Saturday, February 28, 2009

we shall not cease from exploration

I'm sitting in Starbucks sipping the latte that I bought as a birthday present to myself. There's a quote on my cup from Youssou N'Dour:
People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world's diversity of languages, religions and traditions is a great treasure, affording us precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others.

I wonder about that. I mean, I wholeheartedly believe that it's true. There's something marvelous about finding ourselves in others, especially where we didn't expect to see ourselves, but I don't think that's where it stops. What I find even more incredible is finding goodness in what is not ourselves. What I love about diversity is the chance not only to find myself in others but the chance to discover a goodness that I had never considered, that I could never have imagined. It reminds me that there is a Goodness that is much greater than anything inside of me, a Truth that is larger than anything I have understood, and a Beauty more incredible than what I have yet seen.

This joy of discovery is the reason I have devoted my life to the study of science, the reason I love sharing my life with non-Catholics, the reason I try to learn techniques of Eastern meditation. The truths that I learn there could never negate but only enrich the beautiful Truth that my God loves me and gave His life for me, that He leads and guides us through His Word in the scriptures and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working through the Tradition of the Catholic Church. Secure in this knowledge, I go exploring, and I suspect that, to borrow from T.S. Eliot, the end of all my exploring will be to arrive back in the arms of Father God and Mother Church and to know them for the first time.

Lord, I pray that you would bless my exploring. Help me to take the same attitude with myself and with everyone I meet, trusting that there, also, is present more Truth, Goodness, and Beauty than I ever would have imagined.

1 comment:

Perrin Rynning said...

"The true value of one's fundamentals is never brought into sharper relief than when one is thousands of miles from home." This is as true for martial artists (the mangled quote above comes from a somewhat famous Japanese author and sculptor known as Musashi, who also achieved some note with his swordwork) as it is for everyone else. Taking opportunities to test oneself against unfamiliar opponents (be those opponents alley-stalking thugs or foreign scholars) is the surest way to determine what parts of one's skills are up to snuff, and which parts need review.

To borrow the words of a far more insightful person than myself: "... here with music and fun, and if you're not careful, you may learn something before we're done."