Sunday, March 15, 2009


And it is only if our love of Christ and our following of him is part of our discovery not of being 'right', or being successful, or being relevant, or able to attract funds, or votes, or bring about democracy, or liberal values, but of being loved into being with all the others whom we might be tempted to think of as our inferiors, being assured that we are liked as we let go of the things we think make us likeable, being assured of a peace which enables us to let go of our addiction to the power of this world and the relevance to which we must cling, it is only these which will enable us, over time, to bear witness to Christ as God. Not the token messenger of a 'he' which shores us up, but the quiet depth of the 'I Am' who shakes us into life.
James Alison, Undergoing God: Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-in. New York: Continuum, 2006. 32.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

learning to pray

Our learning to pray means our being taught how to receive long-lasting, up-building desires, over time, in imitation of the desire of someone who likes us, not the short-term, malleable desires of someone for whom we are a means to an end. It is because we don't know what we desire, and don't have strong enough desire, that we are ordered to pray without ceasing, so that we can have our desire strengthened and made simple rather than contradictory and belittling. In other words, we are being given the sort of desire that will enable us not to be moved by the social other but instead empower us as creators of a quite different social other.
James Alison, Undergoing God: Dispatches from the Scene of a Break-in. New York: Continuum, 2006. 38.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

bacon and change

"The magus wasn't teaching us about action as in work, it was action as in change. That's why we learned Confucius first—everything having to do with the order of our fathers, the law, manners. Confucius is like the Torah, rules to follow. And Lao-tzu is even more conservative, saying that if you do nothing you won't break any rules. You have to let tradition fall sometime, you have to take action, you have to eat bacon. That's what Balthasar was trying to teach me."

"I've said it before, Josh—and you know how I love bacon-but I don't think bacon is enough for the Messiah to bring."

"Change," Joshua said. "A Messiah has to bring change. Change comes through action. Balthasar once said to me, 'there's no such thing as a conservative hero.' He was wise, that old man."
Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. Harper, 2002. 202.