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All Shall Be Well, Really

All Shall Be Well, Really

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Published by John Sobert Sylvest
Viktor Frankl, Corrie Ten Boom, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, theosis, divinization, theodicy, suffering, existential nihilism, nihilistic, Julian of Norwich, trustful surrender, abandonment to divine providence, addiction, codependence, disordered appetites, inordinate attachments, paterology, christology, pneumatology, Phil St. Romain, ultimate concern, Karl Rahner, soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, sophiology, Eucharistic, John Sobert Sylvest, Franciscan, emergent Christianity, Magnificat, Mary's fiat, St Francis of Assisi, felix culpa, incarnation, Duns Scotus, kairos, chronos,
Viktor Frankl, Corrie Ten Boom, Immaculee Ilibagiza, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, theosis, divinization, theodicy, suffering, existential nihilism, nihilistic, Julian of Norwich, trustful surrender, abandonment to divine providence, addiction, codependence, disordered appetites, inordinate attachments, paterology, christology, pneumatology, Phil St. Romain, ultimate concern, Karl Rahner, soteriology, eschatology, ecclesiology, theological anthropology, sophiology, Eucharistic, John Sobert Sylvest, Franciscan, emergent Christianity, Magnificat, Mary's fiat, St Francis of Assisi, felix culpa, incarnation, Duns Scotus, kairos, chronos,

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Published by: John Sobert Sylvest on May 04, 2013
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11/14/2013

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 Most of us know how to behave in polite company, company like God, for example. We piously affirm the creed and humbly acknowledge Who's incharge, but ...Let's get real, though.While we heartily sing along with our children that
He's got the whole world in His hands 
and believe every word of it and while we take great comfort inknowing that
what no eye has seen, ear heard nor the heart of wo/man ever conceived, such are the things prepared for those who love the Lord 
, still ...What we are able to truly abandon to providence is the whole world, in general,but not anything in our own lives, in particular?While we trustfully surrender our 
sweet by and by 
to the vague notion that theKingdom will come and His will will indeed be done, that trust is more firmregarding how it may be in heaven, then, in the distant future. We're not quiteas confident, are we, regarding our concerns on earth, here and now?So, we hedge our bets.We hold on to some measure of our perfectionism, our pride (how we seeourselves), our prestige (how others see us, even living in their minds or lettingthem rent space in our heads), power, pleasure, pain avoidance and, mostdefinitely, our profits (material things, mammon) and such, all as insurance for this vale of tears?
 
 How and why is it that we may nurture a most blessed assurance regarding anafterlife even while all too often positively terrified about so many things in thislife? And why does this terror seem to be amplified even as our joys begin tomultiply? To be concrete, for many, perhaps even most, of us, those bundles of  joy fomenting most of our anxiety are our children! This is not to exclude,however, our lack of emotional sobriety regarding our reputations, social status,political aspirations, jobs and/or careers, finances, or even athletic success(whether directly or vicariously, whether through our children or fandoms). Mostdefinitely, we must unfortunately include what we suffer more insidiouslythrough various process (gambling, overeating, social media) or relationship(infatuation, limerance, sexual objectification, even financial bondage)
addictions 
, and, more dangerously, through substance addictions (alcohol,drugs), that destroy our health, imperil our own and others' lives or merely drainour focus and attention (and checking accounts) from more worthwhileaspirations or even essential goals. Codependence, for its part, is rooted in abelief that all will be decidedly unwell without our own pathetic over-involvement.When Julian of Norwich proclaims that
all may, can, will and shall be well and  you will know that all manner of things will be well 
- what might be our practicaltakeaway, here and now? How might that better invite and encourage our trustful surrender and abandonment to providence? Why did every angelicapparition in scripture commence with the celestial injunctive to
fear not 
?If, in our consolations regarding our ultimate concerns, we drastically differ fromthose (nowadays) too often celebrated, nihilistic existentialists, Nietzsche,
 
Sartre and Camus and even if we've journeyed out of the despairing world of Macbeth and have drawn deep inspiration from Dostoevsky's explorations of theabyss, still, we don't so easily escape a more
practical nihilism 
regarding our more proximate concerns, do we? And that's why religion so often has indeed been an
opiate of the people 
, rightalongside our other manifold and multiform addictions, disordered appetites andinordinate attachments, including those to ... you know, again ... our perfectionism, pride, prestige, power, pleasure, pain avoidance or profits, all thisrather than to
providence 
.Even when all is well with my world, most of us are not unaware that all can bedecidedly wrong with so much else of the world. Even as Jesus turned water into wine, enlivening a celebration and sparing a young couple embarrassment,He was not out of touch with the enormity of human pain and immensity of human suffering of which we remain so very poignantly aware, even in this newmillennium?Still, nowhere did Jesus answer Job's interrogators or the plaintive questions of the psalmists. Nowhere have philosophers and theologians satisfactorilyresolved the
theodicy problem 
of how an all powerful, all knowing, all good Godcan allow such suffering as experienced in our human condition. There havebeen some rationally successful solutions, to be sure, but none that are, finally,existentially satisfying, at least not in a universally compelling way.Karl Rahner, in his very first sermon, observed that so many don't even confrontsuch issues until a crisis overtakes them, personally, citing, as an example, how

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