried to use that control in ordinary times. 255 

Rigormisti - West Church teaching above all to be clear and on ambiguous
Riformisti - wished it to be credible in the puristic society. Behind these two tendencies look too different ecclesiologys 

Rigoristi wanted to tighten the Vatican control over questions of doctrine and discipline, with the riformisti  wanted great freedom of action in applying to church norms to local situations. The rigomisti liked to close down debate, making clear that norms were clear and unchanging; the reformisti prefer to keep some things open, believing that, in matters of ecclesiastical discipline, rather than unchanging doctrines of faith and morals, the local church should help the universal Church discern the need for changes in pastoral practices. 

Bergoglio told caritas staff and volunteers not to get hung up on protocols and legal niceties, but to set up projects that could deliver quickly and directly to those in need.268 

There was much talk of reform of governance-the need for a puppy was accessible, informed, and free to act-and for a fluid contact between Rome and the local church.... all could agree that Vatican dysfunction was a serious impediment to evangelisation, and that  Roman centralism and lack of accountability is one major causes of the dysfunction. 353 

His governance is collegial because it aims to broaden consultation, to include different points of view, and above all to open up the centre to the periphery. He encourages, in a way no Pope has done before, lively and honest disagreement, saying that the only place questions do not disagree is in the cemetery. But this does not mean that he shares decision-making. In many ways Francis is the most centralised Pope Saint Pius the ninth ... he understands power, and he has often used to bypass existing channels or advisors, as well as tradition and protocol,.  384

He said the greatest revelation of all it was "to go to the roots", and that real change was about strengthening identity, not replacing it. One who goes to the roots is a radical399

If the church is alive, it must always surprise, Francis told thousands in St Peter's Square on Penticost Sunday 2014, before swimming mysteriously. "A church that doesn't have the capacity to surprise is a week, second, and dying church. It should be taken to the recovery room at once."

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Full Salvation - Rohr 

If we would imitate Jesus in very practical ways, the Christian religion would be made-to-order to grease the wheels of human consciousness toward love, nonviolence, justice, inclusivity, and care for creation. Mature religion serves as a conveyor belt for the evolution of human consciousness. Immature religion actually stalls people at very early stages of magical, mythic, and tribal consciousness, while they are convinced they are enlightened or “saved.” Then we are more a part of the problem than offering any kind of solution. Only the nondual and mystical mind gets us all the way through, and that happens only by continual enlargement of the True Self and continual loss of the small ego self. Authentic mystical experience connects us and keeps connecting us at ever-newer levels, breadths, and depths, “until God is all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28). “The world, life and death, the present and the future are all your servants, for you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23). Full salvation is finally universal belonging and universal connecting. Our word for that is “heaven.” ...such salvation is a social and cosmic concept, and not just about isolated individuals “going to heaven.” The Church was meant to bring this corporate salvation to conscious and visible possibility, but it was itself too tribal to accomplish much in this regard.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Faith v Certitude Rohr Quotes... 

Richard Rohr points out "two kinds of human beings: there are people who want certitude and there are people who want understanding; and these two often cannot understand one another."

 "Those who demand certitude out of life will insist on it even if it doesn’t fit the facts. Logic has nothing to do with it. Truth has nothing to do with it. “Don’t bother me with the truth—I’ve already come to my conclusion!” If you need certitude, you will surround yourself with your conclusions."

 "We’ve turned faith into certitude when, in fact, this Trinitarian mystery is whispering quite the opposite.... In this space, God gives us a spirit of questing, a desire for understanding; it seems to me it’s only this ongoing search for understanding that will create compassionate and wise people."

" Rational certitude is exactly what the Scriptures do not offer us. They offer us something much better and an entirely different way of knowing: an intimate relationship, a dark journey, a path where we must discover for ourselves that grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness are absolutely necessary for survival in an uncertain world. "

 "You can tell mature and authentic faith by people’s ability to deal with darkness, failure, and non-validation of the ego—and by their quiet but confident joy! Infantile religion insists on certainty every step of the way and thus is not very happy."

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Monday, July 03, 2017

Authentic spiritual warfare - Rolheiser 

Authentic spiritual warfare is to be pictured this way: Inside our world and inside each of us there’s a fierce battle waging, a war between good and evil, and these are the contestants: Hatred is battling love; anger is battling patience; greed is battling generosity; bitterness is battling graciousness, jealousy is battling admiration; choosing to remain inside our wounds is battling healing; holding on to our grudges is battling forgiveness, ego and narcissism are battling compassion and community; and self-hatred is in a bitter battle with the acceptance of love and God’s unconditional embrace. Paranoia is waging a war against metanoia. That’s the real war that’s going on, in our world and inside each of us. 

