Minute Meditations

Only the True Self Can Live the Gospel

How can I know, work through the anger, and still be a life-giving presence? Naïveté is different from second naïveté. The former is a kind of virtuous ignorance; the latter is a spirit of informed openness, often gained after disillusionment. In fact, between the two there is all the difference in the world. However, normally, we are so sure that people will not be able to work through to true enlightenment that we avoid telling them the whole truth, or they avoid wanting the whole truth. It is much, much easier not to know. Jesus himself understood this from the cross: “Father, forgive them, they do not know” (Luke 23:34). They really don’t know! But Jesus took the harder path: to know and still forgive, and still understand. That is the Third Way, beyond fight and beyond flight—and yet, in a certain sense, including both. It’s fighting in a new way from within, and fleeing from the quick, egocentric response. Only God can hold such an act together within us. The small self is always too small. Only the True Self can live the gospel.

— from The Wisdom Pattern: Order, Disorder, Reorder by Richard Rohr, OFM



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