Friday, March 14, 2014

Mercifull Francis

Flowers from another year that might urge Mother Nature towards Springtime.
I wonder if what most people find attractive about our Holy Father Francis is that he thinks and acts like someone in the "2nd half of life." 
A few years ago our support group for our annual retreat used Richard Rohr's thought provoking book Falling Upwards: a Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life.  He quotes Carl Jung: "What is a normal goal for a young person becomes a neurotic hindrance in old age."  Rohr shows how people in the "2nd half of life" are able to let go of attitudes and behaviors that have become hindrances and develop new ways of thinking  and acting that are more appropriate for older persons.
God is no longer clear and definite.  God is Mystery but more intimate.
Boundaries are no longer clear and definite.  Our concern is not who must be excluded from our group, our church, but how  we can include as many kinds of people as possible.  We stress likenesses rather than differences.
Our attitude toward law changes.  Rohr says, "Law is still necessary, of course, but it is not your guiding star, or even close.  It has been wrong and cruel too many times." We become, therefore, much more understanding and forgiving.
This extremely simplified description of Rohr's "2nd half of life" person sounds like our Holy Father Francis whose most distinguishing virtue, I think, is mercy.

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