Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The history of almost every religion begins with one massive misperception; it begins by making a fatal distinction between the sacred and the profane. Low-level religions put all their emphasis on creating sacred places, sacred time, and sacred actions. While I fully appreciate the need for this, it unfortunately leaves the majority of life "un-sacred." I remember reading about an Irish missionary's attempt to teach the Masai people about the Catholic Sacraments. The missionary said that a sacrament is a physical encounter or event in which you experience Grace or the Holy. The people were then confused and disappointed when they were told there were only seven such moments (and all of these just happened to revolve around a priest). One Masai elder raised his hand and said, "We would have thought, Father, there would be at least seven thousand such moments, not just seven."
Richard Rohr, Blog, 2/17/16
where is that place
where sacred and profane meet?
where sacred shines through,
a glimmering, glistening momentary
flash of holiness?
is it, as the priests of Israel insisted,
on Mount Zion, in that place behind the veil?
is in the cathedral
or country church,
where prayers are spoken
and left unspoken,
or in the chalice upheld,
“behold the cup!”
is it where mountains thrust boldly into azure blue,
or where sky and land meet at the rising
or the setting of the sun?
is it in the journey of the stars across the sky?
or is that place
where heaven and earth collide
in the grasp of a baby’s hand,
or in the smile of a child?
is it in the caress of a lover?
or perhaps, in the drop of a quarter
into the cup of a homeless man?
is the sacred to be found in the silence which lies thickly between friends
or is it in the choice
not to rush madly down the path of distrust and hate?