Thursday, July 20, 2006

'theology' : because of my vanity...

... I have been re-reading parts of my thesis. Check out this sentence about the human soul:

And thereby she is led out of herself, beyond the limit of language, through death, out of the world, into the luminous darkness of an eternally deepening communion with the undifferentiated silence of God’s self-disclosure.

True. But that's a lot of prepositional phrases.

9 comments:

father thorpus said...

That's pretty slick writing, there, WB.

Johnny Awesomo said...

Hmmm...I wonder what SK thinks about this...

Lee said...

What?
Perhaps if I read this in context.

ANY context.

father wb said...

The context:

As we have seen, the movement from earth to heaven of the created subjectivity is an ecstatic movement in love. To move from the finite to the infinite, from the domain of differentiated to the undifferentiated, is to move in love towards the Bridegroom. It is to be given a share in him. The imagery of Ephesians 5 of the Church as the Bride of Christ with whom he becomes “one flesh,” with whom, in other words, he shares his very selfhood, this imagery applies in some sense also to the created subjectivity in her individuality. For Christ waits at the entrance of the heart: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him...” (Rev. 3.20). The presence of Christ in the heart of the human soul, according to Gregory of Nyssa, is the presence of an ever deepening love, made possible (ironically and mercifully) by the very finitude and mortality which the soul forsakes in following Christ to glory. Even at very far advanced degrees of loving union with Christ, it seems God is present to the soul as it were in intimations. The intimations of the Divine Essence, the total altérité of God, are as the “drops of the night” dripping from the locks of the Bridegroom at the entrance of
the heart. Likewise he compares God’s intimations to the soul with the sweet odor of spikenard: “In the sweet spikenard she recognizes the divine fragrance, but she does not
remain here; she takes what she most desires and, like a sweet smelling sachet, she suspends it between the breasts of the spirit, and worn within the space of her heart it
gives forth the fragrance of the divine message” (Gregory, Commentary on the Canticle, 198). Gregory locates the intimations of divinity within the innermost chamber of the
heart, and these intimations he identifies as “the divine message.” The divine message is the self-revelation of God, the disclosures of the undifferentiated divine essence within the domain of differentiation. The mysteries of which the Church is the custodian, are the divine message, revealed from darkness and silence beyond the world. These are likewise the “drops of the night” (Song of Songs 5.2), which Gregory identifies as such in Commentary on the Canticle, 246ff. In the same place Gregory is clear that these intimations of God, decanted into the heart of the individual created subjectivity, are born by the language of God’s self-revelation in the Scripture, of which the Church is custodian: “The locks, in my view, are... the Prophets, the Evangelists, and the Apostles. For all these have become rivers for us, drawing their water so far as they could from dark, hidden, and invisible treasuries.” The waters of these rivers are the sacred writings of the Church, bearing the language of divinity within the inner circumference of the self, the domain of differentiation, language, and history. The created subjectivity, through conversion to Christ, and in her particularity, marinates in these words, bearing the intimations of the Divine Essence and inhabited by the (eternal) Word, and she is conformed to the Form des Lebens of Jesus Christ (the universal grammar of the Eternal Word, through whom the universe was uttered). In this way she comes to love him, to call out to him, to follow the divine fragrance wherever it leads. Thus she is led out of herself, beyond the limit of language, through death, out of the world, and into the luminous darkness of an eternally deepening communion with the undifferentiated silence of God’s self-disclosure.

Garland said...

"The creative subjectivity...marinates in these words..." Hahahaha!!!! Is this a recipe for fillet of soul? I recommend searing the soul briefly on both sides on high heat and pairing with a crisp white wine.

father wb said...

Garland,

YES, you rogue!

The crisp white wine, no doubt, is "these intimations of God, decanted into the heart..."

mmbx said...

It's way over my head, Precious, but it is beautiful! I knew the Song of Solomon was going to pop up somewhere in there. BTW, one must be "of age" to read that book among Orthodox Jews, I'm told. I don't know... I'm very proud of the H- you got on that thesis!

Brother Philip said...

WB,

Have you read Cardinal Kasper's statement about Anglican Bishops? He gave it to a group of Anglican Bishops in early June.

father wb said...

BP,

I read about it at the time... didn't sound hopeful as I recall.