Daily Meditations

The Experience of God

I think some experience of God is necessary for mental and emotional health. You basically don’t belong in the universe until you are connected to the center and the whole, and a word for that is “God.” When you live in the false self you are “eccentric,” or off-center. You’re trying to make something the Center that is not the center—yourself or anything else. It will never work. Thus the ONLY real sin is idolatry—making something God that is not God!

I would call the false self a relative identity. I would call the true self your absolute identity. The relative identity is not of itself bad or wrong. It’s simply not the true self! It cannot get you where you finally need and want to go.

~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Gospel Call to Compassionate Action and Contemplative Prayer (CD)


The True Sacred, which is synonymous with the Reign of God, always reveals that:

  • God is One, timeless, and inclusive of all.
  • God is above any national or group ownership or personal manipulation.
  • God is available as a free gift and not through sacrificing things.
  • God needs no victims and creates no victims. Jesus ends religion as sacrifice “once and for all” (Hebrews 7:2710:10) by revealing the tragic effects of scapegoating, by what happened to him on the cross.

Jesus personifies this type of God and speaks defiantly in defense of such a God. Nowhere is he more succinct than when he quotes the Prophet Hosea, “Go and learn the meaning of the words: ‘Mercy is what pleases me, not sacrifices’” (Matthew 9:13).

~Adapted from Richard Rohr, Jesus’ Plan for a New World: The Sermon on the Mount


The German Jesuit, Karl Rahner, said something like this (although his German is hard to translate): “The infinite mystery that you are to yourself and the infinite mystery that God is in God’s self, proceed forward together as one.” In simple English, as you uncover God’s loving truth, you uncover your own, and as you uncover your own truth, you fall deeper into God’s mercy and love. I’ve certainly seen this in my own little journey. When I come to a breakthrough in my own shadow work, my own sinfulness, my own self-knowledge, or in wonder at my own soul, it invariably feeds and invites the other side, and I want to go deeper with God.

In the same way, when my heart opens up in a new recognition of the nature of God, it always invites me into deeper and daring honesty, deeper self-surrender, deeper shadow work with my own illusions and my own pretensions. The two will always feed one another, and that’s why people who go deeper with God invariably have a very honest evaluation of themselves. They are never proud people. They can’t be, because the closer you get to the Light, the more you see your own darkness. And the closer you get to your own ordinariness (which sometimes includes darkness), the more you know you need the Light.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Following the Mystics through the Narrow Gate: Seeing God in All Things (CD)