Guess what you guys! We interrupt our regular schedule of not-posting-on-Thursdays to bring you this post over on Catholic Exchange. It’s really nice to be writing publicly as Joseph Prever again; I mean, it’s really nice for there to be only one of me.
It’s also nice to write stuff that isn’t about gayness in particular. Anyway, here’s an excerpt.
Is it safe to expose children to such dark images? I think so, or as safe as any real poetry can be; poetry is no tame lion. At that age, I had no categories in my mind for real darkness, and so the darkness couldn’t get in to do me damage. But the image stayed; which meant that when the reality showed up years later, I was not defenseless.
Maybe you could go over there and leave comments, so they’ll think I’m awesome and post my stuff all the time. Peace.
It’s been a long time since I was depressed, and that’s amazing. The odd thing is how not-sad is not exactly the same as happy. When I was habitually miserable, I always figured that being free from the constant oppressive darkness was all I could ever ask for. Turns out, nope, my appetite for bliss is infinite, just like CSL said (somewhere [probably]), so I am probably just getting started.
Truth be told, I am feeling a little empty. Unfortunately, it’s not the Dark Night of the Soul. That is when you are so so so wonderful that God has decided that the only way to make you MORE wonderful is to withdraw the sense of His presence for a while so that your inner wonderfulness can grow. Anyway that’s what the saints say.
I wouldn’t know, because the reason I feel empty is that I am selfish and vain and I don’t pray enough and I’d rather look at my triceps in the mirror than pour out the love of Christ on my fellow wounded immortals. So I assume.
2 – Baby’s Black Balloon
Speaking of emptiness, Zen Pencils has done a curiously affecting illustration of a C. S. Lewis quotation that I had forgotten I ever read:
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.
The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
3 – The Perils Of Being Awesome
That bit about the hobbies and luxuries stung a little, because I had just been congratulating myself on having this chastity thing pretty well down — I mean, not that the old habits of solitary vice1 don’t occasionally reassert themselves, just that I’m not lonely and brokenhearted and stuck wandering the echoing hallways of solitude, wondering how to fill all that TIME; which is what, in my early days as a consciously gay Catholic, I assumed I’d be doing around now.
Because why? Because I do fill my time, with the things I always go on about: tattoos (I’ve got an appointment in two weeks) and Kung Fu (ranking coming up this December!) and motorcycles (there’s got to be one more perfect day before the snow comes) and writing (which I pretend I do a lot more of than I do) and working out (see biceps, above).
Which, ruh roh, none of those things are bad and in fact all of them are good, but they do sort of smack of a rich single guy spending his time entertaining himself. That’s not chastity. The point is not to distract yourself from the fact that you aren’t settling down with a mate. The point is to spend yourself on something, lap strength, steal joy, laugh, cheer.2
4 – Cheer Whom, Though?
Not that the two are mutually exclusive. Whatever we do, even if it’s something for ourselves, there are always opportunities to pour ourselves out.
I walked into Kung Fu on Wednesday feeling like I had somehow forgotten how to be in touch with human beings, so Oh well I better resign myself to just sort of drifting until I remember where my heart is.
Then I remembered that, during that year of now done darkness,3 when the Kwoon became the closest thing I had to an inviolably safe place, somehow the classes when I was most gregarious and most able to pour out love were those classes when I started out feeling the most depleted.
I don’t know what that means. Is it that, when I’m empty, I’m more easily filled by love, which, let’s be ontologically honest, never originates from me in the first place anyway? Regardless, it worked. Step inside the magical door with a quick prayer to my Dad to look out for me, and pretty soon I am scattering brightness.
Or that’s how it feels. Maybe I am just scattering annoyingness. I’ll never know, will I?
5 – The Achieve Of; The Mastery Of the Thing4
What makes me not terribly worried that my hobbies are somehow slowly turning me into a self-absorbed emotional miser is the knowledge that when you do things that are awesome and that you love doing, you can’t help glowing, and the glow can’t help lighting up other people. It’s like capitalism! Except it works.5
Which must be why this video makes me happy beyond all reason.
