I suppose that most of us are alike. Whenever we
make a speech you feel like a colossal failure. Is that common?
That gives me comfort. Some people can make one of the worst speeches
possible and come off feeling it was beautiful. And you know,
I'm not putting them down. I envy them.
There's only two things I want to talk on these days.
One is sanctification and the other was the religious house. I've
been impressed this morning with your reports and also with your
comments here this morning. And sitting here, I'm impressed that
nothing we've done together is more important than what we've
been doing here this week, and yesterday and today. And it's come
to me with force that just makes me nervous all over. I can see
the problem with the word function, but then you see, we live
in the post modern world. I suppose there's even something that
grates you using the word essence and function in the same sentence,
but in the post modern world, that's what you're up against. You
can change your word to dynamic if that would please you better.
What is the essential dynamic relative to history of the human
journey of what that reality is that we are pointing to with the
verbal sign Religious House. And if we had it to do all over again
we'd probably use another sign like hootin hootin so that we be
sure that in our thinking here we don't try to slip back to the
Middle Ages. We're trying to point back to a dynamic in history
with a category.
And for the last four years you've been experiencing
an experiment with that reality we're trying to point to bring
it into focus for our moment in history. You know it doesn't feel
like this is the most exciting moment of church renewal -which
I want to come back to in a minute, but boy this is. I mean this
is. Down inside it doesn't feel this way to me - the way it did
20 years ago or 10 years ago, you remember? But my God, that and
those were great days in the world but nothing even in the same
ball park with this.
Wouldn't you sort of like to play the game that there
ain't been no such thing as church renewal and right now knowing
what we know and so on, we start out as a pioneering group. I
think we'd just, I'd be afraid we'd just go over into the charismatic.
We'd all just get up and start dancing, I don't know what else.
Now the speech that I made while away as to why,
and I intended to get back to a few days earlier than I did, why
is this crucial? Now it seems almost inadequate, but I'm going
to say it again, for this morning you're conversation has pushed
us into a depth relative to why we have to do this that was not
1n my mind, I really believe. In spite of that word profound,
the profound dynamic, the profound, the essential dynamic relative
to the whole course of history.. Anyway, somebody pointed out
to me, this great turn is like we weren't in a boat or on a train
or on a great mobile, but we wore in an airplane, Charles Moore
pointed this out to me, because I don't know we were on an airplane
in which there was a cowboy up front, and one of those huge planes
comes up there, well he's coming in, which frightens me more than
going out. Anyway he comes around there and banks that thing till
you just thought it was going to stall. One of these great big
things. I thought he was crazy, you know. Well, Charles picked
that up and said that's what we've done on the Great Turn. We've
got a monster we're flying, you know. And another thing some pilot
told me once that the danger of these big ones, that they're all
electronic, or whatever, and that there's so many seconds from
the time you push a button or pull the lever until the message
or whatever else gets back to the gears that starts going which
is something different than WWI in those dog fights, where you
pull a lever, something happens somewhere back there immediately.
This frightens me, you have to press a button and it takes some
while for the big thing to respond. Anyway Charles was saying
in this Great Turn, we did a bank and the danger of a stall. It'd
like we tried to do, in three months, we've tried to do a bank
that should have taken four years.
We've really no choice because the world, the airport's
coming up fast. It's something like that. There's the danger of
the stall, and it's not a figment of your imagination. I remember
last December, there was a great time in my life to be with you
then, now I don't suppose you do maybe you're not old enough but
I live for these little times we have together anymore. It sort
of frightens me too. I had a great time last December I remember
I said this (the very remembering still eats away at me. That
fall quarter is the most creative quarter of my whole life.
Anyway, I said also the last times when we were together,
that we can be sure, that in these next few months or next year,
many of our old colleagues are going to fall by the way. That
was an intuition that was right. I think I know why. That's a
killing thing to say, and so I had to drum up a picture. I'm always
filled with a deep felling when I think of Napoleon's retreat
from Moscow. You're marching and you don't know how you're able
to go on but you're going on and then you pass the guys who fell,
and you get one of them on your shoulders and then you've got
this arm around one over here and this arm around one over here
and you know you're in as bad shape as all three of those put
together and you're going on. Then the guy by the side of the
road says, "Help." You gotta go on but the tears flow.
