The New Wine

This is a private page for our Contemplative Prayer group. Please feel free to comment below before class.

Additional reading sources that are useful for our discussion:

  1. Jesus brings “new wine” of joy, says Pope Francis (link)
  2. Following Jesus – New Wineskins by Richard Rohr (link)
  3. some Dorthy Day quotes (link)

In what areas (however large or small) do you see in which it appears Father Keating, Pope Francis, Richard Rohr and Dorthy Day are in strong agreement?

What about disagreement?

(Keating) Jesus implies that John’s disciples are not seeing the whole picture. They are looking for holiness, but in the wrong place. Have you ever done this? Can you think of examples of doing this outside of the realm of religion?

(Rohr) What would be an example of Dorthy Day’s quote today? “Nothing is going to change until we stop accepting this dirty, rotten system!”

(Day) Which of her quotes challenge you the most? For me, they are all radically challenging, especially #2 and #4.

(Francis) Jesus, when he reproves these Doctors of the Law, is taking them to task for not caring for the people with the Law, but making them slaves to so many little laws, so many little things that had to be done. Can you think of any examples of this today?

The following pictures of The Fourteen Triads of the Sermon on the Mount is taken from Rohr’s book Jesus’ Plan for a New World. I’ve come to see this as a great summary of how to fully embrace the “new wine” and to make a home for it in your life. Do you agree?

BTW, this is an excellent book. The next 10 pages go into detail about each of the triads.

(Keating) “The new wine of the Gospel is manifested by the fruits of the Spirit, which, according to Gal. 5:22–24, are nine aspects of the mind of Christ. If the new wine is to be preserved, new structures have to be found that are more appropriate than the old ones… Renewal in the Spirit, the new wine, is our recovery of the contemplative tradition of Christianity. But this movement of the Spirit has to be put into new structures; the old ones are likely to burst.”

What might some of the new structures look like? Do you think any exist now? Are they forming?

4 thoughts on “The New Wine”

  1. Hi Chris, Thank you for the questions and the section on the Sermon on the Mount.
    Fr Thomas Keating said the Sermon is how to undermine the false self and live in the true self.
    Look this is embarrassing but I don’t understand the concept of making changes in structures.
    Fr. Keating talks about this and also Pope Francis. I don’t know how to change structures.
    I am looking forward to tomorrow.
    Mary Ellen

    1. Hi Mary Ellen,

      Thanks so much for pointing out that Father Keating said “Fr Thomas Keating said the Sermon is how to undermine the false self and live in the true self.” I didn’t know (or recall) that.

      Do you happen to remember if this is in one of his books? I’d love to read it in full context.

  2. Hi Chris and All,
    THANKS for putting all this together for us for our “CONTEMPLATION.” There’s a lot here.
    I think the bottom line of agreement for your four contemplatives is LOVE. Interestingly, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, has written a book entitled LOVE IS THE WAY. Towards the end he says, “When God, who is love, becomes our spiritual center of gravity, and love our moral compass, we live differently, regardless of what the world around us does. The world changes for the better, one life at a time.”
    So, Mary Ellen, I think we can change a structure (or the world as Bishop Curry says) only one person/life at a time. My Spiritual Director has said more than once that she believes that only contemplatives can change this world, and I’m just beginning to understand what she means.
    I look forward to “seeing” and learning with everyone this evening.

  3. I think that all of us are in agreement that we live in a society in which many of our institutions and inviolable economic laws are very brittle and inhospitable structures for the effervescent self-giving love of the Gospel. Our society demands that we be greedy and acquisitive, competing with each other for jobs and resources.
    But, Father Keating says on page 126 of our text:
    “If we consent to God’s intentionality, God works in us through the fruits of the Spirit: boundless compassion, joy, peace, and the others enumerated by Paul. No structure can contain such wine.”
    I’m really looking forward to discussing all your questions, Chris.

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