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Debriefing #9 – Debriefing sharpens our spiritual sight

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting the author, Richard Rohr. His writing themes remind me a lot of Henri Nouwen’s themes: brokenness, centeredness, and prayer among them. I met him at the Ignatian Retreat Center near Atlanta. I wanted to talk to him about the idea I’ve had that the Wo…
By Seth Barnes

Yesterday I had the privilege of meeting the author, Richard
Rohr. His writing themes remind me a lot
of Henri Nouwen’s themes: brokenness, centeredness, and prayer among them. I met him at the Ignatian
Retreat Center
near Atlanta.

I wanted to talk to him about the idea I’ve had that the
World Race can be used to initiate young men and women into the hard things of
faith – things like abandon and dependence.

Rohr’s book, Everything Belongs, has been helping me to
understand why debriefing is so important.
I don’t think he even uses the term “debriefing,” but he makes the point
that “true seeing is the heart of spirituality today” and “most of us have to
be taught to see. Our mass cultural
trance is like scales on our eyes. We
see only with the material eye.”

Of course the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus describes as “our
Counselor,” is our primary debriefer, guiding us into all truth. All He needs is some undistracted space in our
schedule so that He can speak to us through others, through His still small
voice as we process what has happened, and through Scripture.

Rohr makes the following points about this process:

We need failure and quiet time to recognize patterns.

Too often we do not allow the events and experiences of life
to teach us the habit of grace.

We do not think ourselves into new ways of living; we live
ourselves into new ways of thinking.

In silence all our usual patterns assault us. Our patterns of control, addiction,
negativity. That’s why most people give up rather quickly. That’s why Jesus says go into the closet. That’s where we stop living out of other people’s response to us.

God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we
should not waste too much time protecting the boxes.

Next blog: Debriefs untangle lies from truth

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