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Interpretive Frames In Faith And Science: Is Power A Myth? — 5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Truth and Power, from a L’Arche perspective and a scientific one. | agnellusmirror

  2. I don’t know whether “Truth is Power”, but it certainly seems that Love may be the antithesis of it. Whose heart doesn’t melt with love at the sight of an utterly helpless infant? How else to explain why we rush to aid the victims of natural disaster or human war, especially when those suffering are powerless to help themselves? Genuine love is not directed toward generals or admirals, the captains of industry, or heads of state. In such cases, a “hothouse” faux love has to be artificially cultivated through propaganda or salesmanship (the “PR” business). But observe an elderly man fall on the sidewalk (as I did recently), and there is nothing but unalloyed and unmanufactured love in one’s response. No need to even know anything about the person. They’re just someone who can’t get back up without assistance, who needs a concerned question (“Are you OK?”).

    When one of my (grown) children accomplishes something significant, I feel pride. But when my infant grandson cries and cries because he’s overtired and doesn’t know how to put himself to sleep, I am overwhelmed with love. When Mark noted that Jesus loved the rich man searching for eternal life (Mark 10:21), was it because he had just claimed to have faithfully followed all the commandments from his youth, or was it because Jesus knew full well that the man was incapable (on his own) of making that final necessary step to achieve eternal life? I suspect it was the latter.

  3. I noticed in the last years of his life that the weaker, physically, Pope John Paul II became, the stronger his presence was felt. In those days we still lived in the papal summer palace and I could see his audiences on Sunday out my bedroom window. It was remarkable. And certainly the times when I got to see him face to face I felt it.
    It has been suggested that one sign of God’s omnipotence is precisely that He emptied himself to become weak even to die on a cross, as St. Paul tells us; and that He shows His power by not flaunting it. Something that those with power could learn from.

  4. It seems I feel most “powerful” when I am helping someone else. Perhaps it’s more, “The strong survive, only to protect the weak”.(That satisfies Dawkins Selfish Gene, but opens other questions)
    I guess we all know that if “only the strong survive”, well, we will all eventually be overcome, probably sooner rather than later.
    At the risk of opening a bigger can of worms, from a mortal point of view, Death has a very looming, powerful presence, but I then wonder what is the “risk” or loss taken by God who is immortal? The only thing I can understand so far was that Jesus came to show us how to live, and also how to die. He went thru it first hand as both God and man. I know this is a “juvenile” philosophy, but when I try to read/understand more advanced works, I just flounder.
    Power, Truth, KINDA LIKE FRESHMAN PHYSICS.
    I’m enjoying “…the Way to the Dwelling of Light”. I even got out my old physics book. I’m that guy that was sitting in the back wondering “How did he recognize that equation was a wave?”
    Maybe there’s hope to understand somethings after all!
    Thanks to all who work/contribute here.

  5. Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I’ve been wrestling in my prayer with the language of “receptivity” vs. “power.” Years ago, I needed an iron infusion and the Doctors gave me a lengthy explanation of the binding drugs they were going to use to allow my body to receive the iron. It stuck with me that creation is often advanced not by one thing overpowering another thing, but one thing receiving another thing. There is a mystery in the receptivity of creation that can bring about new life or healing to a body. Not ready to write about it yet, but something I’m turning over in prayer.

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