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Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

From the Center for Action and Contemplation

Image credit: Anna Washington Derry (detail), Laura Wheeler Waring, 1927, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, Washington, DC.


Week Six


Ways of Knowing




Stardust and A Divine Spark 
Friday, February 14, 2020


In her book Race and the Cosmos, Dr. Barbara Holmes presents a new way for us to address oppression by recognizing who we are and the commonality we share as members of the human race. When we encounter other ways of knowing, we may find ourselves discomforted and even distressed by the pain that our nation, our church, or even we ourselves have caused others. Today, I want to offer a perspective that can lead to healing and wholeness, instead of our too ready defensiveness. Holmes writes:  

So much has changed since Dr. King expressed [in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”].  his hope for a “not too distant tomorrow” of radiant human mutuality. . . . 

However, the clouds of race and racism in American continue to loom, threatening and dangerous. . . . The ghosts of oppression are shape-shifting into new forms and expanding their territory. . . . Despite the apparent advances of women, people of color (POC), and the LGBTQIA+ community, racism, violence, xenophobia, and anti-immigrant tropes seem to be on the rise. 

Although this is a discouraging reality, I am convinced that a community-called-beloved is possible. This is an admittedly fragile possibility, but it is not a utopian dream. I believe that people of good will harbor a persistent hope that our planet can be a place of belonging for all its inhabitants. To view the world differently is to recognize the delusions that we have willingly embraced and admit our own complicity in the empowerment of systems of oppression. 

In America, we have encoded the languages of equality, freedom, and justice into our myths of national “goodness,” yet we remain infatuated with power and privilege. Also, we support corrupt and rapacious political and economic systems that prey on the vulnerable. It will take a shift in language and purpose to free us from this limited and materialistic view of human potential. 

Perhaps the language of science, cosmology, and physics can help us to see our plight and our opportunity. . . . [With] chaos in our social systems, we are in such dire need of vision, imagination, and love of neighbor that this rhetorical experiment is worth a try. Currently, we are using language to disguise our commonalities and exacerbate our differences. Narratives about POC often emphasize inherent inferiority and criminality, when the truth is that all of us embody stardust and a divine spark with cosmic origins. 

We come from mystery and return to it at the end of the life journey. What a gift to be on earth during an era when the universe is making itself known to and through the human race. We are part of an unfolding that is ongoing, yet, around the planet, people and systems are in crisis and we don’t seem to know what to do. . . . Perhaps the first steps require that we free ourselves from negative stereotypes and recognize our common cosmic origins. 


Gateway to Action & Contemplation:
What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice in my body? What is mine to do?

Prayer for Our Community:
O Great Love, thank you for living and loving in us and through us. May all that we do flow from our deep connection with you and all beings. Help us become a community that vulnerably shares each other’s burdens and the weight of glory. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our world. [Please add your own intentions.] . . . Knowing you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God, amen.

Listen to Fr. Richard read the prayer.



Barbara A. Holmes, Race and the Cosmos (CAC Publishing: 2020) 17-19. Race and the Cosmos was originally published in 2002 but has been revised by the author and is now available at

Image credit: Anna Washington Derry (detail), Laura Wheeler Waring, 1927, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation, Washington, DC. 




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News from the CAC


What Does It Mean to Be a Cosmic Being?

“Social constructs can neither confine nor define the human spirit.” CAC Living School teacher Barbara Holmes explores our connection to spirit and each other in this new, updated edition of Race and the Cosmos. 


Study the Wisdom Path with Cynthia Bourgeault 

For those eager to further their inner work, our 14-week online course Introductory Wisdom School with Cynthia Bourgeault, March 4–June 9, will help you develop the skills, knowledge, and actions for your own transformation. Registration closes February 26, 2020


What Do We Do With Evil?

Examine your notion of evil with a contemplative, nondual mind to reflect on ways we are complicit in social and systemic evil. In What Do We Do With Evil?, Richard Rohr challenges readers to look beyond personal moral failure, increase personal responsibility and promote human solidarity. 




Action & Contemplation


2020 Daily Meditations Theme

What does God ask of us? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God. —Micah 6:8

Franciscan Richard Rohr founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in 1987 because he saw a deep need for the integration of both action and contemplation. If we pray but don’t act justly, our faith won’t bear fruit. And without contemplation, activists burn out and even well-intended actions can cause more harm than good. In today’s religious, environmental, and political climate our compassionate engagement is urgent and vital.


In this year’s Daily Meditations, Father Richard helps us learn the dance of action and contemplation. 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 reflections you may have missed.



An image of Richard Rohr speaking in his chair about the 2020 Daily Meditation Theme. The image links to a video.


Click here to 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. Visit to explore other ways to connect with the Center for Action and Contemplation.




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Inspiration for this week’s banner image: One of my images of God is that of Grandmother, the wise . . . woman with gray hair and eyes as ancient as the Earth. — Steven Charleston


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