What We Don't Know, We Don't Know
Seeking a Liturgy of the Wild, (Part 30)
Hello parish, today’s essay comes in two sections. The first is to talk a little about where these posts have been leading me, the second is to conclude the thread of dream and vision from the last Liturgy of the Wild.
I’m aware that I’ve been cracking on at this Liturgy of the Wild endeavour for over a year now. I’ve loved every second, and it’s been innumerably helpful in tracking my own paw prints on this Christian Journey. As a parish we’ve been steadily growing, and I love to see the convivial crackle between comments and new friendships being made. I have no intention of stopping any time soon.
And as I go I know less, in the best of ways.
I’ve grown a little in a sense of theology and church history, but not, I hope, at the exclusion of the thing itself; a stumbling encounter with divine ground. And the more I experience that, the quieter I feel. I remember St Ignatios of Antioch: ‘he who possesses the word of Jesus can even hear his silence’. I would make no claims to have that mastery, but I do have experience – however briefly – of to what he’s referring.
St Ignatios at the moment of martyrdom
And for us Christian worker-bees, some of us have to be careful of gargling with too much overt mysticism. It can distract us from the voluminous-ordinary. Me at least. We start proclaiming about hesychasm when we’ve spent roughly five minutes being vaguely quiet and twiddling our prayer rope.
(I think the silence of God is for me partially a sense of an abiding presence as well as active instruction. By their nature, these things require sitting with.)
It should be possible for me to be hearing Yeshua’s silence even as I croak along in my tiny church choir, (Christ may be pleading with me also to stay silent), or with the crafting of a church newsletter or staying on for coffee after liturgy while every nerve in my body pleads to slip immediately away. It sounds hard to locate Christ-silence in the middle of a working day, but it may be worth experimenting with.