Thursday, 29 September 2011
Michaelmas and the "curious fantasy"
Hooker's words at the outset of his Lawes remind us that the created order has communion with the angelic hosts - and is thus endowed with a greater purpose than autonomous reason can imagine:
spirits immateriall and intellectuall, the glorious inhabitants of those sacred places, where nothing but light and blessed immortalitie, no shadow of matter for teares, discontentments, greifes, and uncomfortable passions to worke upon, but all joy, tranquilitie, and peace, even for ever and ever doth dwell (4.1).
One can almost hear Screwtape's expression of disgust that mortals should be called into communion with such spirits:
He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His "free" lovers and servants - "sons" is the word He uses, with His inveterate love of degrading the whole spiritual world by unnatural liaisons with the two-legged animals (Letter II).
The "wonderful order" (to quote the collect for Michaelmas) of angels and mortals united in communion is the fruit of the Triune God's "curious fantasy". As St Bernard for the feast declares, our communion with angels and archangels speaks of the destiny bestowed on the created order by the redemption wrought by the Holy Trinity:
The angels of peace desire in us unity and peace, for these are things that characterize their own commonwealth, and when they see such things produced in us, they marvel at the birth of the new Jerusalem on earth.
Posted by BC at 16:30