Monday, March 9, 2009

What does "correspondence to one's heart" mean?

Singing together in my living room: from the Advent retreat in 2007

An Example:

On Saturday, after the talk and Mass and assembly during this weekend's Lent retreat we sang together at the convivenza (as we always do). In that moment, I felt such satisfaction, as if I couldn't feel happier. And then, when one of my friends who was there (who had never come to any CL event or meeting before in her life) told me "This is heaven," I was really blown away because I knew in that moment that I wasn't alone in my joy -- that it wasn't a matter of "well, I like this and you like that" but of something objective, a fact -- Christ is present here with us, in our unity, and it's a taste of eternal life -- the hundredfold. Singing together is an especially powerful sign because it is impossible to feel the same joy when I sing alone -- there is something about the voices all joined together that creates something that I cannot give to myself, and it makes me tremble with gratitude that Christ gives me these others. Thus I know that it corresponds to my deepest need that Christ makes this beauty happen for me (for me!). I feel the opposite of alone. And the knowledge that this can and will happen to me again and again gives me great hope -- that Christ has joined me to a people who share life on its deepest level is a miracle, one for which I am not worthy! So, it was my friend's judgment and my judgment that singing together, being together like that is indeed heaven. I compare this singing together with the needs of my heart -- the need for justice (in physics, when something is justified it is lined up and there is a correspondence between the thing and the point of reference -- so I was, in this sense, justified with the ultimate point of reference: the Infinite), harmony (obviously!), beauty (yes!), and charity (it is a great charity to me and that I also give at the same moment to lend one's voice to a choir).


Fred said...

Ours was Sunday, but we didn't conclude with a convivienza...

Marie said...

Saturday I was thinking about the first time I joined in singing at your house, which was actually for the 3S's confirmation celebration. I remembered how amazing and how life-filled and how fun and how weird it was. And Saturday I thought how very normal it seemed now. But normal in the sense that life should be this way. People should gather and sing. It reminds me of one of the Divine Whispers at the beginning of my Catholic journey: "I want the glorious to become commonplace in your life."


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."