Wednesday, August 29, 2012

dip their pens in our hearts

A man who deals in harmonies, who only matches stars with angels or lambs with spring flowers, he indeed may be frivolous; for he is taking one mood at a time, and perhaps forgetting each mood as it passes. But a man who ventures to combine an angel and an octopus must have some serious view of the universe.
--G.K. Chesterton

"How do you chart the movement of grace through a narrative?"

If you run through a field of mist in the morning, once you enter into the field you can no longer see the mist. If you hadn't seen the mist hanging over the field as you approached, there would be no undeniably obvious sign you are running through a cloud. But if you're alert to your surroundings, it's easy to spot the physical signals that indicate a cloud is present. You feel the water saturating the grass below your feet; and if you're paying attention, you sense the dew droplets clinging to your skin. That could just be sweat, though.

Grace is everywhere. 

(George Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest)

I remember the first time I was sad but couldn't cry. Frodo had just left Sam on the shores of Middle-Earth and departed for a realm more blessed and more real. My heart was breaking, but there were no tears. In fact, I couldn't really tell if the pain making my heart ache was a sadness or a joy. It was something stern and solemn, but not despairing. There was no tragedy in Frodo's joyful voyage across the sea, nor was there any great affliction in Sam's peaceful return to Hobbiton. The tragedy was not in their individual actions, but in something deeper. The tragedy was that there had to be a Sundering Sea in the first place. The tragedy was the ancient dissonance and discord that had severed the White Shores from the Grey Havens. That tragedy was not the matter of this particular story, but it affected the story, and they had to encounter it. 
And that is the sadness: when we are forced to encounter that ancient tragedy: that there must be separation, and that division and disharmony are woven into our world. 

And that is the beauty: that despite the tragedy, human beings make a comedy of our lives. A comedy, classically defined, ends with a wedding: a joyful union between two lovers. All of us, spiritual virgins, await the day we enter the wedding feast. As we, like Frodo, embark on our last journey we cannot help but taste the bittersweetness of the joy. As we should. No wedding is complete without some tears. How can our immortal hearts reach an ending--such a jarring and inelegant creation--and not feel the unnatural pain that accompanies endings and last things? But, overwhelmed by joy, the bitterness dissipates like dew melted by the sweet warmth of the sun. 
And as we sail into the west, we finally reach the joyful union and the home for which our hearts were restless. 

-Love has its own order, its own laws. 
-God is love's master.
-No, not its master. God is love itself.
(George Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest)

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