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"We Are That Statue Loved into Life..."

Posted on the 12 August 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Marc Barnes is taking on those who use what they perceive to be God's ego as a blunt instrument against faith:

Praise is not an addition to God, as if every time I mutter through the Divine Praises the Lord of Heaven and Earth gains 20 self-esteem points and doesn’t feel like he has to post on Facebook that evening to make sure people still like him. Praise is honesty. God gets nothing from praise, rather, Jean-Léon_Gérôme_Pygmalion_and_Galatea_ca_1890praise admits what is already true of him and his relation to us. It is true that we are contingent beings entirely dependent on Love for our existence, and to fall on our knees and express this fact is not to compliment God — it is to be honest. It is true that God is Beauty, and to sing this out in ecstasy is not our effort to bolster God’s ego, it is our effort to live in truth, to express authentically our relation to Eternity. It is precisely because praise has nothing to do with compliment that the greatest record of human praise in existence — the Book of Psalms — spits piss and vinegar at God in praise:

I have been mortally afflicted since youth;
I have borne your terrors and I am made numb.
Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.

All day they surge round like a flood;
from every side they encircle me.
Because of you friend and neighbor shun me;
my only friend is darkness. (Psalm 88)

If you cannot understand that these words praise God, you cannot understand religion, for praise bears witness to the reality of our relation to God, and is thus, properly understood, stuffed with as much obscurity, uncertainty, anger, and frustration as with peace. The spiritual problem of modern, evangelical atheism is that it refuses to comprehend the fact that the Christian, insofar as he is a Christian, has his eyeballs pressed against his God in the same way one touches noses with a lion. We behold the unbeholdable with a joy that does not exclude terror. Until the new atheist discovers that there is more anger against God, more doubt in his presence, more uncertainty in his nature, more sickening over his absence, in short, until he discovers — perhaps through Nietzsche – that there is more atheism in the Judeo-Christian tradition than there is in his atheism, the religious man will remain an incomprehensible absurdity and his psalms ridiculous.

But this brings us back to our conception of God as artist. If we were made to praise God, and praise is existential honesty — that prayerful witness by which we declare the truth about God, ourselves, and the convergence of the twain — then saying “we were made to praise God” is synonymous with saying “we were made to be.” To be made to praise is to be made to show the truth about yourself in all clarity — to be who you are in fullness.

Read the rest.  Read the rest to understand the title of this post, and the picture I stole from Marc's post, to get the full BadCatholic monty.

It's seriously good stuff.


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