there is a beautiful analogy that can shed light on the many alternate and seemingly contradictory passages in the Old Testament and how they can be reconciled with the inerrancy the Church confesses regarding Scripture. Christ, the Word of God, in the Incarnation humbled Himself to take on our human nature, “becoming like unto us in everything but sin.” though He was without sin in His divine person, the human nature He took on was not one that failed to experience temptation, that was incapable of suffering pain in the blows directed towards Him, that would not experience hunger and weariness, not one that was above shedding tears of sadness. in a sense it could be imagined that He could have made it such that the nature He assumed could have been ‘upgraded’ out of such messy, human aspects of being, but then He wouldn’t have truly assumed our condition, wouldn’t have carried out the surprising defeat of death by His own condescension to weakness, the scandal that the wisdom of this world turns its nose up at, but which opens up the door to the anawim (the humble, lowly ones). the salvific work and message of Christ in his human incarnation accomplished all that He set out to accomplish, but its efficacy was not by flashy or superpowered antiseptic means, but by very humble, human ones.
likewise the Word of God so clothes Itself in the history and traditions of man in the written Scriptures. we’ve all either wondered ourselves or heard some one reflect on why God would choose to reveal himself to a grubby little tribe from mesopotamia, or why Christ would have come in the flesh during the ‘backward times’ of Palestine. if He had come now He could have reached so many more people, utilized mass communications etc. modern man, with the cartesian glasses he is born into, views the world only having an appetite for sterile facts, without which he fails to see anything true or worth his time pursuing. why would God communicate through the words of very human authors, second hand accounts which are clouded with mystery, endlessly circled around by poetry and epic narratives which those who follow in time find impossible to squeeze out precise and succinct facts? if the Judeo-Christian God was that of Mohammed, then it would suffice his having dictated the 5 pillars of piety, and we could carry them out mindlessly, resting in our knowledge that that is enough, that that is all we need to know; we could proceed passively in the very aspect of ourselves which is most God-like - and thus tending towards act - our minds. but the pedagogical incarnation of the words of Scripture are written both 100% by man, and 100% by God. just as Jesus Christ was fully man and fully God. Islam objects that such ‘mixing’ of the human and the divine offends the transcendentality of God. in this they actually show themselves to constrict that professed transcendentality of God’s nature. God as Creator is not another kind of thing: He Is; all else is only at His good pleasure. there can’t be a horse who is also man, or a tree that is also a blade of grass; in such creaturely beings the principle that two things can’t occupy the same place at the same time neceessitates such a union as being impossible. but it does not so apply to The Principle from whom all principles are granted their authority and truth. He didn’t have to speak to us at all, as He didn’t have to walk amongst us as one of us. in His benevolent love He willed to do so, in each case, in ways that were both entirely human, with all the messiness and potential misunderstandings that such means necessarily entail, but which are only ultimately stubbling blocks to those proud who have not the time nor inclination to tarry a while, to sit at His feet with their questions, pondering the answers they as yet don’t understand in the private intimacy of their hearts.
the patience and trust which allows one to so tarry are both the easiest and the most difficult tools for modern man to master, for they evince to him that he himself is not the Master. and that seems the one sin modernity is unable to tolerate.
Ludwig Philip Breiling, January 14, 1931 - November 9, 2002
he is one utmostedly worthy of remembrance…
a little tribute i wrote a few years back on father’s day
the premotion of Adam is to the premotion of Christ as matter to form.
all those years i spent working for impossible, failed elections is finally paying off.
now the fact that Nancy Pelosi is going to be the ominipresent speaker of the house (and all of the other shudder inducing silliness which awaits us courtesy of a schitzophrenic consumer electorate) just rolls right off. no political happenings will ever be as disappointing as my first election when i was actually naive and idealistic enough to think that AK was really going to be our philospher-king president (by IL i had grown a decidedly thicker skin, but still had those moments where i slipped back in to mad, delerious denial). at least, in my opinion, many of the gop candidates deserved to go down. and if the clowns taking their place don’t do anything too dangerous foreign policy-wise in the next two years (but obnoxious enough to wake up some of the more intelligent citizens), perhaps this is just the icky necessary stage out of which greater good will emerge. and at least the establishment country club republicans that i’m usually losing to are the ones this really burns.
with every campaign cycle i find myself growing more and more detached. i still maintain some hope and try to do my part, but find that expecting the worst is psychologically the best route to go. who knows, maybe someday an election will actually surprise me and be about the most worthy instead of the most crafty and well consulted/funded. until then i’m trying to go the padre pio route in general: pray, hope and don’t worry. (and i vote, just for the h of it, though still being registered in CA it feels especially like an exercise in absolute futility.)
if the election results were really just a referendum on the war, or any real corporate philosophic recalibration carefully deliberated by the American people, pro-war lieberman wouldn’t have won in liberal new england, establishment gop seat warmers wouldn’t have won with majorities, and the couple formidable statesman who actually were on the ballots in a few lucky states wouldn’t have suffered such blowing defeats. voters for the most part just don’t know anything about their candidates or ballot initiatives or what is really as stake in each contest save for the crafty advertisements they see on t.v. they spend more time researching what kind of ring tone to put on their cell than who they are going to send to the capitol to make law which will effect them in virtually every aspect of their life. they’re feelings driven, impulse voters and that is not a strategy that results in wise outcomes.
the bill in Missouri whose ads claimed would save lives by what is portrayed as the inevitable promise of embryonic stem cells (and purporting to prohibit human cloning in the process) actually enshrines in the state’s constitution unrevokable protections for somatic cell nuclear transfer (cloning), although for now the cloned human embryos will be immediately disengaged, stopped from doing what it is they would naturally do otherwise, or in a word, killed. so the bill actually enacts unreversable protections so that a human embryo can be artificially created to be killed, human life harvesting, pay offs to desperate women for their eggs, etc. but who really has time to read the bills that they’re voting on these days, i mean really. the ad shows little children asking for help to overcome their diseases; Michael J. Fox, who in full disclosure admitted he never read the bill prior to endorsing it, made such a heartbreaking commercial highlighting his tragic battle, what more does a voter really need to know before participating in the process by which such important matters will be decided? elections should be about ideas, deliberations should be based in the substance or lack thereof of those ideas. but the last thing voters are being encouraged to do these days is actually be informed. i think one of the best things we could do for the republic is make television advertising for campaigns illegal and substitute substanitive debates, with viewing mandatory for all voters. i know, i might as well be saying that the best thing for the republic is for there to be elected a philosopher king.
for anyone who hasn’t heard, just got a text message from chaney that he has suffered a stroke.
don’t know any further details but you know what to do…
just gave arduous birth to my first biblical narrative analysis on the rape of Tamar, very satisfying, although with all these papers the paradox persists, love it, hate it, and all this knowledge coming to be in me definitely carries in full force that element of pain in the process.
and - be prepared to be extremely grossed out -
discovered a large live toad in my toilet the other night. i don’t recommend it.
and three snake encounters and counting…
but it is 70 degrees outside…
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