The falling became the standing. The stumbling became the finding. The dying became the rising. The raft became the shore . . . Many of us discover “the Great Divine Gaze” in times of such falling—the ultimate I-Thou relationship—which is always compassionate and embracing. Like any true mirror, the gaze of God receives us exactly as we are, without judgment or distortion, subtraction or addition. Such perfect receiving is what transforms us.
Richard Rohr, Chapter 13, Falling Upward
As we wrap up our study of Falling Upward this week, we learn that one of the gifts of growing into the second-half-of-life spirituality is, as Rohr puts it, “Being totally received as we truly are, which is what we wait and long for all our lives.” It is a gift that keeps on giving: “Soon,” says Rohr, “we who are gazed upon so perfectly can pass on the same accepting gaze to all others who need it.” Please Don’t Miss this Sunday! Therese Finn, Alice Cooper, and Trish Phelps have prepared an amazing wrap up for our study of Falling Upward. I got a preview today of their in-depth exploration of this chapter. I was enriched beyond measure! Their insights will provide ample food for thought for our discussion as well as poignant reminders of why we stay the course on our path to spiritual maturity. As the apostle Paul puts it, we persevere because “all of creation is yearning for the children of God to be revealed.” Sunday will be rich indeed! I can’t wait to share it with you! Love, Linda
- The book is titled Falling Upward to emphasize Rohr’s premise that what appears to be “falling” (failures, losses, aging, etc.) is really a catalyst for our transformation and “deeper communion” with God. Looking back at times that seemed to be “falls” in your life, can you see a bouncing upward afterwards? How did you grow and what did you learn from the experience?
- Rohr writes: “Like any true mirror, the gaze of God receives us exactly as we are, without judgment or distortion, subtraction or addition. Such perfect receiving is what transforms us. Have there been times you’ve felt this perfect receiving from God? If so, how has it changed or transformed you? If not, can you can you identify anything that is blocking you from receiving this gift from God?
* Reflection questions selected by Therese Finn from The Companion Journal to Falling Upward, Chapter 13. Thank you, Therese!