Thursday, March 11, 2010
hidden Christ, unhidden small self
Realization tonight, of the sinister reach of my superficial self. Had a brilliant session today on mysticism, proud of myself for my mastery of the material, good synthesis of ideas and insightful turns of phrase, then came home and snapped at the Brothers during dinner because I was tired and the conversation was boring. Had to apologize for being cranky. Again. All of the morning’s snappy knowledge still hasn’t sunk past my thinking brain. Need for a return to the apocalyptic Christ: not the scholars’ eschatological prophet announcing the end of the world, but the Christ who leaves my plans for my life in splinters, in whose wake my life cannot but be shaken to its foundations. No more taking pride in being clever, like the prisoner taking pride in his large cell. Inauthenticity of justifying my alienated life with work - always more work to do, never enough time, feel continually drawn toward doing more, reading more, writing more, proving more, but then wonder where my religious life, my life, has gone. Need to get from the irreligious religious life of my life at present, not back to “religious life” (whatever that means), but to real life. The attempt to live a more human life is at times inhuman – making bread from scratch (which I love), wanting to avoid processed crap foods, but demands so much more than the two seconds in the bread aisle at the supermarket. Want to connect with what I eat – holiness of food – not just use food as fuel. But hard to spend (justify?) the time when I could be/should be ACCOMPLISHING – plowing through more books, writing some brilliant (!) thing, updating my blog more often. Like the Big Bad Wolf of my unsettled resentful self hiding in Granny’s contented nightgown (the better to edify you with). Merton, as usual, but for me, more than for you: “The Christ we seek is within us, in our inmost self, is our inmost self, and yet infinitely transcends ourselves.” Easy to say, hard to get. Not there yet, haven't even started. But the shy Christ breaks through, despite myself.