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Fr. Richard Rohr

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 author of numerous books, including Everything Belongs, Adam’s Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, and Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self.

CAC is home to the Rohr Institute where 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 Rohr Institute 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.

Entries by Fr. Richard Rohr


(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2015 | 2:18 PM

The Latin root of the word innocent means "not wounded" (not harmed, corrupted, or hurt). There is a certain calm clarity, an openness of heart that comes from not having been wounded, especially early in life. This can allow one to see without the cynical filters of mistrust, fear, anger,...

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(19) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 6:21 PM

Faith provides evidence for things not seen. -- Hebrews 11:1

This somewhat popular quote from the Letter to the Hebrews begins a long and poetic chapter describing the wonders of faith, and how it operates in unique ways from Abel all the way to Jesus. The author describes people of...

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(9) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 2:18 PM

The law was given to multiply our opportunities for falling. -- St. Paul to the Romans (5:20)

After this surely-shocking Scripture, I begin these remarks on transgression with a poem from my favorite metaphysical poet, George Herbert, Welsh-born Anglican priest and mystic of the 17th century. In "Easter Wings," as...

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(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 5:18 PM

The life and death of a human being is so exquisitely calibrated as to automatically produce union with Spirit.

--Kathleen Dowling Singh

I want to talk about notions of maturity, eldership, staging, sequencing, growth and direction or, what I will call, ripening. Where is this thing we call...

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Getting Back to Our First Nature: Why the Mind Is the Key

(6) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 2:34 PM

When the importance of some form of meditation is pointed out to us, we often think we are being told about an esoteric, high-level, Buddhist practice, something largely unnecessary for ordinary folks. We imagine that meditation is an add-on for the elite and the few; and largely pursued by those...

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God's Longest Speech

(37) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 4:55 PM

The longest single soliloquy attributed to God in the Bible is at the end of the Book of Job (Chapters 38-41), where Yahweh asserts his mystery and magnificence to the glib and falsely-assured advisers to Job. It is not just the length and the poetry of Yahweh's words that strike...

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How Does One Both Relax and Resist at the Same Time?

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 12:59 PM

This is really the core question of contemplation and action. We must relax into the moment as it offers itself in all its fullness, connecting past moments with this moment, and also the future moment that it invites us toward. This seems to have been St. Augustine's very notion of...

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Why We Need to Say 'Lord, Have Mercy!'

(10) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 7:32 PM

Is it any accident that the official liturgy begins with Kyrie, Eleison? It is the most common Christian short prayer, which is some form of "Have mercy on me!" In time, I have come to see how important this prayer is. It is at the heart of the classic Jesus...

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Undefended Knowing: A Conversation With Richard Rohr and Tilden Edwards

(28) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 5:34 PM

Two seminal teachers of the Christian contemplative movement -- Father Richard Rohr and Tilden Edwards -- joined Carole Crumley in conversation at The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation earlier this year to reflect on their spiritual awakening and parallel paths in the Christian contemplative tradition.

Father Rohr, founding...

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The Jesus Hermeneutic

(96) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 7:07 PM

By What Authority? (Luke20:2)

This might seem like a short but heavy introduction to a book of meditations, but I want to be clear from the beginning about where I get the authority and confidence to talk the way I do. I do not want you to think the meditations...

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Fly Specs on a Big Windowpane

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 3:18 PM

"The big issue is how do you heal a world which sees net worth and the gathering of creature comforts and powers and possessions as the norm of happiness? How do you get a world like that to say, 'That fellow with a black face, that gay over there, that...

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Reflections on a New Face

(65) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 3:32 PM

As a Franciscan, I was, of course, elated that one of the the first decisions of the new pope was to take a name that has not been taken by a pope before -- "Francisco" -- which in itself says an awful lot. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) is...

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The Prayer of Quiet (VIDEO)

(80) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 12:27 PM

I am increasingly convinced that some notion of a "prayer beyond words" is the deepest meaning of prayer, and why Paul tells us that we can pray "always" (1 Thessalonians 5:18 and Ephesians 5:20). Whatever we do, in conscious loving union with God and "what is," is prayer -- and...

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Keeping Our Hearts Open in Hell

(17) Comments | Posted December 20, 2012 | 2:49 PM

Adapted from Fr. Richard Rohr's homily, "Keeping Our Hearts Open In Hell," delivered on the third Sunday of Advent, Dec. 16, 2012. Copyright © Richard Rohr 2012. To listen to Fr. Richard's homilies please visit the Center for Action and Contemplation.

The first reading for...

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Preparing for Christmas

(5) Comments | Posted December 6, 2012 | 10:58 AM

"Advent is not about a sentimental waiting for the Baby Jesus."

Some years ago I gave a conference on "Preparing for Christmas" that St. Anthony Messenger Press (now Franciscan Media) was kind enough to publish in recorded form. It has continued to sell well for many years, and so they...

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Gender, God and Spirituality

(1) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 12:00 PM

What we are searching for in any authentic male or female spirituality is the good and healthy meaning of maleness or femaleness, each being one half of that mystery of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Is there any essential or cross-cultural nature to the one half of the image of God that...

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Lent Is About Transformation

(24) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 12:00 PM

Please join the HuffPost community in "A Lenten Journey" for reflections throughout Lent, and join our online Lenten community here.

Did you ever notice that Jesus does not tend to give what we would call "inspiring" or "motivational" talks? He is not a football coach, nor...

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Contemplation: Finding Ourselves, Finding God

(71) Comments | Posted October 30, 2011 | 8:29 AM

When 'happiness' eludes us -- as, eventually, it always will -- we have the invitation to examine our programmed responses and to exercise our power to choose again. Through exaggeration, confusion, and distortion, we have allowed our politics, our church and our families to fall out of emotional balance. We...

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Religion And Immigration: We Have Not Yet Begun To Love

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2011 | 1:44 PM

If our love of God does not directly influence, and even change, how we engage in the issues of our time on this earth, I wonder what good religion is. "God talk" becomes an opaque screen in which we see only reflections of ourselves -- instead of any kind of...

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Nature and the Soul

(263) Comments | Posted August 7, 2011 | 8:00 AM

"Just pay attention, and then patch a few words together, and don't try to make them elaborate. This isn't a contest but the doorway into thanks, and a silence in which another voice may speak." --"Praying" by Mary Oliver

We looked too long for God and truth through words alone....

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