At the end of 2005 my spiritual director said to me, ”I want you to consider going to see Fr. Richard Rohr when he speaks at Holy Family in Inverness.” Now I had heard of Fr. Rohr and I think I may even have read something of him, but I really couldn’t remember what it was. I think I liked it. But if my spiritual director said go and do something I trusted her and was confident that it was the right thing to do.
My spiritual director and I had covered many ideas and drilled into my thoughts and beliefs on God and His presence in my life. It helped me to better understand, what I was in my own way trying to define and recognize in my life. I was really asking questions one has in the second half of life. I was beginning to realize the God of my first half of life wasn’t holding up very well anymore. I was experiencing an internal urging to look closer for God.
On the day Fr. Richard was speaking my wife and I went to hear what he had to say. We were both open minded and very willing to listen to what Fr. Richard had to say. In fact I think it was safe to say we’re looking to hear the answer. I confess I don’t remember exactly what he was talking about. It sounded good and I wanted to hear more. However, after lunch the guys went to the breakout room and the wives got to hear more from Fr. Richard. I WANTED TO HEAR MORE OF FR. RICHARD. Instead I had to go to the breakout room and listen to the up-sell. Oh, well might as well get it over with. At least the guys could go back for the closing session.
Back at the breakout session we started slow. The table I was assigned to was missing about half of the guys. They went home after lunch? Not the start one would have expected. I felt a little bad for the table captain. As he talked I found myself being drawn into the call. When we finished the breakout I was ready to sign up for this thing called the MROP.
As I settled into Ghost Ranch and waited to get started I couldn’t help think about the last 5 months since I last heard Fr. Richard. I had done all of my homework. Read everything that we were supposed to do. I surely would have gotten an A+ for my work. I was ready to tackle the next assignment. Looking at that moment now over 10 years later I now know how naïve I was. My MROP was an awakening to the world around me.
What I was looking for in the distance was here in me. In the time since my MROP I have learned to go into myself and journey to the edges when I do. I continue to look deeper and explore with the writings from Fr. Richard. My centering journey continues to open new insights and understandings.
I am thankful for following the journey that started at my MROP. It is worth the time and effort. For me it has been a great ride and I look forward to many years of journeying deeper.