You've got no choice. But the tears flow. That has to do with
the possibility of a stall. We ought to be in prayer about that
That doesn't paralyze me at all about the group.
If all of us would be that guy that collapsed at the side of the
road, that wouldn't stop anything. It wouldn't stop anything.
Tomorrow out of nowhere, God would go just like that - there's
another one doing the same thing, with the same awful pains and
going on when others fall. Not in a moment of despair, but in
some moment of sensitivity in history itself.
Richard Neibuhr pointed out to me that the church
only moved when it recovered divine necessity. Whereas in our
liberal training, we thought exactly the other way. When a man
experiences freedom, that's when he moves. When he experiences
divine necessity, or if you don't like the word divine, a logical
necessity. That is when he moves. The whole concept of Calvinism
in its decadent form today, but as a thrust in history, or you
take the Muslims, (though I have a great antagonism toward the
irrational way of pulled out those sabers and marching into history
and can criticize all I want) But the thrust in the sense of divine
necessity was there.
Why is what we doing absolutely necessary. On the
airplane, I say to myself, are the priors going to get the job
done, delineating the sociological socio-spiritual form of the
Religious House? After four years of experimentation are we gonna
begin now to draw it together and put it down? Maybe they have
other things more urgent. Maybe they won't do it, and I say, all
right, I'll do it myself. This work is necessary. Finally, nobody
can do it but you.
Now the reasons, though, are really the Great Turn.
There's just one thing we've done in terms of sociological invention,
up to now, and that's your Religious House. The Religious House
came at the end of 20 years because it's the jumping off place
for the future in terms of sociological invention. You cannot
even think seriously of the practical form of the guilds without
a religious house, anymore than you could even think of having
such a thingamajig, even if ours is wrong, experiment with the
reformulation of primal community, which we call the Local Church.
The time has come where we have to get clarity on that or we cannot
adequately go into the summer.
The second reason is going global. I believe that
if the job we're doing now had been done a year ago, and it could
not have been, some problems in going global that I met would
not. have been there. You understand that until the job you do
is done, we'll inevitably think of a religious house as this house,
and that house, and that house, rather than a historical dynamic.
What makes a religious house symbolically? Now you go global.
Anybody would think a religious house is thingamajig that they
are living in. The troika, that would be the priors in the house
- they would not have a chance in the world in Taiwan or India
and other places. We have to get clarity on the Religious
house if we are going to go global. For the very foundation of
going global is the Religious House and
And - this very moment of resurgence. That Canadian
guy brought me an article out of Harpers magazine on Immortality.
Can you believe this? A Year go you knew you were going to run
into this, but when it comes, it comes as a surprise. Some of
it is crummy and some of it is on the other World, right in the
midst of this word. Written by Robert J. Lifton. Unbelievable.
It's just tremendous.
You are not talking about four walls with a roof.
But this dynamic in history is that without which resurgence has
never come off and never will come off. Your religious house is
that which enables those from the given to coagulate into trends
which can be woven into revolutionary forces that change the established
climate. That came out of two summers ago. For our moment in history
we have to have that dynamic spelled out in all of its practicality.
The fourth reason why this has to get done is obvious.
It's become a spiritual necessity relative to us. What you and
I have at this moment, what we are going through inside, it's
the dark night of the soul. I suspect that all of us are getting
clarity on the fact that the dark night of the soul is a category
that has nothing whatsoever to do with justification but only
with sanctification. Only with sanctification. I think it would
be good to go back and read John's "The Dark Night"
again and then particularly right now, you get into the section
where he spells out the dark night. You remember the Church History
where we teach Wesley. In that course, he spells out his dark
night like being in chains you can't break and finally you find
yourself gnawing on them. I a story. I've only told it about two
times in my existence because I can hardly stand it. Some one,
who was studying medicine, told me this story, which I have never
repeated. He had heard of an intern who had a sister that was
extremely close to him, great fellowship. They were always playing
practical jokes on one another. One night he brought home the
arm of a cadaver her was working on and stuck that in her bed
- a fine practical joke. She came in and he expected a scream.
