instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, April 22, 2004

From the beginning

Steven Riddle is beginning a series of posts explaining his view of the contemplative life. So far, so good.

The thing about blogging as a medium is that each post is really only good for making one point, and with something like the contemplative life, you need to make a whole bunch of points for any individual point to stand. It's like leaning four broomsticks together to make a pyramid: at any point before you're done, none of the broomsticks will stay up on its own.

So I'll try to let Steven finish his building project before pointing out all his fundamental errors. (Ha! I jest because I love.)

In other contemplative life news, Sister Christer observes that knitting has "meditative, stress relieving qualities," and Jim of Fly-fishing Galilee reflects on Jesus as fly-fishing Guide. I think knitting and fly fishing are what I would call "naturally contemplative" habits, where "natural contemplation" means simply "looking directly." If you have the habit of looking directly upon something like a trout stream, without an internal dialog intervening, then you might more easily develop the habit of looking directly upon God. (The traditional advice is to begin, not with a trout stream, but the crucified humanity of Jesus Christ, since it's in His humanity that the Divine and the created meet, so in His humanity you are already touching (if not yet looking directly upon) the Divine. But contemplating a trout stream can make contemplating the crucified humanity of Jesus Christ easier.)

And best wishes to Jim on the opening of trout season in his neck of the woods, from down here in the Old [Fly] Line State, where it's always trout season (except where there are actually trout).