Thursday, August 7, 2014

Refusing to Hunt the Beast in the Jungle

I've been talking lately about Eros, and how suffocating it creates Catholics who can't seem to get married and who can't evangelize.

But it also creates Catholics who waste their lives in other areas, who ignore the call of their secular vocations as well as their primary vocations.


He was a young man with a passion for history.  Everything about him was drawn to battlefields and the sadness and glory of the heroes of old.  It would have been hard to find a job in this field - though there are park rangers and history teachers and tour guides and ... 

He was working at a place like Starbuck's, only worse.  His daily job was not unpleasant, but had nothing to do with his vocation, with the mystery of who he was, with the "Idea of himself secreted in God".  

So he turned his vocation into an avocation.  History was his hobby.  His lover was his platonic friend.  He lived in his mom's basement and never really got out.  

He said his Rosaries and went to Mass daily.  

And he missed the life that was right before him, like the main character in the Henry James short story "The Beast in the Jungle"- even though the beast was right outside the door and he could smell it.  He could have tamed it and made it his pet, his loyal servant.  But he didn't.

It wasn't even Henry James.  It was like a tale out of Kafka. 

A man from the country seeks the law and wishes to gain entry to the law through an open doorway, but the doorkeeper tells the man that he cannot go through at the present time. The man asks if he can ever go through, and the doorkeeper says that it is possible but "not just yet" ("jetzt aber nicht"). The man waits by the door for years, bribing the doorkeeper with everything he has. The doorkeeper accepts the bribes, but tells the man that he accepts them "so that you do not think you have failed to do anything." The man does not attempt to murder or hurt the doorkeeper to gain the law, but waits at the door until he is about to die. Right before his death, he asks the doorkeeper why even though everyone seeks the law, no one else has come in all the years. The doorkeeper answers "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it." 

1 comment:

Drusilla Barron said...

Wow! The violent bear it away.