Gerhard O. Forde

The touch of Totality

Advent thoughts about the knowledge of God

 

 

1. A life distancing itself from Totality will not be fulfilled. Man is an animal especially sensitized for novelties. This leads to insatiability, anxiety and a need to increase our possessions. A life without knowing Totality remains unfulfilled and restless. That is why the attempts to fulfill such a life will never end. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

2. Having a life, which thinks that it "knows" Totality is a trap. The history of mankind is full of such attempts which wanted to possess Totality. Making an idol, creating dependence and attempts to "get to know" Totality were all ways to achieve possession. If we think that we got to know Totality, we squeeze Totality into the narrow conceptual framework that we have been able to create. This is a trap. With all this I do not want to say – by far – that the efforts to increase our knowledge on God would be harmful. However, we must see that the more complicated way we describe God, the more far away we get from the fulfilling, infinite simplicity of God’s permanence, totality and magnificent Silence. The "theology of glory" based solely on the compliance with the law is not only a trap because it places the law above Christ and God and its compliance creates pride and presumptuousness in us, but also because it puts ourselves above God, too, by the fact that it presumes that Totality is likely to be fully known. To strive for the knowledge of Totality is a trap. There is only one way to "know" Totality: if we dedicate ourselves to it – entirely. If we become open to the call of Totality: Totality will embrace us. IT IS what has been made available by Jesus’s incarnation and sacrifice of the Cross. IT IS what we celebrate at every feast, and at Christmas, too. IT IS what we are preparing for during Advent. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

3. On the way to the touch of Totality. To become open for the call of Totality can be a consequence of a moment. Accepting Totality is very often a long process of an entire life that will only be fulfilled by seeing the Kingdom of God "face to face". Real life starts when man can see Christ. Real life becomes fulfilled at the moment of seeing Christ. Starting from this moment, this moment becomes a part of our life forever. I wish all my Readers that this year’s Advent would give more openness for all of You to embrace Totality. (If you would like to read more about this, please read my essay here.)

 

 

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