That our task is the same as that of Jesus and of Mary his mother, to get our egos out of the way and let God work through us, was the message of Franciscan priest, Fr Richard Rohr, in Wellington last month.
As well as the 300 or so people at the two workshops on the 24 and 25 October, Richard’s talk on the Tuesday evening was webcast so that groups of people in other parts of the diocese were also able to watch.
During the workshop Richard explored the theme true self/false self. It was a way to see how the gospel has relevance in our lives in the world where we live. He challenged the audience to see that we are called to bear the burden, as Nelson Mandela said, of our own inherent greatness.
He said that if we realise our greatness we become very conscious of how we can’t live up to this. What Richard pointed out was that we need to realise we are a son or daughter of God, and that with the Spirit dwelling within us we can begin to live who we really are – our true self. We become aware that we are not worthy of this, we didn’t do anything to earn it. It is all pure gift and we need to be thankful.
Richard pointed out that our task is to “Let it be done to me.” We need to step out of the way, to let God work within us. We can’t do this if the ego/false self is in charge because there is a lot of dying and rising involved. Hence the need to find a way to live out of our true self. Richard suggested that simple forms of contemplation will open us to the healing power of the Holy Spirit and lead us to live out of our true self.
The Wellington Catholic Education Centre came to an agreement with Citylink to webcast the session on Tuesday evening. Across the country and also in Australia groups of people gathered to listen to what Richard had to say. Since then a web version has been made available so that people can access it whenever they log on. It is available on the archdiocesan website: www.wn.catholic.org.nz/
Richard Rohr founded the Centre for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is internationally renowned having written several books on spirituality and contemplation and led numerous retreats and workshops.
DVDs and CDs of Richard Rohr’s addresses in Wellington are available through the Wellington Catholic Education Centre, PO Box 1937, Wellington 6140. Ph 04 4961716 email: firstname.lastname@example.org