Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pilgrim's Progress (?)

When life has no more glitter, is that a good or a bad thing?

I used to have ‘convictions and predilections stout’ – to pick just a few, that Tolkien was the greatest author in the history of literature, that assenting to the Christian creed was guaranteed to bring lifelong happiness and prosperity (and denying it only darkness and error), that insensitivity to heroic ideals and images was the worst curse anyone could be afflicted with.

Now I’m not so sure.

Even seminary life has lost its magic. The image of the devout souls who have given every second of their lives to the Messiah, dwelling somewhere in the outer precincts of Heaven in anticipation of their mission, has given way to the image of a group of guys who have somehow blundered into the same building and learnt to live with each other – no mean feat either. And there’s always work to be done in the Church, though what work and why and to what effect – let’s say that’s part of the mystery of the Church.

I hope that the loss of glitter is a way towards seeing things more profoundly, not more shallowly.