The Way of Man, Part 2

The Particular Way is a call for authenticity that Martin Buber, in The Way of Man, presents by giving an example of a Rabbi who was asked this question; ‘Show me one general way to the service of God?’ This Rabbi claims that it is impossible to tell men what way they should take in life. For one way to serve God is through learning, another through prayer, another through fasting, and still another through eating. Everyone should carefully observe what way his heart draws him to, and chose this way with all his strength. Buber highlights that God does not say: ‘This way leads to me and that does not’, but he says: “Whatever you do may be a way to me, provided you do it in such a manner that it leads you to me.”

Resolution gives us a practical example, by introducing us to a Hasid who wanted to fast from one Sabbath to the next. Although he struggled, he managed to keep the fast. At a point he was going to brake it however, when he reflected upon it, he found a new strength to keep the fast. When he went to tell his teacher about this, his teacher scolded him and told him that what he felt was a noble thing and he should have broken the fast, because it is better to brake the fast then to be proud. The main point of ‘resolution’ is that man has a unitary soul, and accordingly performs unitary works, because his soul, by being as it is, prompts and enables him to do so. The body and soul of the Hasid where trying to protect him. We cannot look at our body as something bad that our soul needs to discipline. We need to learn that we are one, and that we are good.

Ian Diacono is a Catholic seminarian and is currently reading for a Bachelors Degree in Psychology at the University of Malta. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Theology in 2013, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 2015, and received a Higher Education Award in Adolescent & Youth Ministry from the PFI in 2015. For more information about Ian Diacono, visit www.iandiacono.com.

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