matter becomes again means of communion with and knowledge of God

On the other hand, the same act of blessing may mean the revelation of the true “nature” and “destiny” of water, and thus of the world—it may be the epiphany and the fulfillment of their “sacramentality.” By being restored through the blessing to its proper function, the “holy water” is revealed as the true, full,Continue reading “matter becomes again means of communion with and knowledge of God”

love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds

Nothing is inexorable but love. Love which will yield to prayer is imperfect and poor. Nor is it then the love that yields, but its alloy. …For love loves unto purity. Love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds. Where loveliness is incomplete, and love cannot love its fill ofContinue reading “love has ever in view the absolute loveliness of that which it beholds”

A List of Online Articles (and a Reading List) by David Bentley Hart

A few folks have asked me for this list from time to time, so I plan to start maintaining it publicly. Here is a list of online articles by David Bentley Hart going back in time (with his exchange with N.T. Wright separated below): “Three Cheers for Socialism: Christian Love & Political Practice” in CommonwealContinue reading “A List of Online Articles (and a Reading List) by David Bentley Hart”

things seen clearly …freed …from possessiveness

Recovery (which includes return and renewal of health) is a regaining—regaining of a clear view. I do not say “seeing things as they are” and involve myself with the philosophers, though I might venture to say “seeing things as we are (or were) meant to see them” —as things apart from ourselves. We need, inContinue reading “things seen clearly …freed …from possessiveness”

God to whom we pray is nearer to us than the very prayer itself

The God to whom we pray is nearer to us than the very prayer itself ere it leaves the heart. George MacDonald in Paul Faber, Surgeon, chapter 35, “A Heart.” You were more inward to me than my most inward part and higher than my highest. Augustine in Confessions (3.6.11), in Latin “interior intimo meoContinue reading “God to whom we pray is nearer to us than the very prayer itself”

by the tune of the rustling of Thy leaves

On the last Sunday before Orthodox Great Lent, the church remembers the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. This hymn is sung at the vespers on Saturday evening that starts this liturgical day. In this hymn, Adam asks Eden itself to pray to God for Adam (by the music of Eden’s rustling leaves) thatContinue reading “by the tune of the rustling of Thy leaves”

for creation to become like the burning bush

Robert Wright (journalist and author of several books who has said that God is a figment of the human imagination but also that he is not an atheist) interviewed David Bentley Hart on his video blogging channel (The Wright Show, posted here on YouTube, Feb 26, 2020). Wright did an excellent job of keeping HartContinue reading “for creation to become like the burning bush”

utterances can somehow touch mysterious depths which analysis can never quite fathom

Walter Ong studied how human life and consciousness changed substantially with the move from oral to written cultures. He worked at a crossroads of communication theory, history and literature. Ong also wrote a lot about the history of education (including material on the early moves from classical to modern classroom methods). He argues that weContinue reading “utterances can somehow touch mysterious depths which analysis can never quite fathom”

all become of one stature

Then the trumpet shall blow with great shouting, and the foundations of the earth shall shake, and the dead shall rise from their graves, and all become of one stature, and the secret thoughts of all stand revealed before Thee. A hymn from the Orthros service on the morning of Judgement Sunday (Orthodox church, AntiochianContinue reading “all become of one stature”

the stubbornness to accept our gladness

“A Brief For The Defense” by Jack Gilbert. Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils. But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants. Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would notContinue reading “the stubbornness to accept our gladness”