Love Without Calculation

I’ve started reading “Love Without Calculation: A Reflection on Divine Kenosis” by David N. Power, OMI, an Irish Oblate priest who taught for many years at Catholic University in Washington, DC. He wrote this book, a reflection on his own life and times, while teaching after his retirement from CU at a small seminary in French Polynesia.

The faraway island with its colonial history and disturbing past gave Power some metaphors for looking at the world he has experienced as a western Christian theologian, a world that has known two world wars and a number of other hostilities, the Holocaust, increasing poverty, threats to its environment, the failure of international institutions, as well as Vatican II and its aftermath.

As a theologian who talks about God, Power wonders how we can do that today in the midst of so much turmoil and indifference. Our talk about God gets “ disrupted by terrifying memories and by a knowledge of a world situation that deifies all that has been said about the divinity. We are really pressured by too much evil to be coherent.”

Power ends his book, I see, advocating prayer and participating in the liturgy as “the ground of theology” for our time. “Grounding one’s thoughts in prayer and the movement of the liturgy is turning once more to interest in the forms of language used to express faith, to the play of imagination and so to cultural and hermeneutical issues.”

We just celebrated the feasts of Martin of Tours and Leo the Great. Today we have the feast of Mother Cabrini, the fierce defender of poor Italian immigrants who came to the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. The Lord gave us these saints that we might learn from them as we try to make sense of life today. The prayers we say and the rites we celebrate also give us light in dark times.

We all need the learning that comes from prayer and the liturgy. Good advice from Fr. Power.

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