Love: The Highest Form of Knowing

Franciscan sister and scientist Ilia Delio (my master’s thesis professor), has written a wonderful autobiography. In it she recounts how her parents decided to name her Denise. (She would have been named Denis had she been a boy.) Later in life, she was delighted to find a meaningful connection with the man who first approached theology in an explicitly mystical way in his text Mystical Theology. Delio writes

When I was doing my doctoral work in theology at Fordham University, I was introduced to the master of mystical theology, Denis the Areopagite, or Pseudo-Dionysius [who wrote in the late fifth to early sixth century]. I was immediately struck by the name “Denis”—the mysterious person who wrote the most exquisite words stretching into the mystery of the incomprehensible God. . . . God is the name of absolute divine mystery beyond any speech or thought or movement. God’s love is so tremendous, this mystical writer claimed, that God is like a sober drunk, falling over himself in the desire to share divine life.  Continue reading

Chains

Yesterday’s gospel was the Markan story of Jesus and man possessed of a legion of evil spirits. It was accompanied by the story of King David being the target of curses and stones by one of King Saul’s family members.  One of David’s royal guard “said to the king: “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and lop off his head.” But the king replied: “What business is it of mine or of yours…that he curses? Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to say, ‘Why are you doing this?’ …Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to.” (2 Sam 16:9-11)
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