(Richard Rohr’s original blog post can be found here.)
Human history is one giant wave of unearned grace, and you are now another wave crashing onto the sands of time, edged forward by the many waves behind you. You are a fully adopted son or daughter in God’s one eternal family. To accept such an objective truth is the only sense in which you need to be a Christian or a believer. It is the best and deepest understanding of how the Risen Christ spreads his forgiving heart through history. It is not a role or office that we are passing on—that is not the meaning of “apostolic succession.” We are passing on the very love of God from age to age. Apostle means one who is “sent,” and we are all sent to advance the history of divine love through space and time.
Saints and mystics such as Francis and Clare of Assisi, Lady Julian of Norwich, and so many others have passed this baton on to those who would receive it. They would not be honored or even interested in us pulling them out of their single place in the eternal divine Flow and making an exception or idol of them. They joined the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) and are most honored by you now getting in line with everybody else, just as they did in their time. We are saved by simply remaining in the one circle of life and love, and not by standing separate or superior.
There is only One Love that will lead and carry you across when you die. If you are already at home with Love here, you will quite readily move into the eternal home of Love, which most of us call heaven. Death is not a changing of worlds, as most imagine, as much as the walls of this world infinitely expanding. If you get love here, you have found the eternal home base and you will easily and naturally live forever.
Life is not about being correct but about being connected. At all costs, stay connected! Our only holiness is by participation and surrender to the Body of Love, not by any private performance contest. This is the joining of hands from generation to generation that can and will change the world. Love is One, and this Love is either shared and passed on or it is not the Great Love at all. The One Love is always eager, and, in fact, such eagerness is precisely the giveaway that we are dealing with something divine and infinite.