Saturday, January 11, 2014

Heretic's Feast

Respect for the tradition that has come before me
Must mean something other than simply taking onto my plate all that was said
And feasting on it as if it the taste wasn't bitter to me.

Some of the spread on this vast table is nourishing, to be sure, 
But perhaps I can accept that with time, 
tastes change,
and that this is no sin within me, 
it simply is. 

After all, 
every sect in this vast Christendom holds some as saints that others hold as heretics.
So I doubt that anyone has the lines of orthodoxy as clearly demarcated as they imagine.

I've been told that fences* need to stay up if I don't know what they're there for,
But I've searched the ground inside and out this enclosed space, 
Tested the health of timber used,
And still don't know what this fence was intended to protect me from.
I also know it's human nature to build fences where God has planted
sunlit, flower filled meadows. 
For we are much afraid of what we don't understand
and what we can't control.


*A reference to what GK Chesterton said about modern reformers wanting to tear down fences without knowing the intended purpose of the fence: "In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it." The Thing, 1929. This passage was quoted to me quite a bit when I was researching Catholicism. 

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