No scream. He knocked on the door and no noise. He went in and
she was eating the cadaver arm. That story has come to me that
last quarter. From Wesley, you pull it to pieces inside and you
gnaw on the chains that bind you. I'd don't think that is too
dramatic for what I'm experiencing down in myself. The Lord knows
what he's doing.
I remember when I was teaching at Perkins School
of Theology. A student who was teaching in Louisiana, said "You've
used the word trust, trust in God several times this morning.
What is it you mean by trust?" Frankly I hadn't meant to
use tat word because I didn't know what trust meant. He had me
across the barrel. His question caught me. If he were here now,
I wouldn't be good but I would be honest. Do you remember that
when God dumps you in this universe, there's no way out. You rise,
you struggle, you hate and there's no way out. An behold, you
begin to trust God. You begin to trust the Lord. And that's what
And that's the only way any man ever comes to any
knowledge of what trust is. You take justification. We've drawn
too deep a line between these but its safer for a clearer analysis.
Not only is pain in this experience, I tell you the upbeat is
fascination. I cannot describe the wonder of my life in the midst
of God awful pain at the end of WWII when I got through my skull
that is the only kind of world you have, and you either have to
say it was good or not good. I saw that that was the Logos, that
picked me up out of the grave and set me on my feet, and however
poorly, I've been there ever since.
In Sanctification, its the other pole of awe. It
is primal. Dread no longer is a powerful term. The beat is on
that. The beginner denies the fascination, afraid of it, the beat
is on the dread. You see all the dark night people. Why hast thou
forsaken me. When we were working on justification that was crucial,
crucial, crucial. But in sanctification, Let this cup be taken
from me. And all of the dark night people see that what it, what
the dark night is: you're absolutely separated from God. I said
yesterday, you forget your justification.. You forget the word
that all is good. Nothing is good. You forget RS1. It's
taken from you. You're out there with this world on you shoulders
and there ain't no God. So you literally have no choice whatsoever
but say "God!" Lord come.
I'm not getting this said well. You see there is
absolutely nothing to rest on. One of the interesting thing you
have to put it this way even though it was some other community,
the community is taken from you. It turns into a pile. You see
at this point you've only God to trust in. Nothing. You got any
sentimentality in you about your family, pray God that the experience
of sanctification doesn't come along. We've been cured before,
you will get cured again. Trust in the Lord. Trust in God.. I'd
like to give that being lecture over again.. When you pass through
the dark night of the soul of aridity, blindness, or hell, with
all that centered, there's only God there. No one else. It's a
funny thing. Exactly when that comes clear, there's the point
of decision - everlasting - in the heart of God. I wish I had
some language to get. this said. Everlasting in the arms of God.
You're not drumming up poetry, it's just the way it is - The world.
Now the Religious House has to do with that. In terms
of the world, in terms of me. Now I've been driven. You gotta
say what I've said, and then, you become. I sometimes have called
them crutches. I want to call them sanctified crutches. I've watched
our people overseas drop like flies. Strong people drop like flies.
You know what occurred to me? Lord knows this is true. You take
my silly old illustration of on a bright and sunny day walking
on the beach. Things are glorious. I'm alive, and then I see that
dead seagull. How can that have happened. Instead of seeing the
dead. seagull. Think of being assigned somewhere in India. And
the people around here keep delaying it, delaying it. All my life
I wanted to go to India and you get off the plane, the glorious
sunny morning feeling tremendous. and there is India. You know
for a while I thought that India only affected, Westerners like
that. The trouble with the people of India is the weight of India.
Down in Teheran where I was I saw people experience the same thing
I saw my colleagues. There was so much weight there that they
felt they couldn't do nothing. I'm not criticizing the Indian
people. Now what I rather think is when we get outside of our
little protected environment - get speeded up and out there -
you learn to trust God. Or you soon become a zombie. I mentioned
India, should I describe Majuro? Should I describe Mowanjum?
