Our hunger for wisdom Part -- 2

This article appears in the NCR Podcasts feature series. View the full series.

Bruno Barnhart

Episode 2: The paradox of wisdom (31 min.)
Look at First Corinthians, verse 1, Fr. Barnhart tells Tom Fox. "Usually you think of wisdom as a kind of fattening, by which we get larger and larger in our minds and we can bring more and more things together into a synthetic vision. But Paul seems to be talking about the opposite. He’s talking about falling into a black hole. That’s the paradox of Christian wisdom. All the wisdom disappears at a certain point, because we live in a world and an economy of faith. Wisdom seems to go on the drain on you. But it recovers when you need it. It is the wisdom of the cross."

Our hunger for wisdom
Bruno Barnhart is a Camaldolese monk of New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, Calif. He is the author of The Good Wine: Reading John from the Center (Paulist, 1993) and Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity (Paulist 1999), and co-editor of Purity of Heart and Contemplation: A Monastic Dialogue Between Christian and Asian Traditions (Continuum, 2001). His latest book is The Future of Wisdom: Toward a Rebirth of Sapiential Christianity (Continuum, 2007).

About the Book
A review in Library Journal called Barnhart’s The Future of Wisdom "a must for most collections." It said, Barnhart’s "new book, a substantial contribution toward the renewal of Christian spirituality, is rather more controversial than it might first appear, given Barnhart's good Catholic background. Barnhart seeks and desires no less than a wholehearted rediscovery and reinvigoration of the mystical wisdom tradition that was once a powerful component of Christian spirituality, both Western and Eastern."

The Second Coming
By William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


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