Friday, 4 March 2011

A Carthusian : "...a great deal of the death of God..."...


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One speaks a great deal of the death of God nowadays, often in an unacceptable way. But you will permit me the risk of saying that for each of us there is a moment when God must die. In one sense, only the atheist (a-theos, without-God) can truly believe in God. Let me explain: it is necessary that the God of our imagination, the God of our projections and desires ( who is none other than our Ego deified) die; the God who stands alongside the cosmos as some "thing" else, who stands alongside the neighbour as someone else, in competition with him to win my love; the God of whom it suffices to know the general moral rules to do his will; the God infinitely above creatures' pains in a transcendence beyond reach; the God-judge, who punishes through the demands of a justice conceived according to our human standards; the God who cramps the spontaneity of life and love. That one must die, to make room for a God strangely close and familiar and nevertheless totaly elusive. Who bears a human face, that of Christ, that of my brother. Who is love in a way that defies all our human notions of justice. Who is generosity, overflowing life, gratuitousness, unpredictable liberty. Who does nothing 'in general', but who is always 'You' facing 'me'. Supreme personality in the total gift of himself, he is in the inmost depths of every person, the source of every personality, never alongside human persons (but distinct from them), in loving them, I share in his love and I love himself. He is not to be thought of in opposition to created reality (because he is not a thing), he reveals himself through its contours, its limits and its beauty; however, he is not created reality, he is of a different order. He is neither presence nor absence for my senses and intelligence. He is neither more nor less. His true greatness is his humility which impelled him to become man. His wealth is the poverty of love. He has suffered - eternally? - while being infinite Bliss.

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Book: A Carthusian : From Advent to Pentecost. Carthusian Novice Conferences. / Darton, Longman & Todd, London 1999

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