"The Christian religion is only for one who needs infinite help."
I don't know about you, but this is the kind of quote that makes me feel right at home. This gives me hope. Anguish, torment — this Wittgenstein is a man who understands. So do Maria Callas, Renaissance painter Matthias Grunewald, and the people in charge of adorning Mexican churches.
I love a good statue of Jesus with a hole ripped in his chest and his sacred heart hemorrhaging blood. Nobody knew better than Christ that people to whom everyday things like holding a job or interacting with another human being are never-ending sources of torture and anxiety are exactly the ones most in need of healing.
A guy who hung out with lepers, paralytics, the possessed: this is someone I can trust. We don't have to go up to him, he comes down to us. We want a doctor, a hospital, meds; he gives us himself. We want to stop the suffering; he says, I'll suffer with you.
Heather King. "In need of infinite help." excerpt from Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding (New York: Viking Publishing, Penguin Group Inc., 2008).
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in July 2012.
Heather King is the author of three memoirs: Parched (New American Library 2005); Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding (Viking 2008); and Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux (Paraclete 2011). She is a sober alcoholic, an ex-lawyer, a Catholic convert, and a full-time writer. She lives in Los Angeles and blogs at Shirt of Flame: Musings on Los Angeles, The Writing Life, Divine Intoxication, and The Thin Line Between Passion and Pathology. For more information, visit her website at heather-king.com.
Copyright © Heather King
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