A Second Letter to St. Paul
August 6, 2010
Lamentations 4:10
August 11, 2010

I no more belong to 2010 than to 1546. But 1546 holds more for me than 2010.

The infatuation doesn’t come from an obsession with role-playing fantasy computer games at the age of 12. Nor does it come from visits to archaic holy prisons in the heart of the Vatican. Nor from murals sprawling across protracted walls, the depiction of Christ on His judgment seat.

But from faith as the end-all and be-all. It’s true, the Middle Ages floundered in sickness, wasted away in its own indulgence, and bred such corruption that happiness was often a memory. This is exactly why the church held such sway—offering promises of salvation and forgiveness, of redemption from the disease of life. Living wasn’t a joy; it was a burdensome tolerance for so many. Where would there be relief from the hardship? In faith, in Christ.

I am not for a blinded faithful following, hobbling into churches out of sheer desperation, herded by a power-wielding hierarchy of corrupt clergy. I am for the recognition of salvation, whatsoever you call it, and the possibility of rendering all one is as a product of the divine.

1546 bred a respect for faith, a need for spirituality—wherein pure and utter humility was something to reach for. Where has that been hid? The answers aren’t sought from God anymore; we are the makers of our own answers. Science proclaims them; if they are not readily available, we believe that science will make them available. It’s only a matter of time.

But isn’t that a faith? Science which does not know everything must some day know everything. We don’t know it will, we only believe that it will. Why is it we cannot accept that as its own brand of believing? Is the scientist so different from me?

In the Middle Ages, God became the center of all things. And yes, it was a corrupt center, but the heart of God—a good, just, caring God—was the foundation for much and many. That is a place wherein I would feel very comfortable. I have nothing to say of science; my knowledge of its experiments and laws is paltry at best. But of belief, of the journey to God—there is much I can say about that.

Many of my friends have told me I’m a 45-year-old man trapped in a 28-year-old man’s body. But I think the disparity between physical and mental—physical and spiritual—is even greater. And I love it. I love it more than any titillating fact that has prodded my mind, more than any overwhelming sensory experience that threw my knowledge of sense to the wind. Because it is with that old, old spirit that I navigate my life; it is through that old, old spirit that I discern more in humanity than science could ever allow.

As circumstances go, yes, perhaps I belong in another century altogether. But here I am, old soul, being as I am, a 28-year-old with not much affinity for being 28. Though if I dread it too much, I should miss the gift that is the combination. How many know that kind of blessing, and how few embrace it with every fiber of their being?

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