at its heart a collision and a contradiction

From Divine Craftsmanship by Jean Hani (43-44):

Like that of potter, the act of the weaver is well suited to recall the Primordial Act creating the world, while the cloth calls to mind creation itself.

Cloth … is defined by its warp and woof. The threads of the warp are fixed and straight, thereby symbolizing the fixed elements, the principless and laws of the world, being. The threads of the woof are mobile and entwined, and thus clearly represent the variable and contigent element, the event, the individual, becoming. ALso, it will be noticed that the fundamental structure of cloth, constituted by a warp and woof crossing each other perpendicularly, reproduces the form of the cross. In the latter, the vertical axis is, as it were, linking the earth to heaven, wheras the horizontal branch is, rather, terrestrial, symbolizing the extension of the world and beings. … Their intersection determines the relations of the being in question with the cosmic milieu surrounding it. For example, the individual nature of man is the meeting of these two threads.

…The weaver is initially faced with a pile of loose threads, as the potter is with a heap of clay. …The human artisan then separates the threads, and places them one by one in order, each according to where it will fit into the composition of the cloth, just as the potter shapes his clay and imprints upon it the form of the pot.

This reference by Hani to the form of the cross (and to the meeting point at its heart) brings to mind this passage from G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy:

Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has at its heart a collision and a contradiction, can extend its four arms for ever without altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its center it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travelers.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: