June 27, 2008

Retreat Notes 1: Vertigo

I had a good retreat with a lot of quiet and time to pray and reflect. I did a lot of good writing too, naming grace from the present and the past. I thought I would share some of it in the next few posts. Here's the first selection:

Most people, as you get to know them, seem less strange. You get to know what 'makes them tick,' the origins and values behind their behavior, their eccentricities, etc.

This is not my experience with God--God seems to be the opposite. At the beginning you have a lot of clear ideas about the content of the utterance "God." But as time goes by, it becomes much more cloudy. What or Who is this "God?" Easily we say God is not this or that, but what is God? Words become weak--the lines between description, metaphor, and name are blurred, e.g. Source, Ground, Spirit, Word, Father.

In this atmosphere prayer easily becomes a kind of vertigo--what is the Is on the other end of this conversation--the I AM?

This experience raises two critical needs or strategies:

1. The need to live in mystery willingly, to take the step into the cloudy unknown, to mortify and escape from the tyranny of the conscious mind and its "understanding."

2. To seek Jesus Christ and him crucified. "He who has seen me has seen the Father." Whatever God is, our confession ( and the truth into which we are baptized) is that Christ crucified is the revelation of God's truest Self.

1 comment:

Tausign said...

Hmmm...of the two strategies I've regarded the second as the preferred path in Franciscan spirituality. Now as I look at them together I wonder if they are not mutually exclusive.

Thinking in the mode of Fr. Zach Grant's 'Great Six', Paths to Renewal; I'm wondering if the first 'path' is that of Benedict, Dominic, and Ignatius and the second 'path' is that of Augustine, Francis, and Teresa. Just a thought.