Essay about Reaction to Suso’s Wisdom’s Watch upon the Hours

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I have had a tremendous amount of frustration interpreting Henry Suso’s Wisdom’s Watch upon the Hours. The cause of this difficulty is somewhat perplexing. Suso does not write in a particularly difficult style, nor is the subject matter to abstract to grasp. Instead, my difficulties spring from two separate, but related, issues. The first is the lack of any definitive conclusion to the discussions of book one. After roughly one hundred and sixty pages of dialogue between Wisdom and the Disciple, Suso fails to provide an answer to the question of what exactly the reader is expected to do with regards to the meditations that precede the rather abrupt end of the book. The text seems maddeningly incomplete. This is not helped by the …show more content…
Suso imagines God as the absolute highest point. Thus, to reach humanity everything must descend from this ultimate point. On the other hand, humanity starts at the bottom and must reach God by ascending toward him. However, humanity has no power to ascend on its own. The incarnate Christ and specifically Christ’s Passion, therefore, must act as a mediating point between humanity and the divine. Through this point, and only this point, humanity can begin its assent to God. Since the Passion acts as -- to use Suso’s terminology -- a prelude to knowledge of the Godhead, it is unsurprising that Suso enjoins the reader to meditate on the Passion as often as possible. To aid the reader, he provides a particularly gruesome account of the crucifixion, emphasizing the suffering and humiliation of Christ. Suso proclaims that meditating on these depredations suffered by Christ has great advantages:
The frequent recollection of this Passion makes any dullard most learned, and it turns amateurs and simpletons into teacher, teachers, I say not of knowledge which puffs up but of love which builds up. The Passion is as it were a book of life, in which all things necessary for salvation are found.2
Beyond these myriad advantages, constant attention to the Passion enables the faithful to better weather their own tribulations. In book

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