See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Friday, September 17, 2010

"You would pluck out the heart of my mystery..."


Revealing everything online.
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People who 'live' online pretty much open up their lives to the world, especially if they are on Twitter, Facebook, chatrooms/forums, operate a blog, and so on.  Some writers think they are journalists, and they are in a way - their blogs can be a sort of public journal of their experience, or simply news blogs - hence the journalist identity.  In fact not a few real journalists actually blog.  All of us are writers simply because we write.  As writers, good or bad, we give out a lot of information by what we choose to write about.  We have followers and subscribers and regular readers who frequently want to know even more about us.  Therefore, in and through our online presence, we voluntarily give up a certain aspect of our privacy - our mystery.  If we give it away, we can't expect to be immune from critique - myself include BTW.
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That said, I was looking at the video of the Queen and the Pope, and thought what an amazing thing it was the Elizabeth II was entertaining a Pope of Rome, considering her predecessor, Elizabeth I had been excommunicated by an earlier Pope of Rome.  Both "Heads of State" had very different powers back then.  In their day they actually had powers, although today temporal power is no longer the property of either Head of State, and yet they command the world's attention?  Something the Queen Mother said in an interview came to mind as I tried to resolve my thought about all of this, "above things our royalty is to be reverenced, and if you begin to poke about it you cannot reverence it… Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic."  The Pope doesn't practice magic however, he is not a Magus or a performer, much less a figurehead, but the Vicar of Christ, whose temporal powers have gratefully been lifted off the shoulders of the papacy, and who more than ever before, reflects the true light which illuminates the mystery of Faith in the world.
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In addition, the Queen Mother's statement reminded me very much of Hamlet's speech - "you would pluck out the heart of my mystery..." - I wonder if this perhaps explains the lack of reverence we see in our day?  We have probed and poked about everyone and everything - we pretend to know and analyze and diagnose everyone and thereby attempt to pluck out the heart of their mystery.  All of us participate in this stripping away of mystery to varying degrees.  It is a cultural tendency.
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We look for the faults of our political and religious leaders as often as we do our heroes and celebrities.  Even in hagiography, the lives of the saints are stripped of their mystery and their faults and foibles are reinterpreted according to contemporary cultural standards; for instance, the claim that Sebastian was a homosexual, or Catherine of Siena was an anorexic.  Ven. JPII's teaching on theology of the body has been likewise twisted to suit profane knowledge, hence the sacraments and liturgy are profaned and sexualized.  Our scholars and many of their students probe and dissect everything religious and spiritual - making a career of religion without becoming holy.     
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How can we have faith if we seek approval from one another? [Jn 5:44]  We must be careful not to scatter the thoughts of our hearts before swine. [Mt 7:6]
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Art: Rublev's Christ.  I love this image, so disintegrated yet the light of Christ shines through.  It often reminds me of the verse from the Song of Songs: "Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices." - [Sngs. 2:9]

7 comments:

  1. "[M]aking a career of religion without becoming holy."

    I love this.

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  2. "The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man." G K Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job. 1907

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  3. "We must be careful not to scatter the thoughts of our hearts before swine." Terry, I was thinking very much the same thing this morning. Writing is a way to express ideas and feelings--but at what cost? Perhaps a few things of the heart need to remain hidden--just like painting--it's like displaying your soul for the critics of the world to trample in the mud.

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  4. I am constantly amazed at some of things people will put on the internet. And it seems the more personal the revelations the more popular the blog. I guess people are voyeuristic by nature - or something.

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  5. The quote Thom noted struck me as well. It expresses my greatest concern about myself being online. It's at the core of why, I think, I have started and stopped so many times over the past six-plus years online in a blogging way.

    Oddly, blogging seems inherently given to approval seeking. As to who is swine and who is not, that is a difficult matter.

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  6. Owen - it's been my conflict lately as well.

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  7. I love this icon.
    And I don't want to make a career of religion...I want to become holy.
    But I'm failing day by day.
    Jesus, mercy!

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