Friday, February 23, 2007

A little charity covers a lot of theology.

This is my new slogan. Yep, I'm replacing "I did not create myself" and all of its variants (although 'notselfcreated' will still be my Instant Messenger handle) with this. But it bears a little explaining, just because it sounds a little cute and my long-time readers know me too well to suspect any vapid sentimentalism from this blog.

Charity - love - caritas - mercy is one of the names of God. And something I wish Christians would make more clear is that, when we say "God is love," this is not just good marketing. It's rock solid systematic theology. But to be sure, it would be false to believe that the love of God rests on a bedrock of rationalism; the truth is the reverse. Everything; and by that I mean everything, is a necessary and fitting deduction from this simple fact: that God is love.

Even the Incarnation is a deduction of this fact, but by this I don't mean to imply that Israel could have found it out with the precision of an atomic clock, if only their syllogisms had been refined enough. Because the "logic" of God is not a deterministic logic but a liberative logic. It's the logic of sin which is deterministic. In the Inferno, Satan is encased in ice.

But anyway, preliminaries aside, to be authentically spiritual; that is, to have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, to have found perfection of charity, is already to be a master theologian; is already to contain the very heart of the analogia entis, buried in one's soul in a way that the saint becomes a immanent hot spring of the ever explosive and expansive truths of the queen of the sciences. Doctorate schmoctorate. All saints, on and off of the canon, living and deceased, perfect and imperfect, inasmuch as they are saints, are doctores ecclesia.

This somewhat obvious truth came to me in the form of a young lady I've recently met. Alas, I fear that my seminarian and monastic friends will groan, "Oh God, we've lost him to a woman." Now hold on, my pious ecclesiastical friends. I'm not going to be proposing to anyone tomorrow. But I don't believe anyone will deny me the prerogative of exploring what I've been missing all these years. But nevermind such biographical details. This young lady perhaps couldn't recite the definition of the transcendental aesthetic or defend the illative sense or evaluate Balthasar's flirtation with apokatastatis. But when she was twelve, her mother started taking her to Eucharistic Adoration on account that 'God shouldn't be lonely'. And to this day it remains one of her favorite things to do; to tell the Lord about her day; to ask him questions; or just to say 'hi'. The rest of her time is spent interpreting class lessons for deaf students for whom she feels a personal love, and being a nanny for other children. And in just this sort of arcane discipline--of piety and merciful works--she is my new professor.


Matt of CG said...

Right on, right on! If I could jump up and click my heels, I would! ;)

Matt of CG said...

Do you smell that, people? The scent of Truth is about him.

Jeff said...

Ha, well, this post sort of stands as the height of presumption, enshrined in blog form. I'm embarrassed to say, whatever the girl saw in me online, sort didn't = chemstry in person.

Matt of CG said...

Dang! Sorry to hear that. At least you gained a different perspective that you can utilize from here on out. POP!

Hey, that one is coming in quite nicely. It's always good to sprout new leaves isn't it my fellow mustard seed?

Jeff said...

never call me that again.

Matt of CG said...

Hmmm...uh...okay. :D