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Priest offers spiritual survival guide for recession
A priest and author says religious leaders aren't paying attention to older people hit by recession.
September 17th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

Priest offers spiritual survival guide for recession

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - Sooner or later, it happens to each of us, Richard Rohr says.

“There always will be at least one situation in our lives that we cannot fix, control, explain, change or even understand,” the Franciscan priest said.

Maybe you’ve been laid off from a job you held for years. Perhaps you’ve experienced a nasty divorce. Or maybe the crisis is more subtle: You suddenly realized that you’ll never have the life you dreamed of living.

Any life-changing moment can knock a person down. But it can also open doors if, as Rohr puts it, a person learns how to “fall upward.”

Rohr, a 68-year-old Roman Catholic author and internationally known speaker, says older Americans face a problem: Religious leaders aren’t paying much attention to them.

Much of contemporary religion is geared toward teaching people how to navigate the first half of their lives, when they’re building careers and families. Rohr calls it a “goal-oriented” spirituality.

Yet there’s less help for people dealing with the challenges of aging: the loss of health, the death of friends, and coming to terms with mistakes that cannot be undone, he says.

Rohr’s new book, “Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,” is his attempt to fill that void. It also functions as a spiritual survival guide for hard times as millions of Americans young and old struggle to cope with “falling”: losing their homes, careers and status.

Rohr says he coined the phrase “falling upward” to describe a paradox. Nearly everyone will fall in life because they'll confront some type of loss, he says. Yet failure can lead to growth if a person makes the right decisions.

“I’ve met people who because of the loss of things and security have been able to find grace, freedom and new horizons,” he said.

If you’re falling in any area of your life, Rohr says, one of the first skills to learn is accepting surprises.

He says it’s easy for people to turn bitter when things don’t go as planned. He sees such people all the time, whether throwing tantrums at the airport because of long lines or flocking to angry rallies in opposition to some form of social change.

“You start attacking anybody else who is not like you,” Rohr said. “If you don’t know how to deal with exceptions, surprise and spontaneity by the time you’re my age, you become a predictable series of responses of paranoia, blame and defensiveness.”

Why suffering is necessary

Rohr’s book may address contemporary issues, but the wisdom is old. He extracts insights from sources as varied as Greek mythology, Catholic mysticism and fairy tales like Cinderella.

Such stories often teach similar lessons about hard times: Suffering is necessary, the “false self” must be abandoned, and “everything belongs, even the sad, absurd and futile parts.” Rohr, who has also written “Quest for the Grail,” a book on mythology, says people have learned these hard lessons for centuries through myth.

The heroes in mythological stories follow the same pattern. They must first experience humiliation, loss and suffering before finding enlightenment. They are often forced on their journey by a crisis.

No contemporary American is going to be asked to fight a monster, but an event like the evaporation of a retirement fund or the death of a spouse can force you to summon strength you didn’t know you had, Rohr says.

The key is not resisting the crisis.

“You have to allow the circumstances of God and life to break you out of your egocentric responses to everything,” he said. “If you allow ‘the other’ - other people, other events, other religions - to influence you, you just keep growing.”

That growth, though, is accompanied by death - the death of the “false self,” Rohr said. The false self is the part of your self tied to your achievements and possessions.

When your false self dies, you start learning how to base your happiness on more eternal sources, he says.

“You start drawing from your life within,” Rohr said. “You learn to distinguish from the essential self and the self that’s window dressing.”

Those who break through the crisis and lose their false selves become different people: less judgmental, more generous and better able to ignore “evil or stupid things,” he says.

It may sound esoteric, Rohr says, but many of us have met older people like this. They possess a “bright sadness”: they’ve suffered but they still smile and give.

“I’ve seen that in the wonderful older people in my life,” Rohr says. “There’s a kind of gravitas they have. … There’s an easy smile on their faces. These are the people who laugh, who heal, who build bridges, who don’t turn bitter.”

Rohr says this bright sadness isn’t confined to older people.

“I've met 11-year-old children in cancer wards who are in the second half of life,” he said in a recent interview with Amazon.com, “and I have met 68-year-old men like me who are still in the first half of life.”