Hatred, anger, paranoia, greed, bitterness, lust, jealousy, non-forgiveness, and self-hatred are the “thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers” about which scripture warns us. Hence the final triumph of Christ will occur when the last of these forces is eventually subdued, when we are finally at peace with goodness, with love, with trust, with ourselves, with others, with our history, with our mistakes, with those who have hurt us, with those whom we have hurt, with our shortcomings, and with our impatience with God.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

The loss of the “third eye” Rohr 

Hugh of St. Victor (1078-1141) and Richard of St. Victor (1123-1173) wrote that humanity was given three different sets of eyes, each building on the previous one. The first eye was the eye of the flesh (thought or sight), the second was the eye of reason (meditation or reflection), and the third was the intuitive eye of true understanding (contemplation). [1]

 I describe this third eye as knowing something simply by being calmly present to it (no processing needed!). This image of “third eye” thinking, beyond our dualistic vision, is also found in most Eastern religions. We are onto something archetypal here, I think!

 The loss of the “third eye” is at the basis of much of the shortsightedness and religious crises of the Western world, about which even secular scholars like Albert Einstein and Iain McGilchrist have written. Lacking such wisdom, it is hard for churches, governments, and leaders to move beyond ego, the desire for control, and public posturing. Everything divides into dualistic oppositions like liberal vs. conservative, with vested interests pulling against one another. Truth is no longer possible at this level of conversation. Even theology becomes more a quest for power than a search for God and Mystery.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Practice: The Franciscan Calling 

Practice: The Franciscan Calling
Francis did not wish for himself or his followers to be priests, to take higher places on the Church’s hierarchical ladder of education, prestige, and power. Francis was apparently ordained a deacon, likely under pressure, because he never talks or writes about it. The sign of a true Franciscan heart is devotion to the Gospel, regardless of title, group, or official status. These hallmarks of the Secular Franciscan Order (from the formation manual For Up To Now) can be claimed and practiced by anyone:
Re-read these qualities of a Franciscan and discern if you are called to live in such a way, making the Gospel the very core of your day-to-day doings and being. What is yours to do?

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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Love, Not Atonement - Rohr 

Thursday, May 4, 2017 All the great religions of the world talk a lot about death, so there must be an essential lesson to be learned here. But throughout much of religious history our emphasis has been on killing the wrong thing and avoiding the truth: it’s you who has to die, or rather, who you think you are—your false self. It's never someone else! Historically we moved from human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to various modes of seeming self-sacrifice, usually involving the body. For many religions, including immature Christianity, God was distant and scary, an angry deity who must be placated. God was not someone with whom you fell in love or with whom you could imagine sharing intimacy or tenderness. The common Christian reading of the Bible is that Jesus “died for our sins”—either to pay a debt to the devil (common in the first millennium) or to pay a debt to God the Father (proposed by Anselm of Canterbury, 1033-1109). Theologians later developed a “substitutionary atonement theory”—the strange idea that before God could love us God needed and demanded Jesus to be a blood sacrifice to ''atone'' for our sin. As a result, our theology became more transactional than transformational. Franciscan philosopher and theologian John Duns Scotus (1266-1308) was not guided by the Temple language of debt, atonement, or blood sacrifice (understandably used in the New Testament written by observant Jews). He was instead inspired by the cosmic hymns in the first chapters of Colossians and Ephesians and the first chapter of John's Gospel. For Duns Scotus, the incarnation of God and the redemption of the world could never be a mere mop-up exercise in response to human sinfulness, but the proactive work of God from the very beginning. We were “chosen in Christ before the world was made” (Ephesians 1:4). Our sin could not possibly be the motive for the divine incarnation; rather, God’s motivation was infinite divine love and full self-revelation! For Duns Scotus, God never merely reacts, but always freely acts out of free and unmerited love. Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity (it did not need changing)! Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God. God’s abundance and compassion make any scarcity economy of merit or atonement unhelpful and unnecessary. Jesus undid “once and for all” (Hebrews 7:27; 9:12; 10:10) all notions of human and animal sacrifice and replaced them with his new infinite economy of grace. Jesus was meant to be a game changer for religion and the human psyche. This grounds Christianity in love and freedom from the very beginning; it creates a very coherent and utterly attractive religion, which draws people toward lives of inner depth, prayer, reconciliation, healing, and universal “at-one-ment,” instead of mere sacrificial atonement. Nothing “changed” on Calvary but everything was revealed—an eternally outpouring love. Jesus switched the engines of history: instead of us needing to spill blood to get to God, we have God spilling blood to get to us!

