Tag Archives: Creator

The mystery of God…in things?

Brothers, do not be afraid of men’s sin, love man also in his sin, for this likeness of God’s love is the height of love on earth. Love all of God’s creation, both the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love very leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love animals, love plants, love each thing. If you love each thing, you will perceive the mystery of God in things. –Elder Zosima, The Brothers Karamazov1

Currently, I am in the middle of reading The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. It is quite a large work, but so far it has been utterly satisfying. The previous quote is an excerpt of one of the Elder’s sermons that the main character Alyosha has recorded. To be blunt, it took my breath away when I first read it.

This single quote succinctly captures what I hope to be the aim and purpose of this blog. Expounding on what Dostoevsky really means here, I think, is unnecessary. The prose is beautiful and elegant enough without any of my efforts mucking it up. That said, I don’t think I can resist saying something about it here. Continue reading

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Artifice and Hope

Lately I have been reading Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. Though the main topic of the book is Christ’s resurrection and the implications that it has for how we live and what we believe about what happens when we die, Wright has some very interesting thoughts about beauty and art, which I thought might be relevant to this blog. He notes that a feature of many of the communities that we live in, typically poorer ones, is ugliness.

This rings true in a real way. The only shadow of beauty that people often have in these communities is the glitz and glamor of whatever new-fangled product the television is trying to sell them–or the shallow, sensualized, one-sided version of beauty that is showcased in our culture’s fascination with celebrities. Just drive through your local impoverished neighborhood and you can just feel an overwhelming grayness, often accentuated by some of the run down homes.

This brings us to Wright’s assertion:

“When people cease to be surrounded by beauty, they cease to hope. They internalize the message of their eyes and ears, the message that whispers that they are not worth very much, that they are in effect less than fully human.” (231) Continue Reading