From the Rector’s Study
Easter VI, the Spirit of Truth
May 17th, 2020 John 14: 15-21
The Sprit of Truth, this sounds like the second part of the sermon from last week, and the reading is exactly that, a continuation. The question seems to be, what is truth? This could devolve into a full philosophy lecture; however the story which comes to mind is from Ernest Kurtz;
At a treatment centre in Chicago, staff members reported an intriguing discovery. Many of them lived some distance from the facility, each day braving the hazards of toll way traffic in commuting to and from work. Then one day, the State of Illinois instituted “honor system” toll collection booths in that area; no attendant, not barrier-gate, just a basket into which motorists were expected to throw their coins.
Data are unavailable about how well the method served in meeting the highway department’s fiscal and traffic flow need, but counsellors at the treatment center collected observations that soon added up to the axiom: “Those who don’t throw their money in, their patients don’t get well.” As one counsellor put it in telling the story;”How can you pass on an honesty program if you aren’t honest yourself? Honesty is indivisible.
So, is truth like honesty, it cannot be divided, but is part of all our lives? Spirituality is about the sense of relationships and the connection between us and God and our neighbours?
But what is the honesty and truth about God?
Jesus says: I will not leave you orphaned; John 14: 18
But do we feel in some ways orphaned? I am reminded of the words of the Cloud of Unknowing,
“For the first time you [lift your heart to God with stirrings of love], you will find only a darkness, and as it were a cloud of unknowing […] Whatever you do, this darkness and the cloud are between you and your God, and hold you back from seeing him clearly by the light of understanding in your reason and from experiencing him in the sweetness of love in your feelings. […] And so prepare to remain in this darkness as long as you can, always begging for him you love; for if you are ever to feel or see him…it must always be in this cloud and this darkness.”
— The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works. Translated by A. C. Spearing. London: Penguin. 2001. pp. 22. ISBN 0-14-044762-8.
This seems to mean that we may at times feel like we have been left orphaned, but in reality God is with us through it all.
And Julian of Norwich: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
She lived practically her whole life in the English city of Norwich, an important centre for commerce that also had a vibrant religious life. During her lifetime, the city suffered the devastating effects of the Black Death of 1348–50; the Peasants’ Revolt, which affected large parts of England in 1381; and the suppression of the Lollards. In 1373, aged thirty and so seriously ill she thought she was on her deathbed. She recovered from her illness and wrote two versions of her experiencesFor much of her life, Julian lived in permanent seclusion as an anchoress in her cell, which was attached to St Julian’s Church, Norwich.
And her famous quote: “But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Your may have other thoughts about this,
And you can e-mail me if you would like,