I don’t care that it’s a commercial, or that Enya is lazy music for gooey people, or that there wasn’t any real danger, or that after all he’s just an actor. Maybe it’s that JCVD has passed from goofy sincerity, through postmodern irony, and has come out on the other side as sincere again. I dunno. The video inspires me because it’s beautiful, so there you go. My heart in hiding stirred for a split.
6 – Gweenbrick
I have been waiting to tell you officially about Gweenbrick ever since I mentioned him. I wanted to make a whole post about him. But if I wait till I do that, I’ll wait a long time.
Anyway, I can’t decide which his posts are more: hilarious, symphonic, Zen, or Hambledonian.6 I wish I could write like this man, and I am proud of knowing about him before the whole entire internet descends on him with shouts of adulation. Get in on the ground floor of loving Gweenbrick. Today’s post is called Slow Yoga With Denene.
7 – Clap Your Tiny Hands For Joy
As long as we are talking about beauty, thanks to Simo7 for posting this. Oh my gosh. Go out and give thanks. Happy Friday.
1I <3 euphemisms. 2Hopkins, obvi. 3Hopkins again. Same poem. 4The Windhover, this time, which was clearly written about JCVD, whatever else it may have been written about. 5It is fun to be snarky about capitalism from the comfort of my coffee shop. I do believe that it’s probably the worst possible system, except for all the others. 6Cf. Douglas Adams’ The Meaning of Liff, in which he defines Hambledon as “The sound of a single-engined aircraft flying by, heard whilst lying in a summer field in England, which somehow concentrates the silence and sense of space and timelessness and leaves one with a profound feeling of something or other.” That’s Gweenbrick. 7That’s “teacher’s wife” for you nonkungfuers.
“The male you could have escaped, for it exists only on the biological level. But the masculine none of us can escape. What is above and beyond all things is so masculine that we are all feminine in relation to it. You had better agree with your adversary quickly.”
“You mean I shall have to become a Christian?” said Jane.
“It looks like it,” said the Director.1
It’s my favorite thing, the four of us sitting around the kitchen table, one in the morning, empty bottles everywhere, eyeballs-deep in the aesthetics of gender, or the theology of sex, or anyway something that has us alternating between cackles and chills.
“I hear Shostakovich,” says Jack P.,2 tracing voluptuous curves in the air to describe how he feels about women but also about certain symphonies, “and I want to put it inside myself. I want it like I want a woman, but I also want it inside me.” He pauses and grins at me. “Is that gay?”
“Well, we’re all feminine with respect to God,” I say, paraphrasing C. S. Lewis, “so that makes sense.” If one response to beauty is the desire to penetrate, another is the desire to be penetrated.
The unspoken assumption is that music, and beauty in general, is a way to experience God, something that the present company (a bunch of Lewis-reading, Beethoven-loving, Aquinas-quoting types) takes for granted.
Jack has just been maintaining that the most beautiful thing in the world is the female body. I’d just say bodies in general, since I appreciate both kinds, even if one of those appreciations is more visceral than the other.
Paul L. questions whether beauty is the right word: if a hungry man sees a hamburger on a billboard, is beauty the right name for what he experiences? Does he delight in the curve of the bun, the pert little sesame seeds, the gentle glistening of the secret sauce?
Or does he just want to devour the thing? What do we want to do with beauty? Gaze at it? Eat it up? Impregnate it, or be impregnated?3 All of the above?
To be continued.
1From C. S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength. 2P. is, of course, short for “Pigford”. This is what happens when you let your buddies pick their own aliases. 3Cf. also a certain passage in Voyage To Arcturus: “If you were to regard nature as the husband, and Panawe as the wife…perhaps everything would be explained.”
“True friendship,” says C. S. Lewis, “is the least jealous of loves.” We in the SSA crowd, or anyway the neurotic crowd, or maybe just the human crowd, hear that and cringe, because so many of us are such amateurs at friendship, amateurs in every sense: we dabble in it, we’re fascinated by it to the point of obsession, and our talent for it is decidedly imperfect.
