Our Sins Will Be Our Glory

jisept2008savannahgryphontearoomceiling.jpgI’m re-reading James Alison’s Raising Abel: The Recovery of the Eschatalogical Imagination. Alison speaks of the importance of the Resurrection as a subversion of our human story (which is framed by death) — and not as the abolition of the human story — and as “including that which is capable of being rescued and transformed: the human story of violence and victimization,” and he calls to mind the English mystic Julian of Norwich in this context:

“Julian of Norwich … affirms that in heaven our sins will be not shame, but glory to us. This seems to me to be the authentically Catholic intuition. I try to make sense of it in terms of the transvestite prostitutes whom I knew in Brazil when they were in the final phrase of their struggle with AIDS. I hope to know them again in heaven, not so transmogrified that their personal life story has been, in each case, abolished, but rather so utterly alive that their fake beauty, arduously cultivated, their sad personal stories of envy, violence, frustration in love, and their illness have become trophies which are not sources of shame, but which add to their beauty and joy.”

And oh, that we would live more often in heaven now.


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