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Monday, March 20, 2017

MARY UNDER THE CROSS - Ronald Rolhesier 

MARY UNDER THE CROSS

On the surface, it seems she isn’t doing anything at all: She doesn’t speak, doesn’t try to stop the crucifixion, and she doesn’t even protest its unfairness or plead Jesus’ innocence. She is mute, seemingly passive, overtly doing nothing.
In essence, what Mary was doing under the cross was this: She couldn’t stop the crucifixion (there are times when darkness has its hour) but she could stop some of the hatred, bitterness, jealousy, heartlessness, and anger that caused it and surrounded it.
Mary helped stop bitterness by refusing to give it back in kind, by transforming rather than transmitting it, by swallowing hard and (literally) eating bitterness rather than giving it back, as everyone else was doing.
Had Mary, in moral outrage, begun to scream hysterically, shout angrily at those crucifying Jesus, or physically tried to attack someone as he was driving the nails into Jesus’ hands, she would have been caught up in the same kind of energy as everyone else, replicating the very anger and bitterness that caused the crucifixion to begin with. What Mary was doing under the cross, her silence and seeming unwillingness to protest notwithstanding, was radiating all that is antithetical to the crucifixion: gentleness, understanding, forgiveness, peace, light.
There are times too when things have gone so far that shouts and protests are no longer helpful, darkness is going to have its hour come what may and all we can do is to stand under the cross and help eat its bitterness by refusing to participate in its energy.
In those situations, like Mary, we have to say: “I can’t stop this crucifixion, but I can stop some of the hatred, bitterness, jealousy, brute-heartlessness, and darkness that surround it. I can’t stop this, but I will not conduct its hatred.”
Sometimes the blind, wounded forces of jealousy, bitterness, violence, and sin cannot be stopped. Like Mary under the cross, we are asked to “stand” under them, not in passivity and weakness, but in strength, knowing that we can’t stop the crucifixion but we can help stop some of the hatred, anger, and bitterness that surrounds it.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

The End of Power:Moises Naim (2014) The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be  

Where ever power matters, power is also decaying PP5

But what causes the distribution of power to change? it can happen with the advent of a talented, disruptive Newcomer like Alexander the great or Steve Jobs, or that of a transforming innovation like the stirrup, the printing press, the integrated circuit, or YouTube. PP 28

Weber - theory of power laid out in economy and society. Traditional power where authority is inherited by its holder and is accepted by the holders subjects. Charismatic power in which an individual leader was seen by forest possess a special gift. The third form of authority he sees is one suited to modern times and is bureaucratic and rational authority, grounded in laws and wielded by an administrative structure capable of enforcing clear and consistent rules.

Organisations relied heavily on written communications and documents, and on the training of personal according to each job requirements and skills it needed. Importantly, the inner workings of bureaucratic organisations were based on the application of consistent and comprehensive rules for everyone regardless of social economic status or family, religious or political links. Therefore recruitments, responsibilities and promotions were based on competence and experience.  41

Micro powers-there advantage is precisely that they are not burdened by the size, scale, assets and resources portfolio, centralisation, and hierarchy that megaplayers have deployed and spent so much time and effort nurturing and managing. The more the micropower take on these traits, the more they turn into the type of organisation that other new Micro powers will attack with just as much effectiveness. PP 52

The 'more, mobility, mentality revolutions' are attacking the mode of organisation so persuasively advocated by Max Weber and his followers... And they are attacking it precisely at the point where it drew strength. Large organisations were more efficient because they operated lower costs, thanks to economies of scale; today, however the cost of maintaining order and control are going up... Large organisations have a sheen of authority, modernity, and sophistication; today, headlines are being made by small newcomers that are challenging the big powers. And as the advantages of this large scale, rational, coordinated, and centralised model of organisation diminish, the opportunities increase for the micro powers to make their mark using a different model for success. Pp75

Power is to politicians what sunlight is to plants. What politicians do with their power varies; but the aspiration to power is their essential common trait. As Max Webber put it on a century ago: "he who is active in politics strives for power, either as a means in serving other ends, ideal or egotistic, or as power for powers sake that is, in order to enjoy the prestige feeling that power gives.  76

More powerful local and regional authorities has also changed the prospects of public profiles of mayors and regional governors, sometimes boosting the national political reason and sometimes creating alternative is that bypass the capital together. 97

Who are our leaders? It was a time when leaders were in extractability in twined with the apparatus of governments and parties. Even revolutionaries aspired to high office. Lately, however many of our heroes have arrived at their fame via the digital world-using technology to spend messages and influence outcomes in ways that would previously have required the infrastructure of parties, non-governmental organisation's, The traditional press. PP 100



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Monday, January 16, 2017

Scripture Tradition - Rohr 

Scripture as validated by experience and experience as validated by Tradition are good scales for one’s spiritual worldview. (Sunday)
The Bible is the best book in the world and the worst book in the world. It is the worst when it is used for bullying and self-justification; it is the best when it is used for the healing of the world and for transformation of the self. (Monday)
Jesus taught us how to see, what to emphasize, and also what could be de-emphasized or ignored. Jesus himself is our hermeneutic! (Tuesday)
The very inclusion of the Hebrew Bible into the official canon of the Christian Bible is forever a standing statement about inclusivity. (Wednesday)
The genius of the biblical revelation is that we come to God through “the actual,” the here and now, or quite simply what is. (Thursday)
We have created an artificial divide or dualism between the spiritual and the so-called non-spiritual. This dualism is precisely what Jesus came to reveal as a lie. (Friday)

