Sunday, 4 November 2012

Soul Food

Sometimes I give myself over to thoughts that have little to do with being a diplodocus - which, in truth, was just a passing fancy - and I think about The Meaning Of Life. Now if I'd found The Key, or even A Clue, I'd be raking it in, having written A Book and I'd be fronting a tv programme asking you for lots of money.
Keyless  and clueless then, with barely the audacity to expect you to read any more of this, I offer Fr Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation, and my take on it:
Conservatives look for absolute truth; liberals look for something “real” and authentic. Spouses look for a marriage that will last “’til death do us part.”  Believers look for a God who never fails them; scientists look for a universal theory. They are all on the same quest. We are all looking for an immortal diamond: something utterly reliable, something loyal and true, something we can always depend on, something unforgettable and shining.
There is an invitation and an offer for all of these groups from John’s very short Second Letter, when he writes: “There is a truth that lives within us that will be with us forever” (2 John 2). But most of us know very little about this, so we end up as St. Augustine admits in hisConfessions: “Late have I loved you, Beauty so very ancient and so ever new. Late have I loved you! You were within, but I was without.”
Jacob wrestled with God and got a limp and a new name for his trouble (Israel: ' Struggles with God')
I think the writer of Exodus was on to something, and Fr Richard is holding a torch to it -  this 'journey out of certainty 'doesn't feel like a walk in the park, it feels like mud wrestling.
You're in there to get hurt (which you will) and when you think you have grasped something, it's as likely to slip out of your grasp as not.
I think for fifty years and more, I avoided the fight. Who wouldn't? Certainty is safer. Makes no demands... And it seems to me, as it did to St Augustin, St Catherine of Siena, and others who got it, that the fight isn't with anyone else, or found anywhere else, it's with myself. Within not without! That's it.
So take the 'mystery of suffering' . As I tried not to in conversation with a friend last week. Why does God allow suffering? Who knows? We'll  never know. The quest in the question is, 'Why do I allow suffering? Why do you?
Struggle with THAT, and you'll know you walk with a limp too.

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