Richard Rohr Meditation: Swimming in Mercy

[W]hen we think of mercy, we should be thinking first and foremost of a bond, an infallible link of love that holds the created and uncreated realms together. The mercy of God does not come and go, granted to some and refused to others. Why? Because it is unconditional—always there, underlying everything. It is literally the force that holds everything in existence, the gravitational field in which “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Just like that little fish swimming desperately in search of water, we, too “swim in mercy as in an endless sea.” [1] Mercy is God’s innermost being turned outward to sustain the visible and created world in unbreakable love.

.. From our traditional theological models, we are used to thinking in terms of God “up there” and ourselves “down here”—God wholly unknown to us and of a fundamentally different substance, of which we are but a very distant reflection.

.. Just as we now know that matter is actually “condensed” energy (i.e., energy in a more dense and slow-moving form), would it be too great a leap to say that energy as we experience it—as movement, force, light—is a “condensation” of divine will and purpose? In other words, energy is what happens when divine Being expresses itself outwardly.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)

If we understood Word to mean at root vibration—the out-speaking of the divine will and purpose—then the Word is that which makes manifest the fullness of divine purpose as it moves outward into form.

Crafting the Koran

One effect of this orthodoxy has been to obscure a remarkable fact: the first full Korans we possess are from the ninth century, some two hundred years after the death of Muhammad.

.. As the Encyclopedia of Islam points out, “the closest analogue in Christian belief to the role of the Kur’an in Muslim belief is not the Bible, but Christ.” The Koran is an embodiment of God’s word. It is held so sacred that a host of fastidious traditions adhere to it: it must be placed at the top of any pile of books; it must be held above the waist. Muslims have been excommunicated for the seemingly modest claim that their holy book, though uttered by God, is composed of human language that is historically specific. For most orthodox Muslim scholars, the Koran is outside of human history and far above it.

.. The Yemeni fragments seemed to suggest an evolving document, and for that reason, they have been controversial, and few scholars have been granted permission to see them.