God can be God even in the very heart of human terror

The dark background against which Jesus is shown [in the transfiguration icon] is something you will see in other icons as a way of representing the depths of heavenly reality. In the transfiguration, what the disciples see is, as you might say, Jesus’ humanity “opening up” to its inner dimensions. …So the disciples look atContinue reading “God can be God even in the very heart of human terror”

when there are no more possibilities left but only the Real

In the passage below from The Great Divorce (end of Chapter 13), the protagonist (who is clearly C.S. Lewis) holds a dialog with his great Teacher (who is clearly George MacDonald). At one point, Lewis says to MacDonald: In your own books, Sir, you were a Universalist. You talked as if all men would beContinue reading “when there are no more possibilities left but only the Real”

in the inferno of the same

The crisis of love does not derive from too many others so much as from the erosion of the Other. This erosion is occurring in all spheres of life; its corollary is the mounting narcissification of the Self. In fact, the vanishing of the Other is a dramatic process—even though, fatefully enough, it largely escapesContinue reading “in the inferno of the same”

He may be approaching our consciousness from behind

To give us the spiritual gift we desire, God may have to begin far back in our spirit, in regions unknown to us, and do much work that we can be aware of only in the results; for our consciousness is to the extent of our being but as the flame of the volcano toContinue reading “He may be approaching our consciousness from behind”

a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy

Wendell Berry on Heaven and Hell: I imagine the dead waking, dazed, into a shadowless light in which they know themselves altogether for the first time. It is a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy; by it they are at once condemned and redeemed. It is Hell until it is Heaven.Continue reading “a light that is merciless until they can accept its mercy”

it is love that creates life

It is because He wept, i.e., loved His friend Lazarus and had pity on him, that He had the power of restoring life to him. …God is Love, and it is love that creates life; it is love that weeps at the grave and it is, therefore, love that restores life… This is the meaningContinue reading “it is love that creates life”

pervading the air we shared together

Catching up on a few passages that I wanted to record from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Looking towards the open window, I saw light wreaths from Joe’s pipe floating there, and I fancied it was like a blessing from Joe,—not obtruded on me or paraded before me, but pervading the air we shared together.Continue reading “pervading the air we shared together”

keeping Sabbath in the body by means of the mystery of the dispensation taking effect in death

The great Moses foreshadowed this day mystically by his saying, “And God blessed the seventh day”; for this is the day of quiet and rest, on which the only Son of God rested from all his Works, keeping Sabbath in the body, by means of the mystery of the dispensation taking effect in death, returningContinue reading “keeping Sabbath in the body by means of the mystery of the dispensation taking effect in death”

though bodily Joseph was indeed a slave

Let our tears flow with those of Jacob, who weeps for his celebrated and sober-minded son; for though bodily Joseph was indeed a slave, he preserved the freedom of his soul and was lord over all Egypt. For God prepares for His servants an incorruptible crown. Bridegroom Matins (Great and Holy Monday)