Tuesday, September 4, 2007

hoo boy

I just finished my class a few moments ago, and I am just blown away at what is going on in there. We started talking about the desert tradition, and I figured I would spend 20 minutes or so lecturing, we'd do some discussion, and then I'd move on with the cenobites. Geez, we ended up talking about the desert stuff the whole time, and still have more to cover! We got into some heavy stuff like kataphatic and apophatic prayer and theology, which I had intended to hold off until later, but it came about of itself, so we had to open that can of worms. I am enjoying it so much, it's actually making me nervous. I pray the students are enjoying it all, but I fear that I am talking too much, being too oblique, too vague. They are asking amazing questions, but it's obvious that they aren't just rehashing stuff they already know. They knew the basics of the legalization of Christianity, for example, but when we got into the apophatic stuff and quies and the Jesus prayer, they didn't seem to know it, but they jumped all over it. The hunger out there for something people can sink their teeth into is just mind-boggling. It's so hard to talk about any of that stuff, and the whole time we are talking our words are just failing miserably, and we're all laughing at our poor efforts to express intelligently what we know we want to say, but I can tell that people are really getting fired up about it. Everything they say sets off ten ideas in my mind, so I really hope I'm not so scattered that I am just muddling the confusion even more. I wish we could just sit together in silence for a few hours and let the silence do the talking, but we are condemned to speak. O God, let my words and the clutter of my thoughts not be a hindrance to the utter simplicity and silence that You are. Mercy within mercy within mercy...

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