Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Demas . . . having loved this present world
—2 Timothy 4:10
Knowing that the present world is sin makes it easier to love the sinner. We are in “this” together; only one was good. Our difficulty is that the world defines good. The harvest is not plenteous, because demos prefers screen to soul. How could he not, when many of your laborers also choose the world? But you give as the world does not give. If we receive and are your peace, the harvest will be plenteous.
Caryl Johnston’s Continuing Conversion. Links are on the left hand side of the page.
The best blog writing I know of is not in a blog. Begin to read now so as to take in small doses. Two excerpts:
Before the splitting of the atom in 1945, I believe that the material world lay under a kind of protection, so that the despiritualization of human thinking did not penetrate to the roots of life. But now we are in the midst of this despiritualization. The havoc lies all around us, in our culture, our landscape, our politics, our lack of loyalty to anything. There are times when I come close to a great despair in humanity. It’s not that no one cares. They care, but they cannot listen. They don’t know how. The instrument of thinking has to be attuned to the ether in order for listening to become possible—somewhere, deep within man, this instrument has to vibrate with the whole truth. This is not to say that the ‘whole truth” can be known. But somehow it must be felt, or believed, in a living core of incorruptible faith. But this living core has been squelched for modern man. Perhaps this is the real meaning of Modernity—that the core of faith should be shut up in a dank basement labelled the ‘Unconscious,’ full of unclean spirits that feed off of it in the darkness. . . .
. . . A kind of icy shudder held for a split second, while the professor appeared to wrestle with my comment as with an invisible opponent, finally throwing it down upon the ground in a gesture of spurning rejection. I don’t know if it was anything that he said, or indeed if he said anything. I attest to feeling a sense of panic, fear, or rejection emanating from him. For if what I said was true, then all the professor’s careful delimitation of Kirk’s supernaturalism could not be true. For how can a “ghostly tale” be a mere experiment, given what Kirk himself had written, and given the premise of his tales? This premise was well stated by T.S. Eliot when he wrote something to the effect that the authentication of religion lies in the fact that, for mankind, spiritual reality is a discovery, not an invention. An “experiment” is an invention; an experience is a discovery. The whole intellectual world stands or falls on this distinction, that is, whether or not the intellectual life is authentic and valid. I think that the professor knew this—“subliminally,” not consciously—and that he was profoundly chagrined that my question had “exposed” him. My question forced him for a moment to war with himself.
The monthly pastoral advisory council meeting in the rectory. I’m not sure if the council does anything positive for the parish. The only thing agreed upon tonight was to form two committees to recommend ways to implement the “discernment process” in council meetings and in selecting new members to the council. The one memorable thing for me is that I was locked in the cathedral for 40-minutes and thus missed the opening prayer and most of the time allotted for the meal.
One should not call oneself unworthy. Suffer others more competent to judge us to do so.