Written by Father Richard Rohr

Contemplation is the key to unlocking the attachments and addictions of the mind so that we can see clearly. I think some form of contemplative practice is necessary to be able to detach from your own agenda, your own anger, your own ego, and your own fear.

I find that most people operate not out of consciousness, but out of their level of practiced brain function, which relies on early-life conditioning and has little to do with Freedom or love.

We primarily operate from habituated patterns based on what Mom told me and showed me; what went wrong when I was young, and the defense mechanisms learned that helped me to be right and good, accepted and loved; to be first and famous, or whatever I may want to be.

All of that old, practiced and programmed thinking has to be recognized and accounted for, which is our work, which is the practice of life. LIFE AS PRACTICE.

Without contemplation, or as Ignatius speaks of Examin of Conscious; you don’t see clearly. We need to be SELF HONEST-----Honest with ourselves.

James Hollis tells us: “In the first half of life everything is about you, and you just keep seeing everything from your early conditioned view; your own agenda, anger, and wounds.”

That which we do not want to claim runs our life, our relationships. This work that we are engaged in empties us, empties the lies, the conditioning that we have been dragging around.

Dying to the self and taking on the likeness.

Our first half of life is about our humanness the second half is more about our divinity.

We can only share that which lives within ourselves. We can only give from which is stored in the cupboard.

As I can allow myself to be broken in the places I was attempting to hold so tightly together, I am emptied of those things As I am humbled by seeing that which lives within me and allow myself the vulnerability and humility to look at the defenses I created to defend against my own pain, I am more human, more able to be with you in your humanness without judgment because I remember, I know what is to feel shame desire to or whatever. I no longer judge myself and therefore have no reason to judge you, I understand and in our brokenness we can be distributed as the broken bread for one another. We are not competing but together we join in the work of building each other up.

There is nothing that each one of us has not felt that the other has not also and yet we feel scared, ashamed and afraid like we are the only ones. What a lie, what an illusion. We are one in our humanity.

This work, this journey is so beautifully humbling: It is continual humiliation, realizing, “Oh my God, I did it again. I still miss the mark; I still have a ways to go till I remember how to Love!!!!

We need some form of contemplation; we are all here because we are committed to a practice that touches our unconscious conditioning, where our wounds lie, where all of our defense mechanisms are operative secretly.

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