Virgin and Child
Metropolitan Museum, NY
Hong Kong, Dec. 8th.
One spends a great deal of time “doing” this, that, or the other thing.
One thinks one works.
One perhaps even senses work, or feels it; or at least one construes it so.
One is filled with the arrogance of believing, instead of the humility of waiting.
Yet one is forever immersed in this humility of waiting, whether one knows or not; whether one wants to be or not; and there are exceptional times when that wait is rewarded, above all (if a reward is real) with true humility and the absolute Grace of organic sorrow and organic contrition, which exist as Truths—which originate far above this level on which we are required to labor in services.
These two elements, organic Sorrow and organic contrition, are atomic elements of the soul—gold and the silver, irreducible noble metals of inner alchemy.
They are purified factors which reveal exactly how blessed we are, how blessed this life is: in which the very smallest things, the moment-to-moment existences of things mundane, are revealed themselves as Perfect Graces.
When we acquire this appreciation of the Perfect Graces, which is intimate and too sweet to bear for every long, then and only then does real insight arise within us.
One learns, very slowly, to live in more and more abject humility while awaiting these Perfect Graces; and one learns as well how thoroughly one’s own existence (as it is—I speak solely of awareness here) is inadequate, unable.
Yet at the same time we are made absolutely whole in God’s most Perfect Grace, and may thereby know His Glorious Presence, if but for that single instant.
Here we meet not just the Lord; but our brothers and sisters of the soul. We will know, together, that the blessings of the Lord are far too great for us; and yet we were precisely crafted to receive. What undeserving creatures we have become! Our heads will bow in shame as we see how generous God has been. We will know one another then, in Christ; let us pray together! Love to all of you.
It may seem strange to say that all of a spiritual life is lived in the hopes of receiving the Sorrow; yet Christ’s example stands perfectly before us as not just a suffering and a Grace and a sacrifice, but as hope and prayer and all the good things which we men and women may bring to one another in the Holy Spirit, if only we but receive this single Perfect Grace.
My new book is now available in paperback, and as a PDF. While the book, in its first half, discusses Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson at considerable length, it also looks at the nature of the universe in some depth from a cosmological point of view in the second half, The Information of the Soul.
For the text of the introduction, see the PDF link.
Novel, Myth and Cosmos at Amazon (paperback)
PDF file for digital devices cab be ordered at:
Novel, Myth and Cosmos PDF format
An iTunes bookstore version will be available soon.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.