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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann

“We gradually come to recognize that this thing we call “thinking” does not enable us to love God and love others. We need a different operating system, and it both begins with and leads to silence.”

Fr. Richard Rohr

"Thinking does not enable us to love God and Love others.”


This is a major kick in my operating system!

I need to back up a bit as I am still pondering the business of the New Year’s resolution, or my expression of an intention of being. I have directed some fairly deep thinking to this effort. I believed I had uncovered some interesting and challenging perspectives related to a change in operating system. I’ve been moving toward an intention of being rather than a statement of doing. I thought this was some inspiring insight.

NOW! Now Fr. Rohr tells me that thinking does not allow me to love God or love others! My operating system is now in shambles, I think.

I think?

I think!

Here are some thoughts regarding ‘intentions of being’.

I will be patient when things don’t go my way.

I will accept circumstances that are out of my control.

I will be courageous in the face of my fears of …..

I will be still for three breaths when I encounter a fear.

I will be still while you are speaking.

I will be grateful for the challenges of life.

I am sensing a difference in perspective between being and thinking. I cannot explain what is happening right now, other than an experience of internal challenge. How about you? We are a very insightful group of people. I invite your thoughts on this. I look forward to your insights.

A while back, Fr. Rohr stated that practicing acts of virtue brings us in to a state of virtue – I practice saying thank you and become grateful. I practice moments of stillness until I become still. I practice acts of love until I become loving. I practice acts of silence until I become silent.

This seems to be a process of transformation rather than a switch I can flip. I prefer the flipping of a switch that turns on a new operating system. This transformation stuff requires effort and energy. (I welcome an invention of the switch, though.)

I’ll admit to this reality, though: I know many gracious people. Yes, you say thank you, but there is an aura of gratitude that is palpable in many. Just like many have observed a sense of peace and safety at our Center. This sense is not something that any of us do. Rather, we are in a state of peace and safe being. Not much thought goes into that state of being. Yet, we bring our years of practice and we collectively create an atmosphere. How does this relate to the silence required to create our fullness of love?


I am sensing an aimless rambling right now. I’ll engage in an effort of silence and pondering (I believe this is another term for thinking) and wait to realize some sense of reason that spills out of this. Meantime, I look forward to your reflections as I do much better in concert with you than I do alone.

Let’s splash a bit of restful water on ourselves knowing our connection and need for each other.


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