Monday, June 30, 2008

Words and Meaning

Suzanne wrote a great post at her blog titled "Words, Words, Words". She describes her exasperation with words used as jargon and her understanding that we have to mouth these over and over to start to get them through our thick heads. Frustration over the meaning of words, used differently than we're used to, or just new words, is common at School of Community. She quoted Father Giussani:
We'll have you repeat words heard as discourse or words spoken as prayer that you don't understand. Not because we're fools and we make you do things that you don't understand. We know that you don't understand them. We didn't understand them either when we were young like you. Yet it's only by repeating them that you understand. What a two-year-old calls "mama" he'll refer to by the same word when he is fifty. That same word, not another word, will be profoundly different, understood more deeply, loved more deeply, judged more deeply ... but still one he has repeated his whole life long. The method we use to go to God is like this. This is how we come to terms with Christ.
I thought it might be an interesting challenge for us to pick up a word we use often in the movement, which is used differently from common parlance, and take a look at it. The word "freedom" is always a tough one for me, because it is such a big concept in the common mentality and very different from our Christian understanding. We have a lot of expressions about freedom which aren't. Besides, we're working on it now in School of Community. I will put something up this week on "freedom."

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