Sunday, September 7, 2008

Readiness for Ritual (III): on Intimacy

"In a theological frame of reference, the symbolic orientation of God-imagery at this stage produces a 'God who is the abundance of human intimacy.' God is felt to be the invisible 'third', the radiance going beyond the sum of gifts of those who love. In moments when two human beings come together in a fated intimacy, there is an overflowing sense of fullness to the joy and hopes which these persons share. The strategic point for pastoral ministry here is the conviction, generated by good preaching and good theology, that God is not put off by our delights but gratified in gracing us with the amplitude of joy. The old saw of Irenaeus that 'the glory of God is man fully alive' finds non chauvinist expression in the recognition that 'man' fully alive is 'man and woman' mutually enlivening one another's joy. To use Erikson's terminology, the abundance of delight which is the fruit of such mutual sharing in intimacy becomes the motivation for a generativity that concerns itself with not only the children of one's family, but the children of the whole human family."

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