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God: The Calling of Love

This is the first of three addresses by Carol O’Connor given at a Quiet Day, directed by Carol and musician and spiritual director Cath Connelly, for the Institute for Spiritual Studies.

The title of the Quiet Day was from Psalm 72: ‘Put your ear to the ground and listen.’ The Day was held at St James Anglican Church, Point Lonsdale, on Saturday the 25th of March 2017.


My speech - may it praise you without flaw: May my heart love you, King of heaven and earth. My speech - may it praise you without flaw: Make it easy for me, pure Lord, to do you all service and to adore you. My speech - may it praise you without flaw: Father of all affection, hear my poems and my speech. Irish poem, 12th century or later (Davies 260)


In his latest book God With Us, Rowan Williams writes:

Christian theology is not a set of granite monuments that you walk around with your guidebook, ticking them off one by one as you see the great blocks of Sound Teaching. Christian theology is a more fluid, constantly moving, constantly shifting process. When you look very hard at one set of meanings they dissolve into another. And so it continues, around and around in the opposite of a vicious circle. The cross is a sign, but never just a sign because it makes a difference, whether we know it or not. The cross is a sacrifice, but a sacrifice performed by God, not by us, a sacrifice that changes our hearts. The cross is a victory, but a victory that cannot be understood except as worldly defeat. The cross, you could say, doesn’t stand still. Our understanding, our absorption of its meaning, is always a living process in which one image, one category, again and again moves us into another. (Williams 54-55)