Does Everything Belong?

Everything belongs. That’s the assertion by Franciscan Monk, Richard Rohr in his book of the same title. When the phrase of everything belongs came across my radar a few years ago, I applied it to things that I felt comfortable with. Does Buddhism belong? Does divorce? Job loss? Well that kind of list could go on for a long time with a certain amount of personal comfort.

I am currently reading “Everything Belongs” for a discussion group I participate in. We are digging into what “Everything Belongs” means and digging deeper into topics like rape. Does that belong? Does molestation or what is going on in Darfur belong? Do the behaviors and practices of the priests and nuns at American Indian boarding schools belong in a world where God is supreme and can “save us” from anything at any given time?

Big questions. Questions with not a lot of answers. Where does faith come into all of that? Is one to just trust that God knows best, or that we will understand someday on the other side? For me, those seem to be answers someone would give just to not have to think about it. Answers given from someone that has just checked their spirituality off as religion, as an insurance policy, and they go on with their lives. In some ways they are right. I believe there is a great amount of mystery we are supposed to live in. We, as a world continue to make choices, and progress forward reaching for equality, but at the same time, living and pursuing a faith of much mystery. Maybe we should embrace the mystery or they gray and let go of our need for control and our need to be right.

So, how would you relate to “everything belongs”? It’s a heavy question, and maybe it is easier to defer it to “all things work together for his glory”. I do know one thing. When one of those “everything belongs” moments is fleshed out in my personal life, I am doing everything I can to change it. To control it. To influence God. But I suppose that just what happens when we are busy being human. I do think there will be a great understanding one day. I believe we will understand such people as Hitler and Dahmer. I believe we will understand the atrocities committed upon indigenous peoples around the world.

This human experience is hard and confusion abounds much of the time. Is that where trust and faith comes in? I would think so. It’s a great question, “does everything belong”. Maybe it’s meant to just begin the dialog and not answer the question.


Please weigh in and share your thoughts.


4 thoughts on “Does Everything Belong?

  1. When one of those “everything belongs” moments is fleshed out in my personal life, I am doing everything I can to change it. To control it. To influence God. But I suppose that just what happens when we are busy being human.

    This brought yet another question to mind…what is prayer if not trying to “influence God”? Thoughts?

  2. yeah, there is some of that thought in prayer. I think of those kinds of prayers as pleas. It’s us just being human. I think the idea of prayer has been contorted anyway, using it as some kind of bargaining chip with the Creator. We’ve all done and I’m positive I will do it again. These days I see prayer as connection, and I see connection in every breath, every handshake, smile, sunrise, childrens eyes…. all of that is my connection/prayer to the Creator. I like Mother Teresa’s comment on prayer the best. When asked what she prays for and how she prays, she said mostly all she does is listens..

  3. Ah yes, that is my thought as well: to live in an attitude of prayer always. I don’t always succeed, but I do have an ongoing conversation with God throughout the day. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on prayer with regards to “does everything belong” and how prayer influences “everything”. Excellent post.

  4. As troubling as it seams, I find a great amount of hope in the idea that “eveything belongs”. It would bother me more to think that life is just a random series of events with no purpose.

    Thanks for getting me thinking.

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