July 31, 2017 (New Orleans):
Yesterday, on our 12th wedding anniversary, Amber and I attended Mass at St. Louis’ Cathedral, the oldest in North America (1718). It is a beautiful building, and the service was touching. The message was about a sensitive and obedient heart being the essence of the gospel – hearing and responding to what God says to us (and God hearing and responding to what we ask). The speaker suggested we all listen to our hearts and find out what it is that we, like Solomon, wish to ask of God. One, for me, is the same it’s always been: that I can know the TRUTH. A second would be that I could live to see Amber grow into the fullness of her unique being, free from constraints.
After church, we sat in Jackson Square and had a deep conversation about faith and religion. The theme that emerged was NAKEDNESS. It seems that I desire to be bare – physically, psychologically, intellectually, cosmically, etc. – in every facet of my being. We clothe ourselves to protect us from the world, drape ourselves with vestments to hide our true selves for which we have been taught to feel shame. We need a return to RADICAL NAKEDNESS. In Raimon Panikkar’s term – a ‘new innocence’. The old, original innocence was an unknowing, and with knowing came shame. The new innocence will be a KNOWING INNOCENCE. We are not naked and ashamed before God and the World. We ARE God and the World, naked and NOT ASHAMED.