Sunday, March 20, 2011

see if this doesn't twist your mind around a bit

“Do not covet your neighbor’s goods” (Exodus 20:17) is almost impossible for the world to see as a problem. We call it the 10th commandment, but none of us take it seriously, even those who want to make it a monument on the courthouse lawn. I have never in 40-some years as a confessor, heard a single Catholic confess a sin against the 10th commandment. It’s almost impossible for us to see this as a moral issue, liberal or conservative, because it is called capitalism, and is the very air we breathe, and the shape of our entire world.

Now you see why the one thing that drove Jesus to violence was when “buying and selling” (Matthew 21:12) took over the temple space! He knows it’s the end of any real depth or spiritual understanding when everything becomes production and consumption of commodities. He knows that the Great Temple, true holiness, has indeed been destroyed, and we will no longer be able to enjoy reality at the transforming level of divine Spirit or human soul.

Dramatic and exciting church reforms are merely rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as long as our basic world view is still largely about “buying and selling.” We will make divine grace and mercy themselves into a matter of earning, losing, achieving, punishing, and meriting. The Gospel will be completely dead and gone, while we clergy will continue to discuss new translations of liturgical texts and the laity will argue about who is saved or not saved. Such a Titanic lie deserves to go under.

Richard Rohr

I have been truly enjoying reading Richard's daily meditations. I hope those of you who also get them are not bored with my reposts. I find re-reading them to be useful.

Wow. A new view of capitalism! I don't think capitalism is evil. Nor do I think it is a sin. However, when we take capitalism to heart, it becomes license for greed in many people. Therein lies the problem.

Really, doesn't scripture (no matter what religion you are) teach us to take care of each other? We are God's (who or whatever that is to you) hands on earth.

I wish I had more to share.

Happy Spring!


Tom Wilson said...

Thank you. This one is a keeper.

I am struck by some of the new rich and how badly they stack up against even such egregious monopolists as J.D. Rockefeller, who at least believed in full-on 10% tithing, and Andrew Carnegie's "The man who dies rich dies disgraced."

Deb Shucka said...

I often save his posts to reread, and I enjoy seeing the ones that speak strongly to you.

Happy Spring right back at you!

Susan O'Neil said...

In total agreement! How do you get these posts? I'd like to sign up too!

Kathryn Grace said...

Happy spring to you too! This leapt out at me:

"He knows that the Great Temple, true holiness, has indeed been destroyed, and we will no longer be able to enjoy reality at the transforming level of divine Spirit or human soul."

It leapt in part because the image of Jesus beating the money changers with a switch has been popping into my head repeatedly in the last several weeks--The dichotomy of the Prince of Peace angered to violence, the numbers of people who take his name today while evincing the worst of greed and hatred toward others.

But also because I have been despondent, given the ever-increasing examples of rampant greed, that we might make the transformative shift to living the Divine in our moment-to-moment daily lives.

Yet here you are, writing and sharing these words. Here are so many of your friends, treasuring these same concepts. Elsewhere are so many more. No matter how dark the days, always here and there is hope and a touch of the Divine.

The more we experience the Divine in ourselves and one another, the more we may discover it in the most unlikely of places, don't you think?