Vol. XII No. 32
GLOBAL AND ECUMENICAL IN SCOPE
CANADIAN IN PERSPECTIVE
Wayne A. Holst, Editor
My E-Mail Address:
Colleagues List Web Site
Welcome to the latest issue of Colleagues List!
I hope you will enjoy and benefit from at least
some of the items of this issue.
My Special Item this week is a book notice from
colleague Richard Rohr, whose latest book is
The Divine Dance. Thanks, Richard!
The Colleague Contributions are quite interesting.
I spent some time locating what I hope are helpful
Net Notes, Wisdom of the Week, Moment in Time,
and On This Day selections.
Please feel free to share your thoughts with me,
and send me your suggestions for future issues.
I hope you have a good week.
Book Notice for -
THE DIVINE DANCE:
The Trinity and Your Transformation
by Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell.
Whitaker House (2016) Hardcover.
220 pages. $29.46 CAD
ISBN #10: 1629117293
Trinity is supposed to be the central, foundational doctrine of our
entire Christian belief system, yet we're often told that we shouldn't attempt to understand it because it is a "mystery".
Should we presume to try to breach this mystery?
If we could, how would it transform our relationship with God and
renew our lives? The word Trinity is not found in the New Testament
- it wasn't until the third century that early Christian father Tertullian
coined it - but the idea of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was present in
Jesus' life and teachings and from the very beginning of the Christian
experience. In the pages of this book, internationally recognized teacher Richard Rohr circles around this most paradoxical idea as he explores the nature of God - circling around being an apt metaphor for this mystery we're trying to apprehend. Early Christians who came to be known as the "Desert Mothers and Fathers" applied the Greek verb perichoresis to the mystery of the Trinity.
The best translation of this odd-sounding word is dancing.
Our word choreography comes from the same root. Although these early Christians gave us some highly conceptualized thinking on the life of the Trinity, the best they could say, again and again, was, Whatever is going on in God is a flow - it's like a dance. But God is not a dancer - He is the dance itself.
That idea might sound novel, but it is about as traditional as you can get. God is the dance itself, and He invites you to be a part of that dance. Are you ready to join in?
About the Author
Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized teacher and the founder of the
Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC.org) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodox practices of contemplation and self–emptying, expressing themselves in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. He is also the academic dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation.
Drawing upon Christianity's place within the Perennial Tradition, the
mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerful learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all created beings.
Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam's Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi.
As secularization continues to strongly influence our political, social
and religious ethos in Canada, people of faith need to work hard at
finding new language, imagery and experiences to help us grow in that
faith. Many of the classic teachings need to be expressed in ways that can be understood by people today. Otherwise they are lost to them.
The Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is a case in point. I, for example, was formed spiritually in an environment where I regularly confessed my faith using the words of the ecumenical creeds (Nicene and Apostles). But as time and experience evolved for me, some of the hard-fought meanings in those words were lost to me - a situation I know very well. Probably you do too.
I began to learn from a notable Canadian philosopher like Charles Taylor of McGill, that a secular age prompts us to formulate new thoughts, models and expressions to help us live the classic Christian way in circumstances very different from the times when those traditional faith formulations were developed. God is very much a part of modernity, says Taylor, but we need to be creative in how we discover God today.
For one attempt to describe the development of the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity click: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity
A helpful mentor and model for our quest for renewed meaning is the
author and our colleague Richard Rohr, an articulate and much-published Franciscan living in Arizona. His recent book The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation is a case in point.
Here is a book infused with the kind of new awareness we very much need.
Choreography, rather than rational dogma, is a better way of describing the Trinity - the source of a well-lived Christian life, says Rohr, who seeks to liberate our understanding of the classic faith while remaining orthodox and true to it.
A helpful way to read Rohr is to note the paradoxes to which he alludes.
He links reason and mystery, action and contemplation, faith and real life - by transcending the meaning of both. His thoughts are clear-headed, provocative, inspiring, challenging and infused with the spirit.
Many years ago, as a graduate student in Europe, I first encountered
a hymn that had just emerged. It was entitled: Lord of the Dance.
Do you remember it? Rohr's book enhances that hymn with new meaning and value for me as I sing it to myself now.
I think that reading The Divine Dance, might do the same for you.
Buy the book from Amazon.ca:
Personal Web Log
May 7th, 2017
"Who Decides What a Life is Worth?"
May 8th, 2017
"How Life Should End "
San Antonio, TX
Personal Web Site
May 8th, 2017
"Despair as Weakness Rather Than Sin"
In addition -
A note from colleague Harry Winter about
a special honour for colleague Ron Rolheiser:
May 8th, 2017
Ron Rolheiser's column "500 Years of Misunderstanding,"
(Colleagues List April 23rd, 2017) got a lot of attention:
I received it from our regional councilor for North America,
Warren Brown, OMI, a few days before you posted it.
It's great the Catholic Theological Union (Chicago) is honoring
Ron with an honorary doctorate (see link below).
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate - United States Province http://tinyurl.com/lgvlyne
IN SEARCH OF RACHEL
The Tangled Reality of the Holy Land -
Israel and the Occupied Territories Today
United Church Observer,
MISSING AT MOTHER'S DAY WORSHIP
Women Wishing to be Moms
Religion News Service
May 11th, 2017
WILL THERE BE A NEXT BILLY GRAHAM?
