Mundane Sanctity

August 23, 2006

Letter to a friend

“How does a healthy person relate to God?”

We suppose theologians and psychiatrists and therapists might have profound insight and knowledge into how the human mind wrestles with, and comes to terms with ideas that can’t really be proved, in the scientific manner, anyway.

We are looking at the question through different eyes.

Firstly, to be human, by definition, is to be something other than God. That means that we cannot be expected to always understand God or His intent. By design, God may exclude or preclude us from ever ‘getting it.’

When we accept our ‘humaness,’ we are accepting our imperfections. As humans, we are not blessed with perfection. We are blessed with something far greater- free will. And, we are blessed with doubt.

Doubt is indeed a blessing, perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts to His Creation, because everytime we overcome that doubt and behave in a way that honors God, we have chosen to honor both Him and us. Only those that have experienced darkness can experience and appreciate light and the ability to see both the beauty and the dangers of our surroundings. In fact, if we do not acknowledge that darkness even exists, we can never see and appreciate the light.

We are supposed to struggle with faith and even tire of the struggle. It is the burden of that struggle that makes us whole and makes us complete. When we experience the doubt, the pain, and the despair of our search for God and meaning, we are not in violation of spirituality- just the opposite, really. When we are dealing with our doubts and pains, we begin to approach the final spirituality of acceptance.

The acceptance of ourselves, our limitations and insights, often comes after great pain and weeping. In a way, that weeping is a kind of window into wisdom- we are able to see ourselves for who we are and where we belong. These are cathartic moments, rare in life.

We can choose to submit and refer to the pain and the struggle as an ‘affliction of love,’ and thus hide the true nature of the pain and doubt, or, we can accept the pain and doubt for what they really are- adversaries that we must struggle with and overcome. We are given an opportunity to conquer, every day.

Spirituality is not spectacular. In fact it is mundane for the most part. John Paul II was not an imperious pope, but rather, an everyman with a past, who showed us what was possible. Therein was his greatness. He never said, “Look at me, in my robes of glory!” He never said, “Follow me and I will show you the way!”

Instead, he said to the tens of thousands that came to worship with him, “I love you, too!” as they loudly professed their affection. He was with them and of them. He always reminded them that God loved them, but in the end, it was his identification with his flock that made him so beloved. He was one of them. He was of course, in good company. History has shown that God has chosen rather mundane and very ordinary people to speak on his behalf- and being rather mundane and ordinary, many were rather unenthused with the prospect- not because they doubted God, but rather, they doubted their own worthiness. Why? Because we are human beings and not spiritual beings. We are meant to struggle ideas and concepts that cannot be corralled by mere words.

In our humaness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely certain truth, we are attempting to play God. We may believe that there are absolute truths, but in fact, we are bound by our understanding at the moment. Scientific truths alter as our undersatnding alters.

If we presume we can understand the ‘absolute truth’ about God, we are destined to fail in our desire to know God and to accept God as God. The ‘absolute truth’ about God changes as we come to understand ourselves, our world and even others.

That ‘absolute truth’ can never be corralled or understood because only God is ‘absolute.’ As humans, we are the opposite of absolute. We can be ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ we can be ‘more’ or ‘less.’ For us to exist as God’s creations, we must know joy and we must know suffering. We need to succeed and we also need to fail. We are meant to be less than perfect, because it is through our imperfections that we find ourselves and our potential.

God treasures our spiritual achievements. He treasures our failures along the way even more, because in facing and overcoming our failures, we have shown that we are indeed worthy of the humanity He bestowed upon us. We are not meant to become perfect in our struggle and search for meaning and faith- we are meant to overcome the limitations, imperfections and obstacles along the way.

Relating to God is about relating to that most human side of ourselves.

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18 Responses to “Mundane Sanctity”

  1. MaxedOutMama Says:

    Extremely profound, SC&A.

  2. SC&A Says:

    TY, MOM.

    Coming from you, that means a liot.

  3. Mamacita Says:

    You have a genuine gift of putting forth the most complicated concepts in such a way that even people like me can understand them.

    I second MOM’s emotion.

    Hmm, now I want to watch “The Big Chill.” Something about the soundtrack. . . . .

  4. SC&A Says:

    Thanks, mamacita.

    If this blogging thing craps out, can you get me a job teaching?


  5. [...] And we benefit from his charge…almost like we’ve hooked into his electrical box and we’re siphoning some current for our own use. If you think a shrink can’t be a theologian, think again. In our humaness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely certain truth, we are attempting to play God. We may believe that there are absolute truths, but in fact, we are bound by our understanding at the moment. Scientific truths alter as our undersatnding alters. [...]

  6. Petey Says:

    You remind me of someone I know.


  7. [...] Those believers who struggle with those beliefs at one time or another, are the real people of faith. To struggle with faith is as much a part of faith as anything else. We wrote in Mundane Sanctity that In our humaness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely certain truth, we are attempting to play God. We may believe that there are absolute truths, but in fact, we are bound by our understanding at the moment. Scientific truths alter as our understanding alters. [...]


  8. [...] stone of positive influence. The search for truth acknowledges our humility and not our hubris. In our humanness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely [...]


  9. [...] aren’t questions of faith, nor do these question address the struggle for faith. Rather, we want to look inside the mind of a believer, to find out what it is about faith that is [...]

  10. Ricardo Says:

    What a thought provoking post, thank you.


  11. [...] post, Mundane Sanctity has more on man’s relationship with [...]


  12. First time here–enjoyed Mundane Sanctity–I’m currently working on a book about a similar topic and I enjoyed your thoughts. Thank you.


  13. [...] people of faith. To struggle with faith is as much a part of faith as anything else. We wrote in Mundane Sanctity that In our humaness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we [...]


  14. [...] and afraid of failure, as if having to struggle with faith is a shameful thing. From our post, Mundane Sanctity: God treasures our spiritual achievements. He treasures our failures along the way even more, [...]


  15. [...] everyone believes in God, much can be learned for the search for truth in the way some seek faith: In our humanness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely [...]


  16. [...] We noted that Doubt is indeed a blessing, perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts to His Creation, because every time we overcome that doubt and behave in a way that honors God, we have chosen to honor both Him and us. Only those that have experienced darkness can experience and appreciate light and the ability to see both the beauty and the dangers of our surroundings. In fact, if we do not acknowledge that darkness even exists, we can never see and appreciate the light. [...]


  17. [...] everyone believes in God, much can be learned for the search for truth in the way some seek faith: In our humanness, we are clothed with finite attire- we cannot divine the mind of God. When we demand absolutely [...]


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