Attitude of Gratitude: Day 20 — Richard Rohr

Today I am grateful for Richard Rohr.  Richard Rohr is a Franciscan Friar and a prolific author and preacher.  Rohr’s perspective on God, faith, justice and being human has been one of the most influential perspectives in my life.

I met Richard over 20 years ago.  I was a full time stay-at-home mom. I was still Roman Catholic. Some friends of mine were going to Staten Island for a retreat that Richard was leading and asked me to go along.  I have to be honest, I was way more interested in a few days away from parenting than the actual retreat!  So I agreed.  What happened over the next few days was nothing short of life changing for me.  Richard spoke about God and faith and being fully human in a way that spoke right to my heart.  Never had I ever heard anyone speak with such understanding about the experience of women in the church.  And never had I heard anyone express the unconditional love of God in such an accessible and profound way before.  Richard and I made an instant connection, and I suggested he meet Doug, my husband, who, at the time, was a director of Video Production for Paulist Press.  What developed was years of collaboration between Doug and Richard making videos of his amazing preaching.

I met Richard at a point in my life that St. John of the Cross would have referred to as “a dark night of the soul”.  My faith was in great turmoil and I was struggling with many doubts.  It was Richard Rohr who lit the path for me that guided my feet back to God. And it was Richard who opened my mind enough to explore the Episcopal Church.  For that I will be forever grateful.

Richard continues to be, for me,  one of the most authentic voices of faith in our present time.  He currently is having a great influence in my parish, St. Thomas Episcopal Church.  This year, our parish is reading Richard’s book “Breathing Under Water:  The Spirituality of the Twelve Steps.” We are studying the book each month, chapter by chapter.  The discussions have been amazing.

If you are searching, asking questions about God, about the meaning of life, about how to live as an authentic person,  I can’t recommend Richard Rohr highly enough.  If you are interested in learning more about Richard, click here . And click here for a list of Richard’s books.

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