Sunday, July 21, 2013

Still a lot unknown

Cloud of UnknowingCloud of Unknowing by Unknown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Even the anonymous author of this book says that it should be read more than once, and that it isn't for everyone. I found myself often going between wonder and wandering of mind as I worked my way through.

I must confess that I did not read A Cloud of Unknowing correctly. First, I looked for something to enhance or encourage my prayer life. The book, I'm certain, can do this, but it seems to be about more. Second, I after reading a few chapters and getting used to the difficult Middle Ages vocabulary, I began to read a chapter at a time at bedtime. Instead I should have either read as much as I could straight through, highlighting significant passages, or read a chapter a day in the mornings, when my reading mind is at its best.

The message of this treatise seems to be that God is not completely knowable, but that with prayer and meditation (and God's grace), one can get closer to knowing what God, in His wisdom, will reveal. Then the author, a leader of some sort in spiritual formation, outlines how to work at penetrating this cloud between God and humanity, and provides wisdom about the dangers and trials and benefits in such an important journey of faith. I recognize my reading is an oversimplification that may not be accurate. So be it.

I will need to read this important book again. Perhaps I was not as ready for it as I thought I was.

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