“The Church is not interested in spiritual mediocrity. It’s calling people to sainthood, to be a saint means to be heroically virtuous. The family is a school of virtue, a school of sanctity, it’s meant to make us saints. We’re not interested in a dumbed down or a dialled down ideal. … And as anyone in the pastoral life know, people struggle to attain this level.
This autumn I am wading into the intriguing work of the late Professor Donald Capps, starting with the following three works, reviews to follow in due course:
Every human being is born with such a narrow view of the world and we all have to learn to broaden our horizon. This is equally true for people when they become Christians. A Christian is a person-becoming-an-adult, a “child of God” with ‘L-Plates’ front and back. We are serially myopic in our vision of the world and we need help.
In his book ‘The Aramaic Sayings of Jesus’ Basil Fletcher draws out what he calls the “sublime simplicity, poetic perfection and deep human quality of the words of Jesus…” that somehow become hazy when translated into Greek, and from which come the English translations.
For this post, I want to draw out just one element of Fletcher’s insights from ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ – the line: “Lead us not into temptation.”
“It is not the gift- and skill-sets – the intelligence and imagination, the range of reading, the elegance and wit – that separate the great theologian from the good one. The difference lies not in the brilliance but the defects. It takes a magnificent flaw to make a great theologian.”
This session covered aspects of Julian’s positive and pastoral theology.
“I saw Everlasting certainty powerfully sustained without any fear… at peace and rest… then my mind turned and I was disgusted with myself. I could go on in faith, hope and charity, but feel them so little.”
“God keeps us safe in sorrow and joy. . . and sin is not always the cause . . . but both came from one love.”
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.