Okay, yesterday’s hour-long Oprah TV interview with famed Catholic priest and writer the Rev. Richard Rohr was predictably “new age-y.” Still, there were a few gems from Rohr.
During “Super Soul Sunday” on her Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Winfrey asked Rohr if he senses a yearning of souls in this world “for something more.”
“Aren’t we born with this yearning?” she asked.
Rohr replied with a story about a little boy, aged 3 or 4. When his parents came home from the hospital with his newborn brother, he told them he wanted to talk to the newborn — alone. So his parents shut the door and listened in as the preschooler said to the days-old child, “Quick, tell me who made you. Tell me where you came from. I’m beginning to forget.”
Winfrey also asked about the difference between being religious and “spiritual.”
“Religion is one of the safest places to hide from God,” Rohr said, if one obsesses over rules and rituals and who’s right and who’s wrong. When you move to “experiential knowledge,” as in an experience of God, he said, “it’s spiritual.”
“Religion is both the best thing in the world and the worst thing in the world,” he said, repeating one of his oft-quoted lines — and one that seems particularly relevant this week after another ISIS horror.
What message do you most want to convey to viewers? Winfrey asked.
That a relationship with God is not about worthiness, Rohr said. Instead, it’s about God’s radical grace and unconditional love for us all. “God doesn’t love you because you’re good. God loves you because God is good.”