Monday, October 27, 2014

Flipping the Faith

I'll be having a somewhat short retreat to Salisbury this week. Events have overtaken me this year and rather than spending a working week with the Benedictine Community, a day and two halves will have to suffice. From what I observe in the world, it's been a year of contrasts and tensions. This seems to be playing itself out in the Roman Church quite obviously over the issues in the family.

I must be going through a bit of a Kantian phase (or even Hegelian -though I rather hope not!), rather than keeping true to my scholastic preferences. What is interesting me at the moment is the fact that the dichotomies with which we're presented in life seem to point at something more fascinating.

I've mused upon the reward-punishment problem earlier. Rewards and punishment seem to be the two sides to one coin, but it seems that the coin is of less value than one would normally give it, rather, attributing value to such a coin could very well lead to promulgating a purely materialistic worldview.

This could very well bring us back to another two sided coin of matter versus spirit. This dualism is an age old problem in the Church, falling down on one side or the other forces us into one or other of the heresies that can tear one away from the Church.

The model we must always look to is Christ Himself. In this sense, Christ is the coin of greatest prices for he has the two sides, God and Man, which are distinct but completely inseparable. He is King and Servant, showing us that status is really nothing in the eyes of God. We can see how Christ satirises the whole notion of "higher" and "lower" when he tells us that the first will be last and the last first. He is Priest and Victim showing us that our very lives are sacrifices which are only sanctified by God through our offering ourselves to Him at His prompting for sanctification which can only ever be painful. He is Dead and Alive showing that Life is not just something that flickers into being and then gutters out, but rather our life exists beyond the extremes of birth and death.

It's amazing how we always want to come down on one-side or other. That's how we make our decisions in life, by flipping a coin. Sometimes, however, we fail to see the value of the coin that we're flipping.

1 comment:

Kate said...

The fact/value split has caused so many problems. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the problem as it relates to heresy.