Richard Rohr was selected as one of a small group of world renowned experts on contemplative practice and compassion” to speak at the Sacred Silence: Pathway to Compassion” event in Louisville, Ky., in mid-May 2013, that featured His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Franciscan friar served as the principle Christian presence—others represented Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—to speak on the search for God in contemplation, which leads to action that benefits humanity. His role as the founding director of the Center for Action and Contemplation made him a fitting and powerful speaker on the subject.
In Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation, Rohr focuses on finding God in the depths of silence, and shares that the divine silence is more than the absence of noise. That silence has a life of its own, in which we are invited into its living presence, wholeness of being, and peace it brings. This silence can absorb paradoxes, contradictions, and the challenges of life, he says, connecting us with the great chain of being. Rohr adds that while different faiths use different languages and different words, all major religions have come at the mystery of God as a dynamic flow—God as communion, God as relationships. Silence then becomes that common place for all.
This book will inspire you and show that the peace of contemplation is not something just for monks, mystics, and those divorced from the worries of the world, but rather for all people who can quiet their own mind to listen in the silence.
Richard Rohr OFM (born in 1943 in Kansas) is a Franciscan priest ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1970. He is an internationally known inspirational speaker known for his recorded talks and numerous books. Rohr was the founder of the New Jerusalem Community in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1971 and the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1986 where he currently serves as Founding Director.Scripture as liberation, the integration of action and contemplation, community building, peace and social justice issues, male spirituality, the Enneagram and eco-spirituality are amongst the many themes that he addresses in his writing and preaching. He is best known for his writings on spirituality and his audio and video recordings. One of his most popular recordings is The NEW Great Themes of Scripture.Rohr is a contributing editor and writer for Sojourners Magazine and a contributor to Tikkun Magazine. He was one of several spiritual leaders featured in the 2006 documentary film ONE: The Movie.
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.
- Foreword Reviews