Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | August 17, 2012

Last Night About a Quarter to Five…

Ah… that Logismoi hour. Yep. But no,hey didn’t have me despondent so much as weakened in my resistance to the silly notion this secular world of ours makes any sense… and that we can really wake others to the wonders of the True and Living God… the God whose complexity began with the mystery of the Trinity, incarnated through the mystery of the virgin birth, and after many unimaginable miracles, closesd a chapter by following a horrifying death with the mystery of the resurrection and ascension… and far more than that… broke the bonds of stunted understanding of time and space. No… in my near-sleep state, I tried to make that argument… and there’s just too much complexity and too much disinterest to make that one stick. And yet scientists tell us dark matter is likely 97% of all there is… and yet our method of informing ourselves as to what is and is not is confined by “reasoning people” like ourselves… to that which can observed by instruments. And what of the palpitations, the inclinations and effects of all this on the human heart… and how it inspires the motions of our lives? What of those? Are they observed, measured and known… or even wondered over? I thought not. And yet we call one “real life” and the other make believe? Fairly… few understand the science involved in most of the technology we use by faith everyday… yet they don’t question it because of the perception that the technology serves them rather than the other way round… or that other notion that only fools don’t know how to use it… blah blah blah. But what’s this say about how we perceive the divine-human dynamic… that it just seems to be one of those things that has to meet a higher test of proof than the bumble bee’s flight, the theories of quantum physics, or the “full void”…. as they pertain to everyday life? Don’t we fear a dynamic where the divine dictates to our human lives…. and prefer instead to think we’d be served as if by some captive Genie? Most suspect there’s an inversion of one sort or another here… but just which one is which?

And I guess this is what comes of listening to David Frost’s podcasts from the Cambridge Orthodox Forum (Ancient Faith Radio) and pondering the line, “All of life is simply preparing to get more and more tired.” Yes… and sometimes even our sleep isn’t (or doesn’t seem to be) sleep. But more than that, Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in the same series of podcasts makes the note that he says “like St. Vincent of Lerrins, I’d rather be wrong with Origen and his notion that God is in fact affected by the world, rather than be right with St. Augustine and St. Thomas Acquinas and their cold, bloodless, unmoved god of philosophers” (or words to that effect). For if as the Metropolitan suggests the Lamb was slain from the beginning of the world, then perhaps we might revisit the possibility that God was moved to the Incarnation by sorrow, compassion, and love for man and his condition after the Fall. And then all our lives, our struggles and sufferings do in fact matter very much to God and are precious to Him… and indeed the divine-human partnership runs the way we think we’d prefer. Only the trick is that if indeed we elect to imitate Christ, it is at that point that our life of service begins and becomes all the more precious to God… though no easier… except by Communion in the Spirit and by Joy.

And the funny thing is that initially as you get on to that, I think it’s quite natural to find it off-putting. I mean… a life of self-denial, suffering and sacrifice…. really? Is that what we’re about? “Always and Everywhere?” Really? Mmmmm. Can I get saved …only in steps rather than all at once? More like the installment plan? Christmas Lay-a-way and all that? But the thing is that the more you think about it… isn’t that where end up whether we buy into this game or not? Life is after all, hard.  But if we do… and for the record, I do… don’t we in fact find that all this misery that seems misery to those who don’t swing with it… or look into it’s deeper moments… don’t we find that it is in its entirety…. transformed as we are ourselves transfigured? From the merest glimpse of my mind’s eye… this seems the sense of it… but it is only just at the periphery of vision rather than at the center… and so difficult. And I don’t wonder that this is so incomprehensible… even inconceivable… or that words fail… or at least words that aren’t borne up in image, in incense, in song, icon and in faithful prayers. Thanks be to God.


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