Day 2

[Yes, I know there is no Day 1 but I think it will become clear why in the post.]

So I am cat-sitting! (Not sitting upon the cat but looking after a cat while her “parents” are on a well earned holiday.) And I have decided to make this an “anchorite experiment” – that is, I am going to work on living like a modern day anchorite and see if I can work out some of the oddities into a modern context.

So, for starters, I have no servants – anchorites normally had at least two. The food preparation, planning, and shopping is up to me. I am somewhat glad as I am a fuzzy eater. That also means that I control who has access to me. (Normally the older servants was the guardian of access to the anchorite.) But by God’s grace this house is designed for that – it has a private area.

I have commitments that I will need (gladly) to keep – church meetings, the podcast production I am involved in, and, of course, weekly Eucharistic meetings at church. I do not have a squint to receive Communion. Some of the meetings while require me to travel, and some are online. So I am not enclosed like an anchorite of old. I have modern technology to help me – a little like the parlor window with its curtain.

This is Day 2 and I am still trying to work things out. I am keeping a more detailed journal. I have plenty to read. So follow here for some updates etc.

being me?

Today, in Australia, is a public holiday for the Queen’s Birthday. So in honour of Her Royal Majesty, I have been watching the UK version of Humans. It is based on Swedish series called Real Humans.

In short, AI (called “synths” in the show) becoming conscious – feeling, thinking, and living in freedom. They embody various human traits – caring, agression, “philosopher”, etc. I like the way the UK does TV!

While the consciousness theme is fascinating, I have been struck by a question repeated throughout the series: “what is it like to be you?”. Of course, there is no answer because there is no point of reference. The question illustrates Existential Loneliness – only I know what it is like to be me. And the quote on my email signature comes to mind:

The formula that describes the state of the self when despair is completely rooted out is this: in relating itself to itself and in willing to be itself, the self rests transparently in the power that established it.

SUD

I feel like a large part of modern life is all about avoiding the question or escaping into “false answers”. (Doesn’t Merton write about that in No Man is An Island?) So the most important question in my life, who am I?, has to be faced alone before God. I can try to give an answer to others. But there is absolutely no need to justifiy myself to others – my beliefs or my actions. There is only One to whom I must answer – “the power that established me”. In the end I have to answer to my Creator by being “me”. I have to hold in tension the various aspects of my life – freedom and necessaity are at the top of my life at the moment.

So may the Heart of Jesus have mercy on you today!

Romans

Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart—it is spiritual and not literal. Such a person receives praise not from others but from God.

From Evening Prayer.

not only Jesus?

I try not to comment on what other people write. I try to limit myself to my reaction to a particular person’s views expressed in writing.

We need to widen our vision so that it is not only Jesus we focus on but the whole Trinity as that sublime communion of Persons at the core of all creation, holding all things in being (Acts 17:24-28; Hebrews 1:1–2). 

We must rediscover worship and proclaim God’s unfailing love

I am not a doctor of anything – theology or philosophy. I will not comment on the above. I will leave it here for others to comment (if they like) or simply for you to meditate on.

oh heart of Jesus

… my heart, where I am whatsoever I am

Augustine, Confessions 10.3.4

I have been reading a book about devotion to the sacred heart. A modern book with little of the kitch and sentimentally of books of an earlier era. Just to say that the devotion to the heart of Jesus pre-dates the Reformation.

The first chapters look at the image of the heart and quote the above from Augustine. And it got me thinking: if “I am whatsoever I am” in my heart, is that true for Jesus?