Sunday, July 1, 2012

Upon This Rock...

“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God”-- G.K. Chesterton
Raymond J. de Souza, Catholic Priest and National Post columnist commented a few years back thatCharlie Sheen was trying to find God. Father de Souza makes it clear that booze, drugs and hookers are not the recommended route, but the comment makes sense.
“You see, man strives for eternal joy; he would like pleasure in the extreme, would like what is eternal. But when there is no God, it is not granted to him and it cannot be. Then he himself must now create something that is fictitious, a false eternity.” -- Pope Benedict XVI
In “The Shadowlands of C.S. Lewis,” Peter Kreeft presents some of the famous author’s more dominant themes and includes large passages of his writings. Lewis used Plato’s Cave allegory to explain how we are living in a Shadowlands, not yet seeing reality as it really is: Infinite. Echoes of William Blake there…

God made us and we are fit for him, to be with him, so we have an innate longing for him. Without him, there is an emptiness, a hole in our soul, so to speak. The obvious answer is to fill it with God, but we are stubborn creatures, kicking against the goads, so we seek our own paths, trying to fill the emptiness with money, lust, success, whatever…

There are many paths to God. Mark Judge discusses George Harrison’s Catholic Krishna, which was not hippy dippy trendyism, but a real search for The Creator, which eventually led him back to the Christian God. In the same article, Judge also discusses Bono’s theology which is solidly grounded in Christ Our Savior.
In Achtung Baby, it is all there: our infinite potential for dreaming, discovering, and building, and the trouble we cause by confusing our liberty with license; our wanderings through streets both named and unnamed in search of peace or escape, enlightenment or forgetfulness, love or domination; the longing in our hearts for unity between and among God and man, man and woman, brother and sister, parent and child, and the restlessness, pride, larceny and fear in our heads that disturbs even the happiest of homes; our reveling in the fact that we truly are "fearfully and wonderfully made," and the sad acceptance of our brokenness; the excellence of fidelity; and the appeal of seduction; the glamour of evil, and the disaster of sin; the paradox of being rooted in time but destined for eternity; the God shaped hole at the center of our being, and our vain attempts to fill it with something, everything, anything other than God. (Stephen Catanzarite, quoted by Mark Judge)
U2’s music is spilling over with references to the Holy Trinity and man’s struggles here on earth.

Here are a few passages from Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas, as excerpted from Christianity Today:

It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma.
You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "as you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff.
But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep s---. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity. (Bono: Grace over Karma)


Bunkerville said...

Thanks for the reminder of what this whole thing called life is all about.

FreeThinke said...

What an amusing coincidence that FreeThinke's blog also chose to a rock as the centerpiece of this morning's featured article!

The treatment there is radically different, of course, but the implied purpose may not be.

Go take a look:

FreeThinke said...

I love the pithy Chesterton quote at the top.

I was a bit surprised to see a man from his time –– and of his squeaky clean reputation –– make such an observation, but I thoroughly agree with it.

Every attempt to find Love -- even though it be "in all the wrong places" is at root a search for God.

God, after all, is the embodiment and perfect expression of Love, and every one of us, whether he realizes it consciously or not, wants to find Love -- spends his entire life trying to find it in fact.

The tragedy of human existence is that so often we fail to recognize it, fail to acknowledge it and fail to accept it when it's offered.

What we seek so desperately is inside us and all around us all the time. Our insistence that it must "out there" somewhere in the Great Beyond or High Above makes so many lives an exercise in futility.

Love is not some exotic Pearl of Great Price for which one must slay dragons before one may possess it.

A favorite story that illustrates this point simply, gently and beautifully with great charm is, of course, The Wizard of Oz.

Dorothy learns after experiencing the exciting and fascinating series of exotic adventures she had longed to find "Over the Rainbow" that "There's no place like home."

Dull gray, windswept Kansas and dear, plain Auntie Em become more precious than gold to the little girl -- after she loses them temporarily.

Love is where you find it.
Don't be blind. It's
All around you everywhere ...
Seek, and you shall find.

One can find needed affection, acceptance and understanding even in banality, as long as the quest is sincere.

