EATING YOUR TRUE SELF – Richard Rohr


Jesus says, “If you eat this bread, you will live forever” (John 6:51). It is so interesting that he chooses something with taste, flavor, and nutrition as the symbol of how life is transferred, rather than intellectual cognition. If you live by the momentary identity that others give you, that’s what dies when you die, and you’re left with nothing. Your relative identity passes away, but it is like the painful erasing of an unwanted tattoo. When Jesus says he’s giving himself to you as the bread of life, he’s saying, as it were, “Find yourself in me and this will not pass or change or die. Eat this food as your primary nutrition and you are indestructible.” This is your absolute and indestructible identity.
You slowly learn how to live in what Thomas Merton would call the True Self-who you are and always have been, in God. Who you are in God is who you forever are. In fact, that’s all you are, and it is more than enough. Everything else is passing away. Reputations, titles, possessions, and roles do not determine your identity. When I hand out the Eucharistic bread, I love to say to the assembly, “You become what you eat. Come and eat who you are-forever!” You access Great Truth by absorption and digestion, almost never by analysis or argumentation.


+Adapted from Eucharist as Touchstone (Recording).

When in the soul of the serene disciple – Thomas Merton

When in the soul of the serene disciple
With no more Fathers to imitate
Poverty is a success,
It is a small thing to say the roof is gone:
He has not even a house.
 
Stars, as well as friends,
Are angry with the noble ruin.
Saints depart in several directions.
 
Be still:
There is no longer any need of comment.
It was a lucky wind
That blew away his halo with his cares,
A lucky sea that drowned his reputation.
 
Here you will find
Neither a proverb nor a memorandum.
There are no ways,
No methods to admire
Where poverty is no achievement.
His God lives in his emptiness like an affliction.
 
What choice remains?
Well, to be ordinary is not a choice:
It is the usual freedom
Of men without visions.