S04 Ep11 – Shattering of Loneliness – Book Study Pt 3


00:00 – 01:14 = Intro

01:15 – 05:36 = Book Chapters 05 – 06 Introduction and Context (Book Study).
05:37 – 08:00 = What is God like? – God’s Courtesy
08:01 – 11:24 = Remembrance, Truth & Recognition/ Why do we need each other support?
11:25 – 13:25 = Our Intimate Desires.
13:26 – 18:02 = Human Condition as defined by Tension between Nature.
19:01 – 20:21 = Truth, Beauty and Goodness.
20:22 – 20:32 = Closing.

Chapters 5-6

Chapter 5 – Holy Spirit Orientated

Holy Spirit- From the Greek

‘One who comes to one side’

The Paraclete – counsellor ‘The spirit is the heart’s companion, the filler of our solitude. But he is also the one who creates community’ (Pg 109)

He is with us – fills our solitude. Fills out ourselves towards others. Very source of Christian connection.

Etimology of the noun for ‘truth’ in Greek ‘αληθεια’ comes from the Greek word stemming from ‘memory loss’. The opposite with the prefix of ‘a’ means remembering. For Varden, an encounter with truth is an encounter with the remembering of our past and bringing into the now, to be transformed. The Holy Spirit will help us to remember.

It is the exact opposite of the mythology of the River of Lethe River (written by Virgil), bathing in it to forget our lives. We are not meant to forget our past. We’re meant to allow God to renew it, to transform it according to his Truth. If we will not do this, we rob ourselves of the identity God wishes for us.  

‘It says something about God’s courtesy, the instinct of a gracious visitor who does not wish to trouble his host, careful not to overwhelm by his presence, while nonetheless offering that presence as a gift… a delightful guest’ (Pg 115) – Gracious visitor vs a powerful abuser – what have our experiences trained us to think?

Constantly makes us reflect – what kind of experiences have influenced our way of perceiving God?

If we viewed Him as a pleasant guest, we’d never want Him to leave. That’s called being in relationship with God.

 ‘To be consoling and complete, remembrance in truth has to be shared…drawing us into a shared remembrance… embracing the future and the past’. (Pg 115) – our individual rememberance is important, but has to be shared with others – we need the community of the Church to overcome our moral failings and issues

The healing of remembrance is meant to shared with others and meant to receive that form others. That is part of the healing and contextualising of our pasts and our hopes within the story of God.

We need each other to remember. Our remembrance and healing is completely dependent on God but God has willed it that we rely on others and not in isolation of each other.

 ‘To be aware is not simply to notice… it is to relinquish reverie, to ascertain that there is more to the world than just me, to admit that something, someone has a claim on my attention’ (Pg 132) – (protection vs observation). 

‘Awareness’ is not just watching, protecting or observing, rather relinquishing being lost in my own thoughts – that there is something that relies on me, that I am responsible to others.

This awareness is the very foundation of which the foundation of Church is built. Who we are is not simply defined by ourselves, but through others, through the Church.

 ‘Our most intimate desires…they make us homesick for a land we have not yet discovered’ (paraphrased – Pg 134)

– Remembering we were made for Eden – paradise. Varden talks about the kinds of desires we might have about comfort, to be seen and known, and they are legitimate desires that come from a deep longing to be united with God – we just seek out means that takes paths that can be unhelpful to that union. But we can recognise our desires are legitimate desires.

‘Made in the image of God like an operating system stamped on our being’ – (Pg 135)

The transcendental properties of ‘being’ – Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

‘in me vaguely remembers that I am the result of a loving intention, and I’m made to realise that intention’.

(Pg 137) – God, who is eternal, making us in his own image also made us to live eternally 

(Pg 138) – ‘the human condition is defined by tension’ – between human nature and who we are called to be. 

‘I am the result of loving intention’ – So many people these days are walking around thinking they are a mistake.

Centre of all History – Steffany Gretzinger

EXTRA – Freedom  

‘…I can rightly call desire mine, longing is a gift received’ (Pg 146) – there’s a distinction between what is ours by our own free will, and the deep longing we sense to the potential we have been given in remembering whose image we have been made in. ‘The longing is a response to a call that comes from outside ourselves’. 


Our lives are marked by suffering hardship, difficulties and also joys, but lots of hardships. These problems were not what God willed for us, but God knew he had to ‘fix’ creation, when we fell from grace, and he called us to help in this remedy. We can consider how does suffering connect me to Christ, his love and his suffering? This essentially reveals who we are, in the light of our experience and how we are made in the image and likeness of God. Remembering is taking out our past and bringing it into the light of Christ, placing it in God’s hands. We have the Holy Spirit by our side, to comfort and help reveal who we are and who we are meant to be.

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Padre: Catch-up with Fr Jim

Stina: The Happiest Man on Earth – Eddie Jaku 

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