Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wound and Remedy

I'm gearing up to preach at an ordination to the priesthood, and in my casting about for a starting place found this, that I'd never yet read, from Nicholas Mosley --

"The rules in one sense are that which have been found to give framework, reference, order; that without which there can be no freedom because there could be nothing to be free within or free from, there could be no movement in a vacuum. But in another sense they are that which brings petrifaction and death. In [C]hristian terms it is the church, the institution, that perpetuates (is the manifestation of) the rules -- both as life-giver and destroyer. In a sense the church is opposed to everything a free man stands for: it is that which Christ fought and which fought Christ: the denier of truth, the torturer of the honest, the servant of mammon. All this is too much felt now to go on about it: the concern of the church for power, respectability, vanity, money -- its obsession with sexual morality and disregard for any other -- all this, it is obvious to everyone except [C]hristians, is just what stops other people being [C]hristians and will go on doing so. But still, opposed to this, there is preserved in the framework of the church (how else could it be preserved?) the truth of the story, the history, the art, the secret. The church is that within which the possibilities of the freedom are held; through which is transmitted, beautifully, this experience. (How else could it be preserved except in something so paradoxical?) Within the rigid and self-seeking church have been the things that have given the chance to alter everyone."


Jan said...

"Within the rigid and self-seeking church have been the things that have given the chance to alter everyone."

I found this piece hard to read, but it was worth it to see where Nicholas was heading. It is such a paradox; however, I find that spritual truths usually contain paradox.

Crimson Rambler said...

Classic prose it's not, I agree! the writer is a very interesting guy -- do you know him? His father was Sir Oswald Mosley, the British Nazi... I've ordered Nicholas's memoirs, "Time at War" about his service in Italy in the British a great review in the Times Literary Supplement.