Friday, August 29, 2008

Man, that's good!

From my friend, Fred, at Deep Furrows:

getting our hands dirty

Wouldn't you love to be in Rimini in August, swimming in the sea of culture known as the Meeting?

Well, I would. But I console myself by reading back issues of Traces. Here's something from the Christmas Issue 2001: No. 10. The context and truth of this editorial ring out even more authentically now than it did when the dust was still settling in New York:

«The entreaty to Christ for the life of the world and the truth of our existence is the clearest and most useful action that we can carry out.

But the Christian judgment is not expressed as a pure wish, it does not float several feet off the ground without getting its hands dirty in the concrete and ambiguous workings of history. The Christian is not a comfortable observer of someone else's match, since "in any case he already knows how things stand." Christians are not persons who think they are already living in Paradise. We get mixed up in things like everybody else, in the approximations and contradictions that touch every human, personal, social, and political situation. Any position of detachment, of not wanting to get involved in facing problems, masks a presumptuousness about the Christian's mission — as if the judgment that arises from faith coincided with a devaluation of the circumstances of personal, social, and political life.»

Read more from: "Getting Our Hands Dirty"
Couldn't have quoted it better myself!

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."