June 23, 2012

On the Eve of John the Baptist in Pride Month

There is a poignancy in celebrating the feast of John the Baptist in "Pride Month." John is clearly an example of the proper kind of pride — the kind that stands up for the right, not based on his own being who he is but because of whose he is.

Our theosis is the reason for Christ's kenosis, the response to his versicle, our filling up and raising up by his emptying out and condescension. We are baptized with him in a death like his, which makes us "worthy to stand" in God's presence and live a life like his, living, in fact, with his life — for there is, in the end, no other life. This is the "pride" of deep engagement with who you are in the world as it is, our little share of the great I AM, shared with us adopted orphans, fostered into the Father's care by our Brother's gift of himself. The thought is ironically humbling, but I think that's the point. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and even more fearfully and wonderfully redeemed.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Christopher said...

I can only say that the sermons of Desmond Tutu in the 1980s have influenced me greatly in relation to a proper understanding of pride. I treated one of his sermons in my diss and it changed my life.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Amen to that!

Anonymous said...

Have to say that I would revel a bit in the comments of St. John the Baptist having witnessed a gay pride parade. Probably sound something along the lines of my WW2 Marine grandfather seeing the same, perhaps with slightly less use of profanity.


Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

I wouldn't be in too much of a rush to revel, Fr Michael. As with Jesus himself, it wasn't the harlots and publicans who came under condemnation. Clement of Alexandria, I'll grant you. He and Tertullian and John Chrysostom and Jerome would have had a fit (though Jerome is famous for that one incident in drag...) But Jesus and John, I'm not so sure as you seem to be. I think John, for instance, would be standing outside a number of chancery offices pointing fingers at those who have covered up the abuse of children.