Friday, January 8, 2016

Sliding into the New Year, or Slouching toward Bethlehem, or possibly just Slip-sliding Away.

Back in the blessed Library again, poised between handing in the books/DVDs that are due, taking out replacements -- in the meantime, getting caught up on inter-web-doings.

Pondering the tensions around the theological idea of Special Providences.  

It's an uncomfortable idea from my theological POV -- I kind of second Sydney Smith's scorn for special-providence-watchers, "The Lord found me a job, the Lord found my keys, the Lord kept my cake from falling in the oven..."  Our man Sydney seems to have felt that the Lord might well step into history in order to adjust matters at the imperial level, I think--but it would be unseemly to imagine divine intervention in the mundane minutiae of our daily lives: a short route to self-delusion and egomanias, various.

So now I am wrestling with the Ignatian aim of "seeing God in all things" ... and I know the good saint did not mean "seeing God in all things that turn out to suit my convenience and my preconceptions" ... but there is still some discomfort swirling around that aim.  I mean, I can grasp that it would be a grace, to "see God in all things," but in so doing I'd just as soon not behave like (what I conceive of as) a complete idiot.

And if it's not utterly blasphemous to say so, I have to wonder whether the Almighty has not undertaken to tease me with phenomena (illustrating his perceptibility in all things) that severely challenge my notions of divine decorum.  More often, it seems, I am confronted by divine, well, CORN.

Case in point.  I am zipping along a nearby highway, through a pleasingly wintry landscape, and pondering very lightly on some questions regarding the Holy Spirit, when I am passed by an entirely solid, concrete, actual, tangible tractor-trailer unit (or an eighteen-wheeler, if that's your vocab), bearing in large unmistakable lettering this label...


Trying now to identify the form of prayer that can begin, "Oh, come ON...."

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