Quote of the Day

Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell. PHiLOSOPHY and LiFE blog

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Silence and Honey Cakes, part 2

Cover image

Continuing from my last post on this book with more quotes from the first chapter. Really, you should just beg, borrow or even buy the book, and read it yourself, but I need to remember the essence of what he says — not that there is any spare flesh in Rowan's writing.

Life, Death and Neighbours (cont.)

Everything begins with this vision and hope of putting the neighbour in touch with God in Christ [which] entails facing the death of a particular kind of picture of myself. ...one of the great temptations of religious living is the urge to intrude between God and other people. We love to think that we know more of God that others; we find it comfortable and comforting to try and control the access of others to God. p.25

[We] are only trying to make others in [our] own image ...[with] this deep-rooted longing to manage the access of other people to God ... everyone is drawn almost irresistibly back towards this urge to manage ...[through] inattention, the failure to see what is truly there in front of us — because our own vision is clouded by self-obsession or self-satisfaction. p.26

If we don't really know how to attend to the reality that is our own inner turmoil, we shall fail in responding to the needs of someone else. ...readiness to judge and prescribe — normally has its roots in that kind of inattention to ourselves. 'How can I pass judgment when I don't know the full truth about myself?' p.26

Self-satisfaction is dealt with not by confrontation or condemnation but by the quiet personal exposure of failure in such a way as to prompt the same truthfulness in someone else: the neighbour is won, or converted, by Macaruis's 'death' to any hint of superiority in his vision of himself. ...the goal is reconciliation with God by way of this combination of truth and mercy. ... The fundamental need as far as the counsellor is concerned is first of all to put themselves on the level of the one who has sinned, to heal by solidarity not condemnation. p.26-9

To be continued ...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tory Outlet

Roll up, roll up. Get your cut-price Tories here. Four David Camerons for the price of one. It's a real bargain, a once-in-a-lifetime offer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Silence and Honey Cakes

Cover image

I think Rowan Williams is simply incapable of writing a bad word. Someone, I forget who, introduced me to this book. I cannot tell you how thankful I am, how great a blessing it has been. I feel scoured (convicted, reproached) by the way he presents the wisdom of the desert mothers and fathers. Amazing Grace, indeed! I want to record here some quotes from the book as much to help me remember as to share.

Life, Death and Neighbours

... the facts of human life together are normally so messy, so unpromising and unedifying ... spirituality — the cultivation of sensitive and rewarding relationship with eternal truth and love ... simply doesn't happen unless we mend our relations with Tom, Dick and Harriet. p.22

'The monk ... must die to his neighbour and never judge him at all in any way whatever.' If our life and our death are with the neighbour, this spells out something of what our 'death' to the neighbour might mean: it is to renounce the power of jugdment over someone else — a task hard enough indeed to merit being described as death. p.24

I must die to myself, a self understood as the solid possessor of virtues and gifts, entitled to pronounce on the neighbour's spiritual condition. My own awareness of my failure and weakness iindispensablele to my communicating the gospel to my neighbour. I put the neighbour in touch with God by a particular kind of detachment from her. ... this is absolutely basic for our growth in the life of grace. p.24-5

To be continued ...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Reasons not to pray: 4

This may be the next in an on-going, infinite series begun with Reasons not to pray: 1, 2, 3.

Reason 4: the fear of emptiness, of nothing happening this time. Of course, nothing may happen, and there is nothing to be done about that. Indeed, if God is not an object in The Universe, if God is no-thing, then this is an entirely reasonable state of affairs and only to be expected.

[Next in the series: Reasons not to pray: 5.]