Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Becoming Whole

Tonight I attended the first evening of Branches, an introduction to the Catholic faith that seems to operate very much along the lines of evangelical programs such as "Introducing God". I'm quite interested in seeing the way that Catholics present their faith to non-Catholics, so I thought I'd go along to see what it's like. In particular, I wanted to see if the whole tradition of natural theology in Catholicism, as opposed to special revelation in evangelicalism, would mean that the respective programs would diverge very quickly into different paths. The first thing that I discovered was that I was probably one of the few non-Catholics there, although no doubt that there were many Catholics there who had only a peripheral relationship with the Church.

Tonight was a very general introduction that couldn't necessarily be identified as esoterically Catholic. The focus was upon the desires of the heart - that is, what are our most instinctive yearnings and what is the basis of this existential angst. While the things that we desire may be explained in different ways depending upon one's worldview, I would suggest that Catholic and Protestant alike yearn for wholeness, whether it be in our relationships, our knowledge or our sense of self. Almost by definition, we yearn for wholeness because we are not whole. We seem to have an instinctive sense of our own fallenness and brokenness. Of course, once we reach that realisation, existential angst sets in and we try to do things to make ourselves whole. A lot of the times, we chase after things that do nothing to really to permanently address our brokenness. At its worst, chasing after certain things will be quite self-destructive and will only serve to make us more broken than before.

With that in mind, I think I might soon partake in my Tuesday night indulgence - going to see a movie at the cinemas. I think I'll watch "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", a film about a guy's attempt to repair the brokenness that becomes evident after a relationship break up. I must admit that I am looking forward to the prospect of seeing someone else's misery to alleviate aspects of my own brokenness. Disturbingly it would appear that deep down I have rather sadistic tendencies ...

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