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There are a lot of other simplistic categories that need to be explored.  I’ll do some of it here on this blog; that’s why I call it, “Crossing the Line.”

temporal and eternal,

natural and supernatural,

material and spiritual,

nature and grace,

this-worldly and other-worldly,

body and soul,

faith and reason,

state and church,

public and private,

social and personal,

profane and sacred,

science and religion,

scientific and theological,

objective and subjective,

rational and emotional,

modem and medieval,

I want to think about the lines between these polarities–blur the boundaries where necessary.

But, you may ask, “Aren’t some things simple?”

“Yes,” I say, “but I doubt our capacity to know exactly what is and what is not simple.”

2 Comments

  1. Not being good with computers, I couldn’t find a way to send a reply after reading Your Money or Grace: You Can’t Have Both, a post from 12/22/12. But I did manage to find this reply form in your “About Me” section. I was eager to write you after I read that post, because what you said seemed spot-on.

    A friend just lent me her Flannery O’Connor collection, and because I was trapped in her hospital room while she took a nap, I was forced to read two stories. Finally! I’d been meaning to reread Flannery O’Connor for 21 years, ever since someone gave me A Good Man Is Hard to Find as a wedding present. But the book was shocking and difficult and I put it down. Years later I read a biography of her by a priest who helped me understand some of her themes and motivations, and it made me want to reread her. But the bad feeling left over from my reading of A Good Man kept me from picking her up again.

    This time around, I started with Everything That Rises Must Converge, and then Greenleaf, and it no longer just seemed disturbing. With Greenleaf, for instance, I could see what the author was doing with nature vs. Mrs. May, with her self-righteousness and the real integrity of the Greenleaf family, and with the wild divinity of the bull. I reread the story today and found even more to think about. So I went to the internet and searched for commentary.

    The first 3 articles I read ranged from shallow to stupid, and then I found yours. The picture at the top made me so angry I almost didn’t read your post, but I’m so glad I did.(As it turned out, the picture had made you angry too.) As I read, I was alternately thinking, Thank you! and I love you! Now don’t feel threatened, I’m not really saying I love you. But I did love your commentary. It rang true with my unformed impressions as well as the conclusions I’d already drawn. And it was a lovely bonus that you chose to compare it to one of my favorite political pet peeves: the idea that we comfortable North Americans are responsible for all the blessings we’ve received, and that it would be almost immoral to share with those less virtuous (less fortunate) than ourselves. Thank you!!!!!!! I’ll definitely be following your blog. That is, if I can figure out how to make my computer do that.

    • Jennifer, I am glad that I have written something that you have enjoyed and been edified by. Perhaps I will write something about A Good Man Is Hard to Find — it really is a beautiful story about Grace, even though the family is murdered. That’s O’Connor for you. Thank you for persisting and for dropping in on the blog once and a while. It’s nice to know that there are a few people out there having a look. Shalom.

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