I went on this trip, I'm going to find out why our
people collapse, in India and India is a symbol there. It hasn't
got anything to do with India except God was using India as a
pedagogue that led us to trust . For what was going on there was
going on in me, going on in you. It's the sanctified power of
God. It doesn't feel that way, does it? Now here's where you cherish
that trust.. If you think that this trust in God just takes care
of itself you're mistaken. You're fouled up on what grace means.
Now these things I've said to myself. Without the religious exercises,
no hope, And these are corporate and solitary. It's up to the
religious house. It's got nothing to do with where your abode
is or mine is finally. Without the religious exercises corporate
and solitary, you haven't got the chance. You haven't got a chance.
And yet isn't it funny - the goingonness of sanctification makes
all those appear like termites or worse than that. You noticed
that you get to literally hate them. What is there? There's something
sneaky in this. Trust in God is taking hatred into yourself. Realities
that you hate in. Thank God for Mr. Gogarten. In a Social Revolution
you're moving from here to here. The real job in social revolution,
is the trance of antiquated piety, that has to have the hell broken
out of it. Or you aren't to have a social change, but in building
the social order, do you know what is first? Not last. You build
the new relevant piety. Why? Well you could no more stand to move
out of the - Some of you historians, are going to follow through
on this - What is behind building of that fantastic culture in
Egypt. You're going learn something, perhaps. And maybe I'll get
off the track - on a bit of a tangent.
Catholic orders. We owe them a great deal. But we
are so far beyond them now. I've been telling Slicker that I don't
know how a guy that went to theological school as long as I went
to theological school never understood that in the orthodox of
the early church, there weren't orders, there was only monasticism.
That never got through my skull until last year. It was through
those orders but it was also through the Christian manifestation
of monasticism. We are back in theory at this dynamic without
which you don't have any new social vehicle. A religious house
is a dynamic of history. It has to do with this goingonness without
which this does not pave the way for this and without which this
does not come to be.
Now those exercises, I'm trying to think what I would
do if I were a prior. Without this devastating attack on the decadent
piety than holds into being dead social vehicle there is no chance
for social change and the possibility of that total vision in
history which we point to with the verbal sign Religious House.
And then the function of a Religious House or that goingonness
that we pointto with the verbal sign Religious House, I've
been scared ever since we thought a Religious House could have
a definition up here some way or another. God help us. The function
of a going on ness is to create the new relevant piety which holds
before one the great __ of humanness and without which you will
not have the new social vehicle. On that thing got back to me.
Unbelievable. Very seldom in history - have I've done things intentionally
that were sheer sacrilegious. But I went to see Cuspert's grave
in the Cathedral. In London Now the trouble is I thought nobody
was watching. One of you was hiding behind a pillar over there
and saw it. And not only that but it wasn't till after I said
a prayer that I saw that there is a painting of Cuspert that was
hanging up above his tomb so that when you really get to praying
then you are faced with Cuspert, damn it. Just up above you so
he was beneath you and above you and Charles was one the side,
anyway that. Cuspert and Columba, an Augustine dynamic. Thank
you ate the man out on these things. Well, Columba did a bit of
mafiaing himself and so did Cuspert. I' m a prior. I mean those
religious exercises would be there in any case. That office now
I take far more seriously. than I've ever taken my life before.
Fast and watch. I would take seriously. You know what I'd like
for us to do? Take prayer far more seriously. I'd take prayer
more seriously. I would take meditation more seriously. I would
take contemplation more seriously. Right at the very time when
you sense a kind of urgency. Be patient.
Know only one thing, that hatred never goes away.
Whatever happens, it never goes away. The rest of your life. And
I believe the one who says otherwise, lies. You know how we used
to say that the only time a man's prayer is prayed is when he
came in torn and battered and wounded from the front lines, from
doing the mission. Well, now you need to take that and intensify
it because that's what sanctification is. I sometimes say, that
the reason why a great many men in World War II didn't make it
was because they had lived sheltered lives and all at once every
aspect of life suddenly dumped on a 19-year-old kid. I've made
speeches on that subject.
