Sunday, August 05, 2007

Positive Mimetic Desire

The meditation from the Magnificat for Sunday August 5th is a glimpse into positive mimesis or healthy mimetic desire. Here is an excerpt from Elisabeth Leseur Selected Writings:

My God, I belong and always wish to belong to you, in suffering or in pain, in spiritual dryness or in joy, in illness or in health, in life or in death. I want only one thing: that your will be done in me and by me. More and more I seek, and desire to seek, only one end: to promote your greatest glory through the accomplishment of your desires for me.

I offer myself to you in wholehearted interior sacrifice and ask you to dispose of me for your service as the most common, most useless instrument, in favor of those you love. Make me either passive or active, practicing in turn and as the hour requires the contemplation I love best and other good works according to your will.

Let me always be strict with myself, more gentle, loving, and helpful to others, to make you loved through me, always hiding my efforts, prayers, and mortifications. Make me very humble and draw my heart to yours, my beloved Savior and God.

(Aramis here) Our freedom (positive mimetic desire) comes in an obedience to desire - desire here meaning a compulsive preoccupation with God - only what God wills for us. We, on the other hand, may see ourself in a certain good work or we may be fixated to see ourself in a marriage, but if this sight comes out of a compulsive preoccupation with others (negative mimetic desire), even though these things may have honorable intentions attached to them, we must acknowledge that it may not be what God desires for us. The disciples asked Christ, "Where do you abide?" And Christ answered, "Come and see." Come and see, through prayer and worship, what God desires so that when you are revealed in Christ, you are uniquely His.

This is the path most of those in the communion of saints followed to heighten their religious sensibilities and strengthen their ontological density. When I think of St. Francis going to convert the Sultan, though he did not convert the Sultan, the very fact that he walked away with his life has always provided me with a sense of what Girard, Bailie, de Lubac and others must mean when they talk about ontological density - a faith so strong that even in facing enemies one is more Christ (a compulsive preoccupation with God) than oneself (a compulsive preoccupation with others ).

1 comment:

D'artagnan said...

While reading this, I finally realized one of the stumbling blocks I kept placing in front of me, was that I was trying to figure out if Mimetic theory was a social, political, philosophical, psychological, or religious theory.

Putting the labels aside, I have found it much easier to immerse myself in the ideas, and more importantly the truths.

I'll get there.