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“Talking the Walk”
A Series Based on Fr. Richard Rohr’s
Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi
Unity of Riverside - January - March 2015
Presented by Rev. Steve Maynard
Francis of Assisi is one of the great spiritual figures of all time. Operating at the fringe of Christianity (back in the days when there were basically only two “denominations” -- Western Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox), Francis was “unorthodox” in terms of both. He practiced and expressed his faith by living it -- as opposed to “preaching” it.
In many ways, he was to his time as the Dalai Lama is to ours. Just as the Dalai Lama says, “My faith is loving-kindness,” St. Francis would affirm the idea by caring for the poor and revering all of nature. He literally walked his ministry -- barefoot at that!
For the next few weeks, I’ll be “Talking the Walk” as we explore Franciscan Father Richard Rohr’s marvelous book Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi. As Richard explains in his introduction, this is not a biographical recap of Francis’ life and ministry. Rather, it is an exploration of what St. Francis’ “teachings” can mean to us today as contemporary spiritual seekers.
For my part, rather than present this in quasi-book study format, I’ll be covering some of the key ideas contained in the book in random -- always reinterpreting them in the context of 21st Century Spirituality. At the moment, the plan to do this consists of seven lessons -- but let’s stay open to Spirit’s guidance without limiting ourselves to a particular number or order (watch this space for updates and introductions to each week’s topic).
For the moment, here’s the plan:
January 18th - “The Medium Is the Message - God’s Eager Love”
January 25th - “An Alternative Orthodoxy - Three Franciscan Degrees of Freedom”
February 1st - “God in All Things - Practicing Practical Pantheism”
February 8th - “Dealing With Duality - Every Hand’s A Winner”
February 15th - “Great Adventures With Bonaventure - The Truth of Coming, Being, and Going”
February 22nd - “Christ Mystery as Plan A - Distilled Scotch Spirituality (or “Inspirited Matters”)
March 1st - “Contemplating Spirituality - Franciscan Inspirations for 21st Century Living
While I’m not likely to don a brown Franciscan robe for this series, I’m thinking about doing it shoeless....you may consider something similar. However it may unfold, let’s hold that it is Spiritually Meaningful, Inspirational, Relevant, and Fun -- there’s nothing like “S.M.I.R.F.” consciousness to take us higher! See you in the Celebration Place!