Friday, November 28, 2008

Talking about God

Recently I've been thinking a lot about what it means to talk about God.  It's almost funny that we, petty humans, even try to talk about someone so great—someone who is by nature ineffable and undescribable.  God is so far above/beyond our intellect and language that anything we say about God is at best insufficient and at worst flat-out wrong.

But that doesn't mean we should stop.  On the contrary, we must talk about God.  God is so ever present in our human lives that it would be disingenuous to remain silent.  It would be like ignoring an elephant in the room.

Yesterday, I ran across a passage in Mirror of Simple Souls by Margaret Porette (sometimes spelled Marguerite Porete) that expresses my thoughts perfectly:
For there is no God, other than he of whom one can know nothing perfectly; and he alone is my God of whom one cannot say a word [...] But I wish to speak of it, and I do not know what to say. But none the less [...] my love is such a mind that I had rather hear what is not true of you than that people should say nothing about you.  And that without a doubt is what I do.  I say of you what is not true, for everything which I say of you is nothing but untruth about your goodness.  But you must pardon what I say which is not true of you.
I agree with her—I would rather talk about our ineffable God and fail than remain silent.  I know that in my search for God I will say many wrong things, and I hope God will forgive my failings.  However, like Porette, I will continue to speak about God, even if it means I am bound to be wrong.

Then again, perhaps that isn't the best idea—Porette was burned at the stake as a heretic....

1 comment:

  1. i was reading through an old journal recently, and i found a written conversation we had had during Hughes' class:
    M: "sometimes i fear we are too liberal for each others' good ... it's kinda funny. when you put us together we're a fountain of heresies."
    N: "or maybe we're just on to something ..."
    M: "like damnation?"

    thought you would appreciate that :)
    ~ NCS


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