They say plagiarism is stealing from one source, and research is stealing from many. In this, my summer of St. Paul I have to be honest and say that much of my thinking about the apostle to the gentiles is based on a 10 hour (yes I said 10 hours) reflection by Franciscan priest Richard Rohr.
I have referenced Rohr a number of times and find his teachings to be challenging and insightful. Not all Catholics would agree with me on this point. Check out the contrary view of Fr. Rohr posted on the conservative site CatholicCulture.org written by The Rev. Bryce Sibley. Clearly Fr. Sibley is not a big fan of Rohr.
If you are a person who is a traditionalist in your views, then this series on Paul, in fact, anything from Rohr could be upsetting and a t the least challenging.
You have been warned!
If, on the other hand, you are open to a provocative way of looking at Paul, then you might be stimulated by Fr. Rohr’s in-depth teachings on the radical apostle who changed the world.
In language that Paul might use if he were preaching and writing today, Rohr presents Paul s all-embracing vision and invites us to enter into the mystery of Christ and be transformed. Rohr breaks new ground by applying up-to-date theories of our universe, integrating them with Paul s revolutionary thinking about sin, saints and spirituality.
Deep and complex, Paul may seem to be full of inconsistencies: arrogant but also humble, a fervent believer but a probing, critical thinker, a mystic but also a missionary community builder.
Rohr admits the difficulties in understanding the short excerpts of Paul s letters read at Sunday Mass. He analyzes the letters and explains the great themes. He challenges our usual understandings and invites us to imitate Paul and enter into the mystery in organic solidarity with the Risen Christ. Rohr sees us as partaking in the incredible transformation of the whole cosmos that struggles with the pattern of descent and ascent that is revealed and affirmed in Jesus.