Monday, May 23, 2011

T(w)oo absurd(ists)

John Sanidopoulos, author of the Orthodox blog Mystagogy, continues to surprise me with many and varied stories about how beautiful our Lord truly is, how He calls us by name in many and varied ways. For Western Christians and, I imagine, even for Eastern Christians living in the West, religion becomes empty, formal, ritualistic. Dr. Graham once said of Christians in the comfortable West that "Some people have just enough religion to inoculate themselves against the real thing." The "real thing" being Jesus Christ, who comes to us by means of the Holy Spirit. One effect of this is that many who go to church spend a lot of time and waste a lot of energy trying to accomodate the Gospel to the spirit of the age. As Peter Hitchens sagely observed, "If you marry the spirit of the age, you will pretty soon be bereaved or divorced. For that spirit doesn't wait around in the same place for long." By contrast the Gospel and its truth are everlasting.

Today Sanidopoulos wrote about the playwright Eugene Ionesco, who along with Samuel Beckett, about whom I have written plenty, including my article for Il Sussidiario, Samuel Beckett: Life in Two Dimensions a few years back, was "one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd."

Samuel Beckett

Unlike the unbelieving Beckett, whose Waiting for Godot remains a never-ending paean to meaninglessness, Ionesco was a committed believer, even a disciple of the Lord Jesus. It all began with a visit to Mount Athos in his twenties. I urge you to check out Eugene Ionesco and the Elder on Mount Athos.

Eugene Ionesco

I even posted a video on Beckett as a Friday traditio a few years back. You can compare that with the videos posted by Sanidopoulos featuring Ionesco. If you only watch one of the two clips, watch the second clip. If you're even more impatient, go to 3:51 of the second clip and watch until the end. Ionesco's insights more than repay the time.

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