Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The thistle and thorned paths El Gringo Viejo follows as the Roman and Anglican Churches decompose

This is genuinely not a statement about "....look how smart I am and how stupid and ignorant everyone else is."   This is published in these precincts because we are noticing the secondary and tertiary circulation numbers.   They seem to be massive for a side-line minor league blog.  We simply wish the people who venture, by intention or by accident, to this corner of the cyber-universe find that there is an ancient well of never ending waters.   And Wisdom.....
     Many great minds, far greater than my own, including scientists, alchemists, philosophers, astronomers, secularists and sacred, have dealt with the issues that weigh profoundly upon soul and mind.   Some not-so-great-thinkers such as your humble servant follow along as does the lamprey on the belly or back of the whale (or dolphin, shark, any fish, or marine mammal) and that is what we are including below.

     We did not arrive at our backwater of human intellectual development by waking up one day and seeing the tooth-fairy leaving dime under the pillow or Santa Clause shooting up the chimney.  But, we do believe in seeing the unseen.  Sometimes it is too obvious to deny....such as the fact that we breathe the air that keeps us alive, although we cannot see it.   Other times it is a bit....or more than a bit....more difficult to "not see". 

     We submit to the review of the OROG community the entry below which speaks lightly into the bubbles of difference within the Christian Quilt....and how thin the onion-skin is....and how inclusive it is even with the disagreements within the denominational and sub-denominational groups of the Christian brotherhood.   These are things the Anglican Curmudgeon, El Zorro, Mr. Finch, Dr. Shary, and scores of others who read this supposedly intolerant petrified-conservative meany Traditionalists struggle with during their daily affairs.  We try to study and believe and stumble towards the truth.....


On the Syndicate site, Rowan Williams has an excellent review of David Aers' Beyond Reformation, a reading of the 14th century William Langland poem Piers Plowman.  Rather than Piers Plowmanembodying a proto-Protestant congregationalism, Williams sees a richly catholic, sacramental vision of "God’s participatory economy of salvation".  In this, Williams, states, "Piers Plowman is distinct from one of the more troubling aspects of much Reformation thinking. There is no background anxiety about representation as such, of the kind that led some reformers to see 'realist' accounts of sacramental presence as tantamount to a confusion of the finite and the infinite, a real deceiving of the believer by claiming divine presence in a finite form. Langland has no such epistemological or metaphysical anxiety".

In the review, Williams provides a compelling vision of the sacramental imagination, of its theological and pastoral significance.  The catholic confession of Real Presence is a joyful affirmation of the transfiguring redemption of the material:

Langland implies that God habitually deals with us for our salvation through the hiddenness of his work in finite agency and finite substance; but this is not the same as the adoption of an arbitrary concealment. Nor is it the deliberate assumption of a deceiving form, as with Satan’s “goyng of an addre”: Satan adopts this disguise in order to tell lies to Adam and Eve about himself and God and them; his purpose in concealing himself is to create a false perception, with all the disaster that follows therefrom. God demonstrates that what seems desolate and defeated, the shabby and wounded humanity of Piers, is in fact the place where charity lives and triumphs, despite appearances; and the sacramental re-embodiment of this, Christ present as the common food of a renewed social community, likewise declares that what seems lifeless is in fact the source of life and joy—an insight that also makes sense of the recommendation to venerate the cross (XXI.471ff.). When the finite stuff of this world is indwelt in this way by God, it is not that the finite is a deceptive surface concealing a different truth beneath or within: it conceals the infinite as infinite (since this cannot in any case be seen or apprehended in its infinity, as if it were an object in the world), but reveals the universal indwelling of the infinite in the finite. It is a “disguise” that establishes the truth. The deceit of Satan in the garden of Eden is what happens when a finite agent pretends to be what it is not in order to corrupt and mislead other finite agents and make them what they are not. The divine self-concealment in Jesus / Piers / the Eucharistic bread is in contrast the infinite declaring that it is truly present in what it is not, the finite, through the indwelling of the agency of divine love.