Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday with Words: Playing before Him at All Times

I am joining with Cindy at Ordo Amoris and others for Wednesday with Words.  Go there for more quotes.

I'm reading a book called The One Thing is Three by Fr Michael Gaitley.  In fact, my husband and I are both reading it and discussing it in a small Catholic book club a little ways up our mountain.    It's on a notoriously difficult topic, the Trinity, but Fr Gaitley strives to make it approachable without dumbing down the rich conceptual material.

I am on Part 2, where he quotes two of my very favorite passages, and one of them is the Proverb 8 quote I quoted above.   I love that quote and  have discussed it before, while I was reading Josef Pieper's In Defense of Philosophy.   It seems to be important to a true understanding of education, as well.   The element of play and delight is never to be lost sight of:  "Wisdom begins in wonder" -- as Plato says.

Gaitley envisions Creation in the form of a dance, where God stands back for a moment to behold His creation before drawing it towards him again.   The "Great Circle of Being" he talks about is a concept he got from Father Norris Clarke, a Thomist and one of his seminary professors.    I found a bit about the idea here if you are interested (the idea of a Circle of Being sounds new-agey, but apparently has a solid philosophical underpinning).    Certainly the idea of a journey is very resonant with tradition -- Augustine uses it in On Christian Doctrine, and one of Chesterton's largest themes is the one where you journey through the world and find yourself back at home.

Fr Gaitley writes:

there are two basic stages to the journey: first, the journey out from God and then, the journey back to God. In Latin, these two stages are known as exitus (exit) and reditus (return). Together, the “out and back,” “exitus and reditus” make a circle, the Great Circle of Being. In what follows, we’ll trace these two stages of the journey out from God and back to God 
Then he quotes Proverbs and Isaiah, both about creation and both expressing sheer gratuitous delight in the works wrought:  

He goes on to say
..... Together, these two passages reveal the exitus-reditus structure of reality as well as the intimacy, joyfulness, and delight that God finds in creating. They remind us that God did not have to create. Creation was a freely chosen overflow of love marked by, we might say again, a kind of playfulness. It really does seem like that moment of the dance, the moment of “twirling out.” It also reminds us of that brief moment of the loving gaze, that moment to take the other in with one’s eyes in a new light and, as it were, “from a distance.” I wonder if part of the reason why God the Father created in the first place was to take a “step back” to admire the beauty of the Word in a new light, namely, in creatures. For all creatures are created according to the pattern of the Word, and it’s the Word’s reflection in creatures that causes the Father to gaze so lovingly upon them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We love hearing from our readers. Please share your thoughts or just say hello!