Thursday, June 30, 2011

Impatience, passion, and "tenderness towards the truth"

File this one under the same heading as my recent post For too many "the reasons complicate." When it comes to formation impatience is inevitable and ambivalence can be the order of the day. On the good side, impatience indicates a true desire on the part of one being formed as well as on the part of the one charged with formation. This impatience is good insofar as it orients us the right way and is a response to what (i.e., Who) we truly long for. On the other side, insofar as it reveals our desire to skip experience and come to truth another way, it is inhibiting and is the cause of many throwing their hands up in exasperation. Desiring to skip experience is undoubtedly a gnostic approach. It is also true that very often the one charged with formation wants to be understood completely the first time in order to spare those being formed the same experiences (i.e., doubt, pain, etc.) s/he has had. In this way the one charged with formation is very much like a parent.

For the ones being formed and for the one charged with formation (under the heading of the one who teaches learns the most), "things have to be repeated and, in repeating them, it seems that they become more difficult to understand" (Is It Possible Vol. 3 pg 65). Nonetheless, "if you're forced to repeat things to understand them, either you ardently desire the truth (you have a passion for the thing you are studying), or you grumble - at a certain point you grumble: grumbling coincides with understanding less" (pg. 65). If you stick with it through passion and grumbling "at a certain point it's as if, unexpectedly, the first breath of morning - the dawn - breaks, and you begin to understand...[e]ven if there are many objections, lots of darkness, many partitions that obscure the direct vision of things, the triumph of truth lies at the heart's core..." (pg.65- underlining and emboldening emphasis mine).

What is this truth that lies at the heart's core? Love for Christ, which "is not something different - it's only different in the sense that it's deeper, more gripping, than even the affection you experience with people you know" (pg. 66). What must be kept in mind to surmount impatience is "that God makes the first move" (pg. 66).

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