Practice: Lectio Divina
Jesus knows how to connect the dots and find out where the sacred text is truly heading, beyond the low-level consciousness of a particular moment, individual, or circumstance. He knows there is a bigger arc to the story—one that reveals a God that is compassionate and inclusive.
Jesus doesn’t quote lines that are punitive, imperialistic (“My country is the best!”), wrathful, or exclusionary. He does not mention the list of 28 “thou shall nots” in Leviticus 18 and 20, but chooses to echo the one positive command of Leviticus 19:18: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.”
The longest single passage he quotes (in Luke 4:18-19) is from Isaiah 61. Jesus closes with the words “proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” deliberately omitting the next line—“and the day of vengeance of our God”—because he did not come here to announce vengeance.
This is what the Spirit teaches any faithful person to do—read Scripture (and the very experiences of life) with a gaze of love. Contemplative practice helps you develop a third eye that reads between the lines and finds the thread always moving toward inclusivity, mercy, and justice.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Can’t literalists be honest... 

Jesus often used similes in his parables: “The kingdom of heaven is like. . . .” (See Matthew 13: 31, 33, 44.) In other places, the Bible uses metaphors for God, such as rock (Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalms 62:3) and shepherd (Psalm 23:1; Ezekiel 34:11-16). Jesus describes himself metaphorically as the bread of life (John 6:35-51) and the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5). The Spirit is portrayed as breath (Genesis 2:7; Job 32:8) and wind (John 3:8). Can’t literalists be honest and admit these are all fingers pointing to the moon? God is not literally a rock or an actual shepherd on a hillside somewhere, yet we need these images to “imagine” the unsayable Mystery.
Christians must also admit that the New Testament was largely written in Greek—a language which Jesus did not speak or understand—and the text was mostly written thirty to seventy years after Jesus’ death, centuries before the age of digital recorders. We have only a few snippets of Jesus’ precise words in his native Aramaic. We can only conclude that Jesus’ exact words were apparently not that important for the Holy Spirit—or for us. This should keep us all humble and searching for our own experience of the Risen Christ now instead of arguing over Greek verbs and tenses.

Rohr
Adapted from Richard Rohr, an unpublished talk, Canossian Spirituality Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 3, 2016

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rohr - falling into love 1 co 13 

Love Never Fails
Thursday, December 29, 2016

 
1 Corinthians 13 might be the supreme piece of condensed theology in the entire Bible. The whole message of Scripture is there. In this one short part of a longer letter, Paul shows himself to be an excellent philosopher, theologian, mystic, teacher, and psychologist. If he had written nothing else, he would still deserve a place in spiritual history. Honestly, I could preach for two hours on this one chapter and wouldn’t scratch the surface of its brilliance.
I have to compare the love described in 1 Corinthians 13 with our cultural understanding of love—largely a romantic infatuation that does not and cannot last. It’s fine as far as it goes, but we need a much, much larger understanding of love.
Paul has to list a whole bunch of descriptors to even get close to this mystery he calls love. He grabs for moral superlatives: “Love is patient, love is kind, Love is not jealous, Love is never boastful or conceited, Love is not rude, nor does it take offense. It takes no pleasure in other peoples’ faults. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure. Love does not come to an end.” [1] It has an infinite quality like the very being of God!
Divine love that is God’s Self is an absolute open-heartedness. When you’re in that space, your energy flows outward and even expands. When you’re not in that space, your energy sucks in. It’s all about who did me wrong and why I don’t like those people and how my aunt never talks to me and why so-and-so is a jerk.
It doesn’t help that our brains have evolved to hold onto negative thoughts (like Velcro) and let the positive thoughts slip off (like Teflon). To retain a positive experience, you have to intentionally hold onto it for at least fifteen seconds to allow it to imprint on your brain. You have to deliberately, consciously choose to love and not hate. Because people haven’t been taught that, we have even decent people in our country, in political parties, and even in leadership positions in our churches who are much more at home with hate than they are with love. And they do not even know it.
Spirituality is whatever it takes to keep your heart space open. That is daily, constant work because your ego and the events of life want to close it down. The voices in the dominant culture tell you to judge, dismiss, hate, and fear. If you don’t have some spiritual practice that has kept your heart open in hell, I know you’re going to be a grumpy old man or a hateful old woman. By the last third of life, negativity is all you have left.
You have to work to live in love, to develop a generosity of spirit, a readiness to smile, a willingness to serve instead of to take. Each morning you take your inner temperature, observing if your energy is loving and flowing outward or negative and sucking in. Contemplative prayer helps us witness and recognize these outer flows and inner suckings.
Sooner or later, by God’s patience, many of us eventually fall into Love and learn to draw our life from that Infinite Source “which has no end and never fails.” Yes, the nature of Love and the nature of God are the same thing.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Transmitting Love (Rohr) 



Love is not love until you stop expecting something back. The moment you want something in return for your giving, love is weakened and prostituted. This is the nature of the divine energy that transforms: love is always flowing outward, it is inherently contagious, and it is holiness itself.

this continues visibly in time through people like Francis and Clare, Bonaventure and Scotus, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day, Mother Teresa, and Pope Francis. But the vast majority of unified souls are unknown to history books. We ourselves are part of this one great parade, “partners in God’s triumphal procession,” as Paul calls it, “spreading the knowledge of God like a sweet smell everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14). It is much more a transmission of authentic life and love than of correct ideas or doctrines. 

