“So, what is the most common ritual of pagan religions and cults?” a friend once asked me. He wanted a salacious answer, like human sacrifice or ritualistic sex.
“Feasts and fasts” was the answer he got instead.
Despite the fact that most of us eat food every day, there is something intrinsically special about eating, and eating with others. This doesn’t mean that everyone likes it, of course. I know more than a few people who view eating as a necessary refueling and nothing more. But there is a reason that, throughout the world, people generally eat in community. Continue reading
“You are the salt of the earth.” Matthew 5:13
Why did Christ use this metaphor to instruct his followers? Let us consider salt. Scrutinizing those white crystals, we see alternating rows of sodium and chlorine ions, each charged with impressive energy, and yet held in well-disciplined rows. Such precise inner order reflects the proper ordering of the soul, which consists not in the cessation of all human desires, as Buddhism would teach us, but in the proper ordering and control of these desires. If the ions within a salt crystal somehow lost their charge and fell still, into a chemical nirvana, then the crystal would indeed lose its saltiness, for it would no longer exist save as a cloud of poisonous atoms. By contrast, it is the energies of each individual ion, properly organized within the greater whole, which allow the formation of a crystal, just as the gifts and talents of each individual Christian serve to strengthen the solid framework of the Church.
Salt’s small, white crystals seem unassuming, yet conceal a dramatic power. Continue reading