Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lectio Divina 156

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.  New York: Picador, 2004, p. 179.

So my advice is this – don’t look for proofs.  Don’t bother with them at all.  They are never sufficient to the question, and they’re always a little impertinent, I think, because they claim for God a place within our conceptual grasp.  And they will likely sound wrong to you even if you convince someone else with them.  That is very unsettling over the long term.  “Let your works so shine before men,” etc.  It was Coleridge who said Christianity is a life, not a doctrine, words to that effect.  I’m not saying never doubt or question.  The Lord gave you a mind so that you would make honest use of it.  I’m saying you must be sure that the doubts and questions are your own, not, so to speak, the mustache and walking stick that happen to be the fashion of any particular moment.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lectio Divina 155

Saul Bellow, quoted in The New Yorker, July 22, 2013

When you open a novel – and I mean of course the real thing – you enter into a state of intimacy with its writer.  You hear a voice or, more significantly, an individual tone under the words.  This tone you, the reader, will identify not so much by a name, the name of the author, as by a distinct and unique human quality.  It seems to issue from the bosom, from a place beneath the breastbone.  It is more musical than verbal, and it is the characteristic signature of a person, of a soul.