Saturday, January 3, 2009

What is faith?

When Kathleen Norris takes up faith in her book Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and A Writer's Life, she mines the same vein as St. Diadochos in the passage from On Spiritual Knowledge that I posted previously. She also demonstrates what our dear Don Gius meant when he said, "This is what it means to be Christian: a newness that always opens up the road within the old words" (Is It Possible to Live This Way?, vol 1, pg. 120).
"We shortchange ourselves by regarding religious faith as a matter of intellectual assent. This is a modern aberration; the traditional Christian view is far more holistic, regarding faith as a whole-body experience. Sometimes it is, as W.H. Auden described it, a matter of '[choosing] what is difficult all one's days as if it were easy.'" (pg. 84).
This quote from Auden is from his long poem For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio Giussani's insight applies both to her take on faith and her recovery of the word acedia.

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