Stumbling over the stumbling stone

If you have never stumbled and fallen - even to a face plant - lucky you!

But most of us have stumbled and fallen - splat!  So - recall one of those times and reflect on:

How were you before stumbling?

What went through you mind at the point of the trip/stumble?

-------------------------------------as you were "flying"?

How did you feel when you finally came to rest?

Rohr's use of "stumbling" is a key element of the necessary loss of control forced upon us to begin spiritual change.  We will discuss this chapter on Sunday. - Phil

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The tragic sense of life

Scott and I are extremely grateful to you all for the level of open sharing from the group in our life graphs.  Therein starts healing if needed.  Please remember to honor the community of trust and sharing that is forming by following the "Vegas" rule. 

Consider this chapter 4 quote: "Everytime God forgives us, God is saying that God's own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us."

    What does that tell you about God?

    If God treats everyone (including you) this way, what thoughts does that generate about how you should treat others?         Yourself?

Sometimes we seem to focus on the "rules" and holding others and ourselves to perfection.  In Matt 5:48 Jesus talks about being "perfect" as your heavenly father is "perfect" - the Greek word used here - teleios - does not mean without mistakes or flawless but COMPLETE, full grown - having gone through the necessary stages to reach one's aim - kind of like the old pirate's telescope extending one stage at a time to full magnification or capacity.  Jesus makes this statement in the context of loving your enemies in the Sermon on the Mount - God loves the righteous, unrighteous, and enemies.

In examining the "contents" of your life, what are some heavy things that you could leave behind as you enter the second half of life?

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The graph of our lives

The graph of our lives

I hope your journey through “Falling Upwards” is rewarding.  This Sunday is sort of “open mic” Sunday – we have been working through the reflections to get to the point of being able to chart the graph of our lives.  Please do this reflection and bring it to class to individually present/discuss – try not to go more than 5 minutes presenting to give everyone a chance and there will be more time spent discussing.

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I hope your use of the reflection is going well.  The last collection really shows we have a very diverse group that should bring a lot of perspective to our discussions

Along the lines of question 2 in the reflection:

Page 1 in Chapter 1 in the book talks about the first half of life trying to find the answers to the first  essential questions:

  • What makes me significant?
  • How can I support myself?
  • Who will go with me?


Think about: (1) where you grew up, (2) the presence or absence of religion, (3) your real job(s). How do you think these areas have influenced the answers to those first essential questions?

A little deep, I know,  but you can reply all or just to me and I will compile the responses.  

-- Phil

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Introduction, Part Deux

Below are two links to synopses of Homer’s "The Odyssey” as a refresher (or as introduction):

1. From eNotes:

2. From Sparknotes:

In preparing for last week's class, I discovered that Richard Rohr did an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a full-length video of the entire video. It has been edited into segments by Oprah’s network. The link below is the one on “The telltale sign you’re not being your true self” which is probably the most germane to tomorrow’s class. The other segments should pop up in the "popular videos” section on the right side of the video player. There are quite a few ads, but there’s some good stuff here:

If anyone finds a link to the full-length video, please share it with the class.

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Reflections on Introduction and Chapter 1

I hope your reflections on your life story are going well.  If you read further in the handout you will reflect on your life in the present (#3) – but the first reflection is mostly about your past –growing up and into adulthood.  Rohr reflects on his life story at some point in our readings.

Any difficulties in your reflections?

Group Collection: 

  • Where were people born ?  Grew Up?  - state/country   rural/suburb/cityetc
  • Was going to church important growing up?
  • What was your first job?  First REAL job?
  • Where have you lived?


You can send to me or share with the group but I will compile – collects our various vantage points based on our life experiences.

-- Phil

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