True friendship? Most of us have scraps of it, but our actual friendships seem to exist on the perpetual verge of collapse, held together by duct tape and desperate good intentions; and jealousy intrudes, painfully, over and over. How well we know the signs of its approach, and how powerless we feel to stop it!
Like any amateur, I sometimes watch the experts — are there friendship experts? — to see how it’s done.
I noticed that my friends A and B had a tendency to express their fondness for each other via insults. “Ah ha!” said my crafty little lizard brain. “This is what friends do! I, too, will insult A, and let’s see whether we become better friends because of it.”
So I tried it out, but something went wrong. When I insulted A, he looked faintly hurt, and instead of responding with an insult of his own (as I had seen him do to B), he laughed uncomfortably and said, “Ah, yeah, you’re probably right.”
Waitwaitwait, cancel, retreat, abort! That isn’t what I meant at all. But this is what comes of being crafy, especially of being crafty where friendship is concerned: your friends get hurt and you look mean.
I understood belatedly what A and B’s insults had meant. It wasn’t that they had made a conscious decision to express friendship via insults, nor was it that insults are the universal language of male friendship. This was just the particular shape their friendship had developed, slowly and organically, over the years of its evolution.
And my appropriation of their particular brand of camaraderie suddenly looked grotesque and desperate, because, unfortunately, it was.
I was driving to work and this particular scene came back to me — you know that horrible splurch you get when you suddenly remember something grotesque and desperate that you’ve done?1 — but, thankfully, I also remembered that bit from Lewis’ Four Loves:
In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than my own to show all his facets. Now that Charles is dead, I shall never again see Ronald’s reaction to a specifically Caroline joke. Far from having more of Ronald, having him ‘to myself’ now that Charles is away, I have less of Ronald. Hence true Friendship is the least jealous of loves.2
I’ve seen this in the way only J. will shout when only M. makes a particularly asinine point, or only L. will cackle when only C. is crass in his exactly C.-like flavor of crassness. It’s also evident in the way, if M. and I find ourselves in a room without the accustomed presence of J., we suddenly won’t know what to say to each other: J. turns out to have been a bridge between us, a way for us to enjoy each other. Lacking him, we have to find other ways.
But the other part of that picture is a part we can’t see: ourselves. Cue Walker Percy:
Why is it that in your entire lifetime you will never be able to size yourself up as you can size up somebody else — or size up Saturn — in a ten-second look?”3
We don’t know our own part in the peculiar lattice of relations that exists between us and our friends, but make no mistake — we do have such a part. Whatever my opinion of myself, I am irreplaceable to them as each of them is to me. My own face will suddenly take on an expression that is characteristically Steve, and my friends will notice, but I won’t have the faintest idea about it; if I did, that would spoil it.
That’s how it works. We are not only for ourselves. The list of things I know about myself is not the same as the list of things my friends know about me. I am not even the best lover of myself, since I can never see in myself that very Steveness that is exactly what my friends love about me. I will never be able to see it. But I know it is there, because there are those that love me; so I don’t have to worry about it terribly much.
In other words, I have only to be myself; which (and this is the part they never tell you) I can only do when I am paying attention to the peculiarly lovable selves of everybody else.
1This often happens while I’m driving.4 If you ever see me suddenly wince in traffic, that’s probably why. 2From The Four Loves. Context is here. 3This is from Percy’s Lost In the Cosmos, also known as The Best Book For Weirdos To Read To Feel Less Like Weirdos. The context is here. 4Which is one reason why I sometimes listen to Savant and/or Skrillex when I’m driving. Did you know, if you turn the dubstep up loud enough, you can’t think of anything at all?
1—It’s my writing day, and that’s a good day, but frankly, I’m in a lot of pain. These road bumps come and go, and I know better than to try reinterpreting my whole life in the light of how I happen to feel today, but today I happen to feel really awful. It’s like those days when you lie in bed shaking with the flu and you just think, “Gosh, I’d like this to over, but it keeps going instead.” Just waiting for the upswing, and in the meantime finding comfort where I can.
2—On the bright side, Pope Francis has released a new encyclical today: Lumen Fidei, the light of faith. You can get it on the Vatican’s website, of course. I’m working my way through it now.
