Thursday, 8 March 2012

Infinite zero

I don't really like a lot of the devotional and study materials that are generally available in Christian bookshops and on the net. I am not keen on "Alpha type" evangelical expositions of theology and can find bible reading notes don't do much for me.  I am certainly not Anglo-Catholic but strangely I do often find Catholic writings and materials more satisfying and thought provoking than most of the other stuff out there (weird, huh?) I am still following the Ignatian prayer Lent materials and have been looking at some of the writings of Thomas Merton.  I find the ideas in this reading  about nothingness and everything challenging and have to grapple with them.  The thought that,
"There is a point of nothingness in the midst of being, the incomparable point"
reminds me of  a line from  one of my favourite poems, Eliot's Four Quartets, in which he describes the, "still point of a turning world", a point where there is nothing yet at the same time there is the infinite.

I leave you with a longer section from the poem I was reminded of:
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

Faith is sometimes found in certainties and in "answers" but it seems to me that we also need to seek it in the wilderness of unknowing and paradox.


  1. You've quoted my favourite bit of T.S.Eliot. It struck a chord with me when I first read it as a teenager and continues to resonate. I also find Catholic writings more satisfying and though-provoking than much of evangelical material, although my background is evangelical.

  2. Metrton was very important to me in my journey towards faith, Sue, and I'm with you all the way in not being able to cope with Alpha-type certainties presented as the only real answer.