Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A few more thoughts on doubt ....

I was pleasantly surprised with my class this past weekend. The course, entitled "Rural Social Issues" meets monthly with a focus on the social justice implications of food and food production and distribution, the environment, immigration and multiple parishes. The dialogue was excellent and it actually feels like a class with application. Not that the other two I'm taking don't, but this has "immediate" feel to it.

My doubt subsided a little this morning when I got my first paper back from my Christian Tradition class. It went well and I was pleased with my effort and the result.

In Christian Mysticism, we spent some time talking about what happens to people that have that direct contact with God, many of whom become mystics. During the course of the conversation is became very evident that what Mother Theresa experienced isn't out of the ordinary. Dutch mystic Jan van Ruusbroec summarized the experiences of many mystics and others that had experienced that contact with God; finding it similar to a concrete wall that is broken down revealing the presence and full grace of God. The catch, if you will, is that the person consequently never had that time with God again. In fact the concrete wall became one of steel. Many who experienced this while living a monastic life left the monestaries and abbeys, they found no consolation in prayer, contemplation or community life. Sounds very similar to what Mother Teresa spoke about! Several UMC Clergy have written on this subject and their words are thoughtful and elequent - check out Michelle Hargrave, David Bard, Jeff Ozane, and Rory Swenson .

Off to do some homework ..... Arius vs. Athanasius anyone?


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