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Silent Compassion [Audio]
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Fr. Richard Rohr is a globally recognized ecumenical teacher bearing witness to the universal awakening within Christian mysticism and the Perennial Tradition. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard's teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy--practices of contemplation and lived kenosis (self-emptying), expressing itself in radical compassion, particularly for the socially marginalized. Fr. Richard is the author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam's Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. Fr. Richard is academic Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation. Drawing upon Christianity's place within the Perennial Tradition, the mission of the Living School is to produce compassionate and powerfully learned individuals who will work for positive change in the world based on awareness of our common union with God and all beings. Visit cac.org for more information.

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By entering into the silence that is common to all, we encounter the source beyond all stories, and come forth with greater compassion, enhanced abilities for non-dual thought, patience, and unshakable hope. We come to know that none of the models put forth in a culture's myths, including our own, are truth. That being the case, why should we argue? This silence, writes Richard Rohr, can "absorb paradoxes, contradictions and the challenges of life." In it, we meet God and experience the indwelling presence for ourselves.

Rohr is a Franciscan priest, teacher, noted author, and founder and director of the Center for Action and Contemplation, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He writes that "any systematic teaching of contemplation has been lost to the Western churches for most of five centuries...Even Catholic contemplative religious orders stopped teaching it to their own members, which was quite a loss indeed." The result has been discord and division among Christians.

Rohr declares that "the Sunday service alone seldom leads people on deeper or even real journeys." Yet, we are told to keep coming back---that if we do, we'll eventually "get it." But we don't, because those in charge haven't "got it" either. What is needed today, according to Rohr, are "living models" of the contemplative mind. "Whenever you see a movement into solitude or hermitage or quiet or any kind of aloneness, you know you have non-dual contemplative consciousness emerging," he writes.

Rohr's book gives an honest, and sometimes surprising, look at the richness of an inner life nourished by compassionate silence.--Foresight magazine

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