Learning the ‘grace of failure’

Rohr’s book has found some fans in high places who were touched by his insights.

Father Gerry Blaszczak, a chaplain at Fairfield University in Connecticut, says Rohr’s book challenges the notion that success is a natural result of being religious.

“Our culture is prone to imagine that growth takes place in a sort of constant, upward movement,” he says. “Even our religious culture tends to focus on success and stability as ideals for religious growth.”

Rohr’s book reminds people about the “grace of failure,” Blaszczak says.

“In the Christian tradition, loss, collapse and failure have always been seen as not only unavoidable, but even necessary on the path to wisdom, freedom and personal maturity,” Blaszczak said.

He says he knows older people who struggled to rebuild their identities after they poured much of their earlier lives’ energies into professional and personal success.

“It is not that these professional or personal ideas were necessarily bad in themselves,” he said. “It is more that they proved inadequate. We invested way too much in them. We thought our identities could be formed by them.”

Jim Finley, a retreat leader and Catholic scholar, says Rohr is reminding people about the value of elders.

“Our culture tends to be youth-oriented, and a lot of spirituality is youth oriented,” says Finley, author “The Contemplative Heart.” “But our elders are the embodiment of the wisdom that life matters at a much deeper level than what we can achieve and produce.”

Brian McLaren, author of “The Naked Spirituality,” says Rohr’s book touches on an important paradox that you probably won’t hear in a Sunday morning sermon: “Imperfect people” are sometimes more equipped than “perfect people” to help those who are struggling.

“The person who never makes a mistake and always manages to obey the rules is often a compassionless person, because he sees people for whom the wheels have fallen off and he wonders what’s wrong with them,” he said. “But the person who feels that he has ruined his life often has more capacity for humility and compassion.”

McLaren says Rohr’s book helped reveal to him how much of his youthful spiritual energy was driven by narrow concerns.

“I’m embarrassed as I’m getting older about how much of my energy and vitality as a younger man was driven by ego and a win-lose mentality.”

Today Rohr seems driven by something else: The need for rest.

For years, his life has been a whirlwind. He’s traveled the globe speaking at retreats on everything from men’s spirituality to Catholic mysticism.

He also founded the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an organization that encourages acts of justice rooted in prayer and respect for other religious traditions.

Yet after almost seven decades of living, Rohr said,  “I am still a mystery to myself.”

Rohr plans on solving some of that mystery. He says he’s going to retire in two years to spend more time at his home in New Mexico. He says he needs more time for contemplation.

“The first half of life, you write the text,” he said. “The second half of your life is when you write the commentary. You have to process what it all meant.”

As Rohr withdraws from speaking and writing, he will be challenged to follow his own advice. He’ll spend less energy on his “false self” as his old identity dissolves.

He says he’s ready, though, to fall upward. If he lost his position as a priest, author and respected speaker, he says he would still feel secure.

“Most of us don’t learn this until it is taken away, like losing the security of your 401(k). Then the learning either starts or you circle the wagons,” he said. “I know who I am beyond my roles.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Belief • Books • Catholic Church • Christianity • Church • Economy

soundoff (1,015 Responses)
  1. White Lotus

    Why do all you self-denominated atheists, rationalists, scientists, CARE?
    Seems to me, as a Buddhist, and there an atheist, that you are really anti-theists, at war with the Old White Man With A Beard.
    Recognize, all of you that there are paths to happiness in this life and true enlightenment that have absolutely nothing to do with what either you "Christians" or you "atheists" believe, prosetelyze or argue about. My university is different from yours.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Amistavia

      And your personal flavor of delusion is equally devoid of reality as a christians. BTW, count me as a proud anti-theist. Don't take that to mean that I'm against god though, because he doesn't exist. I am, however, against the uneducated morons who claim that he does and try to assert their right to tell us what god thinks.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • kimsland

      Look I agree with you.

