The ego seems to find its energy precisely by having something to oppose, fix, or change, that the mind can judge as inferior. But love is our very nature, our name: we’re all like localized vibrations of the infinite goodness of God’s presence

Love Is Our Nature
Richard Rohr OFM excerpt, Sunday, September 15, 2019

The ego seems to find its energy precisely by having something to oppose, fix, or change. When the mind can judge something to be inferior, we feel superior. We must recognize our constant tendency toward negating reality, resisting it, opposing it, and attacking it in our minds. This is the universal addiction.

Thomas Keating (1923–2018) wrote:

We’re all like localized vibrations of the infinite goodness of God’s presence. So love is our very nature. Love is our first, middle, and last name. Love is all; not [love as] sentimentality, but love that is self-forgetful and free of self-interest.

This is also marvelously exemplified in Gandhi’s life and work. He never tried to win anything. He just tried to show love; and that’s what ahimsa really means. It’s not just a negative. Nonviolence doesn’t capture its meaning. It means to show love tirelessly, no matter what happens. That’s the meaning of turning the other cheek. Once in a while you have to defend somebody, but it means you’re always willing to suffer first for the cause—that is to say, for communion with your enemies. If you overcome your enemies, you’ve failed. If you make your enemies your partners, God has succeeded.

Mahatma Gandhi, “Weekly Letter,” Harijan, vol. 6, no. 19 (June 18, 1938), 153. See Mahatma Gandhi, Truth is God, ed. R. K. Prabhu (Navajivan Publishing House: 1955), 145.

[3] Thomas Keating, Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer, disc 5 (Franciscan Media: 2002), CD.

Adapted from Richard Rohr: Essential Teachings on Love, eds. Joelle Chase and Judy Traeger (Orbis Books: 2018), 125-126.

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