Well, this is what sanctification is. It takes all
of the mission that you can dream of and then millions more and
all at once dumps it on you. And you are battered and beaten and
scarred all at once. All over forever. That's what. makes a man
of prayer out of you. And if it doesn't, zombie. That comes from
God. The corporate and the solitary, I see now more clearly than
ever before the self that is a self but only always in community
as a fish is in water in a new depth. Secondly the structures.
Without a disciplined life you haven't the slightest chance. Discipline
is within and without. And that discipline is without and within.
Nothing inhuman about it. It's what humanness is. Those structures
are crucial. I'm thinking about what I would be doing if I were
a house prior. But I don 't mean the kind of structures that go
dead. We were extremely foolish starting that wo4ship service
on time this morning. You walked in there, you could see something
was wrong. That the bell didn't get rung adequately or you stayed
up too late or whatever something was wrong. And so we should.
have stood around and laughed and told jokes and sung a few songs
and started 15 minutes late. And then after we saw how fine
it went, after doing such a thing, we should of broken out in
the Hallelujah chorus. I guess that doesn't communicate to you..
I mean there's got to be iron structures that don't show. I am
more convinced than ever that if you cannot constantly laugh at
yourself, make fun of yourself you don't know what I mean. If
you can't play, my humor is poor, but don't you, take it away
from me. It's my crutch. It keeps me going. Even if it isn't funny,
laugh, it keeps me going. It is my corny humor.
Sometimes I think I'm fat because I don't have any
will power. Other times I think: it's with great intentionality.
Without an iron structure setting environment you haven' t any
chance, but that discipline has to be within You get down to gimmicks.
Oh boy, I don' t know what you're gimmicks are but mine are I
am brutal on myself. I mean brutal on myself. I happen to think
that it's a privilege. If it isn't that then you have to have
yours. And I mean you and that gimmick become one.
What is internal discipline? I'm not so sure I know.
I know it doesn't exist except in corporate discipline. But I
know it's not corporate discipline. I know that the one who's
internalized corporate discipline so that he's a disciplined person
himself is that one who makes possible corporate discipline..
I'm not talking. I'm talking only about sanctification. I don't
think I'm standing like a great big giant these days. But by God
The other one has to do with tactics. It's a funny
thing, a couple of years ago a fellow and me came up with the
whole concept of tactical thinking. It had a deep spiritual meaning
until a year ago last summer when it began to dawn on me that
something seciologica1 out there was grinding spirit that was
sort of whumping us all. Now I see that the tactical posture in
life is that without which you cannot endure. You understand I'm
not talking about a set of goals. I'm not eve n talking about
strategy, unless they are great tactical strategies, that your
total being is stuck in the middle of. Without a tactical plan
you cannot stand that it is really being in the arms of God. You
move over into Zombie-ism.. This got clear to me when that young
Spencer boy, that's not really a boy. He's a giant. When that
Spencer giant, when I was talking to him about the collapse in
India and was hitting hard on the discipline and the symbolism,
he said, "Wait you missed maybe the most important thing.
And I said, "What's that? And he said, "Being on the
pavement." He didn't say that we're going to make it, that's
not life. It's doing the tactics. The guys who collapsed first
were not the ones who worked out. It was ones who were in. And
you know as well as I know that anybody who works in can find
20 good reasons why he ought not hit the pavement, all of them
legitimate. All of them legitimate. I don't know if I were a prior
of a religious house what exactly I might do. But I think it would
have something to do with hitting the pavement at 8 o'clock. I
don't how else I would fix the timeline but I mean every day on
To me this is extremely subtle. You talk four hours and not even get to the heart of it. That on the pavement business. There's nothing wrong with sleeping in the afternoon. But I tell you you're gone like that if you sleep in the afternoon. Now this doesn't mean that you don't sleep in the afternoon, but I mean you get yourself a month and a quarter plan. It says here on this month I shouldn't go to the movies, but I think life has been treating me so goddamned rough that I want to escape, and you throw intentionality into that escape. Here at Centrum. Some of you are sleeping. Overseas in that climate, I mean it is easy to fall asleep.
