The Art of Detachment

Richard Rohr encourages us to develop a spiritual practice to get out of the way & practice the presence of God. Centering Prayer is such a practice. Contact Jamie Massa if you would like to learn more about Centering Prayer. We are expanding the times of centering prayer groups to include more parishioners.

Richard Rohr calls for contemplative prayer to teach us the “art of detachment.” He stresses that in such prayer we don’t deny our feelings, but simply let go of their ultimacy:  

We need forms of prayer that free us from fixating on our own conscious thoughts and feelings and from identifying with them, as if we are our thinking. Who are we before we have our thoughts and feelings? That is our naked being. We have to learn to be spiritually empty, or, as Jesus says in his first beatitude, “How blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3). If we are filled with ourselves, there is no room for another, and certainly not for God. We need contemplative prayer, in which we simply let go of our constantly changing ego needs, so Something Eternal can take over.  

God is already present. God’s Spirit is dwelling within us. We cannot search for what we already have. We cannot talk God into coming “to” us by longer and more urgent prayers. All we can do is become quieter, smaller, and less filled with our own self and our constant flurry of ideas and feelings. Then God will be obvious in the very now of things, and in the simplicity of things. To sum it all up, we can never get there, we can only be there. [3] 

 [1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016), 230–231. 

[2] Adapted from Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis (Boulder, CO: Sounds True, 2010). Available as CD. 

[3] Rohr, A Spring within Us, 231.  

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