September 5, 2006

Sympathy

In these days when we are reading the prophet Jeremiah in the Office of Readings, I sometimes chuckle when I remember an assignment from college.

Our Old Testament teacher told us to write an essay on whether we thought Jeremiah suffered from a "hypertrophy of sympathy for God." Never mind that we poor college sophomores didn't even know what a "hypertrophy" was, the paper was hard enough.

Nevertheless, it's not a bad question to ask ourselves, whether or not we have sympathy for God. Do we share in God's pathos? Do we know, really know in our heart and gut, what God is going through, what God suffers? Do we make an effort to notice and to know the burning and perfectly diffusing love that God has for us? Do we pray so as to come in touch with the suffering and humble love that lies quietly behind everything as its Source and underneath everthing as its Ground?

I think that this kind of sympathy for God would be quite something. Perhaps that's what Paul meant when he spoke about being "con-crucified" with Christ. (Gal 2:20)

3 comments:

Brother Lesser said...

Having once held my son's lifeless body in my arms, and crying out to God, I can feel a lot more personal compassion for what God felt as His Son died on the cross... But I must say that I can share more intimately what our Blessed Mother experienced.

What pierces my heart is the knowledge that Jesus died for the lowest, foul, despicable scum of the earth.....me, a sinner...

by the bay said...

Thank you for writing that, it prompted me back to where I should be.

On another topic, what is a charism, in the sense of the charism of an order? Where is the best place to read about this? Thanks.
eleanorburnejones@msn.com

Monk-in-Training said...

Have mercy, most merciful Father.

How we forget that Christ Who loves with a wounded heart wants to open our own hearts to love of each other and of Him.