On Father Barron's Book: Catholicism | Beginning with Jest
Upon Heather King's recommendation of Fr. Robert Barron's book, I immediately got a Kindle Copy. I've fallen in love the first few pages of chapter one.
It all begins with jest. The essence of comedy is the coming together of opposites, the juxtaposition of incongruous things. So we laugh when an adult speaks like a child or when a simple man finds himself lost amid the complexities of sophisticated society.
The central claim of Christianity--still startling after two thousand years--is that God became human. The Creator of the cosmos, who transcends any definition or concept, took to himself a nature like ours, becoming one of us. Christianity asserts that the infinite and finite met, that the eternal and the temporal embraced, that the fashioner of the galaxies and planets became a baby too weak even to raise his head. And to make the humor even more pointed, this incarnation of God was first made manifest not in Rome, Athens or Babylon, not in a great cultural or political capital, but in Bethlehem of Judea, a tiny outpost in the corner of the Roman Empire.
One might laugh derisively at this joke--as many have over the centuries--but, as G.K. Chesterton observed, the heart of even the most skeptical person is changed simply for having heard this message. Christian believers up and down the years are those who have laughed with delight at this sacred joke and have never tired of hearing it repeated, whether it is told in the sermons of Augustine, the arguments of Aquinas, the frescoes of Michelangelo, the stained glass of Chartres, the mystical poetry of Teresa of Avila, or the little way of Therese of Lisieux. It has been been suggested that the heart of sin is taking oneself too seriously. Perhaps this is why God chose to save us by making us laugh.
I love it when writers talk about the irony of things. The duality of circumstances. The parallelism of opposites. It makes me feel that my mind is not as crazy as it seems.
I like finding patterns everyday. Sometimes I take it overboard and make aggressive assumptions that make people uncomfortable but I just know that things are connected to each other somehow. Even the most unexpected things. Reading this part of Fr. Barron's book confirmed it. It confirms why life can be so paradoxical but true.