To battle! And was it not I who won?

He set out, with a gun, and he pointed it, and marched, and he fired. And he may have killed, he may been killed, but all the while, he thought

“here I go, to save”

And no, he was a soldier. Is this an acceptable soteriological analogy? That God is the general, and without him victory is not secured, but we must fight? And if we do not fight, we die. But, if we fight, it is not us who saved us, but God? But did we not fight? No then, this cannot be an acceptable analogy.

What do we believe?

I must know that I am His.

Every bone, and sinew, all of my flesh and soul
pours forth from His creative activity
so that if I do anything good
…if I win that battle
It is because he allowed it
He created me, and this a child can understand. How can creation take the glory of the Creator?
And there is not “but”… only,

my struggle, the pain I endure, I endure it, is endured because of his Grace, and I only endure it because of what sin hath wrought on the flesh and soul of man, and so this pain does not render me glory, but my glory is in Christ who bore this pain on our behalf, so that our bearing is not futile. Because, the bearing of all pain is a natural consequence of first action in pride. O that God would have died for the angels? But did he? Could he? For angels cannot die. A fate sealed outside of time.

And so we fight and bear pain knowing it is meaningful, because Christ gives it meaning, because our suffering his, and his ours, and our God has saved us.

But… what of the will? Is it not our will that bears? Is it not our will that resists? Our will? Must we not will the good? And if we will it and overcome that which wars against our will, are we not due glory?

And indeed, we are rewarded! Treasure in heaven. And so our will does matter. But our wills were not sufficient to save us, and now, through Christ, our wills may be redeemed.

 

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A marquee passes by my window

OAK HARBOR FREIGHT
Red, initial letters for each word, the rest all black.

“I wonder if the artist who depicts these things, in video, in music, in painting… I wonder if those who…”

…Consume? What is the right verb for how we interact with art? I’m uneasy with the word “consume” in conjunction with our interaction with art. It seems grotesque and barbaric. As if art were a slab of meat that we greedily seize with our bare hands and stuff down our throats. I suppose it’s possible there are those who are indeed gluttons with more than just food. So then the problem isn’t the thing itself, but our disposition to the thing.

So what is the good way to ______ with art? Commune… no, it is not subject (though it depicts subject and beckons a shadow of the artist). It has to be nondescript. We approach art. Perhaps it then approaches us, if we let it. The spirit in the thing (for the spirit of the artist never leaves the thing, it is bound, like the soul). Art is a shadow of the soul. Through art we see the shape of the soul, an outline of a thing invisible.

And so we approach art and might…

Contemplate (it must have started with a “c”!)

“I wonder if those who contemplate art… Ah, and that completes my thought. I was troubled because I didn’t know what was art, and what was not, and I was troubled as I thought that if I did begin to contemplate God, and such contemplation overflowed into that which others could contemplate, it would merely be consumed.”

I have neglected contemplation because of a devil, to be sure. But I have been dissuaded to contemplate for lack of contemplation, a vicious cycle to be sure.

“Vicious cycle” a modern idiom that is perfectly Christian! Dante, the whirlwind of lust, the viciousness of such a whirlwind. Cyclones, lust… and vicious coming from “vice!”

But I have neglected being by science, a kind of exactitude that is endemic to the modern attitude. I lack the fortitude of the medieval mind. (that which is endemic to modernity is anemic.)

Well it is true that we are barbaric. And we are barbaric because we are anemic. But what is that myth where the more we eat the more famished we become? There must be one, but it does seem rather unnatural. O, I’m so ashamed at my lack of knowledge, even in my senses are right (and I’m not assured of that, or hardly anything).

And perhaps then it’s simply that we are consuming something like sweetmeats, the shape and taste of which are so alluring, but as we consume it we are filled with nothing nourishing.

(And now that I think of it, consumption of course is linked with communion, is it so barbaric after all?) Yes, yes, because we are not as animals as we partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord. “This is my…” there has always been reverence, for… “this is me.”

And that is the key to understanding what lies behind this door: Art cannot be, “this is me” but surely, “this is a sketch” or “this is an outline” or “this is shadow” of me. Look at my body! You see me, but only from one vantage. Art gives a vantage impossible to those with mere sight of the body. (the depiction of the body is how one body can depict another, giving insight into a communion of bodies)

EDM: Math, science, automation has given us a way to present ourselves with greatness of form. Like a construction worker might use better building materials for withstanding the elements, we can present that which may be consumed and contemplated with great precision. This is a good, but are we not consuming mere lines and angles? Are we not living beside strong and impermeable walls, with no roof over our head, and no foundation below our feet? What a strange sight to behold.

Contemplate, then! And your contemplation may be like a bubbling brook, rising up in the heart and out through your mouth, giving shape to words, and those words carrying the river of life that bubbles up within you, or those words –food–carried by the stream of contemplation that rises up within you may be consumed, but not as the barbarian who eats the sweetmeats!

God does not consume himself, but rather gives himself, and is he eaten? By us yes. We eat God. When we become Him, we cease to eat.

“Food for the stomach, and stomach for food, and ”
“The body for the Lord, and Lord for the Body”