Saturday, May 21, 2011

Enraptured

The Philadelphia Inquirer had a front page story about the Rapture - what are the last five things you would do? Eat a steak, watch a movie...despite the fact that I think the end times are no more likely to be upon us today at 6 pm, than any other particular or predicted moment (Mt 24:36 even the angels in heaven do not know), I find myself slightly uncomfortable with the flippant tone in the Inquirer (and other spots, too -- though the CDC advice about zombies did make me laugh.) Perhaps it was the reading from Revelations in the Office of Readings that makes me want to thing seriously about judgement and endings.

I'm reading Weight of Glory, a sermon preached by C.S. Lewis in Oxford amidst truly apocalyptic times, the middle of WW II. These lines struck home:
"We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously--no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners--no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses."
A piece that will appear in the Standard while I'm away (in Japan!) takes up this challenge of "costly love" in another context.

(A note of merriment: in looking for this quote in my (electronic copy) of Weight of Glory, the search engine seemed unable to locate it: that would be because I have a British version, neighbor does not appear, it's neighbour!)

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm afraid I'm not yet above--not in the sense of condescension, but in the sense of ascension--smirking more than a little. Even Tim Lahaye and JBJ didn't predict a date!--an undoubtedly smart mercantile move. I have plenty of rapture related anecdotes to draw from, but perhaps I'll sidle back into making fun of Y2K.

    Re Britticisms: Oh goodness . . . I had this problem when reading a blog which used British spellings (not even from a Brit!)-and I still don't know which "gr_(a/e)y" is appropriate when!

    Have you gotten to the essay on women's ordination yet? I think it's in there, but I can't remember what it says . . . I seem to recall it being typical non-overly committal Lewis.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a grey day in England, a gray one in America?

    I've not gotten beyond "Weight," but have 14 hours on a plane tomorrow, so will undoubtedly finish it :)

    ReplyDelete