The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I Love Jesus

A Response to This Meme

I love Jesus because I am a wretched and proud person who deserves nothing but the contempt of others. I love Jesus because I sin constantly and can do nothing right. I love Jesus because I have learned the height and depth of “theology”, but have learned nothing of the Cross, of suffering, and of love. I love Jesus because I complain, because I am full of self-pity and vainglory. I love Jesus because I am a man who is lost and seemingly without hope.

I spite of this, I bask in the rays of His face, I rejoice that I have known Him, and that He knows me. For so long in my life, even in my life as a conscious Christian, I have thought that my task was to live by and defend a set of propositions. These propositions were determined by smart theologians and intellectual style; they gave one a sense of belonging, of certainty, and of pride. Often, they are highly logical, remarkable in their composition, and airtight in their construction. But I am trying to fold them all up and put them away. They are not Jesus. So why should I care about them?

The main concept that I am trying to assimilate, and will always try to assimilate, is the concept that the truth is a face and not an idea. This is indeed very, very scary. You can manipulate ideas; you can justify yourself with ideas. You can’t with a face. A face merely is. A face demands your attention. A face grimaces, a face smiles. And that is what God is, that is how God reveals Himself. If there is any profound crisis of thought in modern man, it is that he cannot grasp this. And even when he thinks he understands, he really does not. In all things, the vice of abstraction and the distance of information put a barrier between us and the true knowledge of God.

A face forgives. A face does not obey absolute laws of action and reaction. A face cannot be quantified; it cannot be measured in a laboratory. When the Pharisees brought Jesus the woman caught in adultery, what must have His face been like? She broke the Law, she deserved to be punished by the Law. But what was Christ’s face like when faced with that woman? Who could have predicted what His face would be like at that moment?

Why do I love Jesus? Because even now, when I so deserve it, He has not turned His face from me. Is that a selfish reason? Of course it is! I am no saint, and I will not be anytime soon. Jesus has always been by my side. He has cured me when I was sick, sustained me when I was tired, and fed me when I was hungry. And I have been ungrateful, and He has continued to be merciful. AND I DON’T DESERVE IT!!! I love Him because He has loved me, and He continues to love me. And His love for me is unconditional, as it is unconditional for all who call upon and turn towards Him. I love Jesus because I see myself in those crowds of sick people, at His feet with the harlots and publicans, and in the tombs with the dead. I love Jesus because I know no other way out of my misery but to trust and love Him. Otherwise I am lost. Completely lost.

Final Doxology

Glory to God for all things!
For the cat’s gray tail
And the crow’s wings-
For the unsteady voice
That His praises sings,
Glory to God!

Glory to God
For my falls and my pains-
Glory to God
When I wallow in my shame-
Glory to God
In the starless night-
Glory to God
When I am wounded
In the fight-

Glory to God
For a note that is
Glory to God
For the times
I want to flee-

Glory to God
When death comes knocking-
Glory to God
When the gates of Heaven
Are locking-

Glory to God!

Glory to God
When all abandon me-
Glory to God
When I am bound in chains
No longer free-

Glory to God
When I am betrayed-
Glory to God
When my neck is given
To the blade-

Glory to God!

Glory to God
For all things-
For the serpent’s head
That with it Hell brings-
For in all this,
My heart to Jesus
Still clings-

Glory to God!

-Newberry Springs, CA
August 3rd, 2004


At 8:23 AM, Blogger CrimsonCatholic said...

Well said. Thank you!

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Arturo Vasquez said...

You're welcome.

By the way, the poem was written by me. Just wanted to clear that up. (Copyright and all that jazz...)

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Jesus too. or at least I want to love him or want to want to want to love him.

But I do not think he always loves me. The world and life seem to cruel--and so do the followers of Jesus--at least at times.

At 12:45 AM, Anonymous cpo7 said...

I do not usually comment, but I will on anonymous. The world and life ARE cruel and so are some of the people who say they follow JESUS. But if you read the Bible, you know that if you were the only person alive, JESUS would give his life for you. Imagine a KING leaving his throne, going to a garbage dump where you are,cleaning the filth off you and taking you home to his castle. Enough said.

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