Episode 2: The paradox of wisdom (31 min.)
Look at First Corinthians, verse 1, Fr. Barnhart tells Tom Fox. "Usually you think of wisdom as a kind of fattening, by which we get larger and larger in our minds and we can bring more and more things together into a synthetic vision. But Paul seems to be talking about the opposite. He’s talking about falling into a black hole. That’s the paradox of Christian wisdom. All the wisdom disappears at a certain point, because we live in a world and an economy of faith. Wisdom seems to go on the drain on you. But it recovers when you need it. It is the wisdom of the cross."
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Our hunger for wisdom
Bruno Barnhart is a Camaldolese monk of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, Calif. He is the author of The Good Wine: Reading John from the Center (Paulist, 1993) and Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity (Paulist 1999), and co-editor of Purity of Heart and Contemplation: A Monastic Dialogue Between Christian and Asian Traditions (Continuum, 2001). His latest book is The Future of Wisdom: Toward a Rebirth of Sapiential Christianity (Continuum, 2007).
About the Book
A review in Library Journal called Barnhart’s The Future of Wisdom "a must for most collections." It said, Barnhart’s "new book, a substantial contribution toward the renewal of Christian spirituality, is rather more controversial than it might first appear, given Barnhart's good Catholic background. Barnhart seeks and desires no less than a wholehearted rediscovery and reinvigoration of the mystical wisdom tradition that was once a powerful component of Christian spirituality, both Western and Eastern."
The Second Coming
By William Butler Yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?