Living Between the Poles

While serving  for Bishop John L. Spalding of Peoria,  Fulton Sheen dropped a wine cruet on the floor and it shattered.  Later, Bishop Spalding spoke to the frightened boy and made two bold predictions about him. First, the bishop said he would one-day study at Louvain in Belgium; second, he told the young Sheen, “someday you will be just as I am.”

Even when Jesus spells out the future, God keeps it hidden 

Jesus said to his disciples, “Pay attention to what I am telling you.   The Son of Man is to be handed over to men.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was hidden from them so that they should not understand it.” (Luke 9: 43-45)

Catch the irony? Keep focused disciples while I hide its meaning from you.

Jesus explains in Luke 11:13 God’s fatherly role of offering “good gifts” to his children.  Even though God knows all things, the best of all Fathers won’t ruin our free choice but hide most of life’s mysteries.

“Unknown and Yet Known” (2 Corinthians 10:4 

The suffering servant of Isaiah 53 was revealed to be Jesus.  The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 10:4 spelled out the rock that followed Israel around the wilderness was Christ.    An angel ran to Zechariah saying, “People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, ”  God revealed (second sight?) to Peter his approaching death. (cf. s “because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me” (cf. 2 Peter 1:14).

God is both further from us, and nearer to us, than anything else. And we find, paradoxically, that these two “poles” do not cancel one another out: on the contrary, the more we are attracted to the one “pole”, the more vividly we become aware of the other at the same time.

“God is a mystery and a person.  Yet the “thick darkness” into which we enter with Moses turns out to be luminous or dazzling darkness. The apophatic way of “unknowing” brings us not to emptiness but to fullness.  Ware, Kallistos. The Orthodox Way . St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.

Grace is God’s way of showing us things we didn’t know we needed to know. 

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”  (John 16:13)

” For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (I Corinthians 13:12)

The challenge of today’s Christian is to live between the two poles of mystery (darkness) and revelation (light).

Author: gbradepp

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