Future, Present, & Past:
Speculative~~ Giving itself latitude and leisure to take any premise or inquiry to its furthest associative conclusion.
Critical~~ Ready to apply, to itself and its object, the canons of reason, evidence, style, and ethics, up to their limits.
Traditional~~ At home and at large in the ecosystem of practice and memory that radically nourishes the whole person.
Friday, December 24, 2010
pealed the bells more loud and deep
Useless, and worse, wicked, to say "Peace, Peace," when there is no peace. With all my heart I believe this.
And with all my heart I believe the call has gone out from heaven's mouth: Peace on earth.
I did not always believe this and even now I do not find it easy to keep faith with it. Compared to so many, my life has been like a warm bath; and yet even I have learned enough of how the world can veer wildly and without warning into irreparable loss to know that there are griefs for which it is sacrilege to offer consolation. I tremble to think of it.
There are those I know and those I love for whom even the kindest-meant wishes of peace and expressions of faith in it (to say nothing of the cringe-making pseudo-cheer of cheap smiles and saccharine carols) are shallow at best and bitter mockery at worst. Some have been deeply hurt by what they know of Christianity; some have had their hearts broken by life. How little good to tell them, "But you are just the one for whom He came. He is near to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirits are crushed." One can only mourn with those who mourn-- mourn without understanding, what we may never understand. Ruin reigns over the world, our own failures haunt us, and everything we love is fragile before the stupidity, chance, and evil that threatens it.
And yet. And yet loss is loss precisely because life is good; only what is good can be marred. This is what makes me sure that those are wrong who say (and I have said it) that it might well be better not to be.
But more than this-- and I cannot justify it, I can only say it and ask pardon for its inevitable untimeliness: though every blessed thing we love vanish, and though each of us will one day no longer be, yet All will be well, and all manner of thing will be well. This too I believe with all my heart, and if in anyone's pain they find it naive or irrelevant or insulting (and I can well imagine any of these), I can only ask; tell me if you can, if you have the patience, what hurt you, so I can try to put it next to this faith-- not to cancel either one out, not to presume to heal you, but only to ask how two such things can be in the world at once. We need not agree on the answer to this, but there could grow between us, at least, the beginnings of what we hope for.