« Yes - I agree with the last post! | Main | Thank You for Satire »

April 29, 2006

Mystery of the Pentangle

In Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the hero bears a symbol of the pentangle on his shield. As editors frequently remind us, the pentangle (the five pointed star we all learn to draw in third grade) was also known as the "endless knot." The star has no visible start or end, but each line segment is dependent on the other for a complete "whole." Pull any one line segment out, and the star suddenly has a beginning and an end point. The pentangle represented the virtues, including faith, and therefore suggested how they were intertwined. Take any one virtue out, and the rest are doomed. But it seems to me the pentangle is only a useful image if you are already inside the system of virtue. If the pentangle has no beginning or end (like a circle), then where does someone on the outside enter in to it. There is no "logical" or "rational" place to start. One just has to take a leap of faith and start somewhere.

Sometimes I find that people dismiss the Church as being an exercise in circular logic.

I haven't really found a way to refute the argument.

In fact, it seems like we at times actually embrace the Church precisely because it's logic is circular. It is complete in itself. If it depended on some external truth, it would be dependent on that truth and therefore subject to change. Maybe this is why RCIA takes as long as it does. You have to be able to see the whole pentangle before you can fully accept the Church.

There really isn't a "starting point" with faith. The whole star is in fact the point at which you start.

Posted by Peter Terp on April 29, 2006 at 10:53 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Mystery of the Pentangle:


The comments to this entry are closed.