Now the corporate side of this, "There's a corporate
side and I mean if your house does not have what most of you call
a battleplan but the conversion of a battleplan into a tactical
system. It you do not have that, it la impossible for anybody
in the house to live tactically although living tactically down
inside yourself is not synonymous with corporate tactics. You
got both sides of that. You got right after one, the other. Where
I think we get confused is what we usually call a battle plan
are tactics. Nine times out of ten the ones I've seen are not.
It's the tactics that saves you not the strategies.
And then the last thing has to do with the clarity
of the vision. We're going over this again and again and again.
The function of a collegium is not to decide what you're going
to do that day. If you've got five minutes at the end, that's
fine. The function of the collegium is the rehearsing of the vision.
You do not know who is really going to do that if the collegium
is a good one. But I tell you the prior had better stay up two
hours after everybody else has gone to bed, so he can be sure
that he has a context. Usually what he comes in with doesn't do
it. But how does it stimulate what happens. Come early like I
am it's Just god awful to the vision again. If having to come
up with another way of saying that vision out in front of us.
Without it, without some way or another of getting out the Vision,
you're in trouble.
Well inside yourself you develop your own discipline.
I wrestled a long time with this, and at first glance it didn't
seem to have a connection, at least it didn't to me. I don 't
go around with a vision in my head. It took me a long time to
see that. I ain't got none. Any vision has to do with the body.
I'm telling you the honest to god's truth, it has to do with the
body. I even believe now that individuals don't have a vision
, they sometimes have visions. But a vision is a corporate thingamajig
like I believe prayer is a corporate thingamajig. Now looking
inside you know what I finally came up with? In terms of internal
discipline in recent months I've been literally contemplating
on my vocation, my calling. If I went to heaven today and told
God the one great gift I've had in my lifetime. It's the gift
of the vocation of the religious.
McCleskey, that man had a god-awful struggle about
vocation. As a matter of fact I believe even in the darkest of
his days he knows. He too is a religious. It's the uniform. What
I'm trying to say is there never was a religious without uniforms.
Impossible. Impossible. Also, now I'm serious. These are my checklist.
Without this I could not rest in the arms of God.
One of these days I want to pull this into sanctification,
but right now I do not want to. Now also, it's taken me a long
time to believe, to see this, but I believe religious exercises
have no meaning finally in terms of justification alone, only
on sanctification. Now you and I, I don't quite know how to say
this, I don't like to even say it was sanctification. But you
see that's not a theological problem with me.
It's a moralistic problem with me to say it. I am
going to say it. We were sanctified long before we were sanctified.
And then comes that moment like we hear the word of God a long
time before we heard the word of God; and then the word of God
is seeded and remains in you all your life, so with sanctification.
You see, when you're a little tiny baby, you experience the whole
of life.. You know what my symbol is? It's this Order ring. Without
something like that you're lost, but you know something? I found
a certain kind of remarkable exhilaration in me when I realized
I mean all of these religious exercises are nothing
unless you are a person that sees the absolute necessity for them.
Throughout our history they've been stated a million different
ways, I suppose. That is not what I wanted to talk about at all.
But I'm getting close to bottom. Let us remember that however
God at the moment seems brutal and he may not seem brutal to you
but he does to me. See that agony is God given. That agony that
says it could not be from God, is God-given. If you were around
believe we know better. We used to say in RSI that when
he takes the rug out from under you, God is a son of a bitch.
