Sunday, December 13, 2015

An Invitation to Think

Let me invite you to think! Some Christians don’t like to think, but to me that is like trying to sleep in short-sheeted bed. My own observation is that we first encounter God; then we begin to understand Him. It is the process of understanding Him, and consequently understanding myself and others, that fascinates me; what Anselm would refer to as “de ratione fidei” thinking something out for oneself in prayer. Anselm’s Monologion “supplies a method of harmonizing faith with reason. The subject of the discourse, as (Martin) Rule points out, is not the reason of faith but the being of God; this is first affirmed by faith and then subjected to the method—de ratione fidei—of thinking something out for oneself in prayer: credo ut intelligam.

In the Prosologion Anselm says, “I seek not, O Lord, to search out Thy depth, but I desire in some measure to understand Thy truth, which my heart believeth and loveth. Nor do I seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand. For this too I believe, that unless I first believe, I shall not understand.” (Martin Thornton: English Spirituality, [1963, Published in the U. S. A. by Cowley Publications], p. 157, 158.  Half a century ago a college friend of mine referred to some of the young Christians in our Christian college as “spiritual dwarfs;” thus causing an uproar of protest. Retrospectively he was right, the Church has many spiritual dwarfs who accept the tenets of faith but don’t like to think about them. ~ Dom Anselm, Oblate OSB

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