Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Don't Know Much Theology

Why is it that you believe what you believe? Is your belief merely an intellectual exercise - a kind of Pascal's Wager? Faith and theology, are felt, lived and prayed things. There is, sometimes, simply an intrinsic, unprovable rightness of a thing, like a sunset or the ocean. Like love. Like the Sistine Chapel or "Ave Maria." Like Dostoevsky and Milton and Hopkins. I hear "Christus Vincit" and I am undone.
     A kiss says more than a contract ever could.
     Do you know what I mean? Faith and theology are not things that can simply be explained, outlined, and bulleted. I can't hold them in my hand. And that's their beauty. These things about which we construct this or that particularity of our theologies is Mystery. Certainly, we must love the Lord our God with all our mind. But we must also understand the limitations thereof.
     And I can be particularly thick. So please do not ask me for proofs. I cannot give you proofs, unless you will accept a rose. Or a poem.

" 'God, have mercy upon all of them, have all these unhappy and turbulent souls in Thy keeping, and set them in the right path. All ways are Thine. Save them according to Thy wisdom. Thou art love. Thou wilt send joy to all!' Alyosha murmured, crossing himself, and falling into peaceful sleep" (Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, final sentences of Chapter 11, Book 1).

1 comment:

paul said...

For me, theology has far too often been more about striving to know facts in order to fulfill my need to be "right" than about experiencing God by surrendering myself to him to do with me as he wishes.

In the process, I smugly withhold myself and am the fool for it.