This quote from Richard Rohr OFM resonated with a fascinating and wide-ranging conversation over beers with some great friends earlier in the week. It takes me back too to a conversation, over coffee, that I had with Rohr a good number of years ago:
“…In the early 1960s, Karl Rahner stated that if Western Christianity does not rediscover its mystical foundations and roots, we might as well close the doors of the churches. He was right because without a contemplative mind, we are offering the world no broad seeing, no real alternative consciousness, no new kind of people. Rahner’s point, quite simply, is that we must learn to think as Jesus thought.
Until people have had some level of inner religious experience, there is no point in asking them to follow the ethical ideals of Jesus or to really understand Christian doctrines beyond the level of formula. At most, such moral ideals and doctrinal affirmations would only be the source of deeper anxiety!
You quite simply don’t have the power to obey the law, especially on issues like forgiveness of enemies, nonviolence, humble use of power, and so on, except in and through union with God. Nor do doctrines like the Trinity, the Real Presence, or the Incarnation have any meaning that actually changes your life without inner experience…”
~ Richard Rohr.