"Love! Do you know the meaning of the word?" 'How should I not?' said the Lady, 'I am in love...in Love Himself.'
~C.S. Lewis
The Great Divorce

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reason for the Switch

Dear readers,

Hopefully, the change in blog name and appearance hasn't thrown you off terribly. I wanted to give an explanation both theological and personal for the changes you see to this blog.

First, during this Holy Triduum, we rememeber God's love for his people. The sermon I heard last night on this subject was so good. The deacon at St. Mary's preached on "Why like this" as he pointed to the crucifix in the sanctuary. He gave the theological reasons for redemption from sin. But why not another way? His answer was that Jesus wanted to reveal something about himself. So much does God long for us to walk in communion with him that he is willing to the take the utter nastiness and ugliness of human corruption on himself. The crucifixion's severity is directly proportianate to the desire of God that we would again walk with him peacefully in the garden.

To say we are in love with God and God with us has, on the one hand, the sound of flaring teenage hormones. But it isn't that. We are actually in Love; United with the One who embodies love, because he united matter, a body, to his Deity. The Incarnation makes it possible for us to have a true, organic relationship with Jesus. We are grafted into him in a way that cannot be severed as long as we follow him in obedience. We are in Love and Love is in us. Holy Thursday and Good Friday, particularly, drive home the forging of this relationship and God's longing for it to be lasting.

Personally, I've changed the blog name and appearance for several reasons. First and foremost, I hated the layout and coloring of enchantingrelish. I just hadn't had time to change it. Furthermore, I was no longer thrilled with the name. Some of you may have read the post sometime back explaining why I had chosen such a title. But the truth is, while the friend who first introduced me to this quotation from Shakespeare will always be a friend, we are not close. Additionally, I've never been an avid reader of Shakespeare, nor is drama, Medieval English or otherwise, the theme of this blog. The new name reflects better the desire of this blog to help evangelize the web, explore theological, political, and cultural issues, and to provide a stage for conversation about the same.

The name change is also a reminder to myself. Of all the sins that I know afflict me (Lord have mercy) self-pity ranks fairly high. In the Great Divorce, as well as other classics, pity is seen to have two sides. Pity as a weapon and pity as a redemptive force. It was pity to drove Christ to the events we have celebrated and will celebrate in the coming days. It is what should drive Christians to evangelism and social justice. However, the sick beings that we are, we corrupted even this good gift. By "we", in this case, certainly I refer to myself cheifly. We use pity, as C.S. Lewis says, to blackmail the world. We present our own situations as so pitiful that we drag everyone else down to our level. Indeed, we want others to be miserable with us. In a word, we desire Hell and for the world to join us. Too forceful? I don't think so.

I've been particularly upset for a little over a week now (I have gotten over it, by God's grace) about something in my family life. I've not told anyone what-and I won't here. But I felt sympathy and then pity for myself and have refused to let anyone else make me happy. This refusal is participation in what Lewis termed the "passion of pity."

But as Lewis quite ably explains in his book, pity as a weapon can't touch the joy of God's people. "Hell cannot veto Heaven." And so the simple choice is before you and me: either shrink within yourself, wallowing in pity. Or, accept love on God's terms and find true happiness abiding there.

In these holy days, where we are reminded just how great God's love is for us, my choice is to be in love...in Love himself.

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