Nature, they say, abhors a vacuum, but I am not so sure: why then was she created with so much of that emptiness which she is said to abhor?
But Life, I might say, loves to fill empty spaces. He is always penetrating the bare slopes of mountains with hardy trees and grasses, and covering the nakedness of bare soil and plowed ground with weeds and creeping vines and high canopies he has at hand. He ventures into the depths of the sea to seed volcanic vents with His strange creations, and thereby plants oases in the very heart of the Abyss. And if the mathematical philosopher Leibniz is to be believed, Life may actually infuse Light itself with intention and purpose, bringing direction, significance, and meaning to everywhere that is.
As a living thing, then, my mind (and yours too, I am sure) tends to be filled with profusions of thought. May it ever be, world without end, amen.
But faith, being both more and less than thought, may not seek profusions: it may seek simplicity, even silence, in hope of finding its deeper joys.
I wonder sometimes if certain Christians, in their attempts to elaborate "The Faith" and codify those elaborations, did more harm than good in transmitting that elaborate faith to their successors, ourselves, and the intervening generations that have joined us to them. Truth and tradition joined with speculations and assertions: some were no doubt very good; some perhaps were less so. And here we are, and here I am.
I like to be a free thinker; that is, I like to think freely, and to be free to think freely. And I feel free to believe, and to search out the roots of that belief, and to seek some simplicity.
I find myself deeply attracted to that very ancient thing, the Apostle's Creed, and the even more ancient Mystery of Godliness, found in St. Paul's Epistle to Timothy. The Apostle's Creed has traditionally been divided into twelve articles: the Mystery of Godliness contains, by one count, seven.
I believe, it is enough. I am refreshed to muse upon what is meant, and what is signified.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried:
He descended into hell;
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
The holy Catholick Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting.
The Mystery of Godliness
Great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh;
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
received up into glory.
* * *
The Apostles Creed is as given in the Book of Common Prayer.
The Mystery of Godliness is as given in the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.
Comments always welcome.