NONE OF OUR RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS can make sense of the cruelty that leads us to despair; they are not meant to make sense of such actions. No metaphysics can circumscribe the narcissism of humanity. In such a climate it is difficult not to search for some discourse in which this radical anguish makes sense. And more, it is wrenching not to be able to fix the suffering with a tidy, clean set of truths.
We must ask: Is the history of theology, and by extension, the history of the self, coincident with the conditions of the world?
The rapture of the world is shattering; it calls us up again to the sensitivity of relations, to the irreducibility of historical events, and to the mystery hidden in every particular. We are called to this bearing of divinity because of humility, and because of the vastness of what can never be named, known, or totalized; we are called because of the nothingness that underlies every something. Radical openness beckons us, however perfectly or imperfectly, to never close the door on the world, on each other, and on God.
Although we may try to close our hearts, such attempts only make us less human. In order to keep our hearts open we have to hold the exquisite beauty as well as the suffering and disgrace; we have to expose ourselves to the vulnerability that rests as a root condition; and we have to learn to honor this openness of heart. God does not withdraw.
Excerpt from Beverly Lanzetta’s, The Other Side of Nothingness: Toward a Theology of Radical Openness (p. 121).
BEVERLY LANZETTA © 2017. All rights reserved.