Fr. Rohr, many years and tears ago introduced me to the word beloved and what meaning all it conveys. When you are the beloved you are loved without "condition, restriction, or reservation." (I have used that a great many times since I first heard them. It was an epiphany moment for me. I was brought up in the Pre-Vatican Two church where guilt, fear, and shame was used to frighten and control. I now refer to those insidious, spiritual defeating, death dealing words as "the toxic trinity". They are alive and well in each one of us and are revealed to us in the constant un-interrupted voice of "the itty bitty crappy committee" (That is a sanitized version). That committee is relentless and only prayer can give us peace. Years ago I was introduced to this spiritual bromide, "God I do not want to think like that anymore." This really works and is one of the many spiritual aides that get me through "the tough slog."
Then I was lucky to be given Henri Nouwen’s "The Return of The Prodigal Son." I have not been the same since. I have given this to so many over the years. In the latter years I have strongly suggested the following, do not start at the beginning or you will never get to the really good, consoling, life changing pages which begins on page 43. Then pages 453 to 458 are read slowly and reflectively for three to six months. Why so long? Our thinking and attitudes are NOT changed overnight. We do not think our way into a new way of acting, we act our way into a new way of thinking, that lesson I am still learning. There is so much to learn and so little time left for those teaching moments. I will get what I need not what I want. We are warned about spiritual lust. A great deceptive ego trip. Now, back to the book. One stops reading when one can claim the reality that yes! I am the beloved of my gracious, mercy-full, prodigal Mysterious Lover. The beloved both surrenders to love and gives love. Want more? There is another book by Nouwen "The Life of The Beloved," in which he lays out the challenging life of those chosen to be beloved. The way of the beloved is patterned after the mission and ministry of The Beloved, Who was chosen, blessed ,broken and given. Are we ready open to that call? Only grace can prepare and strengthen us for that particular call.