The mind a creature is, yet can create,
To nature’s patterns adding higher skill ;
Of finest works with better could the state
If force of wit had equal power of will.
Device of man in working hath no end,
What thought can think, another thought can mend.
–St Robert Southwell
Made in the image and likeness of God, man has the ability to create, to enhance the wonders of creation. Man can create beauty. In my story clip introducing the scriptural Bleeding Woman, Naomi is given a small home. The home represents her life, disordered, disheveled, and in the process of decay. Possessing the ability to create, undergoing a process of purgation, she brings her gifted home to a state of beauty. The home attains utilitarian and ascetic appeal. Relishing within her accomplishment, Naomi observes the sea. Ruminating upon the words of her friend regarding the new teacher and healer, a process of illumination is experienced, a voice internalizing. She is being prepared to meet Christ, to touch the hem of His garment amidst the thronging masses.
Within man’s ability to create exist the birth of evil. Relying upon free will man introduces perversion. Perversion being that which is not aligned with God, a wandering away from all that is good, the exercising of free will. Pope Francis writes in his encyclical Laudato Si’: “Once we lose our humility, and become enthralled with the possibility of limitless mastery over everything, we inevitably end up harming society and the environment. It is not easy to promote this kind of healthy humility or happy sobriety when we consider ourselves autonomous, when we exclude God from our lives or replace him with our own ego, and think that our subjective feelings can define what is right and what is wrong.”
The subtleties of losing the ability to discern God’s Will is truly the challenge. A nonbeliever confronts nearly impossible chances of creating consequences that in totality will bring about goodness. An extreme example would be Marx or Hitler, who in their hearts were convinced their ways were for the good of the world, yet in truth their diabolic scheming introduced horrendous consequences, intense suffering, acute miseries. On a smaller more intimate level, the deviations of being unable to coalesce with Divine Intent, an inability to comprehend who we truly are, we hurt each other. Within families, blood relationships of love, we hurt and wound one another. Children are devastatingly damaged by their parents. Parents, loving their children immensely, inflict severe psychological damage. In friendships based upon faith, we hurt and wound one another. In attempts at romantic relationships, we hurt and wound one another. In community activities, we hurt and wound one another. I cannot identify the fact as evil, while recognizing the consequences as distressing. Imperfect beings, broken, needing, trying to bring happiness about, self-protecting and fearful, we operate through that which is easiest and that is our schemes and manipulations. I think of a drowning man within a rough and tossing sea attempting to grasp a life preserver. Anymore for me, it seems all the saints writings end up focusing upon unifying with the Will of God, learning to interact with the world through the love of God.