"It is hard for one man to catch another's spirit and put into print the things that drive him on."
Fr. Ciszek said this about the challenge of communicating what was inside him to the priest that helped him write the book he really wanted to write. I don't know what book I really want to write, but I do know it is difficult to communicate deep realities inside oneself--whether you're communicating to others or just setting them out for your own understanding. There is such infinity and depth to what lies underneath the human person. Most of the time it lies undisturbed. Occasionally it is stirred and we would rather it had not been, for we do not know what to do with it once we have accustomed ourselves to living on the surface of things. Yet there is a watcher in the waters of our souls, and it does not have its origin in us. Not to say it is foreign to these waters, for it alone knows them thoroughly, and it is we that have our origin in It. So the Watcher stays beneath the depths, the powerful accepting a humble place in the soul of the weak; the expert letting the amateur sail the ship; and only occasionally does the Watcher stir the water so we can see ripples, but usually we think the ripples are from the winds above and outside, not thinking--not even daring to think--it could be something beneath. And surely never guessing that when the Winds are worst, the Watcher has begun to sail while we, cringing, would give up the ship.
We see what is outside ourselves, but we only understand with great difficulty, and then only by relating it to what we find already inside. Conversely, what is inside ourselves we cannot see, yet we have the capacity--oh the infinite, divine capacity, the highest of all that is human!--to understand without seeing. So we live for sight, clinging unnaturally to our eyes. But we die without understanding, cloven unnaturally from our minds. For our minds are a great and terrible thing, and incomplete without the heart.
The Watcher is the heart, or rather is closer to our heart than we are, we who live safely in our minds. We have sought the truth with our minds, but what we have found was not enough, because man does not live on truth alone. There are other categories that cannot be broken down, and we live on them all, and die a little when they are gone like a parent who sees their child leave them, or better, like a child who does not know he hurts himself when he seeks to hurt a loving parent.
So it is that I found truth, so much truth, but I could not make it make me good, for I still had fear, and fear is not the enemy of truth, but of love, and love I did not understand, and therefore thought I was not capable of it -- either of giving, or receiving, or meriting. And thus I was not the whole person I know God means me to be: one who is good as God is good, by knowing myself and knowing Him more like He knows me and knows Himself, and by loving in both what I know to be true).
And by serving, in love, the good I am granted to see in myself and in God, I understand truth all the better, and I love better, and become more good, more like God, and in being more divine, am most fully human.
But most of the journey toward this true, good, and beautiful wholeness of being, and of being human, we fear the Watcher, and the Winds, and anything that would stir the surface, for we do not easily grow up. And by grow up I mean growing altus, for altus means tall, but also deep, and a man may only truly stand tall if he is deep. So we do not see, from reading the ripples above, that what the Watcher actually traces in the water is our answer to the Winds. We wish for a change in the weather, to give us calm for one evanescent moment, or for a god that would control the chaos from outside. Instead we have a God that allows us to control the calm on the inside, but only if we are willing to duc in altum, to put out into the deep, and find that which makes all weather meaningless, because that which has true meaning, true Beauty, and unspeakable Goodness that we fear to dare we may taste, is already With Us.
Merry Christmas, everyone! I pray you all are granted the gift of seeing the extraordinary and poetic in what has become prosaic to us only because we have forgotten our sense of wonder, and what is closely akin to wonder: gratitude. Cheers!