Breathing Under Water, Ch. 3

The chapter where Rohr attacks the idol of sacrifice!!

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.”  Step 3 of AA

It is the will itself, our stubborn and self-defeating willfulness that must be first converted and handed over.

The common way of renouncing the self, while not really renouncing the self at all, is being sacrificial! It looks so generous and loving, and sometimes it is.  But usually it is still all about me.

“Personal sacrifice” creates the Olympics and American Idol, many heroic projects, and many wonderful people.  It is just not the Gospel, but only its most common substitute.

…there is a love that sincerely seeks the spiritual good of others, and there is a love that is seeking superiority, admiration, and control for itself, even and most especially by doing “good” and heroic things.  Maybe we have to see it in its full-blown sick state to catch the problem.  Suicide bombers are sacrificial, most resentful people are very sacrificial at one or another level, the manipulative mother is invariably sacrificial, all codependents are sacrificial, a phenomenon so common that it created its own group called Al-Anon.

So much that is un-love and non-love, and even manipulative “love,” cannot be seen or addressed because it is so dang sacrificial.

Most bogus religion, in my opinion, is highly sacrificial in one or another visible way, but not loving at all.

With Gospel brilliance and insight, A.A. says that the starting point and, in fact, the continuing point, is not any kind of worthiness at all but in fact unworthiness (I am an alcoholic!).

…the old ego will always prefer an economy of merit and sacrifice to any economy of grace and unearned love, where we have no control.

Only hour by hour gratitude is strong enough to overcome all temptations to resentment.


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