On the Beginning of the City of God


There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

Psalm 46: 4-5

To understand the foundation of the city of God, that dwelling place that flows with waters of life originating from beyond the breaking of the dawn of time we must plumb the abyssal mystery of the beginning of all things. By the beginning, we must start by setting aside the conventions of chronology that traces time back to the primordial cosmic bang, or even Eden and the slow unwinding of history that followed the formation of our first parents. In order to peer into the perplexity of existing in time, we must take an excursion that momentarily escapes the linear plotting of time…

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3 Responses to On the Beginning of the City of God

  1. brian says:

    Outstanding, Jedidiah. The poet’s gift is to hearken to glimmers of transcendence and to read the symbolism of creatures as becoming being journeys towards an ever greater eternal fruition — Jean Borella says humankind is the Universal Reader, the liminal, frontier site where mute creation enters into speech. Theology falters when it forgets the philosopher and the poet, just as the poet sinks into opaque mythology apart from revelation and the sage search for wisdom. The strangeness of time and the compelling alterity of eternity which is other analogously to the way God is other, in a paradoxical manner beyond the dialectical crudity of the purely Wholly Other; so, eternity embraces time, founds time, is time, though differently. I think Balthasar hints at this in his notion of Supertime. (I also heartily recommend a listen to the intriguing, though scattered insights John Milbank shares in his contribution to the New Trinitarian Ontologies conference held last fall.) The centrality of the Cross and the manner in which the Triduum becomes the true birth of historical creation, or primal Origin beyond temporal calculation, all that is very rich. It fits in with my own reflections and long-standing literary work and I shall certainly steal some of this because I always steal from the best . . .

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    • Thank you for your kind words Brian. I’ll have to go back to Milbank’s presentation in order to refresh my memory on his statements on time. I would also highly recommend Isabelle Moulin’s presentation at Trinitarian Ontologies because she gives a pride of place to both Bergson and Proust in her discussion, both of whom were in the back of my mind as I was working through the concepts in the post. I had to write this the way I did because I am taking on another large poetic piece after I finish the one I am presently working on and I was having a hard time conceptualizing where I wanted to go in the fragments I have sketched out so far. And by all means, I would be honored if this filtered its way into anything you are working on, so long as I’ll get to read it at some point!

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