Teresa of Avila – the soul as an interior castle which most people never explore
Questioning our faith:
The work of the heart involves questioning and wondering:
- Deepens and strengthens my faith
- A way of revealing Gods grace
Believers from time to time need to break away from their old ways of believing.
Few would want to be free of either their idolatrous imaginings or their fixed opinions.
‘how can I be a believer in today’s world in such a way that it involves my whole self – my passion, my intelligence, and my allegiance? my question always returns me to the desert.
It’s no longer possible to believe simply on someone else’s say so – on naked authority
We believe not because we’re supposed to – we believe because because we find them true
We are also mindful that as we throw out the external pope we don’t internalide our lofty idea
The danger of cults (blind faith) and dogmatic (biblical fundamentalism)
Three imperatives of mature believers:
1. Look – contemplating willingness to see what is there in front of us without prematurely interpreting what we see
2. Weep – the fruit of honest contemplation is the gift of tears
3. Live – with inner joy
The desert emptiness and desolation is to prepare us for joy and grounding in hope – it is not a place for masochists
The desert and psychoanalysis are metaphors for focus, receptivity and change
What do we see when we look: disconnection, absurdity, glory -contradictions. Look hard and we see glory and promise
Spirituality rejoices in the interdependence of all things ‘the Art of making connections’ in a holistic sense
The way of images and the way of rejecting images:
We are connected through images and ideas. The trouble is separating images from the thing itself – can become idolatrous in themselves
The other way is the contradiction of opposites – negation and affirmation
What does it mean that I and others are created in the image of God?
Any attempts to trap God in an image, form, or figure is both futile and dangerous because God becomes ‘God’ and terrible things have been done in the name of God
The idolatry of ideas
We have a tendency to make ideas into things, and so we’re tempted to take our way or believing and thinking and imagine that our way is the only right and sane one there is out there.
Contemplation means seeing what is there and refusing to hallucinate so that we see only what we want to see.
What would it mean to be committed to a way of seeing that would challenge us to change? Contemplation (like art ) requires of us a willingness to be transformed. So does the study of theology.
JHB – Zurich overnight flight