      But laughter is always good medicine and religious people are just SO funny.
      Us atheists DO agree that we should all better ourselves, That's our point.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Colin

      Because political and social decisions are regularly made that affect us based on these religious beliefs. The more we can expose their deep inconsistencies and problems, the more we can elevate people above them and the less we will be subject to them. For example:

      (i) a woman's right to choose;
      (ii) teaching evolution in school;
      (iii) medical immunization of teen girls against HPV;
      (iv) assisted suicide;
      (v) gay marriage;
      (vi) my right to view art and theatre deemed “offensive,” “blasphemous” or “obscene” by theists
      (vii) basic $ex education for older school children;
      (viii) treating drug abuse as principally a medical issue;
      (xi) population control;
      (x) buying alcohol on a Sunday;
      (xi) use of condoms and other contraceptives
      (xii) stem cell research.
      (xiii) the prohibition on little 10 year-old boys joining organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, based on the religious views of their parents.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • John Richardson

      So why do you feel the need to butt into it, White Lotus? Shouldn't you be off practicing detachment or something?

      September 18, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      I care b/c I think that education with the facts as they have been presented to us in the modern age are vital to ensuring we continue to evolve and stop stay stuck in the dark ages where religion was used to control the masses. The more we move forward the more we will see that our children will follow in the non-belief department. We may never see the end of religion or the use of the bible b/c there are those who will be raised with the fear of a god instilled in them and their dependence on the love of those using that fear will hinder their progress. However we must not forget that eventually those same children must go out on their own and will eventually run in to a non-believer who will hopefully open their eyes to the real facts. Fear mongering is a large part of religion unfortunately and until society learns to think for themselves and tell others that the only opinion that really matters is their own, we will continue to see the effects of that fear. Extremely sad situation. I am fortunate to have raised a child who is allowed to believe what she wishes and think for herself.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • AtheistSteve

      Because beliefs don't exist in a vacuum. Beliefs affect your decisions and actions. As laid out by Colin above many of the positions on social issues adopted by Christians are based entirely on the dogma within their religion. Since we believe the foundation of religious belief to be entirely false then it follows that their choices are equally in error. For example there is no reasonable argument to be made from a secular viewpoint to oppose gay marriage that cannot be said to oppose hetero marriage as well. It takes religion to marginalize one group over another.

      September 18, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
  2. beanandzeus

    I am tired of both religious nuts and athiest bitter bombs. This guy is simply speaking practically of things that will likely affect all of us at some point: 1) the pain and suffering of an unexpected loss and 2) the painful realization that we have passed the midway point of our life span. I fail to understand why there are so many nasty comments here. I am not religious, but I can appreciate these sentiments. Buddhist teaching contain similar sentiments and are a practical guide to dealing with the fact that life is suffering caused by our own minds' response to events in our surroundings. You don't have to be religious to understand how these ideas can be useful.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • kimsland

      Correct.

      We DON'T have to be religious.

      I fully agree

      September 18, 2011 at 10:22 am |
  3. Loved Like All

    Bashers, your ignorance is evident. I mean this in a truthful way. You can't possibly know everything that God has spoken to each and every person who ever lived. In a brief instant, He could reveal all of it to you. What then would you think? I pray that God does this and gives all non-believers a chance to ponder His existance and see this world for what it is.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Colin

      Prayer is another of the sillier Christian superst.itions. Rather than just accepting prayer as a fait accompli, actually think about it for a moment. You think certain thoughts, like, “please god get me a job.” The Christian god, a being powerful enough to create the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, reads your mind (or “hears your prayers” if you prefer) using some kind of telepathic powers. It then intervenes to get you the job or otherwise alter the course of history in small ways to suit your whims.

      It really is odd that people still believe this nonsense in the 21st Century.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Amistavia

      What god? Do you have any evidence that this "god" thing exists? Yeah, I thought not.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Fred1

      Fine by me. I’ve been looking for evidence of god all my life and if he wants to personally deliver some to me, all the better. But since neither he nor his followers have so far not shown me a scrap of reliable evidences, and since I haven’t seen any evidence that prayer is any more effective than wishing on a star, I doubt anything different is going to happen now. And this will be just another piece of evidence that prayer doesn’t work and your god does not exist

      September 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  4. Thomas Colbert

    Why is CNN advocating for religion? Why advocate for Catholicism? This isn't news it's shameful propaganda.

