I was delighted by the interest and discussions (on this site, on twitter, on facebook, on other sites) around my suggesting that the deacon proclaim, from time to time, “It is a metaphor!”
I appreciated a lot the point that deacons essentially already do this. They declaim, “Wisdom! Attend!” – not: “Knowledge! Attend!” or: “Fact! Attend!”
An other reaction to my post, more predictable I guess, was accusing me that somehow I was denying the truth. One commenter indicated that she held, not to metaphors, but literally to “some kind of Return” of Christ, as one example; not realising that the “some kind” was converting my metaphor into her simile!
Let me stress more deeply (noting, as I go, the metaphorical nature of “stress” and “deeply”) that the more profound (metaphor!) the truth, the more we use metaphor. And use metaphor to explicate metaphor. Be ye not surprised, therefore, that when dealing with our deepest truths metaphor reigns supreme (metaphor!).
Shallow truths (literal; not much need for metaphor):
The pen is six inches long.
The rock weighs 1.7 Kg
The film was 1 hour and 43 minutes long.
Deeper truths (metaphor):
You are my sweetheart.
He is depressed.
She is his rock.
We are the body of Christ.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Word of God.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Bosco’s law of metaphor: the deeper the truth – the more we use metaphor.
- It’s a metaphor!
- Call no man Father
- Saint John Bosco
- Call no man “Father”
- Let’s Stop Using This Word (5): True