Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Thursday, May 30, 2013

History

I have been known to belittle history, specifically the study of history, which is rather ironic since my areas of study are architecture and medieval studies, both intensely historical. I think my problem with the study of history is its complete unreliability. "History is written by the victorious," or however the saying goes. Historical documents, accounts, and artifacts tell at best half the story--the story the victors want to you to know. Or else, the propaganda is of the kind which is designed to give the culture/country/civilization credibility in the greater culture of the time.

Also, our understanding of history comes, if not from these primary historical source, from historical textbooks and analysis from "experts." These experts, as all good humans do, have prejudices through which they read the primary sources. Are these any more reliable?

Yet, I am studying historically-oriented disciplines. Why? It all comes down to trust, I suppose. We have a need to trust and be trusted. Human civilization is just a microcosm of our own individual struggle in this human life. We try to project a strong front when a strong front will help us, even if we feel like our lives are falling apart. Only if we truly lose control do we let on about what's been going on for years. The British saw their Empire fading, and yet they held on tenaciously to some semblance of strength. Even when they were being bombed to smithereens by the Germans. It's doubtful that they would have been able to win the war without the Americans, the New Empire on the rise, but up to that point, the British attempted to express themselves as the same strong Empire they were in the 19th C.

We put up a front like this and want to hide our failings, especially from those who love us the most--we don't want to lose this great gift of love. We want a continual trust from others. But we really must be willing to trust those we claim to love and who love us. Love us vulnerability, and it means pain when the lovers are failures at love, which we all are. Our past can be whitewashed to save face and just become another piece of history, or we can throw in our failings with our successes and see where it goes. We need to trust those we love and who love us.

Because God loves us and we can trust Him above all. If we can not trust the people in our life to love us, we will find it hard to trust God. Trust is a hard thing to do, but it's an even harder thing to gain, especially after trust has been broken. God doesn't need to trust us, however. He offers Himself to us regardless of whether we deserve it. He gave His Son to us to do what we wanted with Him. We broke trust by killing him, but God turned it around and forgave even those who spat on him and jeered him.

Can we not do this for those we love, for much smaller things than killing the Son of God? It is the easy path to hold against and not to trust. To trust is work. It's hard.

Darn.

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