"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Friday, August 05, 2005

It isn't about us

With his usual insouciant wit, John de Fiesole over at Disputations has reminded me of something that many never learn and that I often forget. Sometimes I even regret forgetting it.

Last year, as I was participating in a luncheon-seminar at a Franciscan ministry center, a dismaying thought occurred to me: we're all talking as though the Christian life is about us! Of course it isn't, in the end; it's about Christ, "through whom and for whom" all things were created and into whom the members of his Mystical Body, the Church, are incorporated. Indeed the only point of view that yields the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, thus revealing the full significance of things, is the God's-eye point of view. For that reason, we should learn as disciples to see with Christ: sub specie aeternitatis. Now since we're not quite God even as we share in the divine life, that vantage point will never be fully attainable; so after the occasion I chatted briefly with Fr. Louis Canino, the host, and opined only tentatively that we all need more of something I couldn't find a better word for than "objectivity." I assured him that I didn't mean a dry, academic objectivity, although some people could assuredly benefit from more exposure to that; I meant that our field of vision should be bigger than it usually is and should radiate outward not from us but from Christ. He agreed and suggested I write an article about it. But since I hadn't yet embraced what I was recommending, I replied by telling him that I was more likely to mollify Child Support Enforcement if I got a better-paying steady job.

Now that I'm duly chastened by learning how narrow my vision is, I think I'll write that article. Suggestions would be welcome.
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