Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wearied Minds, Remember

Scale along the shelves that line our libraries. Surf about the web to hit a trillion entries. Stand among the professionals for the latest you never knew. And perhaps a sense, overwhelming, might wash over your mind:

God, I know nothing.

And indeed, it's nearly true. Not twelve minutes ago did I feign some purchase on reality. Then to set down Augustine again, confused; to scan over Caputo, intimidated; to bump against Heidegger, troubled. Plato sits on my lower shelf: every scholar seems to claim him; not so sure I understand him. Conference date in two weeks, paper presentation to boot: what have I to say? and who will listen? and what if they don't agree?

This is an age, wherein intellectualism can just strip and starve out love; where the soul tarries outside the king's chambers; feet stammer beneath the fading lights; restless to indignant; shut off; know nothing; or know too much.

Then what is repentance? I thought about that yesterday. Repentance, usually I think of some kind of motion, a movement away. Maybe to turn around. Paenitere: to displease, to regret, to be sorry.

Then I thought, maybe it's not motion; at first.
Maybe it's standing still.

Long enough to let it in. What 'it' is in various circumstances I don't know. Yet it seems to me that for the Christian, 'it' will involve another re-word: remember.

This world will have us if we do not remember. In our search for movement from orthodoxy to orthopraxy, may we issue remembrance as that practical discipline by which we do not move, so much as draw together what we know with what we will, what we will with what we know. Do this in remembrance of me. Partake in that mystery of God's salvation. You know because He first knew you. You love because He first loved you. Now ours is a life Crucified and Risen with Christ. Is this true knowledge? we ask. Or did not St. Paul write of a knowledge that surpasses all knowledge?

Yes he did. It was love.

My thought for today, is to let go the pretensions to knowledge that mitigate the degree to which I love this God who loved me. Against claims to knowledge is one claim, which the Church is to repeat: God is in Christ, reconciling the world. In this we have all that must be said.

No comments: