Contradictions

Brendan Manning said it best in his book The Ragamuffin Gospel. But I’ve adapted it for myself years ago:

When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer. To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side, I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, “A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.”

As for me, I am a walking paradox. A contradiction. This is what makes it so hard for me to focus sometimes. I love philosophy and deep theological discussions. And in the next sentence will talk about how Batman is my favorite superhero and how annoyingly funny Foghorn Leghorn can be.

I love the complexities and beauty involved in classical music, and the seemingly simple but moving refrains that are the chant of the ancient Church. Both will reduce me to tears. But the next selection on my iPod is in-your-face rock ‘n roll. Beethoven to Benatar. Bach to BoDeans.

I love dramas exploring deep and profound areas regarding the human condition. Movies such as The Mission, Life Is Beautiful, I Am David, and on and on. But I also love B movie classics like Plan 9 From Outer Space, Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein or anything covered by Mystery Science Theater 3000. And a good horror film also reveals much about the human condition, in my opinion.

I will pray the rosary with someone who is hurting, tenderly offering up prayers of intercession. An hour later I will cuss like a sailor in heavy traffic.

I want the world. But I long for heaven.

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