There is very little serious talk about God. Which is surprising in view of the ordeals we are facing during the global epidemic. It tells a lot about the mindset of an age, nay, that of a whole civilisation. This silence just a good hundred years ago would have been unimaginable. True, the earlier we go back in time the less devices and power we had against disease. So today, our culture’s ‘background knowledge’ is that we are self-sufficient.
Isaiah’s passage, in a masterly composition, reveals what is beneath the surface. (Isaiah 45:6-8. 21-26.) Not only that God’s Word is the very ground of culture and the human self, but also, our unconscious and suppressed desire to articulate these inner voices.
‘Apart from me, all is nothing. I am the Lord, unrivalled, I form the light and create the dark. I make good fortune and create calamity, it is I, the Lord, who do all this.’ To this ‘ground Presence’, our self (cultural and individual) responds: ‘Send victory like a dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain it down. Let the earth open for salvation to spring up. Let deliverance, too, bud forth, which I, the Lord shall created.’ No, we are not mistaken when we see it as a dialogue. In this latter request our soul, our culture, speaks and yearns, literally, in God’s words. Let us get stylish, again. Facing the newest waves of the epidemic, it is time to pray. Not in our own words, but in the words that the Spirit teaches us to ask for.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..