February 29, 2008

Catch-22

Interesting Disputations post in which he quoted the author of a spirtual guide:
Here's the tricky thing: true abandonment has to abandon even its abandonment. We have to give up our self-inflated sense of what a big sacrifice we are making. We need to give up on ourselves without even thinking much of it...Abandonment is peaceful. If we are anxious about whatever it is we have abandoned, then we can't really call it abandonment, can we?
That would be right in my wheelhouse lately as I wrote a couple weeks ago:
If you’re trying, are you trying too hard? It’s like the insomniac telling himself right before sleeping: “Go to sleep!” The last thing he'll do is sleep. In other words: Are you really trusting in God if you’re worried about whether you are trusting in God?
It's interesting that both Steven Riddle and Thomas K. put up cautionary flags around those type of statements. Tom writes, "I think this sounds true and wise. But I can also see all sorts of ways that acting upon this can lead a weak Christian into big trouble" and Steven cautions against a creeping into fatalism and quietism.

The whole spiritual direction thing is interesting in that it reminds me of Groucho Marx's line about "refusing to join any club that would have me as a member". The scarcity principle is at work since the guide's time is zero-sum. In other words, to paraphrase Elizabeth's line, "who am I that a competent spiritual guide should come to me?" It happens, but the infrequency of the Visitation is such that there shouldn't be an entitlement mentality.

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