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April 22, 2018: Falling Upward

By Margaret Scott

Recently an intrepid band of inward travelers met in the All Souls conference room to discuss Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. The book, by a Roman Catholic priest who’s a well-known author and speaker on spiritual topics, is about life’s two halves: the first dedicated to building ego and identity in the world, and the second to tearing it down and knowing God. We were a group of about 20, mostly parishioners but a few from elsewhere. We comprised those just entering the second half of life and those entering their “fourth quarter,” as one of us put it. Our guests included a lovely woman who had lived in an ashram for 10 years and my beautiful sister Lucy, who is a devout Catholic.

The discussion was ably moderated by Lesley Krauland, our deacon intern. As a veteran of countless discussion groups, I was impressed with her skill at contributing without dominating the narrative. We are individuals seeking a deeper and truer awareness of the Divine, and we are all headed there in different ways with different stories. Yet I had the distinct impression that something in each story was illuminating in its own way. I got the sense that we are a group of fellow travelers come together to help ourselves and each other. The inward journey is difficult. In a way we’re each traveling blind. We need all the help we can get.

I’ve been coming to All Souls for many years, but have never been active in the church beyond attending services every Sunday. I’ve also been exploring the mystery of God in a very solitary fashion, forging my own rocky path. But I was intrigued when I heard about this group. Was it possible that others in the parish were also on the same lonely pilgrimage? Father Jadon has spoken often from the pulpit about “going deeper.” But was All Souls really doing anything to facilitate that process? When I saw this class had been organized I felt hopeful my journey might not have to be so solitary all the time. And I love Richard Rohr!

I urge anyone who is ready to undertake this quest for the “peace that passeth all understanding” to join us.  (And isn’t everyone?) My secret hope is that this group can become an ongoing part of All Souls. Perhaps we could read more Richard Rohr, or study great Christian mystics such as Julian of Norwich. I hope to see you at our next meeting, Wednesday, April 25 at 10:30 a.m.

Last Published: April 19, 2018 1:02 PM
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