10.27.2006

What'cha talkin about?

I’m reading “What is the Point of Being a Christian” by Timothy Radcliff, OP. I just finished the 3rd Chapter (I’m reading about 12 books and many articles right now so it’s slow going on any particular work). In any case, I’d like to highlight this bit from said chapter …

Delight is not the same as approval. The Father does not approve of the Son, nor the Son of the Father. The Trinity is not a mutual admiration society. Approval implies patronage, and to obtain it we may be tempted to put on masks and pretend to be the sort of person of whom our patron would approve. … The mechanisms of approval train us in deceit. Delight invites us to come into the open and be seen as we are.

What if we were to go through our days not looking for approval, but delighting in each other as we really are? What would happen in our relationships to each other and our God if we were to realize, as Timothy later writes, that

[t]o be seen by Jesus is an experience of truth. … Jesus’ delight in us is not a vacuous affirmation: it is our painful joy in being stripped of pretension, of stepping into the light. In the presence of that face we discover who we are.

I’ll admit that it’s easy in the alternate universe of Novitiate life – and religious life for that matter – to fall into the trap of seeking “approval.” After all, I’m no longer the sole decision maker in my life. My formator and the groovy powers that be have a definite say about my future in this community. It’s tempting at times to “put on masks and pretend to be the sort of person whom our patron would approve.” But just like the Trinity, the Novitiate or Religious Community is not (or should not be) a mutual admiration society. Rather, we are like a family rooted and grounded in love. We are called to come into the open, step into the light, and discover who we are. Together. Which takes authenticity, risk and the strength, peace and love that comes from God. Easier written in a blog post than done. But a good thing to ponder ...

Those are my profound reflections for the day. It all reminds me a silly yet surprisingly profound song I found by way of Bored Again Christian (by way of Penni). It’s “To Love LIke the Father and Son Love Each Other” by Half Handed Cloud – you can download it for free on his my space site. Quite the catchy tune … and I love the Different Strokes reference!

I need your heart to stand on my own. But I’m not alone. ‘Cause I’ve got your heart. …
Hey. Hey. God is love, cause the Father and the Son they love each other.
Hey. Hey. God is love, cause the Father and the Son they love each other.…
Willis what'cha talkin about, God is Love, cause the Father and the Son they love each other.


Now back to my plethora of reading….

1 comment:

Just Pete said...

Hey, thanks for the propers!