"Napa Valley" Brocken InaGlory. Licensed. Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
Q, again indulging in his seemingly irrelevant meandering, contrasts egos that are pumped up for show with egos that are emptied of such pride so that the true human identity can shine forth. Where have we met that before?
- In the footnote on page 185, we hear about the concept of "shame" . . . the sense that we are, fundamentally, "not enough." Though psycho-babble and God-talk are different ways of speaking, do you think there's a useful overlap
between them when this is the focus? Does the gospel . . . the good news . . . speak to one's "shame?" Discuss.
- What's in a name? Names sometimes help to reveal us to others. At other times they are rather like an alias: they hide us. In one of the Bible's foundational myths . . . Adam and Eve are told not to eat the fruit of a certain tree. But, of course, they do. "The next day," God walks in the garden and doesn't find Adam. So God calls out, "Adam! Where are you?" Adam steps out of from where he was and says, "I was afraid, Lord, and I hid myself." He's now wearing that famous fig leaf over his genitals. He is afraid . . . of what? What if he is deeply known . . . through and through? Does this relate to "shame" in the question above? If so, how?
- Your discussion may be enriched if you consider the somewhat later story of Cain being exiled "east of Eden" as punishment for killing his brother Able in a fit of jealous rage. Cain complains to God, "But those who find me will kill me!" Showing both judgment and grace, God says that God will put his "mark" upon Cain and people will leave him alone. Is it sometimes good to be hidden? Explain.
- Speaking of names, in the Bible people are always asking God what his name is. And God never reveals it. Why do you think that is so? What happens if you know somebody's real name?
- What do you think of Sister Mary Agatha's avant garde faith community? Too way out there? About right? About time? What? Explain and discuss!
- In what ways mght you be attracted to such a community? In what ways not so much?