Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Fool's Day: Appreciate a reverence for wit

Dan Riley writes about Thomas More and Thomas Moore in his post yesterday, "Holy April Fool's Day":
"Thomas More took his religion so seriously that he got his head chopped off for it. But even before losing his head to the Head of the Church of England, More was engaged in some pretty grim religious practices. He not only oversaw the burning of religious heretics at the stake, but he often wore painful hair shirts and routinely excused himself from the family dinner table to go off and whip himself — all in an effort to prove his worthiness before God. More’s piety earned him Catholic sainthood and a lofty secular reputation as "a man for all seasons" on stage and in film.

More’s namesake, former Catholic monk himself and practicing therapist Thomas Moore is probably not a good candidate for sainthood in the Catholic church, but he does have the essential quality for sainthood in The Church of Dan, that being a reverence for wit."
Following his quotes from Thomas Moore's Dark Nights of the Soul, Riley writes, "The greatest irony of all is that once we accept the humor in our human condition, we actually attain salvation through the humility, charity and courage that follow. We become humble through the act of laughing at ourselves. We become charitable through the act of cutting slack for others as comical as ourselves. We become courageous by accepting life on its own terms with death as its ultimate, inescapable punchline."

Ripley enjoys the works of Norman O. Brown and quotes Love's Body: "This is my body. Mistake, or magic, or madness; or child’s play. This is a house and this is a steeple... Wisdom is wit; in play, not in work; in freedom, not in necessity... Wisdom is wit, in fooling, most excellent fooling; in play, and not in heavy puritanical seriousness. In levity, not in gravity. My yoke is easy, my burden is light."

He concludes, "So our message this high holy season is this: Lighten up, everybody. In the end, we’re all April Fools here."

Labels: ,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Let life blossom according to its own designs

Travis of Salado United Methodist Church blogs "Cultivating a soulful life" today. He begins, "Soul is a word we don’t hear much about anymore. With the advent of psychology, soul somehow just got lost in the shuffle of a new way of looking at human beings and what makes us tick... Soulful is our word of the week for our church as we begin this season of Lent. Soulful is a word that means the expression of deep longing and deep feeling. Understood as such it only logically follows then that soulful living begins with the inside of who we are."

After sharing Plato's expression techne tou biou, translated as "the craft of life," Travis writes about the values of craftmanship in his description of a master furniture maker he met in Belaize. Then he writes, "There is a symbiotic relationship between the one doing the crafting and the object being crafted. Soul is what we are seeking to allow God to craft in us. It is who we are and there is only one craftsman who can craft us in the beauty of who we are to become." He also quotes Thomas Moore: "the act of entering into the mysteries of the soul, without sentimentality or pessimism, encourages life to blossom forth according to its own designs and with its own unpredictable beauty."

Travis suggests, "As we journey this Lent together just make yourself available to the craftsman. Set aside the time, join in our community, listen to the movement of God’s spirit, surrender to the work God longs to do with you and me, let go of the unnecessary stuff that would get in the way of God working deeply in us."