Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Vertical Church of the Live Grenade

Speaking of wounded Gods, I was thinking the other day of how mankind's blows to Jesus are like the last word in... jewjitsu, in that they ultimately miss him and instead redound upon the assailant. Ouch!

Actually, Balthasar says something similar in Heart of the World... which I can't find at the moment, but I see that there's a chapter called A Wound has Blossomed, so maybe this is just a roundabout way of getting there.

Ah. I see that it has a kind of double meaning. We wound Jesus out of the most wounded parts of our depraved selves, and somehow this backfires... in a good way: "Men wounded your Heart; water and blood flowed out. Men drank and became healthy; they washed themselves and became pure."

This goes even -- or perhaps especially -- for the man who murdered love. Which is all of us.

"Just as the first creation arose ever anew out of sheer nothingness, so, too, this second world... will have its sole origin in this wound, which is never to close again."

It's as if the church -- which is to say, the body of Christ -- is One Giant Wound.

In the margin, I wrote a note to myself: "He is the live grenade and the one who dives on it."

I just picked up Prayer, and there is this: the "'opening' to heaven which he is, is like a gaping rent going right through humanity, and the rent is the Church."

Which is sort of what I was driving at on page 252, where it says that the rend is now redeemable on your mirromortal garment.

If it makes no sense, don't worry, it's still perfect nonsense, for "it is as if God is not particularly interested in our attaining any kind of systematic grasp of his revelation."

Indeed, if we could completely comprehend it, it would be closer to Islam or Buddhism than to the Live Grenade (Islam explodes only dead ones).

By the way, God only supplies the grenade. We still have to pull the ring.

Referring back to what Balthasar says about God not being interested in a s. grasp of his r., another book of his helped motivate me to get back to blogging.

Recall that I was a tad frustrated over being unable to assemble it all into a Grand Synthesis, but think of the example of Jesus. Not only was there no Grand Synthesis, he didn't leave a single written word. Rather, he had the absolute faith to leave it to the Holy Spirit to take care of that. He doesn't even bother to try to be his own theologian.

"As for us, we try, for as long as we can, to finish our finite works ourselves; Jesus does not need to interpret the infinite work that he has begun and also completed and offer it in bite-sized pieces to the world; he can leave this to the divine Spirit for a perpetual interpretation. This is the ultimate Christian serenity" (emphasis mine).

"The only time Jesus wrote, he wrote on drifting dust.... Christ himself did not want, nor was he able, to manage the entirety of his work and suffering on earth with all its immanent meaning, but rather, handed it over to into the invisible hands of the Father."

So now I serenely type away and let God sort it out. To the extent that I have a mission -- even if just for myself -- submission must be prior to transmission. It's as if we can't give ourselves slack, but rather, can only surrender to it. And some disassembly is required, which is where the live grenade comes in.

Go ahead. Pull the ring. The wound only lasts forever.

6 Comments:

Blogger swiftone said...


"To the extent that I have a mission -- even if just for myself -- submission must be prior to transmission. It's as if we can't give ourselves slack, but rather, can only surrender to it. And some disassembly is required, which is where the live grenade comes in.

Go ahead. Pull the ring. The wound only lasts forever."

Wish I'd said that! The language is new and fresh, the message eternal. Just pull the ring! And Jesus did. Can we even follow in some pale imitation? Go with who we are in submissive faith? Tough assignment.

3/30/2016 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Poetic. Writing for "the ages" is doomed to fail. Yet spontaneous prayers transform eternity.

3/30/2016 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger ted said...

Recall that I was a tad frustrated over being unable to assemble it all into a Grand Synthesis, but think of the example of Jesus. Not only was there no Grand Synthesis, he didn't leave a single written word. Rather, he had the absolute faith to leave it to the Holy Spirit to take care of that. He doesn't even bother to try to be his own theologian.

That's so good! Yes, when you realize that Christianity isn't about a system, but a relationship... it makes so much sense without the effort to make sense.

3/30/2016 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

The only time Jesus wrote, he wrote on drifting dust...

I've had a thought about that little scene. There's a bit of play there; way back in Exodus, God wrote the Ten Commandments (the first set), the two stone tablets of the covenant were "inscribed by God's own finger." And in short order, smashed by Moses when he saw what his people had been up to in his absence.

Jesus wrote in the dust at the moment the law was being called to His attention; with His own finger, words that were never read and all too swiftly obliterated. Maybe it's just me, but that seems about as pointed a statement as one can make without saying a thing...

3/30/2016 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger Allena-C said...

"So now I serenely type away and let God sort it out. To the extent that I have a mission -- even if just for myself -- submission must be prior to transmission. It's as if we can't give ourselves slack, but rather, can only surrender to it. And some disassembly is required, which is where the live grenade comes in.

Go ahead. Pull the ring. The wound only lasts forever."

Words of wisdom from a real wise guy. :)

3/30/2016 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Allena-C said...

"Speaking of wounded Gods, I was thinking the other day of how mankind's blows to Jesus are like the last word in... jewjitsu, in that they ultimately miss him and instead redound upon the assailant. Ouch."

Ha ha! That was brilliant! :)

3/31/2016 07:08:00 AM  

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