At 98, Famous Evangelist Lacks a Successor
The Charotte Observer,
May 10th, 2017
A MONUMENT TO JESUS IN THE CITY OF MAO
Majority of Citizens Seem Unconcerned About It
New York Times,
May 7th, 2017
IS AN OPEN MARRIAGE A HAPPIER MARRIAGE?
What We Learn About Jealousy, Love, Desire, Trust.
New York Times Magazine
May 11th, 2017
WHY GOD MAY NOT BE CAUSING YOUR SUFFERING
God May Just be There With You in It
Christian Week Online
May 9th, 2017
ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS IN CANADA
SET RECORD DURING 2016
Study Sees Racial Hatred Growing
The Jerusalem Post,
May 10th, 2017
INDONESIAN CHRISTIAN GOVERNOR SENTENCED
TO TWO YEARS FOR BLASPHEMING QU'RAN
Ruling Challenges Reputation as Moderate Islamic State
May 9th, 2017
WHEATON COLLEGE WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE
LGBTQ STUDENTS DO NOT EXIST THERE
School In Denial; Gay Keeps Cropping Up
May 11th, 2017
WHY THE 1980s "ANNE OF GREEN GABLES"
IS SUCH A HARD ACT TO FOLLOW
How Anne Shaped a Generation of Young Women
May 10th, 2017
WISDOM OF THE WEEK
From the Bruderhof and Sojourners Online:
Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence
of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression.
Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all.
Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity. It is right and it is duty.
- Archbishop Oscar Romero
I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail,
many people embraced me, including my enemies, and that is
what I normally tell other people who say those who are struggling
for liberation in their country are terrorists. I tell them that I was
also a terrorist yesterday, but, today, I am admired by the very
people who said I was one.
- President Nelson Mandela
... the harm that you do to others if the harm that you do to yourself.
And you cannot think, then, that you can cause wars in other parts of
the world and destroy people and drone them, without this having a
terrible impact on your own soul and your own consciousness.
- Alice Walker
When faith and hope fail, as they do sometimes, we must try charity,
which is love in action. We must speculate no more on our duty, but
simply do it. When we have done it, however blindly, perhaps
Heaven will show us why.
- Dinah Craik
Silence is the measure of the power to act; that is, a person never has
more power to act than he has silence. Anyone can understand that to
do something is far greater than to talk about doing it. If, therefore, a
person has a plan or idea and is fully resolved to carry it out, he does
not need to talk about it. What he talks about in connection with the
proposed action is what he is most unsure of and most unwilling to do.
- Søren Kierkegaard
A plea on behalf of respect for the here and now, for today: How can
we assure a child’s life in the future if we have not yet learned how to
live consciously and responsibly in the present? Do not trample, hold
in contempt, or sell the future into bondage. Do not stifle it, rush, or
force it. Respect every single moment, as it will pass and will never
again be repeated. After all, when tomorrow finally does arrive, we
start waiting for the next tomorrow
- Janusz Korczak
Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
There remains a precious jewel in every person, which is stronger
than any outward pressure in their lives. It remains inviolable,
even in those who feel that they are lost in their rottenness.
No matter how badly they have ruined their lives, this jewel remains
in them; it is as certain as that God was reconciling the world to
himself in Jesus Christ.
There is something in each person that will never be lost, something that can always be resurrected. That is the gospel.
MOMENT IN TIME
From the Globe and Mail,, May 12th, 2017
Archeologists unearth ruins of Alexandria library
May 12, 2004: Stories of the destruction of the ancient library of Alexandria are as much myth as history. The library – established in 288 BC by Ptolemy I – had the ambitious goal of containing all the world’s knowledge.
Historians believe it housed half a million scrolls and hosted 100 scholars at a time, including Euclid of geometry fame. On this date(2004), archeologists announced they had discovered its ruins (a modern incarnation of the great library now stands close to the site). The team excavated 13 lecture halls reported to hold as many as 5,000 students. But they still don’t know how the library disappeared.
Were the scrolls burnt by Julius Caesar? Were they destroyed by Christian mobs? Did the Muslim Caliph Omar use them as tinder for the city’s bathhouses?
Whoever the culprit, the loss of the library’s scrolls came to symbolize the destruction of knowledge. – Jessica Caparini
ON THIS DAY
From the Archives of the New York Times
Nelson Mandela Elected First Black President of South Africa
The Era of Apartheid is Over
CLOSING THOUGHT - Lan Samantha Chang
For it is through humility ... that holiness - and poetry -
find entrance to the human soul.
For Those Interested -
ST.DAVID'S SPIRITUAL TRAVELERS EVENT, 2017
South Africa has been chosen as our destination!
We plan a nineteen-day tour that combines a focus
on spirituality, social justice, culture, and nature,
and it will run October 21st thru November 8th.
A beautiful brochure with trip cost, itinerary, and
many helpful travel hints has been published.
Our optimal group size for maximum trip meaning
and value is 28-29 persons.
To date, twenty-six persons have put down deposits
to claim a special saving.
WE ARE CLOSE TO REACHING OUR DEPARTURE GOAL.
YOU CAN STILL REGISTER. After we have 29 deposits
you will be added to a waiting list and still join us
in the event someone has to drop out.
We have installed a South Africa Spiritual Travelers
discussion list group to begin building community
amongst the participants, and to share news and
We hope to name a tour reporter who will report
back home each day's activities so everyone can
enjoy the experience, if not directly, then indirectly.
Six months from now we leave for South Africa!
Contact Rostad Tours: http://tinyurl.com/hucsaf7
Follow these notices for weekly updates.