Daily thoughts , on the theme of wealth

 

No Images? Click here

 
 
 
 

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Image credit: Le Denier de la Veuve (The Widow’s Mite) (detail), James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York.
 

Week Forty-eight

 

Economy: Old and New

 
 
 

Finding Security in Relationships
Friday, November 29, 2019

 
 

No servant can serve two masters. They will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and mammon. —Luke 16:13

I encourage you to read Luke 16:1-13, which provides context for the final verse, “You cannot serve both God and mammon.” Jesus creates a clear dualism between God and what he calls “mammon.” Mammon was the god of wealth and money, superficiality and success. Jesus says we’ve eventually got to make a conscious choice here.

Most of Jesus’ teaching is what we call nondual, for example: “Let the weeds and the wheat grow together” (Matthew 13:30); “My Father’s sun shines on the good and the bad” (Matthew 5:45). But there are some areas where he’s absolutely dualistic, either/or—usually anything having to with the poor or with money! I believe Jesus is dualistic on these topics because he knows what most of us are otherwise going to do, that most of us will serve mammon. We’re wired to focus on short-term, practical gains. And, of course, money often does solve our short-term problems.

But I hear Jesus saying that a long-term solution is to seek relationship over money. I saw this at work most clearly when I was able to preach in many “poor” countries that don’t have the same kinds of infrastructure and safety nets that so-called “developed” countries do. (At the same time, I must note that much of the poverty around the world is due to exploitation and colonization by industrialized countries. I refuse to romanticize the economic deprivation of much of the world’s population.)

Some folks who may not have a 401k or retirement fund rely on their family and community as insurance. They stick together much better than many financially comfortable people do. When we’re well off, we often don’t need or care about one another. When our very survival depends upon it, we are more likely to love and honor our parents, to treat our children with care and respect—because we need each other. Relationships are our most powerful and reliable 401k. I’m not saying I don’t believe in universal health care, social security, or other public services, but I do think Jesus is saying the real security system is how we relate, how we love. These, he says, are the eternal dwellings that last forever.

In her book, The Soul of Money, Lynne Twist points out that modern science is discovering a similar truth in nature. She writes:

Contrary to those models of Nature as innately, intensely, and almost exclusively competitive, more recent scientific study has illuminated the powerful role of mutuality, synergy, coexistence, and cooperation in the natural world. . . .

The idea that scarcity and competition are just the way it is is no longer even viable science. Respected evolutionary biologist Elisabet Sahtouris notes that Nature fosters collaboration and reciprocity. Competition in Nature exists, she says, but it has limits, and the true law of survival is ultimately cooperation. . . .

Sahtouris and others note that contrary to the competitive theme that “survival of the fittest” connotes, a more accurate description would be “survival of the cooperative and collaborative.” [1]   

I (Richard) can’t help but wonder what makes it so hard for us to think this way!

 

Gateway to Presence:
If you want to go deeper with today’s meditation, take note of what word or phrase stands out to you. Come back to that word or phrase throughout the day, being present to its impact and invitation.

 
 

[1] Lynne Twist with Teresa Barker, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life (W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.: 2003, 2017), 152-153.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, “Money,” Homily (September 22, 2019), https://cac.org/podcasts/money/

Image credit: Le Denier de la Veuve (The Widow’s Mite) (detail), James Tissot, between 1886 and 1894, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York.

 
 
 

Forward this email to a friend or family member that may find it meaningful.

 
 
 

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up for the daily, weekly, or monthly meditations.

 
 
 
 

Thank you for being part of CAC’s contemplative community. You are one of 342,475 readers worldwide (as of November 2019).
 

 
 

News from the CAC

 

Online Courses

 

Journey into an alternative orthodoxy!
Explore the loving and inclusive teachings of St. Francis of Assisi in this online course from Richard Rohr. Registration for The Franciscan Way: Beyond the Bird Bath ends January 29, 2020, or when full. We invite you to apply for financial assistance before January 22.

Seek your True Self.
Rediscover the indwelling Spirit. Connecting with God is more than just attending church or holding to beliefs. Registration for Immortal Diamond: A Study in Search of the True Self ends February 12, 2020, or when full. Apply for financial assistance before February 5.

 
 
 

Old and New: An Evolving Faith 

 
 

2019 Daily Meditations Theme

As you witness so much division, fear, and suffering in our world, you may wonder what path—if any—there is toward healing and hope. Perhaps your church or faith has been important to you, but now you may be questioning if it is still a trustworthy or relevant guide. Does Christianity have anything of value left to offer?

Franciscan Richard Rohr suggests that there are good, beautiful, and true gems worth holding on to. At the same time, there are many unhelpful and even harmful parts of what has passed for Christianity that we need to move beyond. In his Daily Meditations, Father Richard helps us mine the depths of this tradition, discerning what to keep and what to transcend.

 

Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time! Click the video to learn more about the theme and to find meditations you may have missed. We hope that reading these messages is a contemplative, spiritual practice for you.

 
 
An image of Richard Rohr speaking in his chair about the 2019 Daily Meditation Theme. The image links to a video.
 

Learn about contemplative prayer and other forms of meditation. For frequently asked questions—such as what versions of the Bible Father Richard recommends or how to ensure you receive every meditation—please see our email FAQ.

 
 
 
Center for Action and Contemplation
 
 
 
 

Feel free to share meditations on social media. Go to CAC’s Facebook page or Twitter feed and find today’s post. Or use the “Forward” button above to send via email.

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations are made possible through the generosity of CAC's donors. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation.

If you would like to change how often you receive emails from CAC, click here. If you would like to change your email address, click here. Visit our Email Subscription FAQ page for more information. Submit an inquiry here for additional assistance.

Inspiration for this week's banner image: As long as we operate inside any scarcity model, there will never be enough God or grace to go around. Jesus came to undo our notions of scarcity and tip us over into a worldview of absolute abundance. The Gospel reveals a divine world of infinity, a worldview of enough and more than enough. The Christian word for this undeserved abundance is “grace.” It is a major mental and heart conversion to move from a scarcity model to an abundance model and to live with an attitude of gratitude. —Richard Rohr

 
 
Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram
© 2019 | Center for Action and Contemplation
1823 Five Points Road SW
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
 
 
This is a TED talk not to be missed : Gratitude
James Lovelock says we’re too Stupid to Change

Comments

 
No comments yet
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Captcha Image