    In an era of religious war, intolerance, and oppression of of non-believers all over the world, the news media should stay away from this sort of thing. It only increases the risk of religious domination of government and the inevitable conflict that would bring.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes its even written into law, something about freedom of religion or some ridiculousness.
      We can only hope that the people of this world laugh religion out of this world for good.
      I'll start. Religious people? Ha Ha Ha h ah Ha Ha

      September 18, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Mico

      Simple. Don't read it.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  5. Davidr

    I can see a lot of sense in this article, even though I'm personally not a churchgoer. What he says is true: a lot of people begin to feel useless, afraid of life, and basically out of it when they grow old. They discover that what they thought were their strong points in dealing with life, were in fact their "false self." That's a tough thing to deal with, because that "false self" is a form of protecton against some perceived threat of danger. To lose that "false self" leaves a person defenseless, psychologically speaking, and that's scary. My mother-in-law used to say, "old age is not for wimps!" I never understood that until I reached that stage myself. That "false self" thing is important to recognize,

    September 18, 2011 at 10:12 am |
  6. kimsland

    Spiritual survival guide Step 3.

    need to make a quick buck? Sell your child.

    Wow, thanks book. We are all so grateful that we have a book to turn to, especially if people fail at common sense.
    I can't wait to read the last chapter how we get all the peoples money and become rich.
    Oh just skipped to the end, they want you to become a priest. There's always a catch

    September 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  7. Michele

    This is good, practical advice. Better than the hell, fire and brimstone often heard in sermons.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  8. CP

    I have to laugh at so many of these comments, it's relatively easy to decipher the mindset behind most of them, especially the negative, snarky ones written obviously by a 20 something or even younger whose biggest challenge in life to date is what video game to play while mom is making his eggs and bacon.

    Isn't it funny that when tragedy strikes anyone (and lack of an internet connection isn't considered tragedy you spoiled brats) that we turn to prayer? We don't know what or whom we may be praying to but we realize that things might not be in our control and for that brief moment we recognize that.

    But in the meantime just keep believing that you have complete control of your lives and everything that happens is part of your master plan, and then when a real tragedy hits see how your view on God changes.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • kimsland

      Yes to believe in any religion means you're out of control.
      Got it.

      Oh and I never pray when I'm down and out. What's that rubbish about?

      September 18, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • John Richardson

      @CP You are pretty ignorant and snarky yourself. I've seen a lot of pain, tragedy and disappointment in my life. It hasn't made me believe in anything remotely like the sort of personal god western religions are predicated on. Don't assume that everyone handles things the same way you handle, or mishandle, them.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @kim: you don't pray b/c you have a rational mind and unlike christians/believers you accept responsibility for your actions and don't pass the buck...so nice to see you on here...your rational mind is appreciated

      September 18, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @CP: before the age of 24 I buried my Mom and 2 children...tragedy didn't make me believe then and it certainly won't make me believe now...if anything those tragedies made me question what kind of an evil monster god really is if he allows 3 innocent people to die horrible deaths (my Mom was an avid believer and went to her grave believing she was going to be with god...it was a comfort for her and eased her mind...I just don't see it as a necessity)

      September 18, 2011 at 10:46 am |
    • Fred1

      Thanks for your condescending fantasy. I’m more than twice 20. I have faced the death of my parents, the death of my lover (cancer), the death of my best friend (cancer) and my own death several times. At no time did I want to beg the invisible sky fairy for his magical intervention. Prayer is no more effective than wishing upon a star and evidence that your good shepherd watches out for his flock is non existent

      September 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  9. Margaret Greene

    Maybe he was not writing the book for Fundamentalist Christians . There are, no doubt, plenty of books in this genre for people of your beliefs so you are not left out.

    Maybe he wrote it in an attempt to reach a wider section of society. I will probably buy the book.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  10. Colin

    We are expected to accept a lot of suffering and still believe in an all merciful god. It gets completely silly when we think about the concepts of sin and hell.

