Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Observations from my reading chair

One of the things I love about reading difficult books is their ability to slow me down. Reading and digesting the words and internalizing them is antithetical to our drive-through, fast-food world. It's soothing and already I am feeling the energy returning just by savoring page by page.

Word by word my exhausted mind is being watered, as it were, by the sun of ideas. Thank goodness for vacations without an agenda of activities that perpetuate the cycle of urgent things to do. Since I work weekends and teach during the week, it's nigh impossible to have a Sabbath day, that needful vacare et videte.
The primary attitude of man, as a creature, is a receptive one. To let ourselves be apprehended by God, to lay our soul open to the influx of God's eternal Word, to expose ourselves to the sword of the love of Christ--therein lies what is most proper to our essence. Our transformation in Christ, again, means primarily our undergoing a process of transformation by Him; He is to engrave the seal of His countenance upon our soul Our basic attitude remains a recptive one. Thus, too, it is our emptying ourselves before the face of God, our abandoing ourselves to His operation and to be filled by His presence, the vacare et videre (to rest and to see) that effects a regeneration of our souls, enabling us to realize the further elements of contemplation, the amare et laudare (to love and to praise) in full completeness and depth. Unless we again and again drink of the water "springing up into life everlasting" (John 4:14), the source of true and valid life in us is bound to dry up.~from Dietrich von Hildebrandt's Transformation in Christ
Hildebrandt's book isn't the difficult one that I'm tackling. It's von Balthasar's The Glory of the Lord.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree! It's wonderful to have that personal time. We all need time to recharge our spiritual, physical, and mental batteries. Love the von Balthasar quote. Good advice, but very difficult too. Learning to let go and be receptive, to release the reins... something I still am learning how to do! I want things on my terms and according to my timetable. How about you?
Enjoying your summer break yet?