A Reading from the Letter to the Jesuits

What in God’s name am I supposed to do with myself?
December 13, 2006
Christmas of Denver
December 21, 2006

Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Holy brothers, servants of God: I greet you with the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ. May He grant you wisdom and the strength to fulfill your mission with humility.

I have set to the foundation of the world, buttressing with words what has been weakened by lack of spirit. But these words are without strength; temporary, they foil the weight above them for only a brief time.

How difficult is it, beloved, that we should be charged with the health of the world – seeing to its redemption and bringing in kind means the waywardness back to steadfastness and truth? It is no easy task when evil is likened so often to good, disguised by its own malfeasance, offering us seemingly the better portion of what evil and good extend. Aught we take the good? Certainly. But when pressure abounds and discernment of the truth is near impossible, our decisions lapse and evil stirs in God’s creation.

But we do injustices to ourselves that evil cannot even claim as prize! We choose how we see our Creator; is it He or She, or some other thing beyond the limitation of gender? Brothers and sisters: I urge you not to recognize our symbols as entities of glory in themselves. For what is a figure of the Father? And what is the name of the Trinity? They are but rungs on the ladder that guide us beyond this world to our true home with the Maker. Surely, there are things you know in your heart and soul which cannot be said? And yet, in God’s paradox, they demand to find liberation from the caverns of personhood; they demand to be shared. How can we share them, beloved? What do we have but symbols – words, pictures, statues, tokens? No, my brothers; no, sisters: these are not what we feel, nor what we desire to have, but it is what they represent to us. These are poor manifestations, gods by proxy, that push us one step higher.

So I ask: aught we abandon them because they are not the Creator themselves? Because they are not the essence of love and goodness, of forgiveness and truth? Aught we pretend that as humans we have capacity to jump from physicality and intellect to the Divine? We need help, beloved; and there is no shame in asking for it.

Let us then use our words, our symbols, our images to their useful end and glorious purpose. Do not substitute; for in substitution we have put the Deity beneath our feet. It is our own: visible, and able to be controlled. How can this be of God? Of Yahweh? Of Allah? Of Buddah? Of Vishnu? Of the many other names of the Supernatural Dweller? Be sure: our hearts propel us upward, the symbol draws in the focus of our love and trust, giving it precision; giving it, without all times and outside all places, a means to understand the One who promoted us.

For is it not said: “Your sacrifices are an abomination to me. Your hearts stray from me.”? I know this, as you should know it. Do not let any symbol or construction subvert the faith: one, holy, and apostolic, whatsoever the name of God.

Breed peace, for so I come to you; in peace I leave you. Amen, amen, the glory of the Lord is our namesake; we are the foundation of the Lord.

Blessings eternal; the majesty of the Lord God of Hosts be within you,


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