From Isaac of Stella

"So, brother, make for yourself a hidden place within yourself, in which you can flee away from yourself and pray in secret to the Father." Isaac of Stella

Passing From Self to God: A Cistercian Retreat, Robert Thomas, OCSO Cistercian Press, 2006, p. 4

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Divine Logos

One of the paths I followed in the dark forest of skepticism led me through the porch of the Stoics and the pantheists of hellenistic theology.  I became aware of the concept of the Logos, that organizing principle that underlies all that is, which is conscious and aware, benevolent but distant, and of which all of us, both men and gods,  are particular manifestations.  From the Oneness of the Logos comes the plurality of phenomenal existence, and from our particularity we return to the generative fires of the Logos.  Seneca meditated on the final consumption of the cosmos in the destructive fires and saw all the gods subsumed into Zeus who sits meditating on himself.  Out of his meditations a new Cosmos is born from the now generative fires and a new cycle of existence is born.  All of this is the Logos and its works.  All is the Logos and all exist through it and for it.  A sublime image, now completed in its beauty by Christ.  Christ is the Logos born in the flesh, both behind and in the Cosmos, both transcendent and immanent.  Schopenhauer helped to show me how the Logos (the Will) could be logically sustained and so placed out of the realm of fantasy and conjecture and now in the realm of reality.  But Schopenhauer could not see that the Logos is more than an impersonal striving, that it is a person, and after the annunciation, a man.
Yesterday was the feast of the Annunciation in which we remember that momentous event.  Joseph Conti wrote of the immensity of  the suffering involved in this diminishment and limitation of the Logos to the form of a man in his marvelous book Holistic Christianity.  Even the great Lent was paused and a feast proclaimed on a Friday of all days.  This is good and just and right!
The mystery of the Logos, of Christ is deep and fertile for a lifetime of contemplation.  The very public 3 years of Jesus' life of ministry tends to draw our attention.  But he is the divine Logos which lies behind all that is and is the source of all.  At the heart of Christianity is the Oneness of the Logos from which we come and with which we are intended to unite in the beatific vision.  In that unity, with the giving up of our egoism, our individual will subsumed into the divine will yet becoming more ourselves than we ever were before.  It is in heaven we become our true selves, not in the hell of endless egotistic individual isolation.

Praise be to the Divine Logos
Who is and was and ever will be!
Praise be to the beneficent plan behind all existence!
Praise the place in which nature has placed us, and the opportunities for virtue we have been given!
Praise the sweetness of the incarnation and the beauty of the Christ!
All Praise His glory and His majesty!
May we see Him face to face and know the blessedness for ever and ever!

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