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Rohr Practice - Boats on a River 

Practice: Boats on a River
Most people have never actually met themselves. At every moment, all our lives long, we identify with our thoughts, our self-image, or our feelings. We have to find a way to get behind this view of ourselves to discover the face we had before we were born. We must discover who we are in God, who we’ve always been—long before we did anything right or anything wrong. This is the first goal of contemplation.
Imagine you are sitting on the bank of a river. Boats and ships—thoughts, feelings, and sensations—are sailing past. While the stream flows by your inner eye, name each of these vessels. For example, one of the boats could be called “my anxiety about tomorrow.” Or along comes the ship “objections to my husband” or the boat “I don’t do that well.” Every judgment that you pass is one of those boats. Take the time to give each one of them a name, and then let them move on down the river.
This can be a difficult exercise because you’re used to jumping aboard the boats—your thoughts—immediately. As soon as you own a boat and identify with it, it picks up energy. This is a practice in un-possessing, detaching, letting go. With every idea, with every image that comes into your head, say, “No, I’m not that; I don’t need that; that’s not me.”
Sometimes, a boat turns around and heads back upstream to demand your attention again. Habitual thoughts are hard to not be hooked by. Sometimes you feel the need to torpedo your boats. But don’t attack them. Don’t hate them or condemn them. This is also an exercise in nonviolence. The point is to recognize your thoughts, which are not you, and to say, “That’s not necessary; I don’t need that.” But do it very amiably. If you learn to handle your own soul tenderly and lovingly, you’ll be able to carry this same loving wisdom out into the world.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rohr in and around atonement... 

Jesus’ teachings seem to have been understood rather clearly during the first few hundred years after his death and resurrection. Values like nonparticipation in war, simple living, and love of enemies were common among his early followers. For example, the Didache, written around AD 90, calls readers to “share all things with your brother; and do not say that they are your own. For if you are sharers in what is imperishable, how much more in things which perish.” [1] At this time, Christianity was countercultural, untouched by empire, rationalization, and compromise.
However, when the imperial edict of AD 313 elevated Christianity to a privileged position in the Roman Empire, the church increasingly accepted, and even defended, the dominant social order, especially concerning war, money, and class. Morality became individualized and largely sexual. Formal Christianity slowly lost its free and alternative vantage point, which is probably why what we now call “religious life” began, and flourished, after 313. People went to the edges of the church and took vows of poverty, living in satellites that became “little churches,” without ever formally leaving the big church.
If you look at texts in the hundred years preceding 313, it was unthinkable that a Christian would fight in the army. The army was killing Christians; Christians
In the thirteenth century, the Franciscans and the Dominicans were the Catholic Church’s debating society, as it were. We invariably took opposing positions in the great debates in the universities of Paris, Cologne, Bologna, and Oxford. Both opinions usually passed the tests of orthodoxy, although one was preferred. The Franciscans often ended up presenting the minority position in those days. I share this bit of history to show that my understanding of the atonement theory is not heretical or new, but has very traditional and orthodox foundations. In the thirteenth century the Catholic Church seemed to be more broad-minded than it became later. Like the United States’ Supreme Court, it could have both a majority and a minority opinion, and the minority position was not kicked out! It was just not taught in most seminaries. However, the Franciscans and other groups taught the minority position.
Thomas Aquinas and the Dominicans agreed with the mainline position that some kind of debt had to be paid for human salvation. Many scriptures and the Jewish temple metaphors of sacrifice, price, propitiation, debt, and atonement do give this impression. But Franciscan teacher, Blessed John Duns Scotus (c. 1266-1308), who founded the theological chair at Oxford, said that Jesus wasn’t solving any problems by coming to earth and dying. Jesus wasn’t changing God’s mind about us; rather, Jesus was changing our minds about God. That, in a word, was our nonviolent at-one-ment theory. God did not need Jesus to die on the cross to decide to love humanity. God’s love was infinite from the first moment of creation; the cross was just Love’s dramatic portrayal in space and time.
Scotus built his argument on the pre-existent Cosmic Christ described in Colossians and Ephesians. Jesus is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15) who came forward in a moment of time so we could look upon “the One we had pierced” (John 19:37) and see God’s unconditional love for us, in spite of our failings.
The image of the cross was to change humanity, not a necessary transaction to change God—as if God needed changing! Scotus concluded that Jesus’ death was not a “penal substitution” but a divine epiphany for all to see. Jesus was pure gift, and the idea of gift is much more transformative than any idea of necessity, price, or transaction. It shows that God is not violent, but loving.
Duns Scotus firmly believed that God’s perfect freedom had to be maintained at all costs. If God “needed” or demanded a blood sacrifice to love God’s own creation, then God was not freely loving us. Once you say it, its inherent absurdity is obvious! Unfortunately, the mainstream “theory” led many people to dislike and mistrust “God the Father.” This undercut the mystical, transformative journey for most Christians.
Jesus was not changing the Father’s mind about us; he was changing our mind about God—and thus about one another too. If God and Jesus are not violent, punishing, torturing, or vindictive, then our excuse for the same is forever taken away from us. This is no small point! And, of course, if God is punitive and torturing, then we have full modeling and permission to do the same. Does this need much proof at this point in Christian history?
Jesus’ full journey revealed two major things: that salvation could have a positive and optimistic storyline, neither beginning nor ending with a cosmic problem; and even more that God was far different and far better than the whole history of violent religion had up to then demonstrated. Jesus did not just give us textbook and transactional answers, but personally walked through the full human journey of both failure and rejection—while still forgiving his enemies—and then said, “Follow me” and do likewise (see John 12:26; Matthew 10:38). This is the crucial message of nonviolence that most of Christianity has yet to hear. Without it, the future of humanity is in grave peril.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Rohr on Kuhn 

