Friday, January 30, 2009

Diakonia according to me (DATM)

Detail from Massaccio's fresco, The Tribute Money

Chris and Fr. Julian asked that we not take what they said at the Diakonia and post it on the internet. It is a miracle that I haven't defied them because my desire to share the beauty I experienced there has been intense. I have been asking myself how this request of theirs is for me and for my life, and I am reminded of the fact that in this particular period of my life, I am finally trying to understand and live true Christian patience. I use the signature on my gmail account as a means of keeping certain points in front of my eyes, and this is what I have there now: "...Patience [is] ultimately the capacity to carry everything, in us and in reality, to carry all the circumstances, carry everything with the reasonable courage of not rejecting anything" (Luigi Giussani). So, I am trying to learn to carry...

What is it that I have to carry in this particular circumstance? Something beautiful, something precious beyond measure, that moved me to the depths. I have to carry this, and ponder it -- while I also carry the fact that it is only for me right now -- that there are some beautiful things that are not for me to immediately use according to my own plan. This is almost as heavy as the weight of all the scandal I have picked up in the hope of developing the strength to carry it.

Everything is for me! Reality is for me! Reality does not betray me!

Isn't that amazing? That I can follow something that I don't like and don't want and in the process find something greater and more beautiful?

That said, I want to post here some of my impressions, some of what I have been carrying. I will post no quotes, but I will do a series of posts (the DATM series) on thoughts that have arisen in me as a result of what I heard, saw and lived in those days.


Fred said...

Your judgment is what I want to see: not the abstract pristine truth, but you-engaged-with-the-truth.

clairity said...

I'm waiting ... I'm trying to be patient. ;) And yes, like Fred, I want it to be all-Suzanne.

Sara said...

So often, your posts correspond with my life in a way that has to be more than coincidental. I'm grateful for your witness. How is your mom? Will you please email me with an update when you have time?

Suzanne said...

I am truly surprised by this response!

I just saw my mom today and yesterday (I returned from visiting her this afternoon). She began chemo on Thurs and is really feeling rotten at the moment -- rotten but hopeful. I was able to cook them lots of freezer meals, which I hope will hold out until the next visit. She has no interest in food, and she's really exhausted, so cooking is the last thing she wants to do, but both she and my dad have to eat. Thank you very much for your prayers.

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."