As a loyal admirer of Richard Rohr, I find the concept of Edgewalkers1 which Rohr says comes from nature writer, Terry Tempest Williams. The concept is described as “traveling the narrow space between religious tradition, that has forged her soul, and her direct, personal experiences in nature (and life) that have revealed a truth of their own.”
Often this narrow space is a lonely place though highly diverse. There is a belief that the edges will, in time, become a redefined center. I believe that. We were made different beings; there is only one you and one me. We are diverse and diversity is needed now more than ever. As diverse beings, we need to become community-leaning on one another in collaboration as we embrace the work of redefining ourselves, our family, our local community, etc. Together, our eclectic gifts give us broader insight, and when coupled with exercising our talents, can change the world.
It is time we learn from one another because knowledge helps build resilience. The Synod on Synodality in Rome will highlight an evangelizing journey to wholeness. Pope Francis has already begun this direction by modeling it himself by being the Pope of the People. He unabashedly chastises clerics whose paternalistic behaviors drove away the faithful with their complicit behavior and role in the clerical sex abuse scandal. The clerical culture has for the most part been in absentia in resolving this crisis by creating a proactive plan that could form a sustainable solution.
That behavior is the result of a vision of a siloed faith claiming to be the one, true Church. Marketing faith in that manner serves exclusivity and power only. Edge walking is a new label for what many of us have been doing to cope with an institution that holds faith captive.
Until Francis, Catholicism has been a faith locked in a silo with insulated tall walls to silence the noise and messiness of our lived experience. The hierarchy has worked to build the institution, ignoring the reality that Vatican II named the People of God, the Church. Edge walkers are those of us who see our faith through a larger lens, more inclusive to other faith systems that broaden the faith we were exposed to. Francis includes care of the planet as our faith responsibility to all creation, and his visits with other faith leaders and indigenous people demonstrate a scientific perspective of witnessing a Divine presence in all of nature as spiritual maturity. Francis’ message is consistent in exploding the prior culture of isolation that existed in the Vatican acknowledging and supporting The People of God.
People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.Mitt Romney
- https://edgewalkers.org/ ↩︎