Monday, December 14, 2009

Bono , Peterson, Nietzche, Fenelon, Cioran and the tearful long obedience

“The journey from Father to friend is all paternal loves end.
It was sung in my teenage ears in the voice of a preacher loudly soft on my tears.”

See my previous post, called

"Bono has been reading Eugene Peterson..again."

..because he's been caught again (Gee, who knows shat other books he has at bedside..Fenelon et al) with the same book as last time:

Peterson's "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction" is a classic in Christian circles.

But even most readers don't know (don't want to know) the title is a nod to a Nietzsche quote
which Matt traces here:

"The essential thing 'in heaven and earth' is. . . that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living."

Another Nietzche quote..

“I cannot differentiate between tears and music"
(to which Cioran responds "Whoever is not immediately struck by the profundity of this statement has not lived for a minute in the intimacy of music. I know no other music than that of tears. Born out of the loss of paradise, music gives birth to the symbols of this loss: tears")

..calls to mind a classic U2 moment our gang watched last night ..."I thought there were enough tears in this song"..5:08ff below:

"Between feasts the people lived these realities in daily discipleship until the time came to go up to the mountain city again as pilgrims to renew the covenant..
Singing the fifteen psalms is a way both to express the amazing grace and to quiet the anxious fears. There are no better "songs for the road" for those who travel the way of faith in Christ..

How appropriately these songs may be sung 'between the times.' ..
The world whispers, 'the future is a holocaust, avoid it...There is no payoff for discipleship, there is no destination for pilgrimage. Get God the quick way; buy instant charisma.' But other voices speak..

The psalms of ascent are also evidence of what Isaiah promised when he said, 'You will sing! sing through an all-night holy feast; your hearts will burst with song.'
These psalms of ascent were no doubt used in such ways by the multitudes Isaiah described as saying, 'Come, let's climb God's mountain...
He'll show us the way he works so we can live the way we're made (Is 2:3).
They are also evidence of what Isaiah promised when he said, You will sing! sing through an all-night holy feast; your hearts will burst with song,
make music like the sounds of flutes on parade, en route to the Rock of Israel' (Is 30:29)
-"A Long Obedience in the Same Direction," 19, 21


  1. As usual, I love your posts. But would you please tell us about the photo of Bono and the lady?

  2. Thanks. It's Bono visiting Mrs Billy Graham, and reading her some Irish poetry (seamus Heaney). The photo is from Billy Graham's Decision magazine. More on that story by clicking the link on the Bono quote at very top of my post.

  3. What do you think of Cedars of Labanon? I experience it as a zionist's call to home. What a Magnificent body of work, that Bono, eh?


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!