Chasin’ After the Wind

What a timely find in this article written by Jeremy Beer about the Communio movement within the Catholic church and David L. Schindler, author of Being Holy in the World and Ordering Love.

How refreshing to read his perspective about the nature and meaning of life as being relational, to God, to onself and to others and the primacy of love and meaning in life. It’s not about a relationship with a book, however Holy it might be, especially if it’s used to hit someone over the head with whom you have failed to even try to relate to or with whom you disagree .

“As you might imagine, understanding reality as an order of love has profound implications. Among these are that being is a gift, and our proper response to being is in the first place one of receptivity and gratitude. If we do not respond to the cosmos in this way, it is because in some sense we have been “coached out of it”—by our culture, perhaps, or by our own choices and habits. Another implication of the idea of being-as-love is that being is intrinsically relational, not individualistic. The individual is real, to be sure, but included within individuality, and lying at its core, is relationality—to God, to whom the individual is constitutively related as a created thing is to its creator, and to others, to whom the individual is related through a common relationship to God.”

So, it’s not enough to vote for politicians who seem to share your political or religious views if the system itself functions through a mode of power. It’s the political structure itself that shapes outcomes regardless of any politicians beliefs, whether liberal or conservative.

“In this way, all of our political, economic, legal, and religious institutions are necessarily grounded in some conception of order—in a metaphysics—even if they reject or ignore the Christian claim. From the Christian view, liberal institutions foster a problematic “mode of being”—a distorting matrix for the formation of our intentions, attitudes, and ideas. Thus, the idea that just putting “good people,” or at least those with the “right ideas,” into political office will make a decisive cultural difference is insufficiently attentive to the shaping power of this matrix in a liberal regime.”

What needs to change are not our beliefs, but our sense of relationality and its importance to ourselves and to others. If we cannot anticipate the results of our choices and actions, what we believe has no meaning in our lives. It is only through our acknowledged need for love and to love that we can open ourselves to true healing and transformation. This has and continues to be true for me.

“As the younger Schindler puts it: “A man may tell his wife often that he loves her, may believe what he says, and may in fact bring her flowers without fail once a week—and yet at the same time he may exhibit a pattern of choices with regard to his career, for example, that trivialize his wife’s significance in his life.” Or a man may call himself a Christian but enjoy wearing Club Gitmo T-shirts and take great pleasure in hearing about the victims of his nation’s bombing campaigns. Especially when those campaigns are supported by the socially conservative Republican for whom he cast a ballot as his Christian duty.”

A very good analysis:

“Schindler argues that the hidden metaphysics of liberalism is instrumentalism. Put another way, its ontology is technology, the necessary result of bracketing the “logic of love proper to created being.” Despite its overt intentions, liberalism therefore fosters relations of power rather than love: mutual manipulation rather than human dignity and freedom. It marginalizes the weak and the vulnerable, as is obvious precisely in the “intrinsic evils” that understandably preoccupy today’s Catholic bishops. Such marginalization is central to its logic.”

And this:

“Properly understood, freedom is rooted in an understanding of reality as love and a concomitant commitment to this truth. Love grounds freedom because it is in its nature to let the other be, not out of indifference but out of respect for his or her integrity and dignity, even as it seeks to turn the other toward truth through patient dialogue and witness, including the witness of sacrifice and suffering.”

More of Schindler’s writings here:

Thank you Blue Highway for this lovely song and for so much beautiful music.

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