Tuesday, April 24

Think carefully : post script

Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes Alleluia.

Think carefully

Your thoughts direct your energy, which fuels the engine of creation.  Through our thoughts, words and deeds we function as co-creators of our world, having a profound impact upon ourselves and our immediate environment.

Ghandi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world".  By meditating and working towards internalizing that change, one actualizes it in the universe around you.
Be mindful about that which you dwell upon. Where your mind is focused is what you are attempting to create in the world.

Friday, April 20

worth a thousand words

We can be better

Again, I have wandered away for a bit.  Holy week does that to me and there have been a lot of mundane things wrapped in religion which have exacerbated that normal trend for me.

There are other things, too.  Spring has come in full force, with Leonine winds which have blown the cobwebs from my mind and rains which have softened the parched landscape of my heart.

And again I am at essentialism.  What is the core of what we know to be true.  The Divine has given us Free Will, the fundamental choice of doing what is right, what is wrong and nothing.  Some see this as a trap to ensnare the unwary, the careless or those who take their eyes from the eternal prize for but a moment.  But those would be the motives of a G-d of hate, of malice and pettiness.  That comes from a deity who sets us up for failure.

A G-d who loves us, cares about us and wishes us to succeed would have it a different way.  Free will is the essence of what gives humanity hope.  It is the opportunity for us to engage ourselves, our fellow man and our Creator.  It is the chance, every day, for us to be better than we are.   It is the hope that we can follow Christ.  As Athanasius said, "God became man so that man could become God."

We can do that, be as Christ and embrace the Divine in whose image and likeness we are made.

We can be better.

Tuesday, April 10

We named the dog Indiana.

Things have been....interesting as of late.

I've been working on another post for three days now and it is just NOT coming together.  I know what I want to say but as I reflect upon it, I realise it really doesn't matter.

As the wheel of the year turns from Lenten spring into the warmth of Pentacost, so too do the tenderest shoots of spring harden off and start to grow in earnest.  I must admit I feel like Indy there, taking a step of faith into what looks like certain death.  Yet, Dad says "trust me" and I do, only to find that She won't let me fall.  Doesn't make it any less scary to take that step, but I'm getting a bit more used to invisible bridges and warm chuckles which seem to say "see, I TOLD you it'd be awesome!" 

Looking in the mundane world, I see so many religions these days who seem to have forgotten how all of this works.  Paraphrasing James, true religion is to do good works and to keep yourself out of the affairs of the world, yet so many are enraged and engaged with canons and covenants, politics and prelates, miters and money.  That's not what the Good Work is about.  In fact, that's precisely what it is NOT about.  It's about thinking of others, being better than you believe you can and answering the Call when it comes.  It's about being a dog for God.  Loyal, hard working and eager to do what is asked of you.

What? Nazi's in the Vatican?  I'll grab my fedora and be right there, Sir.

Friday, April 6

What is it all about?

As we commemorate Christ's sacrifice and, in a few days, His resurrection, I find it prescient to consider something which has weighed on me for a long time. 

Having grown up Protestant and raised in what would normally be considered an evangelical school, it was pressed upon me that "Jeeeesus died for ur sins!" (insert southern twang there).  The implication of which is, of course, if I wasn't such a horrible person, I personally could have prevented the Son of God from having to endure the crucifixion.  Nothing like laying the guilt on a nine year old, eh?

Then you have those who look upon the Christ narrative with the focus on the Resurrection.  In that mind, it seems, it is most important that the Son of Man conquers death and returns as He promised earlier in the scriptures.Now, I do not wish to devalue these things, for they are vital to the narrative, but I am of the opinion that we tend to ignore the greater point, which is His public teaching and ministry.

There were, if we are to understand from the Gospels, many who were teaching and doing public ministry in those days (including, but not limited to, John the Baptist).  That said, it was apparent (again, if we believe the gospels) that Christ's message was fundamentally different. He spoke with an authority that others lacked and performed miracles which others did not.  Why did he perform those miracles? At least in part, I would argue, to get people's attention and to prove the authenticity of the message.  The more I consider it, that is also the point behind His death and resurrection.

