Note: I wrote this as a short muse to myself about six months ago. Just thought I’d throw it out. It seemed profitable.
Jesus! Breathe it out, as an aspiration, a short prayer, and it immediately drops into the fabric of time, of flesh, an incarnation of eternity in what is temporary and corrubtible.
What is the power of this single word, this single name? It soothes pain, comforts grief, extinguishes the flaming arrows of passion.
Today, I am relatively calm: a rarity. It seems that my ordinary mode of being is to be tossed with so many passionate temptations that I am entirely ignorant of the little sins that I commit without thinking: arrogance, rudeness, resentment, insensitivity. Like a warrior who is distracted by the attack on one flank, only to be bound by the surprise attacker from behind, I am entirely undone by this one passion.
I am reading the last decade of journals by Fr. Alexander Schmemann. He is entirely against what he calls ideology. I want very much to agree with him on this point; he says that ideology is always limiting. It is always an idolatry, an embrace of what is small to the exclusion of what is truly universal. How true! Truth is always larger than we are able to comprehend, larger than any childish attempts to box it in with ideology. And yet, he defines ideology as philosophy and theology! Or perhaps these are just examples, as contrasted to the literature and poetry that he prefers to read. In any case, it is clear that all he writes is theology and philosophy. (Mostly the former, though.) I don’t know at all what to make of this blatant contradiction. Perhaps he realizes it later and I will be able to catch a glimpse of this.
When he describes his relationship to Matushka Juliana (his “beloved L.”), I see something that I have always wanted: a love that grows old, that wraps around two people like a wonderful blanket that has become worn to the contours of two bodies. Yet, everyday, more and more, I sense that this desire is fading from me, or rather, the intense need to be filled with someone else is fading from me. I still do not want to be alone for the rest of my days; I dread it still, but I am coming more and more to see that I am called to something else. Perhaps now I shall finally read Merton’s Mountain and profit by it. People seem not to grasp the inner struggle that torments me in this divided path.
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