"Wine is water come of age." - Father Capon

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Father Capon on Wine and Creation

"God makes wine. For all its difficulties there is no way around the doctrine of creation. But notice the tense: He makes; not made. He did not create once upon a time, only to find himself saddled now with the unavoidable and embarrassing result of hat first decision. That is only to welsh on the idea of an unnecessary world, to make creation a self-perpetuating pool game which is contingent only at the start--which needs only the first push on the cue ball to keep it going forever. It will not do: The world is more unnecessary than that. It is unnecessary now; it cries in this moment for a cause to hold it in being. It was St. Thomas, I think, who pointed out long ago that if God wanted to get rid of the universe, He would not have to do anything; He would have to stop doing something. Wine is--the fruit of the vine stands in act, outside of nothing--because it is His present pleasure to have it so. The creative act is contemporary, intimate, and immediate to each part, parcel and period of the world.

Do you see what this means? In a general way we concede that God made the world out of joy: He didn't need it; He just thought it was a good thing. But if you confine His activity in creation to the beginning only, you lose most of the joy in the subsequent shuffle of history. Sure, it was good back then you say, but since then, we've been eating leftovers. How much better a world it becomes when you see Him creating at all times and at every time; when you see that the preserving of the old in being is just as much creation as the bringing of the new out of nothing. Each thing, at every moment, become the delight of His hand, the apple of His eye. The bloom of yeast lies upon the grapeskins year after year because He likes it; [fermentation] is a dependable process because, every September, He says That was nice; do it again."

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