We don't say that anymore I hope, but he wasn't much of a son
of a bitch yanking the rug out nothing compared with how they
felt, see. I'm talking about phenomenological experience if that
isn't a redundant term. But you see the mercy of God. Be has thoroughly
prepared us for this hour. You hear what I'm saying. Long before
we knew we needed to pray, God taught us how to pray. Long before
we needed meditation and contemplation, he taught us how. Long
before we knew you ought to fast or not and this kind of business,
he taught us how. Now the important thing, however, and I would
prophesy, a year from now sitting in such a room as this, we are
not going to be dealing with this area at all, we are going to
be dealing with the sociological. But only because we've dealt
with this area. Now that prophecy may not come true because if
we have not done in our being and as a body, this today, we cannot
do the other. God will not let us. Zombies cannot do this. So
we have to make reasons to praise God in the midst of this complex
Now I looked over your work of last week. That's
tremendous. And it seemed to me that that is exactly right, that
upon resurgence. We've got to get somebody on that and get them
moving together. That's where you have to begin. As I look back,
you had to see that you're dealing with an objective isness in
this world to be the religious house. Then I don't think I'd have
been bright enough to have suggested it had I been around. I think
that you 're listing those almost innumerable tactics, what you
did last week, is probably exactly the place to begin. Rather
than what you're doing now is putting the theoretical behind it.
I think that there's one other thing you've have to do or somebody
else has got to do.
I think that when this whatever it is
want to call it a manual any more. It's almost a manifesto. This
kind of a statement that we need and certain parts of history
need that right now, In the first quarter it can he done. Now
there is one other thing. What you've done here is exquisite.
I've gotta say here far beyond what I ever saw, and I guess that's
the genius of our corporateness. Now you've done, in your kind
of 4 x 4, that theoretical statement. And you've done the practical,
and it probably has to be reorganized. Somebody has said you've
got to put all those things once again on a cross ways and upend
down ways to get rid of your overlapping and so on. Now there's
an in between here. That is something to me, and these are crude
words I know. The theoretical practical that we used in the past
to say. and I don't know about this but if you think about it.
The profound function or whatever you call that. We need some
concrete spelling out of faith.
Now for the work you did last week, it doesn't need
to be done again.. But you people know whether it's been done.
And then discipline, this has seemed to me as something like location,
facility, interior arrangement and decor spelled out as the manifestation
of the profound function or the freighter of it.. And then your
discipline, and you might go back to the organization of our rule.
I don't know, my mind is once there is symbolic corporateness
and intellectual corporateness and economic corporateness,. the
temporal or the time corporateness you have it. What I'm after
is how that is a manifestation and exercise of the profound function.
When history bumps up against this discipline, it can't be what
it was. Impossible.
And then the style and you know in my mind now and
I don' t know whether this is good or bad, but it's strange. I
bump up against this character, and it's a style I bump up against.
Now what is the down underneath of that and has been for years.
And the way I've come at this is to watch how other people are
starting by coming up against people in our order. They're startled
by their comprehensiveness. They're startled by it. Globality
in posture, presence, but the comprehensiveness is amazing. I
like to go on using that to be sure I'm right, the profundity.
They're startled by the profundity. And the word means deeps.
I'm after that characteristic.
And then they are startled, absolutely startled,
and in some cases somewhat offended that that awe is really there.
The traditionalism. You're continuity with the past. They're just
shocked with that. And then the last one they're shocked with
your openness and offended by it. I've even sat and watched people
become offended that they called it closedness. And I don't mean
that at times you don't come across as closed. But they 're so
scandalized. And some of these thing are scandalous when you've
been taught all your life generosity begins at home, charity begins
at home, and then to bump up against somebody whose concerned
broadly. Oh, these smart aleck little revolutionaries -- pseudo
revolutionaries -- who try to do away with the past and go out
and do some new thing in history startling to find somebody who
takes seriously every dream of the past. And so on.
Anyway, now this is spirituality. Now I mean something
different then in the depths, though all of these things are related,
of course. And as I picture my mind, you know what I come back
to on this! And I have to fight that business of feeling. Now
that's what I mean when I say I'm a religious person and you're
not talking about your own virtues, God help us. But I am under
a self imposed mandate that has grown out of the radical indicative
of life, to be a man of the mystery, a man of consciousness and
a man of concern, a man. of tranquillity. That's who I am. There
isn't any doctrine. here. You don't superimpose one's ideas on
other people. Or force them into their lives. But you're teaching
RS1 or going down to the Peanut Barrel for a beer. You're
a symbol. You just breathe that into their lives. So I'm not going
all of these places. I'm not sure. I don't think I'm communicating
because I'm getting off into personal level. I'm worse than some
of you. This is practical.
