Eliza Griswold’s New Yorker article, cited yesterday, captures Richard Rohr’s significance for our time. I’m sure he winced, or chuckled, at the title, “Richard Rohr Reorders the Universe.” Rohr said Thomas Merton “pulled back the curtain” so people in our time could rediscover the contemplative tradition. Rohr might say he simply has tried to “pull back the curtain” so we could rediscover a universal, cosmic Reality.
The Universal Christ, (2019) coalesces all of Rohr’s “big thoughts.” The sub-title is instructive: “How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For and Believe.” He echoes an old idea from the Gospel of John: “In the beginning (of Creation) was the Word … (that) became flesh (in Jesus).” Rohr says this spiritual reality (the Universal, or Cosmic Christ) is pre-existent and eternal, always here and everywhere..
From Griswold’s third paragraph: ...God’s love for the world has existed since the beginning of time, suffuses everything in creation, and has been present in all cultures and civilizations. Jesus is an incarnation of that spirit, and following him is our “best shortcut” to accessing it. But this spirit can also be found through the practices of other religions…. Rohr, like Merton, is part of a spiritual communion broader than Christianity.