The Divine Dance
Richard Rohr and Mike Morrell
The Divine Dance, Richard Rohr’s collaboration with Mike Morrell, is a guided tour into a deeper and more descriptive understanding of the Mystery Christians call Trinity. Rohr’s method, typical of his devotional writing, is personal, mirroring his own search for spiritual depth and meaning. As every good teacher, he offers an image to which we can try to connect that complex theological conception. He wrote,
Isn’t it telling, and more than understanding, that the basic building block of our entire physical universe is what we call the atom? And the atom is most simply understood as the orbiting structure of three particles—proton, electron, and neutron—in constant interplay with one another (p. 70).
Supporting this analogy with comparable perspectives from science and theology, Rohr helps us come to terms with the way creation itself displays the kind of relational being that is the Trinity*. He argues that the necessary diagrams that bring comprehension also tend to diminish what he calls “the space between them*” (p. 91). His focus in Divine Dance is almost entirely on the relationship among the Three. He believes this relationship is key to our understanding their oneness, as well as their function expressed in three ways on our behalf: Creator, Word, Energy. Rohr’s delight in this definitive theological perspective, touches down on a celebration that is an almost universal point of agreement among Christians—the birth of Christ. “Big truth,” he says, “must be presented on small stages for humans to get the point … The baby in the crib already proclaims, I like you. I want to be one with you” (p. 175).
The Rohr/Morrell collaboration in Divine Dance concludes with a constructive Appendix titled “Experiencing the Trinity: Seven Practices.” These practices are not theoretical, mental exercises. They are intentional steps aimed at drawing the user into the rigors of experience. From the outset, your own resistance to looking inward by means of these practices is re-formed gently by the instructions that draw you into a unique awareness that it is for love that you are created. Living fully and completely in that relationship is the ultimate ecstasy, participating as a created one in the Divine Dance.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Pray Like A Gourmet
Books about prayer have a special intrigue about them. They often suggest the possibilities for success similar to what you would find in the do-it-yourself genre. In the most recent of these “how-to’s” on prayer that I’ve read, “how do you need to pray” takes on the character of exploration. Written by David Brazzeal and hovering under the tempting title, Pray Like a Gourmet, this work calls out to the imagination with a promise that offers satisfaction enough to fill the space for which it was designed, i.e. a beneficial life of prayer. In this text, though, the active word was promise—a noble and practical ideal that seemed to fall apart almost immediately. The opening text did little to help us fully capture the comparison between praying and feasting on the kind of edible fare one imagines is the specialty of a gourmet. Without adequate saturation in the unique skill of the gourmet, the concept of praying like one was lost.
In spite of that critical shortcoming, I appreciated the variety of ways Brazzeal suggested we approach not just the single act of praying, but developing a prayer practice that could bend and flow with my changing needs as an individual pray-er. I was particularly challenged by his cautionary view: “We fall prey to the default mode of our culture, fast and efficient” (p. 8). I took time to note that it is the “default” that causes us to think we “don’t have time” to pray. Conversation with God (a.k.a. prayer ) is an essential to the knowing that we want to experience with God. I recommend the book for its simplicity and its product. Maybe gourmet prayer is more than most of us are ready for just now anyway.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.
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