Monday, May 04, 2009

Sending Out an SOS

Suffering can set us free. Crying out can often lead to a catharsis. Sorrow affords us a chance to struggle and squirm our way out of the black cocoon of self and into the wide expanse of the world of the Other. The song Message in a Bottle by the Police captures this journey of self-discovery through suffering. Sting, the lead singer of the former band, is a much revered icon in the music world today. He confessed to Jools Holland of the BBC that Message in a Bottle is his favorite song. Just a castaway, an island lost at sea, oh Another lonely day, with no one here but me, oh More loneliness than any man could bear Rescue me before I fall into despair, oh In the late and great Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body, the Holy Father seeks to answer two questions that I feel everyone in their heart of hearts asks at some point in this life: What does it mean to be human? How can I be truly happy? In the first question, he looks into our origins, our history, and our destiny to discover just what it means to be to be human. The Pope's early life was fraught with sorrows - loss of family, Nazi occupation, friends sent to concentration camps, and a Communist takeover of his beloved Poland. But he didn't let these sorrows exile him to an island of isolation. To make sense of it all, he dove into a heartfelt reflection on our beginnings as man and woman. One of my favorite reflections in his Theology of the Body centers on the idea of Original Solitude. That is the experience of Adam, in the beginning, as a being that is in fact "alone." I'll send an S.O.S. to the world I'll send an S.O.S. to the world I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my I hope that someone gets my Message in a bottle, Message in a bottle... Alas, Adam cries out, I see myriads of creatures, beautiful and diverse, but not another person I can love who can return my love! Sending out an SOS is Adam's first "prayer." (Read the rest at Twisted Mystics!)
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