Thanks for an inspiring, uplifting post, SilverFiddle.

Exactly what we need for a radiant Sunday morning after a week fraught with tragedy and disaster nationwide.

~ FreeThinke

KP said...

Very timely reminder, thanks Silverfiddle.

Anonymous said...

A very nice Sunday read. Thanks, Kurt.

Finntann said...

Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
-André Gide

And if you're curious, there is a picture of the Pope wearing Bono's glasses:

Good Article.


Jersey McJones said...

Well, that was quite a sermon!

It reminds me of an old song by Ian Gillan...

Funny, wasn't he the singer dubbed onto Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar?


It just goes to show - Christianity isn't for everyone, but it can be a good thing.


Z said...

Charlie Sheen is an excellent example of someone looking for God...and filling that hole with alcohol, drugs, pride and worse...Society today practically celebrates him for that..
Yet, when people do find God and live cleaner lives, they're ridiculed as "goody toe-shoes"...This was predicted in Scripture, but isn't much easier to take when you want everyone to have the peace and comfort you have and you see mockers and ridiculers.

Kurt, someone mentioned this morning on FOX that "Everyone's playing checkers, but Roberts is playing chess." I thought that said a LOT and that you might possibly agree.
Let's hope so.

FreeThinke said...

"Everyone's playing checkers, but Roberts is playing chess."

That line was posted at FreeThinke's blog the day after Justice Robot's fateful "decision" was handed down.

It was part of an article by Erick Erickson of posted in its entirety by FreeThinke.

If FOX is using Erickson's line without proper attribution, they should be reprimanded.

~ FT

Ducky's here said...

Everyone is playing chess and Fox news is playing with itself.

Silverfiddle said...

... and MSLSD and its dizzy audience (that can fit in a phone booth) is still addicted to hopium...

FreeThinke said...

It's sad that a fine inspirational message like this draws so little attention.

It shows –– to me at least –– that we're enamored of –– nay addicted to –– expressing rage, disapproval, fear and loathing, but don't have much interest in exploring avenues that might lead us out of darkness.

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."

Too many self-styled "conservatives" are madly in love with their misery. Unfortunately, this morbid preoccupation has become the thing that most clearly defines their lives.

~ FreeThinke

jez said...

An interesting piece. I'm not his biographer, but I'm not sure that George Harrison would altogether agree that his meditation led him back to the Christian God. I don't know if he ever put his real opinion of christianity on public record, but I expect it would be very interesting.

FreeThinke said...

Ultimately ,any decision to support a belief in "The Christian God" would have to be rooted in plain old common sense.

The tenets of Christianity, while not exclusive to Christianity, because they are in fact universal principles upheld to a certain extent in all civilized cultures, provide the clearest guidance toward freeing ourselves –– as individuals –– from the thrall of barbarism and ancient superstition.

At the very least Christian principles –– when stripped of all the supernatural poppycock, as jefferson did –– comprise the finest manual on Good Conduct and Heathy Living yet devised.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Jez: I admit to some journalistic laziness. I have not yet seen "Living in the Material World," thought I do have it on order.

I took what Mark Judge said and ran with it. If Harrison said what Judges says he said, he at least did not reject Christian. I'm not trying to make an Uber-Christian point, but merely blending the information in the articles.

I find this subject fascinating, since it establishes a thread running from Plato to Augustin of Hippo through C.S. Lewis and on to George Harrison, Bono and Charlie Sheen.

FreeThinke said...

... "it establishes a thread running from Plato to Augustin of Hippo through C.S. Lewis and on to George Harrison, Bono and Charlie Sheen."

WOW! That's quite a lineup!

What happened to Pelagius, Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII, Thomas More, Cromwell, Zwingli, Wesley, Kirkegaard, Teilhard de Chardin, Bonhoeffer, Martin Marty and Pope John XXIII -- among others?

Not to mention Aimee Semple MacPherson! ;-) And Billy Graham.


~ FT

FreeThinke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

Dang you just want the whole gamet of people covered Free Thinke? LOL!

Excellent post, Silverfiddle!