3—I’m super psyched for Matt Jones’ coming out post today. He’s one of the best gay Christian writers I know on the interwebz, and a great human being besides. If you haven’t already read his stuff (as “Jordan”) on Gay Subtlety, there’s a lot of wisdom and entertainment (wisdertainment?) there too.
4—This and other events have me rethinking my own stance towards anonymity. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if I followed suit before too long — partly it’s just a matter of bowing to the inevitable, since my voice is already out there on the net, and soon my face very likely will be too (more on that as that story develops), so maybe my name won’t be that big of a step. But I wanna have some fanfare! I want a party! And also I just want to bide my time and make sure I’m doing it right.
5—Today I needed Confession, like bad, and I actually left my writing spot at the coffee shop in the middle of the day to hunt down the priest after the 12:15 Mass at the Cathedral. Turns out this is the one day he couldn’t make it. That didn’t help my day any. It’s like, you know the Lord isn’t actually telling you “I don’t want to see you” or “I don’t forgive you,” but it’s hard not to feel that way anyway. Catholic Guilt, I know.
6—On the plus side, on my way back to the coffee shop, as I’m processing this and reminding myself of everything I really do know about the Lord, how he’s actually not mean and would actually not rather see me burst into tears in traffic, if it could be avoided, I see this bumper sticker: “Esfuérzate y sé valiente”, be strong and courageous; which is not only relevant but contains a little personal nod, because for me (thanks to my stay in Peru), Spanish is the language of the Lord and of the heart.
Then I look up the full verse and just kind of go, Huh. Well.
7—I’m not nearly as big into Signs as I used to be, but whenever I see something like that, I think of that bit in Lewis’ The Silver Chair:
“Don’t you mind him,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan; and he was there when the giant King caused the letters to be cut, and he knew already all things that would come of them; including this.”
I know that doesn’t do a great job of explaining this moment, but if you’ve read the book you’ll get it, and if you haven’t, you should!
I’m sitting in the parking lot of the shrink’s office. This is why I got a laptop: I am so often in transit that if I waited until I was settled at my desk, I’d never get any writing done.
I think the woman two spaces away is in the same boat. She’s parked in her car, running the AC and eating something with a plastic fork. Poor thing, poor both of us. I’ll write for ten minutes more, smoke a cig, and then go get (as my father would say) my brain drained.
I avoid the waiting rooms of shrinks, strange places because everybody knows why everybody else is there. Not really, of course, since there are as many varieties of mental illness as physical. It’s like the waiting room of a proctologist: it’s not your fault if your smelly parts aren’t working right, it’s not even your fault that you have smelly parts, but everybody is kinda embarrassed anyway.
It took me so long to finally see this shrink, and there were so many roadblocks in the way, that Fr. T and I began to suspect either divine or demonic displeasure. I mainly suspected the latter, or actually neither, since I’ve been trying not to spiritualize every. Single. Thing in my life, and get used to the idea that sometimes sh★t just happens; that maybe there’s a supernatural reason for it and maybe there ain’t, but it usually doesn’t do much good to wonder.
You just try to figure out the best thing to do and then do it.1 If there’s a lesson, it’ll come anyway. We’re children and God’s the teacher, right? So nobody expects kindergartners to see the point behind phonics exercises. If you got the point already, you could’ve designed the lesson yourself.
I dunno what we’ll talk about today. I have some ideas; we could talk about my family and how it’s not my fault I’m so nuts, and maybe I will believe it this time. We could talk about why, if a particular love is hopeless and known to be hopeless, it should nevertheless persist and ache and anguish;2 and what to do when it does. We’ll see.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what William Lynch says about hope: that it is not, after all, an interior resource, not something you generate on your own; anyone who’s been in the throes of a serious depression knows this to be true, and the idea that one should be able to generate hope only drives the nails deeper.
Hope is, instead, the belief that help is available from the outside.
So I hope in my shrink, I hope in my friends, I hope in my family and all of my so-many loved ones, and the so-many who love me. I try to get the hang of hoping in God, but I have to admit that I don’t know what that means, and ask his pardon if all I can muster is hope in the people I can see and touch and hug. I know they can help me, because they have.
