The limit of words

“In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through the Son” (Hebrew 1)

There is a passage from St. John of the Cross in The Ascent of Mount Carmel that has stuck with me all these years. It always comes to mind when I hear this opening line from the Letter to the Hebrews. I should probably re-read the passage to see how much jetsam and floatsam I have added over the years. I imagine the conversation between the faithful believer and God the Father. The believer is doing what we all do: asking questions of God.It is what we all do. We want to know. We want assurance that comes in concrete, understandable words…. and of course, we are going to want to know more.

I imagine God sighing in a loving way and thinking to Himself, “Kids, what’cha gonna’ do!” Then God replies: “Well, this is the way it is. I have been sending prophets for years – even gave you kings (that didn’t work out so well). I sent along Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, the Judges – and then more prophets.  Lots of messengers, lots of words, but you weren’t always paying attention. Maybe the problem was the messages were just partial and perhaps from too many sources – so, now I have sent my Son. One messenger, one message. But then I realized the problem is that my Son is where my divine desire that all be saved, my overflowing love for you, and more – it all just saturates and moves beyond the ability of human language. So! No more messages. Just the messenger. Look to my Son, follow him, and ask no more questions.

That what I carried away from John of the Cross. I hope I was close. But hey… read The Ascent of Mount Carmel for yourself.  I think we should always ask questions, but I suspect John’s point was the answer is already given in Jesus.  Look there for all the answers.

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