    Approximately one hundred and ten thousand million (110,000,000,000) people have lived on Earth. Given all those who have, over the centuries, rejected the Christian god, or who have otherwise committed mortal sins, there must be literally thousands of millions of people burning for all eternity in the cosmic oven of hell set up by your all-loving god. Some must have been burning for thousands of years by now.

    About 100,000 people die every day. There must be a constant stream of thousands of forlorn souls every day into the one way pit of hell your all-merciful god set up and maintains.

    But, far, far worse than sheer overwhelming numbers is the extent of the punishment. There is no way out, no parole, no time off for good behavior. You don’t just burn, you burn for all eternity. Billions of people and thousands of daily new arrivals burning for all eternity!

    No criminal justice system in the history of the Human race, even those established by the most despotic of tyrants, comes close to matching the unfathomable barbarity of your “infinitely benevolent” god. I don’t have to kill, I don’t have to steal, hell I don’t even have to litter. All I have to do is refuse to believe in the Christian god and it will impose a penalty on me an infinite times worse than the death penalty.

    Hitler murdered six million Jews in his concentration camps, but compared to your god, Hitler was a bleeding-hearted wimp. A goose-stepping girlie-man. Your all-caring god not only burns billions more than Hitler, Pol Pot and all other dictators and tyrants added up, he keeps doing so to them for all eternity! I would not wish a bad sunburn on a person simply because they have a different religion to me, let alone fry them for ever.

    It is also odd that your all-loving god is also all-knowing and knows which souls will go to hell before they do. He even knows it before they are born, and yet he still creates them. He is worse than a psychopathic teenager than breeds litter after litter of kittens so he can slowly roast them in ovens.

    That's the problem when you make absolute claims, like a god being all-powerful, all-loving and all-knowing, and then still wish to frighten people into following your faith.

    I am sorry, but Christianity is a silly faith, suitable for only the most compliant and simple of people. It should never have made it out of the Dark Ages.

    September 18, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • kimsland

      Actually that is quite good Colin
      I'm going to copy that down, that IS good reading for all

      September 18, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • John Richardson

      Yes, Christianity is downright monstrous.

      Also, if it is indeed wisdom to recognize the inevitability of tragedy, suffering and disappointment, you'll get your head around that notion a lot faster if you realize that the universe is a huge place and except for a few close friends and family members, no one has your best interest at heart for the simple reason that they have no reason to. The vast majority of people won't wish you any particular ill, but they have their own concerns and your needs, wants, dreams, hopes and ambitions fly way off their radar of concerns. And no, there is no cosmic meddler clearing paths for you. Once you realize all that, you'll realize that it's actually pretty impressive that things ever go right, let alone as often as they do. So quit your blubbering!

      September 18, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • teeda

      Is it even remotely possible that you don't really understand Christianity because that's what it sound like to me. Just saying. Take care.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Colin

      Teeda, feel free to point out what I got wrong.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • John Richardson

      @teeda No, it's not even remotely possible. Just saying. Have a swell day!

      September 18, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Tom

      US judges propogated the murder of over 30 million Americans beginning in 1973. The basis of the most evil act – Population control.

      September 18, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Fred1

      @Teeda: I grew up in a Christian home and I understand Christianity very clearly. I have experienced its black heart, its false face and its big lie. Colin’s got it right

      September 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  11. J.P.

    Adult Children now in their fifties are still fighting the abuse they were subjected too in childhood ...from Priests. People who live behind stained glass windows might clean up those stains by suggesting that although "Nuking the Vatican" would not be advisable, cleaning up the toxic spill of it's centuries of horrific abuse would. If priests aren't taking a stand against the practice of having children kneel in front of lesser men...they are just wasting time and allowing the abuse to continue. Father's don't father in the Catholic hierarchy...and they are not the Father in the prayer, "Our Father...lead us not into temptation"...or perhaps they are....the leaders of children down the Pied Piper road to temptation suggesting that what they are putting in the mouths of children is god, followed by the blood...what a sham. what a scam... Oh the Horror....the Horror!!!!! Kneeling in front of Gargoyles must be stopped, or we may indeed have to "Nuke the Vatican".

