those who know how to conquer invisibly

S.O.S. 1995 Leonard Cohen Take a long time with your anger,sleepy head.Don’t waste it in riots.Don’t tangle it with ideas.The Devil won’t let me speak,will only let me hintthat you are a slave,your misery a deliberate policyof those in whose thrall you suffer,and who are sustainedby your misfortune.The atrocities over there,the interior paralysis over here—PleasedContinue reading “those who know how to conquer invisibly”

perceiving and embracing our finitude

Loving God means standing naked in the truth of what we are, and that means perceiving and embracing our finitude, our contingency, and our absolute dependency upon God who calls us into being ‘ex nihilo’. That truth of that ‘nothingness’ (the Void) has to be acknowledged before God. It’s an essential aspect of who andContinue reading “perceiving and embracing our finitude”

when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected

God has one goal: when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected in each man, some straightway even in this life purified from evil, others healed hereafter through fire for the appropriate length of time, and others ignorant of the experience equally of good and of evil in the life here, God intendsContinue reading “when the whole fullness of our nature has been perfected”

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”