In his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn popularized the term “paradigm shift.” [1] Kuhn said that paradigm shifts become necessary when the plausibility structure of the previous paradigm becomes so full of holes and patchwork “fixes” that a complete overhaul, which once looked utterly threatening, now appears as a lifeline.

[1] Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 4th ed. (University of Chicago Press: 2012).

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Wright, T. (2011) Simply Jesus - Who He Was, What He Did, Why it Matters 

Themes of exodus 
Wicked tyrant-chosen leader-victory of God-rescue by sacrifice-new vocation and way of life-presence of God-promised/inherited land.66

Making sense of miracles
Suppose that the ancient prophetic dream had a glimpse at deeper truth. Suppose there were a God like Israel's God. Suppose this God did after all make the world. And suppose he were to claim, at long last, is sovereign rights over that world, not to destroy it... Or merely to "intervene" in it from time to time, but to fill it with his glory, to allow it to enter a new mode in which it would reflect his love, his generosity, his desire to make it over a new. Perhaps the stories are not, after all, the sort of bizarre things that people invent in retrospect to boost the image of the dead hero. Haps they are not even evidence of the kind of "interventionist", miracle work in supernatural divinity of some Conservative speculation. Preps they are, instead, the sort of things that might just be characteristic of The new creation, of the field time, of what happens when heaven and earth come together. 139

It will not do to suppose that Jesus came to teach people "how to get to heaven". That do you has been immensely popular in Western Christianity for many generations, but it simply won't do. The whole point of Jesus is public career was not to tell people that God was in heaven and that, at death, I would leave behind and go to being with him there. It was to tell them that God was now taking charge, right here on Earth; that they should pray for this to happen; that they should recognise, in his own work, the signs that it was happening in deed; and that when he completed his work, it would become reality. 142

The gospels are not about "how do you just turn out to be God". They are about how God became king on earth as in heaven. 147

If Jesus is behaving as though he were the temple in person, what will this mean for both the existing temple and for his followers? And if, through his work, new creations breaking into the world, how is it going to make any headway against the apparently still all powerful forces of corruption, evil and death itself? 147

He cannot establish the new creation without allowing the poison in the old to have its full effect. He cannot launch gods kingdom of justice, truth and peace Mr injustice, lies and violent to do their worst and, like a hurricane, blow themselves out, exhausting the force on this one spot. He cannot begin the work of healing the world unless supervised antidote to the infection that would otherwise destroyed the project from within. This is the point at which we see how the early work of Jesus is public career, the healing, The celebrations, forgiveness, the change heart, all look forward to this moment. This is what it looks like when is rail is God becomes king. This is what it looks like when Jesus is in throned as king of the Jews.175

How can we interpret Jesus's death?
It is easy to belittle Jesus's death theologically. This can be done by placing it solely within a framework that speaks of Jesus as the automatic top of love-although why, without more of a framework, his death would be an act of love it is in Justin Lee difficult to say. Or it can be done by making Jesus the representative model who goes through death to NewLife and thereby enables us to make the same journey "in him" or "through him". Or, notoriously it can be done by imagining a straightforward transaction in which a God who wanted to punish people was content to punish the innocent Jesus instead. This always, of course, Leeds and answered the question of how such a punishment could it self be just let alone loving. 180

The old creation lives by pride and retribution: I stand up for myself, and if someone gets in my way I try to get even. We've been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it. Now there is a completely different way to live away of love and reconciliation and healing and hope. It's away nobody is tried before, a way that is as unthinkable to most human beings and societies as-well, as Resurrection itself. 190 

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Richard Rohr - Union / Perfection 

The path of union is different than the path of perfection. Perfection gives the impression that by effort I can achieve wholeness separate from God, from anyone else, or from connection to the Whole. It appeals to our individualism and our ego. It's amazing how much of Christian history sent us on a self-defeating course toward private perfection. Union is instead about forgiveness, integration, patience, and compassion. The experience of union creates a very different kind of person.

