A Sanctified Gnosticism

Gnosticism, or the notion that there was "special gnosis for a select few," has always been a heresy that emerges and re-emerges in the Church historically. That being said, there IS a kind of esoteric "gnosis" that is NOT easily perceived or understood by the casual Christ-follower, but only by ardent seekers of sacred mystery and transcendent interiority--the stuff we run at day in and day out as we practice the Rule of our Order.

Hans Urs Von Balthasar claimed that the church "does not abolish genuine esotericism." It turns out that the kingdom--the influence of God--is, as Jesus said, "a treasure hidden in a field" that is only grasped by those willing to "sell all they have to buy it." 

In a sense, the Order is an exploration into esotericism, or, dare we call it, a sanctified Gnosticism - a "secret" dance to discover the difference between what is nature and what is grace; between ourselves and God's actions?

What can teach us this but the day-in day-out walk into a life filled with prayer and a sacramental community (which we are still trying to imagine)? It is in the doing that the mysteries become more familiar, while remaining deeply opaque. This kind of knowledge does not just come via teaching alone but by exploring the formative practices of the faith. Think of the "gnosis" that a couple in the trenches of a 50-year-old marriage has that a newlywed couple does not--even if that couple has an PHD in family dynamics.

May this year of vowed-living make us humble, submitted, transformed with genuine esoteric knowledge--sanctified Gnostics.