Quote for the Day

But did anyone ever tell you that Jesus’ very first message in the Gospels, which is usually translated as “convert,” “repent,” or “reform” (Matthew 4:17, Mark 1:15) is the Greek word metanoia, which quite literally means to “change your mind”? Jesus’ first word to us was “change!” — and mind change at that! What we have translated as “repent” is not a moralistic or even churchy word at all; it is a clear strategy for enlightenment for the world. Once you accept ongoing change as a central program for yourself, you tend to continue growing throughout all of your life.
Jesus knows that self-critical, yet not negative, people will always keep growing and engaging with the world around them, with themselves, and with God.

— Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to
See as the Mystics See

Three Video Clips: Speaking of Mysticism in Portland, OR
Shine On You Immortal Diamond
The Intelligent Person's Guide to Prayer
Plunging Thought Into Light


  1. I really like this book! And tomorrow I am going to Albuquerque to be at Rohr’s conference about mysticism with James Finley and Cynthia Bourgeault!

  2. Sweet. Sorry I won’t be there. I doubt if Richard will remember me (we’ve only met once, and briefly), but if you get a chance to talk with him, put in a plug for my forthcoming book. :-)

    And when you get home, post here (or at least to your blog) all about the conference!

  3. A favorite quote of mine on metanoia from The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware

    “Why believe God is three. Is it not easier to believe simply in the divine unity as the Jews and Mohammedans do? Certainly it is easier. The doctrine of the Trinity stands before us as a challenge, as a “crux” in the literal sense. It is in Vladimir’s Lossky’s words “a cross for human ways of thought” and it requires from us a radical act of metanoia – not merely a gesture of formal assent, but a true change of heart.”


    “Why should God be a communion of three divine persons neither less or more? Here again there can be no logical proof. The threeness of God is something given or revealed to us in scripture, in the Apostolic tradition and in the experience of the saints throughout the centuries. All we can do is to verify this given fact through our own life of prayer. . . . . . . . . . . Through our encounter with God in prayer we know that the Spirit is not the same as the Son.”

  4. Metanoia, one of my favorite topics. Olivier Clément says “How do we embark on this study of humanity of which the revelation of God is an essential part? Not by science, as in ‘social sciences’, to which we shall give due acknowledgement in passing, but by Christian knowledge, which is knowledge in the context of faith, apprehended not by any particular faculty but through the whole person, knowledge which begins and proceeds by way of repentance, or as the Gospel and the Greek Fathers call it, metanoia: the turning round of our self-awareness, the Copernician shift of the self (individual or collective) from geocentric to heliocentric, enabling us to see in the depth of everything around us the furnace of the divine sun.”
    I love that…”the Copernician shift of the self from geocentric to heliocentric….”
    Matta El-Meskeen says…”the word repentance is a rendering of the original Greek metanoia which means literally a ‘change of thinking’ or a ‘transformation of the spirit’”. I love to think of it as a turning around, so that instead of facing the world and things that make us happy here, we shift, pivot, turn ourselves around to face God. And isn’t heaven described as a face to face encounter with God?
    Again, Clément writes that this metanoia entails “consciously becoming ‘the one who thirst’, and at the same time recognizing the wretched nature of the idols with which we try to deceive this desire…Then we discover the basic truth about ourselves, that we are loved, and it is because we are loved that we exist. The awareness of being loved and the response that it unlocks are the only criterion of repentance.”

  5. I love Cynthia Bourgeault’s spin on metanoia.

    She says that metanoia literally means to go “beyond the mind” or “into the larger mind.” It means to go into a non-dual knowingness that is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    This is the central message of Jesus. This is what his Kingdom of Heaven is all about. “Let’s get into the larger mind” he says. “This is what it looks like. This is how you do it. Here I’ll help you … ” – Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Jesus

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