If you feel at times you are going around in circles trying to relate authentically to God, the world and yourself, I wholeheartedly recommend this meditative study – From Love’s Shining Circle.
An occasion when I was coerced into a searing soul-search to assess my own ‘individual authenticity’ occurred at the beginning of a philosophy class at Banyo seminary in the mid-sixties. The lecturer, an intellectual, and at times irascible Irish cleric, informed my class that a close friend of his back in Ireland owned a racehorse that had just won the English Derby. With a sweeping, steely stare at us, he caustically commented, “That horse is now worth three hundred thousand pounds. I wonder if any of you is worth three hundred thousand pounds!”
The author of this book has noted her thanks to God that she has lived to tell this ‘Kataphatic tale’. Google informs me Kataphatic theology is a theology that uses positive terminology to refer to God as opposed to Apophatic or negative terminology. The writer’s expertise as an arts journalist is evident in the lucid, erudite, engaging prose. She asserts in a postamble that her kith and kin had to endure her “mutterings and ramblings about the individual” year in, year out. I suspect that composing this ‘Kataphatic tale’ could have been a cathartic ordeal!
One section of this study, Wired for Love, reminds us of the necessity to stay in touch with the one who wired us to love – our Creator. The author is clearly not out of this loving circuit – a circuit breaker. Wired for Love emanates from a person who has a vibrant Love of God, her neighbour and the cosmos.
I was particularly moved by the poignant portrayal of Patricia’s grandmother – a battler who raised a family of eight on a farm in northern New South Wales. She recalls that in a portrait-photograph of this then elderly woman, her eyes seemed “to gaze into a realm between heaven and earth, the eyes of a mystic, if ever there was one.” For her grand-daughter she must have encapsulated the authentic individual – a person who lived resonating and relating to the notion that God personally loved her. The author’s prayer and hope for this book is that the God of Love may reach both the peacemakers and the hard of heart who reject this major life force.
I hear of various reading groups who meet on a regular basis to discuss and dissect nominated books – often with a shared bottle of wine! For thinking people, searching for truth and authenticity, I believe this present opus would be an excellent resource for such a study group. Perhaps the fitting libation for such a gathering would be a bottle of Church Block cabernet sauvignon. In vino veritas!
I hope you enjoy this courageous, optimistic, enlightening labour of love as much as I do.
(Father) Leo Coote