28 November 2010

Happy New Year!

I guess it comes from being a melancholic, but I love Advent, the first blasts of winter, exams, and the general gloom that settles in about now. I think it is because there is a longing to it all, the longing that makes life sweet for me. It reminds me that better days are yet to come. I don't really know what I would do if I lived in a place like southern California with practically unrelenting good weather and the resulting cheer.

I particularly love being here on campus as exams are grinding on. Day by day, the campus empties. The illusion of permanence is shattered. People go home. As Christmas draws especially near, even the Medical Center is like a ghost town. I like to wander through the campus then. It is such an image of the mutability of this world and a promise of the immutability of Heaven.

I had another reason for loving exam time when I was in school. It was not because I was ready for exams. I never was: it would always be a time of near panic. But it had focus. If ADD had been invented when I was a child, I am sure that I would have had it. I have a very hard time dealing with a multiplicity of things. But give me one thing, and I can do it. It is one of the reasons that I take tests well. It is the only thing that I have to do then. During exams, I literally would go from one thing to the next. It was great.

And so I will get to the point, which is not to bore you with my eccentricities! These are two of the perfections of God that I long for the most: immutability and unity. I don't expect everyone to understand or agree with me. We do need all the happy sanguines, who love the multiplicity of things, and the driven cholerics, who are out to change the world. We really do, and I love them for what they have that I don't. But to me, there is a beauty in the thought of entering into rest from unrelenting change and rest from trying to hold it all together, most particularly myself. (If you are interested in psychology, you can probably tell what a lot of my struggles are from the desires of my heart for these perfections of God.) We are all clinging to God in our own ways: the sanguine perhaps because He is Trinity and the choleric because He is creator. But for all of us, He is savior. Come, Lord Jesus.


talamarieb said...

I think that I will read this post many more times. I love it.

Happy Advent, Father! 'Tis the season to be longing.

CrankyProfessor said...

Fr. Benedict Groeschel wrote a book a long time ago called "Spiritual Passages," riffing off a then current self-help book. He divided people into four types based on which aspect of God they had greatest affinity to - the One, the Good, the True, and the Beautiful - and then gave example saints and converts and such.

I came out very strongly for the One. It seemed like a pretty good diagnosis then, and I see it again as I draw closer the Beatific Vision in Paradiso