Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I do not know if to forgive is difficult. I know that I fail to forgive.

Jesus, Mary, Job: sinless and suffering.

Many blog posts called “great” are soon forgotten. A good post is like good seed: it germinates, roots, grows up, flowers, and brings forth fruit—on good ground. And some good seeds have long dormancy.

Appreciation appreciates the appreciator.

Overrating myself prevents me from being vain.


Father M chose to read John 19:25–27 on this feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. There was also a choice for the first reading: we heard Hebrews 5:7–9.

The three Marys at the cross are more than are recorded in the entire Old Testament.

On the Holy Family

+ +

“My keys are in the other purse.” Women must have their purses, but having only one is best.

“I didn’t sound that way.” How one sounds is for others to say. Same, perhaps, for writing. But find a good critic.

+ + +

Preferential Love for the Poor

A Church that raises money prefers the rich. I least I felt so when we were invited to a “Tour of the Cathedral”, in which we were greeted and escorted by diocesan officials, shown places and things most people don’t see, treated to an excellent repast that included shrimp and sushi, and finally given a book and a souvenir. How would I have felt if we were indeed rich? Entirely pleased, I think, and it was an enjoyable evening.

“Ye have the poor with you always.” If they are always with us in church, how are they taking it when the priest preaches to the congregation about the Church’s preferential love for them? Are they told that God also prefers them? Ah, but the priest is not talking to them.

Wyschogrod notes that it is common to distinguish between two kinds of love, agape and eros. Agape is charity in the purest sense, without superiority or condescension, while eros is sensual love, in which desire and jealousy are possible. The distinction corresponds to some degree to that between soul and body Agape is disinterested and impartial, without regard to persons, while eros is interested love, concerned with this person rather than that and desirous of the body of the other. Wyschogrod notes that God's love for the human creature is usually said to resemble agape rather than eros. As agape, God's love cannot exclude.

For Wyschogrod, this account of agape is doubly suspect. It is untrue to the human condition because it overlooks the fact that genuine human charity can be truly directed to particular persons only when it concerns itself with their particular identities.

What is more, this account of love is untrue to the character of God's love as depicted by the Bible. It fails to see that the glory and dignity of the biblical God consists in God's freedom to engage humanity in a human way. That is to say, God has chosen in favor of genuine encounter with the human creature in his or her individuality. For this reason, God's love is not undifferentiated, having the same quality toward all God's children. Precisely because God is so deeply concerned with human creation, God loves it with a differentiated love, and it comes about that there are those whom God loves especially, with whom, one can only say, God has fallen in love.

This is what has happened in God's election of Abraham and his seed. God's love for Abraham is more than an impartial, disinterested love, but includes an element of eros. God loves the descendants of Abraham above all the nations of the earth, and desires their response in return. That is why God reacts with wounded fury when rejected by Israel.
—Kendall Soulen, “Michael Wyschogrod and God's First Love”

See also John Lukacs, A New Republic and search for “Samuel Butler”.


Post a Comment

<< Home