What God has to do with it, precisely, I don’t know; but since I don’t know, and since wondering about it makes me crazier, I conclude that he doesn’t mind if I don’t know yet.
1Like Screwtape says: “He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.” 2“Ache and anguish” is from this particularly penetrating sentence of Faulkner’s, which often floats into my head: “life is always premature, which is why it aches and anguishes.” From somewhere in The Town.
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.1
When I was in college and going through the worst of it, I got tired of praying that the sadness would go away and that things would be easy. I got tired of it because it was a prayer that was never answered. Or maybe it was, since it’s said that every prayer has only three possible answers: Yes, Later, and Something Better. If this prayer was answered at that time, the answer was certainly one of the latter two.
I wondered, then, if there was a prayer that God would always say Yes to, to spare me the suspense of wondering what his response would be. I came up with this one: Lord, let this day be good. I’d say it on the mornings when I woke up and felt the pain settle in, and I’d say it in the evenings when I saw another night of difficulty coming.
The whole trick was not to bother myself about what “good” might mean. All the problems came from bothering: Why me, why this? What’s the use, what’s the point, what’s this for? How did this happen; when will it be over? Questions that tied my stomach into knots. And again, if God answered those questions, I couldn’t hear him — as C. S. Lewis says somewhere2 — over the din of my own grief. Better not to ask till the noise died down.
But “Let this day be good” — this was always answered. Years later I began to have glimpses of how it was answered, but never completely, and never steadily. Others could see it, no doubt, better than I could. I was too close.
It’s an easy prayer to pray. It requires quiet, and it brings quiet. Sometimes it’s the only prayer possible.
It’s the sort of prayer Jesus might have prayed on the Friday which is, after all, called Good.
1From T. S. Eliot’s East Coker. 2Either in The Problem of Pain or A Grief Observed.
A reader sent me part of this quotation from C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Since it’s better than anything I’m likely to come up with tonight, I’ll pass it along. It’s been too long since I’ve read that book.
If you have sound nerves and intelligence and health and popularity and a good upbringing, you are likely to be quite satisfied with your character as it is. “Why drag God into it?” you may ask. A certain level of good conduct comes fairly easily to you. You are not one of those wretched creatures who are always being tripped up by sex, or dipsomania, or nervousness, or bad temper. Everyone says you are a nice chap and (between ourselves) you agree with them. You are quite likely to believe that all this niceness is your own doing: and you may easily not feel the need for any better kind of goodness. Often people who have all these natural kinds of goodness cannot be brought to recognize their need for Christ at all until, one day, the natural goodness lets them down and their self-satisfaction is shattered. In other words, it is hard for those who are “rich” in this sense to enter the Kingdom.
It is very different for the nasty people — the little, low, timid, warped, thin-blooded, lonely people, or the passionate, sensual, unbalanced people. If they make any attempt at goodness at all, they learn, in double quick time, that they need help. It is Christ or nothing for them. It is taking up the cross and following — or else despair. They are the lost sheep; He came specially to find them. They are (in one very real and terrible sense) the “poor”: He blessed them. They are the “awful set” He goes about with — and of course the Pharisees say still, as they said from the first, “If there were anything in Christianity those people would not be Christians.”
There is either a warning or an encouragement here for every one of us. If you are a nice person — if virtue comes easily to you — beware! Much is expected from those to whom much is given. If you mistake for your own merits what are really God’s gifts to you through nature, and if you are contented with simply being nice, you are still a rebel: and all those gifts will only make your fall more terrible, your corruption more complicated, your bad example more disastrous. The Devil was an archangel once; his natural gifts were as far above yours as yours are above those of a chimpanzee.
But if you are a poor creature — poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels — saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion — nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends — do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all — not least yourself: for you have learned your driving in a hard school. (Some of the last will be first and some of the first will be last).
Lent really snuck up on me this year, the way Christmas never does. Of course there’s no real reason for the culture at large to get all geared up for Lent, since Lent usually means people buying less, not more. I doubt most people notice Lent at all, except for wondering about the black smudges.