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Many people give up on the spiritual life or religion when they see they cannot be perfect. They end up practical agnostics or atheists, because they refuse to be hypocrites. This is classic all-or-nothing thinking, characteristic of addicts. Many formal believers keep up the forms and the words, going to church and pretending to believe; but there is no longer the inner desire, love, joy, or expectation that is usually visible in people on the path of union. Mysticism does not defeat the soul; moralism (read "perfectionism") always does. Mysticism invites humanity forward; moralism excludes and condemns itself and most others.
It is quite unfortunate that the ideal of perfection has been applied to human beings. Strictly speaking, perfection can only be attributed to the Divine Self. Such a false goal has turned many religious people into pretenders or deniers-very often both. It has created people who, lacking compassion, have made impossible demands on themselves and others, resulting in a tendency toward superiority, impatience, dismissiveness, and negative thinking.

In the secular sphere, it has manufactured artificial ledgers of perfection that have clearly changed from age to age, class to class, and culture to culture. Perfectionism discourages honest self-knowledge and basic humility, which are foundational to spiritual and psychological growth. It has made basic social tranquility a largely unachievable goal. Grandiose people cannot create peace.

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Friday, August 07, 2015

Poisonwood Bible 

"When I want to take God at his word exactly, I take a peep out the window at CreationBecause that, darling, He makes fresh for us every day withoutlot of dubious middle managers." Brother Fowles

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Friday, May 08, 2015

Tuesdays with Morrie 

Tuesdays with Morrie our latest book group book had this today ...

Tuesdays with Morrie

Have you found someone to share your heart with? He asked are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself? Are you trying to be as human as you can be? 34

The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it 42

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half asleep, even when the busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and invite yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. 43

Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too-even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling. 61

To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life why are you living. 81

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. 82

Auden - Love each other or perish 91

I have experienced that emotion. I recognise that in motion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment. 104

Alright, it's just fear, I don't have to let it control me. I see it for what it is. 105

He saw right to the core of the problem, which was human beings wanted to feel that they mattered. 112

You have to find what is good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back make she competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue. 120. 

We put our values in the wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives 124

"We've got a form of brainwashing going on in our country" Morrie sighed. "do you know how they brainwash people? They repeat something over and over. And that's what we do in this country. Owning things is good. More money is good. The property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. We repeat it-and had repeated to us-over and over until nobody bothers even to think otherwise. The average person is so fogged up by this he has no perspective on what's really important any more. 

Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. 125

Devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning 127

If you're trying to show off for people at the top forget it. They will look down on you anyhow. And if you are trying to show off for people at the bottom, Forget it. They will only envy your status will get you nowhere. 127

 Part of the problem is that everyone is in such a hurry. People haven't found meaning in their lives, so they're running all the time looking for it. They think the next car, the next house, the next job. Then they find those things empty, too, and they keep running. 136

There are a few rules I know to be true about love and marriage: if you don't respect the other person, you're gonna have a lot of trouble.  If you don't know how to compromise, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. If you can't talk openly about what goes on between you, you're gonna have a lot of trouble. And if you don't have a common set of values in life, you are gonna have a lot of trouble. Your values must be alike. ... And the biggest one of those values? Your belief in the importance of your marriage. 149

Be compassionate and take responsibility for each other. If we only learn those lessons, this world would be so much better place. Love each other or die. 163

 Forgive yourself before you die

There is no point in keeping vengeance or stubbornness. These things I so regret in my life. Pride. Vanity. Why do we do the things we do? 164

Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Don't wait 167

That's what we're all looking for. Certain peace with the idea of dying. If we know, in the end, that we can ultimately have that peace with dying, then we can finally do the really hard thing.... Make peace with living 173

As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created still there. All the memories are still there. You live on-in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured why are you were here.... Death ends a life, not a relationship 174

In business people negotiate to win. They negotiate to get what they want. Maybe you are too used to that. Love is different. Love is when you are as concerned about someone else's situation as you are about your own. 178












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Friday, March 20, 2015

We are all completely beside ourselves.... 

Not my favourite book for many different reasons but worthwhile reading. 

Here are some of my fold overs....

There are moments when history and memory seem like mist, as if what really happened matters less than what should have happened. The mist lifts and suddenly there we are.... I see how, in a family like mine, love doesn't have to be earned and it can't be lost. Just for a moment, I see us that way; I see us all. Restored and repaired. Reunited and refulgent. 28

Language does this to our memories-simplifies, solidifies, codifies, mummifies. And oft-told story is like a photograph in the family album; eventually, it replaces the moment it was meant to capture. 48

It terrifies me to think that, come summer, there will be no more hiding, no more passing. Everyone from the woman who cuts my hair to the Queen of England might know who I am. Not who I really am, of course, but an airbrushed version of me, more marketable, easier to love... I still haven't found the place where I can be my true self. But maybe you never get to be your true self, either. 298

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Volf, M (2010) Against the Tide: Love in a Time of Petty Dreams and Persisting Enmities 

Against the Tide Volf

At its core, love is not a feeling at all, but and action, a way of being, in active care of others - for the integrity of their bodies ands souls, as well as for their flourishing.

