A complete mythology serves us in four ways:
social and psychological.
In Christian mythology, God the Great Mystery
leads us into
paradox, darkness, never-ceasing journeys of inner growth.
Simplistic religion without mystery
causes people to leave religion.
Certainty, not doubt, is the opposite of faith.
Seeds need darkness to germinate
and darkness makes life reach its full potential:
injustice causes us to strive for justice.
As a chaplain in World War One
Paul Tillich saw first-hand
the satanic impulses
unleashed by secular culture.
Demonic injustice was the seed that germinated
Tillich’s method of correlating scripture and reality
in his systematic theology.
To receive the seed of God’s Word
the soil must be loose not hard-packed.
If we are too opinionated, too sure
we have the whole truth and nothing but the truth
too settled and comfortable,
the seed falls on shallow ground
and ironically cannot get in.
In process theology, God is the seed
buried in the universe
who participates in All from within
rather than creating from without.
Jesus changed the world by working within
by changing hearts, not by political action.
His big revolution was including the poor
in the kingdom/queendom/kindom of God
and pointing out the corrupting influence
of wealth and power and how hard it is
to thread a camel through the eye of a needle.
Jesus made authentic subjectivity
the foundation of truth when he said
“I am the Truth.”
Truth is a person, not an abstract concept.
Bernard Lonergan, the great Canadian theologian
of authentic subjectivity
first exhausted himself
in writing technical theology
but later immersed himself
in love and mysticism
and the eroticism of the Song of Songs.
Lonergan wrote that
self-transcendence happens through being-in-love:
“Love is the first principle from which flows one’s
desires and fears
joy and sorrows
decisions and deeds.”
Karl Rahner wrote that
his greatest religious experience was immersion
in the incomprehensibility of God
in daily life and ordinary things
not in prayer and meditation.
True religion is seeing God
in commonplace things
like Francis of Assisi in his
Sermon to the Birds:
“My little bird sisters
you owe much to your Creator
who you must always praise
with your song
because God has given you
the freedom to fly