Still, that’s not a very good excuse for (1) eating a triple-size meal for Ash Wednesday dinner even if I technically sort of fasted the rest of the day — American Catholics (I mean me) are such wimps, srsly — (2) commemorating the first Friday of the season with significant quantities of beer, and (3) ignoring the blog for a full week. Oops, oops, oops. Feeling like Jill and Eustace in The Silver Chair: it hasn’t been Lent very long, but I already seem to be doing rather badly.
No, I’m not wallowing in the famous Catholic Guilt, but it’s clear that I need some balance, especially socially. My lack of blogging is mainly due to me being very social lately, and that part is good; but my social life tends to be either feast or fast, either spending the whole weekend alone or running myself ragged seeing everybody.
Or maybe that’s normal. If that word means anything. Makes me think of that bit in Punch-Drunk Love: “I don’t know if there is anything wrong, because I don’t know how other people are.”
Father T. had some good words on the subject in our conversation last week, but I’ve got to let them percolate a little more before I start talking about it. I know I’ve got to pray more, or pray better, or pray differently: to stop treating prayer as one more task to check off the to-do list, and start treating it like a conversation.
Anyway. Plenty to think and pray about. How’s your Lent going?
Can you guess the reason that I’ve got a keyboard gathering dust in my parents’ attic, a drum set doing the same in their spare room, a fiddle languishing in my closet, and a duduk slowly drying in my dresser?
I’ll give you a hint — it’s the same reason I can read the Cyrillic alphabet but can’t speak a word of Russian, can pronounce German passably but couldn’t conjugate sein to save my life, and have no fewer than three half-begun short stories, not to mention the half-conceptualized novels, sitting in my desk drawer.
Answer: it’s so thrilling to start something! But continuing, Not so much.
It’s like setting out on a hike. At the end there’s the clearing and the vista, everything spread out in front of you. At the beginning you have the sense of adventure, freshness, anticipation. At both beginning and end you have access, somehow, to the true nature of the thing: you see into the joy at the heart of it.
But in the middle: slogging past one damn tree after another. Forget adventure, a soft bed will do. What was this for, again?
So, yes, adventure is difficult — which is to say, life is difficult — but not only in the sense of involving strenuous effort. Any strenuous thing is easy if you have enough love in your heart; and love is easy, too, when you have vision, when you are able to see plainly the beauty of the beloved.
But there is a moment in every love when you suddenly look around and say: What was this for? Why bother?
This happened to me during Kung Fu the other night, right when the stretching stopped and the kicking was about to start. What was I doing? Why should I care about perfect form, or strength, or grace? Why did I think it was worth it to stretch and stretch and stretch my body just so I could — what? Kick myself in the forehead?
What kind of an idiot aspires to be able to kick himself in the forehead?
Or: what kind of an idiot follows a God who’s invisible and unhearable? Or: what kind of an idiot stays with a husband she can’t stand? Or: what kind of an idiot struggles to renounce, and keep renouncing, something most of the world wouldn’t even blink at?
Like any temptation worth its salt, this one disguises itself as plainest reality. You will seem to yourself to have woken up, to have seen past the sentiment and the romance to the plain reality of the thing: my wife, my vocation, my God — none of these are worth loving. Tricked again, and life is boring after all — and most boring here, right at the heart of what I thought was It, the very Thing Itself, my marriage, my vocation, my faith.
Lies! We, not truth, are changeable. We can only see the light of truth the way we see the sun through the trees on a windy day. Like Jill and Eustace, we see the truth plainly enough while we are speaking with Aslan — but when we descend into the world, the vision becomes a fool’s dream.
Because life is the opposite of a mirage: ordinary daily things are always more real, more alive, than they look up close. Seen from far off, life blazes; approached, it cools and fades.
But not always. There are the 99 times when we go before the Blessed Sacrament and seem to ourselves to be, O foolishness, kneeling down before a piece of bread. But the 100th time, we know that we are prostrating ourselves before the beating heart of a God, the heart of life, the heart of song.
And this 100th time is enough to carry us through the next 99, if we remember. The remembering is called faith.
For now we see in a mirror dimly; but then, face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.