relationships are our boundaries

This from the Christopher Budd, RC Bishop of Plymouth, England in his pre-lenten pastoral letter:

We are not totally autonomous, but individuals in relationship. And those relationships are our boundaires and the guarantees of our autonomy and dignity… is our life and thinking conducive to building community?

I was struck by this, and not just by the fact that Bishop Budd talks about autonomy rather than independence as the thing to be aimed for – an important distinction. The phrase that leapt out was: relationships are our boundaires. This is something I can understand physically: it’s where I butt up to another person that I know that they begin, and I end. The rest of that sentence though is a challenge. Relationships as the guarantees of our autonomy and dignity? May it be so. This is something I will have to sit with

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~ by scalambra on February 23, 2012.

One Response to “relationships are our boundaries”

  1. Always found a polarised tension between solitude and relationship to exist in spiritual affairs, always wary of ‘unthinking heads’ who cannot endure their own company. Browne as ever says some interesting things about solitude in his Christian Morals Part 2

    Be able to be alone. Loose not the advantage of Solitude, and the Society of thy self, nor be only content, but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency.

    And since there is scarce any one bad, but some others are the worse for him; tempt not Contagion by proximity, and hazard not thy self in the shadow of Corruption.

    Unthinking Heads, who have not learn’d to be alone, are in a Prison to themselves, if they be not also with others: Whereas on the contrary, they whose thoughts are in a fair, and hurry within, are sometimes fain to retire into Company, to be out of the crowd of themselves. He who must needs have Company, must needs have sometimes bad Company. Be able to be alone. Loose not the advantage of Solitude, and the Society of thy self, nor be only content, but delight to be alone and single with Omnipresency. He who is thus prepared, the Day is not uneasy nor the Night black unto him. Darkness may bound his Eyes, not his Imagination. In his Bed he may ly, like Pompey and his Sons**, in all quarters of the Earth, may speculate the Universe, and enjoy the whole World in the Hermitage of himself.

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