free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other

The circular, “synthetic;’ and pleromatic grandeur of the Hegelian infinite and the chaotic, univocal, and unharmonizable flux of the postmodern infinite are equally dreary; but the Christian infinite, free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other, yields a profuse and irreducible parataxis, a boundless flood of beauties, beyondContinue reading “free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other”

Giver of life

There’s a phrase in the Nicene–Constantinopolitan Creed identifying the Holy Spirit as the “Giver of life.” This phrase often gets unpacked in ancient hymns that expand on the Holy Spirit as the source of all the glorious life in the world around us. These examples below are not the most effusive, but I noticed themContinue reading “Giver of life”

on this day spring is fragrant

“On this day spring is fragrant; the new creation dances now.” O Thomas, thou hast searched out * My wounded limbs with thine own hand; * doubt not of Me Who was wounded * for thee, but have a single mind * with the disciples, and preach Me, * the Living God, to all mankind.Continue reading “on this day spring is fragrant”

Obtain the Lord as a friend

O Bridegroom, brilliant in Thy beauty above all mankind, Who didst call us to the spiritual banquet of Thy chamber, cast away from me the likeness of rags of iniquity by participation in Thy Passion, and adorn me with the robe of Thy beauty. Distinguish me as a brilliant guest in Thy kingdom; for ThouContinue reading “Obtain the Lord as a friend”

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”

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”

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”

then they will clearly see the nature of the stars one by one

C.S. Lewis has a retired star (Ramandu) become a human father, and J.R.R. Tolkien has a man (Eärendil, Half-elven) carry a star into the heavens aboard his ship. Here are initial excerpts from Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea by Alan Scott (Oxford UP): The second-century apologist Tatian asks what goodContinue reading “then they will clearly see the nature of the stars one by one”