November 22, 2011

Knowing Darkness: quotes & a brief reflection

I was curious (and obviously daydreaming), as I study in the library, wondering about whether or not the library had the books of one of my favorite living theologians: David Bentley Hart. I searched his name. Immediately I read the intriguing title: Knowing Darkness and the even more intriguing subtitle: On Skepticism, Melancholy, Friendship, and God written by Addison Hart. After retrieving it, checking it out and delving in, I began referring to it as a God-send, though reluctantly. I don't care for that spiritual language normally. I didn't seem to mind this time since I actually felt that way.

Addison Hart is Parochial Vicar for the Newman Center at Northern Illinois University and has written a m
arvelously pastoral exploration into melancholy which he defines as "thoughtful sadness." I appreciated how he put melancholy in the title since I probably would of never discovered it. My interest in this has been increased lately upon finding out, after taking a personality test in psychology, that I am deeply melancholy. I always viewed this as one of the worse personality types since people with this type seem consistently sad and emotional, which I had been nearly all semester. Because of Hart's work on the subject I am learning to work with and in it, even appreciating it. Here are some quotes from chapter one:

"There is room for both skepticism and deep melancholy, for 'darkness,' in the life of faith. Christians who find these perplexing and troublesome things occupying a place in their minds should not be ashamed of them" (5).

"It [melancholy] should never be too easily dismissed as utterly invaluable to us, something only to be escaped. It may 'hurt,' but it also may in fact teach us wisdom, and its causes may be real, objective, and impossible to write off. To say it bluntly, there may be real reason why we sometimes feel like hell and want our life to end" (6).

Melancholy should never be shamed or viewed as invaluable. It can be a great teacher, as I am learning, if one is willing. Knowing darkness can even yield beautiful and nourishing fruit. More quotes and reflections to come.

November 19, 2011

this blog?...

I've done a horrible thing. This wonderful blog, where I used to engage my thoughts and friends' intentionally, I have neglected sorrowfully. But, this is not a day for mourning but of celebrating, for I here by declare that I am resurrecting/kickstarting this blog... right now!