    September 18, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Tom

      Typical of mainstream CNN to censor except when it comes to church bashing and anyone who's not politically correct. I lost respect for CNN a long time ago and it's propoganda. Karma back on you.

      September 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Flash

      Tom... Censor? What do you mean?

      September 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  12. mgla

    This is ridiculous. Most churches are predominantly full of and focused upon old people. Face it, the main reason for religion in most people's lives is fear of death and hope for something afterward. How can this not be focused on the elderly? Based upon this story my guess is that religion's main problem is an acute lack of self-awareness. Such stupid crap here. CNN is really flailing here...

    September 18, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  13. SCAtheist

    Pray the churches stop stealing senior citizen social security checks.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  14. kimsland

    Spiritual survival guide Step 2.

    What do you do if a priest is molesting you?
    Answer God is lord and you shall suck it up.

    My my, good reading for all our little boys
    Has anyone read Step 3 yet, love to hear it. 🙂

    September 18, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  15. william fitzwater

    Boy that is for sure. Agism is everywhere. however the Church its about who is saved then who is controlled according to their creed. Yes all Churches have a creed some are blatantly obvious others are more subtle. then its about resources how much value your skill sett then you influence weather you good at manipulation etc. Church does good works but if flawed on this side of enerty by human drives and aspirations.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  16. diggadubdbu

    I think it is absoluety hilarious ,that people can believe in something made up. It seems people strive to believe in something and yet there are no facts that God even exist. We know the world was here before we could even remember. Now I can understand people need a outlet without drugs and alchol. Anything that is positive I'm all for it! I have a simple question for you jesus freaks. Where are the facts? Kids think Santa Claus and the tooth fairy are real. Then that means vampires must be real to right?

    September 18, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Sean

      the facts are in that book we call the bible. If you would read some of it at least once, you would understand. Hey its even online now.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Mico

      If you are so sure, what does an article on spirituality grabs your attention and you go on to read it and make a comment about it. It takes more faith to be "absolutelly" sure that God does not exist, than to have a lingering doubt. Deep inside the truth has already been revealed to you.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Sean: the bible contains no facts...it is 2000 years old and has no pertinence in today's society...maybe if you learned to read a science book you'd learn the real facts

      September 18, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Fred1

      @Sean: I tried reading it once and yes the facts are there. Horror, murder, devastation, cruelty and debauchery all committed by god’s chosen people and at his command. I invite anyone with a curiosity about Christianity to read the first 5 books straight through and not just cherry picking as most Christians do. This is why Christians have bible study classes, so they can steer you away from the horrific parts

      September 18, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  17. Colin

    Moses and the Jews are humiliated and suffer loss under the Egyptians. They find enlightenment after their journey to the Promised Land.

    Jesus suffers and is humiliated in his crucifixion by the Romans but rises from the dead to take his place in heaven.

    How easily we see the mythology of other faiths but fail to see that ours are myths too.

    September 18, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  18. God is Great

    Jesus IS LORD!

    September 18, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • SCAtheist

      Sorry, Jesus is dead.

      September 18, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      D-E-L-U-S-I-O-N-A-L

      September 18, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  19. kimsland

    Want to hear a funny joke?

    "spiritual survival guide for recession"

    Oh mercy, oh lordy me, now THAT's funny.
    What's step 1 ? Lost in a forest, start praying.
    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    September 18, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  20. kevin

    explain to me... why this "priest" did not once mention the Lord Jesus and the suffering He went through for our (believers') sake? why did he not remind us we live in the valley of tears but to take heart... why did he not quote from God's own words? believers will here it and be encouraged (or rebuked as needed) we are called to suffer, it's the way of the cross – Jesus was perfected through suffering. Yes, this life HURTS...but where is our hope? in the stock market, or the risen Christ?...brothers, read your bible and tell the world what He says!

    September 18, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • JakoB

      ... CNN probably censored the religious bits. Go belief blog.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • John Richardson

      Jesus had one really, really bad afternoon. Get over it.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      brothers burn the bible and read a book of science...time to get with the present and leave your cave behind

      September 18, 2011 at 10:55 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.