"Remember all of those things I told you? Now I'll walk the walk, not just talk the talk."

But we need to remember those things.  Things about how to live, how to be in relationship with G-d and with each other.  If we keep Christ on the cross or as the Divine returning from death, we so easily forget the whole reason he was sent - to save the whole world, to show us the way back to G-d.

"For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (Jn 3:17-18)

Wednesday, April 4

natural synthetics

I have been thinking about my personal exegetical process and realise that to even discuss such a thing is kind of silly because it assumes a number of things which I don't believe are true.

The first question comes as to the purpose of exegesis/hermeneutics, not in the 'big picture' of why do we do this but rather in the personal of why do YOU do this.  If the purpose is an attempt to understand the ineffable will of God, best of luck with that, tell me how that works out for you.  For me, it is to better understand myself, my place in creation and my relationship with all of that....which includes (but is not exclusive to) the Divine.

I guess another way of putting it is 'Why?'.

Secondly, it is my experience that reason and revelation do not come solely through Scripture nor from commentary/Tradition.  I find it a bit laughable to say that the Divine would only reveal Herself in one place at one time to one group of people.  It is much more reasonable that He would be constantly showing Herself here and there to all sorts of different people in different ways and my personal experience bears this out.  Indeed, whether it is by the observation of the Creation or from other sources, I find that one can see the hand of the Divine and hear the voice of Holy Wisdom in so many diverse sources that it is often hard to see how it is possible that anyone could fail to notice it.

I would use the word 'eclectic', except that it has a certain negative connotation in my mind.  "Found art" is an eclectic style.  College dorm interior design is 'eclectic'.  The word carries with it an implication that there is no unifying aesthetic or hermeneutic.  Thus, I run with the word synthesis, a process by which disparate elements are united to form a new whole.  In most cases, this process is synergistic, but it always produces an authentic result that is reflective of the time, place and space of the person.

The answer I have found to my question has been 'why not?' 

'What makes it so difficult to conceive that you can't be the right person in the right place at the right time?
Of course that makes you special, just like everyone else.'

Tuesday, April 3

Bookend to Lent

I started this season of Lent talking about how it is about the turning of the seasons when the cold, fallow grounds from Winter warm under the lengthening days and bring forth the new growth.

Did I mention that Dad reads my blog?  Did I mention She has a sense of humour?


Spring is a time of growth, of renewal and change.  Sometimes that change is the gentle rain and warming sun, but as often it is through wind storms that sweep away the old, dead detritus of the past in gusts which rattle the shingles and make the dog bark at invisible invaders.

Either way, it appears that new, green shoots are popping up and flowers are trumpeting the Spring.  And yes, they're happening outside of my head, heart and soul...too.  I'd love to say more about this whole thing, but to do so would imply I have a bloody clue what's going on or what Dad's got planned.  Which is to say, I'd be lying like a cheap rug.  If things become more apparent, I'll keep y'all informed.  Until then, stop and smell the flowers.

Holy cow

There are times when I realise how far down that road I have traveled. There was a point when I was part of the herd, .then I went my own way, deep into the wilderness alone.  Now, I can say that I have returned, but I am fundamentally changed from how I used to be.

I mentioned before about not being able to unsee things.  So, too, once a person has transcended to the next developmental level (whether it's Lonergan's stages or Rohr's levels of consciousness) one cannot go back.

What amazes me is how slowly and inexorably these changes have occurred.  It isn't as if there was a single epiphany or 'come to Jebus' moment...well, not so much with the theology, at least.  Rather, it has been slowly and carefully going on for some time until, when I read or listen to the 'herd' view, it becomes razor-sharp how much things have changed for me.

Originally, I had an image of a guard dog with the sheep, but i think the above picture is more accurate all the way around.  The dog is separate, apart and different from the herd, but a lead cow is of the same stock and is part of the herd.  She's not in control or in charge other than by consent of the herd and doesn't bark and make a fuss to coerce the herd this way or that.  No, she just does what she thinks is right and the rest can follow along or not as they see fit.