Richard Rohr writes,
“The most common substitute for liminal space is “liminoid” space. I must admit that organized religion is expert at offering people the liminoid. It feels like the real thing, it feels different while actually reaffirming ego and persona. It is the much-touted trip to poor Guatemala, where you stay in the American four star hotel! It is cosmetic and devotional piety that reassures me that I am already and indeed one, holy, Roman Catholic and apostolic. It is a movement into “trance” and unconsciousness so that nothing real will be revealed and where the shadow has no possibility of showing itself.
“True liminality.. leads to increased awareness, increased consciousness of the pain and the goodness — your own and others — and increased knowledge of the shadow, too. Who would go there willingly I wouldn”t. You have to be led, or, like Jesus, you have to be “driven by the Spirit into the wilderness”? (Mark 1:12). Because first we must meet the “wild beasts” and only later do “angels minister to him” (1:13). No one wants to wait for the true angels. We would rather manufacture plastic, churchy ones and bypass the truly present wild beasts. Lent is 40 days of training in living with and learning from the wild beasts. Sort of a chosen three-ring circus and a deliberate refusal to retreat to the spectators” grandstand. We intentionally sequester the angels for six weeks.
“We cannot expect such daring from the secular system, but when the church itself offers us merely the secure old room or the trendy new room, I know we are in trouble spiritually. Our liturgies become mere ceremony and not truly sacred, transformative or initiatory space. Church becomes membership requirements instead of any kind of truly “new creation.” Priesthood becomes priestcraft, and religious life becomes a charade of an alternative because no real alternative has been seen or experienced. Spiritual leadership from people who have made the journey themselves is rare.”