Speaking of which, Dante begins Canto XI with a paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer, which, in a sense, can be more potent than the original, since the latter has become rather saturated with use -- indeed, just as the word "God."
But in order to grow in spirit, we must stay one step ahead of the dictionary, which inevitably domesticates the wild godhead. We must try to avoid this descent of Dogma into mere dogma.
Think of it: with the Lord's Prayer, the Creator himself is making it easy on us by teaching us not only how to pray, but what to pray for. I remember learning it back in Sunday school when I was five or so.
But in actuality, for me it was just a meaningless string of words, like the Pledge of Allegiance. By the time I would have been capable of comprehending the deeper meaning, it was already too saturated -- far too familiar to have any shock value whatsoever.
But if the Ultimate Principle calling you into his office and teaching you how to pray isn't shocking, then nothing is. You are a jaded soul.
Which reminds me of an aphorism: Every Christian has been directly responsible for the hardening of some unbeliever’s heart.
Fortunately, there is a kind of cosmic compensatory agency at work, through which we encounter fools, such as yesterday's troll, who serve to sharpen our faith as a result of seeing the intellectual consequences of their childish doctrines. Been there. Dumb brat.
Indeed, these foolish ideas are their own punishment. Remember, when the atheist talks about the "origin" of anything, whether of the cosmos, of life, or of the human person, he is simply boasting about the arbitrary limit of his metaphysic.
So anyway, Dante's paraphrasing of the Lord's Prayer has the effect of de-saturating it for us. For example, he begins with Our Father, you who dwell within the Heavens, but are not circumscribed by them.
In this single phrase, Dante is telling us that the Absolute is transcendent (within the Heavens) and therefore immanent (not circumscribed by them). The One is simultaneously closer to us than our own being, and yet beyond our imagining.
Another way of saying it is that the One is simultaneously absolute and infinite -- which finds its analogue in the herebelow in a diversity of ways, for example, the wave (infinite) / particle (absolute) complementarity of quantum physics.
Or, on a different plane, Father (Absolute, the Law, Justice) / Mother (Infinite, Compassion, Mercy). Although these are horizontally equal, the Absolute must be vertically prior -- as indeed Adam is "prior" to Eve.
To conflate the Absolute and Mother always leads to a kind of hell on earth; indeed, its horizontal prolongation is the contemporary ovary tower liberalism through which we are swallowed up by the All-Merciful nanny-state.
Its sociological prolongation is the destruction of the tripartite family, and its displacement by the pre-civilizational (and biological) dyad of mother-child.
The exclusion of father leads straight to barbarism, as we have seen with the feminized left's successful undermining of the family. For the left, a family is any two people in love with the state.
Hallowed be thy name. Dante says praised be Your name and Your omnipotence, but this still strikes me as too saturated. For what is the purpose of praising God's name? It's not as if we need to bolster his flagging self-esteem.
In Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict has a meditation on the Lord's Prayer, which explicates and illuminates its various dimensions. On the one hand, we need to recognize in the prayer "the thoughts Jesus wished to pass on to us." In other words, there is an exterior component to it.
But there is also -- and more principially, since the inner could never arise from the outer -- an interior dimension of the Prayer, which "reaches down into the depths far beyond the words." It originates from and memorializes the eternal dialogue between the first and second Persons of the Trinity.
Thus, it is an intersubjective prayer between what I would symbolize as O → (↓↑) ← (¶). The prayer takes place in the spiraling space between subjects.
Back to "our Father" for a moment. Clearly, to say "our Father" is to say "your child," so here again we are talking about a relation between subjects. And of course, its horizontal prolongation is the true brotherhood of man, rooted in the Absolute.
We can only be brothers if we share the same father. Otherwise we are all bastards in the universal brothelhood of man.
However, this again does not imply any leftist egalitarianism. To the contrary: My brothers? Yes. My equals? No. Because there are older and younger brothers.
I'm going to have to cut this off in midstream. I need to get to work.
"Yeah, it sucks, but at least we're all equal."