It is a call to live against the tide. The obstacles to 'project love' are formidable. Chief among them is our obvious  and nearly universal propensity to care for ourselves alone, or to care for others only if the benefit to us outweighs the cost.

black holes of self-absorption - manipulation, cheating, deceiving and exploiting others all with a clear conscience. xi

The complete works of Frederick Nietzsche " the tremendous mobility of human beings on the great earthly desert, their founding of cities and states, their waging of wars, their ceaseless gathering and dispersing, their confused mingling, their imitation and deceit of one another, their mutual outwitting and trampling under foot, their cries and their joyous cheers in victory - all this is a continuation of animality, as if human beings were intended to regress and be cheated of their metaphysical disposition" the bait which human beings have been lured into slavery to their inane desires - earthly happiness! Pp13

Dancing for God - 'authenticity unspoiled by the desire for popularity... theology undertaken above all for the sake of God and under the judgement of God ... we speak and write to get approval from an audience, to impress ... to satisfy ... popularity and its rewards will take precedence over fidelity to God. We will perform for audiences instead of dancing for God. In the process we morph into the image that we seek to please.  18-19 

Love is different. To give less than you expect to receive is selfishness, no matter how warm your heart feels in the other's presence. To  give as much as you receive is to be fair. But to love is to give more than you hope to receive 54

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bretherton, L.(2010) Christian and contemporary politics. Wiley Blackwell 

Bretherton, L.(2010) Christian and contemporary politics. Wiley Blackwell

Jeremiah 29:7

Hospitality-it is a form of life by which we expose our loves to others and struggle for conversion, the conversion of ourselves so that we may encounter others as neighbours and thence genuinely loved them rather than patronise, can opt, or ignore them and the conversion of others so that they may begin to know the world as God's good but fallen and now redeemed creation.103 

Community organising is a means by which we encounter strangers-sometimes as their Guest and at other times as their host 105

Some hospitality is reciprocal: each hosts the other in turn. However, the practice of hospitality is more often than not undertaken in a situation where one party is in a position of strength and the other in a position of venerability or weakness 114

Within the Christian tradition that is a consistent and special concern for the weakest and most vulnerable: the poor, the sick, and refugee. Moreover, the focus on the vulnerable stranger will, on occasions, mean that the church finds itself actively opposed by those who would be, by Christian criteria of evaluation, inhospitable to refundable vulnerable stranger. Thus the Christian practice of hospitality is often, because of its priorities, deeply prophetic, calling into question the prevailing political hegemony. 212






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Friday, August 22, 2014

Pohl, C.D. (1999) Making room: recovering hospitality as a Christian tradition. Eerdmans. 

Pohl, C.D. (1999) Making room: recovering hospitality as a Christian tradition. Eerdmans. 

A mystery of hospitality is how often one senses God's presence in the midst of very ordinary activities... as we make room for hospitality, more room becomes available to us for life, hope, and grace. Xiii

"The opposite of cruelty is not simply freedom from the cruel relationship, it is hospitality." Halle, p. 1981 "from cruelty to goodness" the Hastings centre report 11 26-27 pp 12

The most potent setting for hospitality is in the overlap of private and public space; hospitality flourishes at the intersection of the personal, intimate characteristics of the home and the transforming expectations of the church. Practitioners view hospitality as a sacred practice and find God is specially present in Guest/host relationships. Pp12

Hospitality is not optional for christians, nor is it limited to those who are especially gifted for it. It is, instead, a necessary practice in the community of faith. One of the Greek words for hospitality, philoxenia, combines the general word for love or affection for people who are connected by kinship or faith (Phileo), and the word stranger (xenos). Thus, etymologically and practically, in the new Testament, hospitality is closely connected to love. Because philoxenia includes the word for stranger, hospitality's orientation towards strangers is also more apparent in Greek than in English. Pp31

Hospitality as an infusion of the presence of Christ - SA sacrament , Osborne ? Ro 12 pp 34

Although we often think of hospitality as a tame and pleasant practice, Christian hospitality has always had a subversive, countercultural dimension. ... That points to a different system of valuing and an alternate model of relationships pp61

Recognising the stranger, redefining the neighbour - parable of the good Samaritan pp75

There is a kind of hospitality that keeps people needy strangers while fostering an illusion of relationship and connection. It both disempowers and domesticates guests one while it reinforces the hosts power, control, and sense of generosity. 120

2co 9:8 widow of zarephath and Elijah. 

The temptation to use hospitality for advantage remains an important issue today because we tend to be so instrumental in our thinking, so calculating, so aware of costs and benefits.... We must be wary of efforts to turn hospitality into some form of commercial exchange.144

Can we make the places which shape our lives and in which we spend our days more hospitable? Do current practices within these settings distort hospitality or shut out strangers? 150

Shelter of each other 169 Irish illustration sermon. 



Did we see Christ in then? Did they see Christ in us?






















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