The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

You said, All generations will call me blessed. Your tribulations at the infancy of your son did not quash your joy at him, and at the agony of his death you prayed with him: Blessed Mary, in the person of Christ you brought light into the world, and you exulted in God, so you are venerated as the pinnacle of humanity, the greatest of all creatures, the queen of heaven: the most just, the most compassionate, the most powerful and the most true. Like a great mother and a great ruler, nourish, protect and guide us we pray, so that we too may grow great in the Holy Ghost, follow in the steps of Christ, and rejoice with you in eternal glory: Amen.

 

 

 

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The liberty which love requires

“Why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else’s conscience?” (1 Cor. 10.29) Taufspruch of the Will to Knowledge; anlässlich ihres Tauftages, 2017.

It is about whether one should eat food which has been offered to idols. St Paul’s main point is: whatever, eat it, who cares, neither idols nor the meat sacrificed to them have any magical properties, that is all nothing, in essence it is food and you should see it as such. However, you may find yourself with someone who has not yet liberated themselves from this meat’s cultic associations and when you eat with them, join them in not eating this meat.

At first sight, this seems a contradiction, doesn’t it? Doesn’t not eating for the sake of another’s conscience mean precisely that I am subjecting my liberty to the judgment of their conscience?

St Paul’s liberty is a liberty which enables him to enslave himself to others’ conscience without subjecting himself to the judgment of their conscience. For him, it is not a matter which binds him. It is no matter to him to protest the issue or not. He makes nothing of nothing, only urging, over a friendly meal, that we must dare to exercise the liberty which love requires of us, which liberty judges good and bad conscience.

 

In Corbyn’s hour, pt.2

That much astonishment met Corbyn’s insistence on achieving peace through dialogue – rather than a readiness to use nuclear weapons – shows above all the enduring audacity of peace.

Arms manufacture being what it is – if we don’t believe in peace, we believe in annihilation.

Do we believe in peace?

One important text in our shared religious heritage is the prophesy that one day people “shall beat their swords into ploughshares.” In what sense do we believe this? When – and who – shall do this?

If we pray with St Augustine, “O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet”, we can be sure the help will come sooner than we thought.

It would not be difficult to end the production of weapons. That would be a good step in the direction of peace.

But if we don’t want it – yet – peace might be established later by the small group of people who survive the nuclear bomb-fire.

And if not them, then new species will, over millions of years, emerge, and they will enjoy peace on Earth again.

And if not them, then as long as it takes – “but not yet”? Or now?

 

 

Critique 3: critique of critique

What judgment does life offer the culture of critique?

Environmental catastrophe

Abortion and euthanasia

Nuclear weapons

Breakdown of the family

Arms manufacture

Overproduction of shit

 

What “values” are suggested by this judgment?

Peace

Solidarity

 

Are we to repent or to progress? Have we gone too far – or just not far enough? He who puts his hand to the plough of progress and repents is not fit for the future, but eternity.

 

 

 

Critique 2: The value of critique

The value of critique – ?

Will critique help us create the values which affirm life? Who cares, because the affirmed life is a life not worth living.

God – call it life, purely, if you’d rather – requiring my affirmation? As if my values should do anything to life.

Was the idea to create the values which affirm life, or the values which life affirms?

Let my values be judged by life – or God if you’d rather. Thus, it is disingenuous to talk about creating the values which life affirms or condemns. If they are to judge us, we cannot make them, unless we wish to make ourselves defendants to ourselves as plaintiffs, and what could be more slavish and miserable than that?

What we have is the judgment of life – or rather, God – over us, and this is the judgment from which all value originates: Amen.

Critique 1: The spirit of critique

Deleuze wrote that, “one of the principal motifs of Nietzsche’s work is that Kant had not carried out a true critique because he was not able to pose the problem of critique in terms of values”.

“True critique”? Nietzsche starts by addressing the value of truth, so I do not know what he would have made of the adjective true critique. We would better ask: What is the value of critique? What spirit critiques? Who is the one who critiques?

Is it the spirit of a child running to the sea shore or digging a sand castle? Is it the spirit of a child discovering the flow of water and the resistance of sank banks? Is it the spirit of a child celebrating her castle: look mummy!

Or the spirit of the adult, who scans the text for mistakes?

Or the spirit of the one who says the unexamined life is not worth living, or has no value? Critique – the measure of all things, even life itself? No! Life is the measure of critique. A lifeless examination is not worth the examining.