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Glimmers: Finding the Divine in Everything with Regis Martin

with Regis Martin

If I have a spacious and spritely spirituality, Dr. Regis Martin is partially to thank. He was my first ever theology professor, and he opened my eyes to this magical universe so alight with wonder. I found my 20-year-old notes from his class, and read the first line I wrote: “The first premise of Christianity is an OPENNESS to Reality.”

Today Regis and I will do some of our own wondering and wandering through these sparkling spaces. I’ll ask him about this worldview which Richard Rohr has called Alternative Orthodoxy, or even panentheism–something we called the “sacramental imagination.” What does it look like to believe in the Universal Christ, the Logos that inhabits all things? How did this sacramental imagination inspire writers like JRR Tolkein, Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and CS Lewis? What changes when we know our own fundamental goodness? That we are all “walking around, shining like the sun”?

I’m bringing with me some of the notes I wrote down from Theology 101, which in itself is a delicious primer:

🔸“The only condition for being faithfully religious… is to live always the real intensely.” - Luigi Giussani

🔹“Everything beautiful belongs to us.” - Justin Martyr, 2nd century

🔸“Catholicism is the profound, continuing affirmation of the goodness of God and the world he made.” - Regis Martin

🔹“God was in love but could not keep the secret. The telling of it became creation.” - Archbishop Fulton Sheen

🔸“For Christ plays in ten thousand places / lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not His. / To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” - Gerard Manley Hopkins

🔹“Crisis has the advantage of clearing the air: you can no longer pretend. It forces you to make a choice. Am I going to become a mystic or simply go mad? Will I aspire to become a saint or slug?” - Regis Martin

Regis Martin is a professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville. His books include Garlands of Grace: An Anthology of Great Christian Poetry; The Suffering of Love: Christ’s Descent into the Hell of Human Hopelessness, and many more.

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