Saintly Thoughts

The Dialectic of Faith: Reflections for Bright Week

I often wish that I were a stronger man, assured of the validity of my convictions; of course, then I would be other than what I am, for I have learned through hard experience that all foundations eventually crumble away.  Do not misunderstand me, I do not mean to suggest that there are no such things as timeless truths, just that our interactions with such truths are (because of our imperfections and changefulness) always being remolded.  Religions, do you and your gods claim a solid foundation free from such transformations?  If you do then you delude yourselves, for yours is the slipperiest of foundations.  Especially Christianity; Christ is the cornerstone, but that cornerstone is itself a stumbling block.  To enter into communion with His Church is to forever tumble.  An embrace of love, to be sure, but a terrifying action of trust on the part of mankind.  Trust in what, you may ask?  Why, in effect (though not in cause) trust in nothing, for to the Christian law is no firm guide, tradition is no true guide, family is no sure guide, and instinct and pleasure are not good guides.  The only true guide is Christ alone, but His is a creed without content (for mere humanity)—only symbols leading to the True Content of God Himself.  Thus we follow, and the rules (appear) to be constantly changing, for ours is a journey of discovery—not of method and rationale but of the personality of the beloved.  Law, Scripture, Church, Tradition, Family, History, Reason, Art, and the sum totality of human experience bear (true) witness to His Symbols in their full expression, but none of them are true guides in and of themselves (ontologically).  Thus we are led astray, again and again and again first by the one, then by the other, then by the next.   Do I say that any of these things are unnecessary?  No, may it never be said that I say that any one of these things may ever disappear from our experience.  Do I say that we should not trust them?  Not exactly—we may trust none absolutely but God Alone (known only to us by means of His Energy and Symbols).  We may trust God absolutely, but we may never trust absolutely our interpretation of this god, lest we turn to the idol of the self and worship the self (the default position of humankind).  Let us not turn that God into our idol god, and in our confusion worship the idol of the self (thinking that we worship God).  Thus, to trust God and Christ may present itself as a dialectical relationship of the self pushing out from the self to the Absolute Other that is the Divine.  What solace is there along such an unsure path?  Peace is promised, and I think there are moments of peace.  But in the end, this is a path of Love, and Love is always painful and always anxious, for the path of Love always considers first the good of the beloved.  Keep always the Love of Christ in one’s heart and one will be constantly murdered with Christ, but that is the only means by which we may overcome the self.  At least, that is the position of the Christian.  Do you know of another truer means of overcoming the worship of the self?