Jan 25Liked by C.J.S. Hayward

Hello Mr Hayward,

I’ve read your response to Paul Kingsnorth recent posting in the Abbey and found it rather interesting. Instead of liking it and moving on, I’ve decided to adopt the following practice. If an interesting comment is made on Paul’s articles and the person has a substack place, why not go to that person substack, find an article that appeals to me and just give my reactions and thoughts? Not to debate or argue or even offer any suggestions but to treat it as a work of Art and just give my reaction to the piece. I intend to make this a regular practice with others as well and hope you don’t mind these paltry offerings.

1. This reflection arises from this great Narnia poem but also your comments on the Ascetic practice. In Matthew 11:12 we are told that “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has been treated violently, and violent men take it by force.” Again, in Rev 3:16 we hear “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” Our pilgrimage is not easy and requires “...all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

I do not see Asceticism as a means to an end which implies cause and effect which is a mechanistic worldview from the enlightenment. Rather, it is an incorporation of limitation into our Being starting with the Passions. This discipline recognizes the paradox of Freedom, True Freedom, as being found in obedience and thereby accepting a void of optionality.

2. Your line “Living where God has placed us” reminds me of an insight I hold called the Sanctification of Space. Like the Blood of Christ in the Chalice sanctifies the hollow space of the cup, we are to sanctify the space that we occupy on Earth. Stephen Jenkinson has said that there is a hole in the earth that we are to occupy to fulfill our authentic identity and holds the same notion. As in Psalm 103:16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, And its place acknowledges it no longer.

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Many thanks for your kind words!

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