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Author Topic: We have here no abiding city  (Read 830 times)

deprofundis

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We have here no abiding city
« on: July 04, 2013, 12:21:pm »
WE HAVE HERE NO ABIDING CITY
from Lenten Conferences given by Father Bede Jarrett, OP at Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, England, 1932.

"We are pilgrims - travelers; we have no lasting city here; we have no home. We are urged to live, remembering that we are travelers.  This will help you to explain your life to yourself. As you look at your life, perhaps it seems unsatisfactory. It has no apparent continual growth in an orderly progressive fashion. True, for life is not really a growing up, but a journey.  You are a traveler rather than a growing child.  You are taking a journey to life eternal. People are disappointed because they do not understand this.

We are always planning and designing for ourselves what one day we shall do. As children we planned what we were to do when we had grown up. In youth we planned for our middle years. As we grow older it is always in the future that the great event, whatever it is, is to happen. We plan, at last, to settle down in old age. We cannot settle down. We never shall. We are pilgrims! ... If you are to go on a long pilgrimage you must accommodate yourself to others. So life is an endless accommodating of ourselves to others. You say when you begin: "This is only for a short time; later on I shall be able to organize my life as I want it." That will happen truly, but not here. No one here ever really has a chance of having exactly what he wants. Only on the other side will you really have a home. We belong to a great city, but the city lies over the far side of the river.

So live that you remember whence you came, and whither you journey. Keep your eyes steadily fixed on the height toward which you climb ... Forget the things that are behind you ... Strive earnestly forward ... Nothing here on earth can ever content us. We get past one difficulty only to encounter another. That is right and proper. Indeed, that is life! So do not expect to find here your city - the thing perfectly worked out, complete, that you desire, dream of, work for. Do not expect to be able to settle down for long to enjoy your life.

The danger that assaults us is the danger that we might settle down. We are pilgrims on the march. Always beware of comfort! Beware of being content with what you have! There - ahead - is your comfort. Pilgrims, travelers, strangers, that is all we be! We seek a city, whose maker and builder is God, a city that is God Himself. We shall enter within it by His mercy. God Himself shall be our home. Cannot you be grateful for the road, though it be rough? It does all a road was ever made to do. It takes you home!"

Ending of the little book, "Letter to My Non-Catholic Friend"
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formerbuddhist

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2013, 01:43:pm »
Wow, beautiful and profound to ponder, especially here in the usa when fourth of July fever turns peoples hearts to fortnights for temporal freedom rather than the freedom and liberty of adopted sons of God and heirs of eternal life.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon

Scriptorium

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2013, 04:22:pm »
Sure, but farmers still need to lay the plow, and I need to go to work to provide the temporal means which make spiritual pursuits possible. A fortnight for freedom is not just about this world, but about the ability to exercise basic religious practice without being fined or fired. You think it is hard to find time to pray and do spiritual works now, just wait till they openly persecute us. Temporal labors and supernatural ones are not opposed in themselves. We are in and not of the world. I see the primary purpose of the above is to not be complacent, to think that everything is okay where you are. We are pilgrims, and holy Jerusalem is on the horizon. We can't sit by the wayside and make a home there. But part of the pilgrimage is creating temporal spaces in which man can work out his salvation.
Had your law not been my delight,
 I would have died in my affliction.

Ps 119:92

formerbuddhist

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 08:56:am »
I guess at heart I never really forgot about the four "dhamma summaries" from Buddhism and have no faith whatsoever in politics to better anything...i look solely to that which is above. The world indeed is swept away and does not endure...especially temporal solutions in a world wrecked by original sin and it's consequences.despite our best efforts it's never enough, it never will be this side of Heaven
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon

Scriptorium

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 11:26:am »
I agree, formerbuddhist. The Psalms say quite clearly to "put no trust in princes, in mortal man who cannot save" (146:3). And the orations of Mass continually hit home the passing nature of this world. I am pointing this out to curb the tendencies in traditional circles to manicheanism (gnosticism) and angelism. On the other hand we don't want to "immanentize the eschaton". This is reflective of our nature. We are living souls expressed with our material bodies. This world at the end of time will be renewed. I wouldn't want people to neglect that this world is the one in which we work out salvation. Sometimes people fix their sights on the horizon, but don't look at the path on which they trod. And they never reach the goal. The opposite is never look on the horizon. The big difference from Buddhism and Christianity is that Christian places real value in the world. It exists, has real substance, and is the sole world for the moral stage of man. Buddhism has multiple worlds, in which none of it is really substantial, but illusion. As always I think there is a middle way, which is the real middle way between extremes.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 11:28:am by Scriptorium »
Had your law not been my delight,
 I would have died in my affliction.

Ps 119:92


formerbuddhist

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 12:57:pm »
I like how you break down the difference between the Christian conception of the world and the buddhist, it's very helpful. Since I'm very influenced by the eastern Christian view of things i relish the idea of the world renewed at the end of time...like Eden but better...transfigured. Sometimes i tend more to pessimism when it comes to the temporal...especially as it relates to politics.maybe it's the buddhist background, maybe it's my own reaction against what i perceive to be the excessively worldliness in the church today or maybe it's just me.at any rate thanks for you're own input.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon

Scriptorium

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Re: We have here no abiding city
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 01:20:pm »
I like how you break down the difference between the Christian conception of the world and the buddhist, it's very helpful. Since I'm very influenced by the eastern Christian view of things i relish the idea of the world renewed at the end of time...like Eden but better...transfigured. Sometimes i tend more to pessimism when it comes to the temporal...especially as it relates to politics.maybe it's the buddhist background, maybe it's my own reaction against what i perceive to be the excessively worldliness in the church today or maybe it's just me.at any rate thanks for you're own input.

Believe me, I am much the same!
Had your law not been my delight,
 I would have died in my affliction.

Ps 119:92