Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not over yet ...

... The greatest story still being told.

“Even now…I seek the churches in which there is no service in progress, preferring to wander in wistful silences than to mouth words which aren’t quite sayable,” Julian says.
This sounds to me like the beginning of faith. We have a craving for certainty. Beliefs provide an illusion of certainty. Faith enables us to live with uncertainty. This is good, because there is little we can be certain of in this mutable world.


  1. It may also be the self-awareness that faith needs to constantly be held in fresh containers. The problem with tradition is that it can stifle as much as it can support. faith must be constantly made new. It doesn't last very well when it ages; it's supposed to be always-new.

    I too prefer to wander and sit in cathedrals that are not holding service at the moment; that's partly because of the awkward expectations that you get trapped in by other people. At the next moment, someone asks if you want to join the congregation.

  2. Still, the best series of novels I've read on the Church of England is Susan Howatch's Starbridge series. She deals in turn with the progressive, conservative, and mystical aspects of the CoE, each in turn.

  3. I couldn't agree more, Art. The only worthwhile tradition is a living one, and a living tradition grows and changes (which is not say one shouldn't guard against phony or frivolous changes). The change itself has to grow out of the tradition. I find it amazing when homilists try to reduce Jesus's parables to needlepoint slogans. The Prodigal Son is a very problematic tale and what it tells us of the kingdom of God is very mysterious. The mysteriousness is the point, what makes it koan-like.