Need ‘Radical Resilience’ in 2024?

Jan 3, 2024 | 0 comments

In 2024 Richard Rohr’s ‘Centre for Action and Contemplation‘ will be teaching ‘radical resilience’ through contemplation.

Here Brian McLaren introduces the theme:

I’ve been invited to share with you all what our theme for 2024 will be: Radical Resilience. Each of those words is important. The word “radical” means going to the root, going to the depths, going beneath the surface.… In fact, that’s what contemplation really is: it’s paying deep attention to the deep dimensions of life. So, radical resilience means radical, deep attention to the deepest roots of resilience.

“Resilience is the capacity to withstand and recover from hardship or difficulty. It has to do with the ability to spring back into shape after you’ve been beaten down or knocked over or bent over.

“I live in Florida, famous for hurricanes, and I’m a lover of trees. Many of our trees in Florida survive hurricanes by being flexible. They’re able to bend an amazing amount and spring back into shape. One of my favorite trees has a slightly different strategy. It’s called the “gumbo-limbo” tree, and the way it survives a hurricane is that when the wind starts to blow, it just lets branches break off. It knows that if you can keep the trunk solid and stable, and you don’t get overturned by the wind, you can bounce back after the storm. And that’s what the gumbo-limbo tree does. It travels light through the storm. It lets go of everything that’s not essential to focus on for life.”

Brian connects Radical Resilience to the work of the prophets:

“Prophets are insiders who love a community enough to critique it in love. They don’t simply defend the community they love. They love it way too much for that. But neither do they attack it from the outside mercilessly and seize upon every imperfection to shame it and hurt it. As Richard Rohr often says, they critique with love from the edge of the inside.…

“If we’re going to help people take wise action and imagine a better future amid coming troubles, then we will have to help people find that better future within themselves, so they can live that better future out into the world. And that’s what we hope to do together in 2024. We know that we are in hard and dangerous times. We, as a global civilization, are living destructively with our planet. We are living dangerously and divisively with one another. And we’re living often delusionally within ourselves. This year, we are going to seek to explore together radical resilience so we can become thermostats rather than thermometers in our world, setting the temperature, setting an example of contemplative depth and wisdom and love and peace—rather than just sinking into the fury and fear and denial and despair of so many of our times. Welcome, brothers and sisters, to a year of Radical Resilience.”

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.


"Come Holy Spirit, Renew Your wonders in this our day, as by a new Pentecost. Grant to Your Church that, being of one mind and steadfast in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and following the lead of blessed Peter, it may advance the reign of our Divine Saviour, the reign of truth and justice, the reign of love and peace. Amen."

Saint Pope John XXIII, 1962 - In preparation for Vatican Council II, 1962-65.

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