Now here is not the catalyzer, the enabler of the
movement. And here is penetration, formation, permeation. I'm
not suggesting replacing but I'm trying to be very practical.
There are jobs that have to be carried out. This one is frequently
somewhat set aside. Because that's being a presence only. That
is present in all of this. But that's practical, too, in the sense
of where you put your house, what you do with it. See how you
go about this.
Now the next one. Historification. I want to fool
with that some place else. Demonstration concern. That might very
well be it. And these two and those two are related. Every other
one as I have it up here. This is your welfare. And there we have
to get categories. I like this word the visits. The strange visits.
The sojourns. We should get a better word. I need something like
the pilgrimage. The day after tomorrow, you know that the extended
order and or the movemental order is going to spend a year as
a monk. I like that: spend a year as a disciplined monk. I do
not think that is an exaggeration. But you got to be clear, however
it's done. You noticed that you have to do this in each one of
That visit has different forms. This sojourn has
different forms. I don't know how you will come at it. This monk
for a month has different forms and the last one over here serving
the local community, or the local church or whatever you put.
I like in this one you come pretty close but local church experiment
if you hate that it is 50 years of that stuff. You're wrong. However,
within a year was prophesied that there's going to be a radical
configuration in this that will be doing that. You're going to
have a hard, hard year between now and then I suspect. And later
we can talk more about that.
You cannot put the church here absolutely. But it
has to be something concrete. I would like to see the time when
you are out to see that every bishop is going to make it, every
president, every superintendent, even your superintendent. They
are your leader, but they are not chosen men by our standards.
God ordained them to be leader of the church. With their crumminess
somebody said that Saint John attended a great number of parties
to get hold of the men that he thought would be stumbling blocks
in the renewal of the church. And he made them comrades rather
than trouble makers.
I went to see such a man in the Philippines. And
he said to me, "Yes, I'm a very conservative man and I hope
that you're not like some of these lay priests down in the southern
part of the Philippines. But do you mean that you appointed me
cardinal?" And I said, "Oh, then you have accepted my
appointment? If I sound excited, I just couldn't believe my ears."
I don't know how you come out of this work. I don't
know whether the mission can be here or not, and then specified
research. You see all of that is service there. And then, I don'
t know whether to put the guild over here or whether the guild
goes here. But, after this summer we're going to figure that out.
Have a great summer. We're dealing with our whole
life. The practical form of our difference will begin to emerge.
And God only knows, what's going to come out of it. I thought
also, of organizing either this or that around the dynamic of
religious house, training institutes, and social what do we call
it: an active centrum or whatever, And what I'm trying to say
is what I've got here is on the board I'd have thought myself
foolish, but this is a special part of whatever we do.
On getting out that booklet in which we say to ourselves
what a religious house is and before you leave when you finish
what this work is to do, you may even want to assign different
areas of this to take different parts of this and clean it up.
I don't know quite what this summer is going to look like but
I could conceive that maybe the document that they put in the
hand of everybody that comes and is to get here, I would hope
that someone here or one of you out in the houses, could really
get this grounded, I mean this dynamic grounded in history. Better
than we've got it grounded. So, you've been working in different
things both on religious orders and on guilds have touched in
that area. And we need to get this said with a different kind
of quality. Which would make the most secular of men stop and
count up to ten. Which would be, maybe it would, the next step
in the secular thinking, in the religious recovery, and dimension
of life. You'll see the man of the World is out to recover the
lost world of the religious, Sooner or later, he's going to acknowledge
the function of the religious in a new way you and I couldn't
dream of the tail end of the last time you let it have that kind
of move, is demonstrated when you wear your cleric collars.
Joseph W. Mathews