Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Behold the Pierced One

A Thanksgiving Day recipe:


1 - Behold the Pierced One – Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Thesis 3: Since the center of the person of Jesus is prayer, it is essential to participate in his prayer if we are to know and understand him.
… – The fundamental act of religion is prayer, which in the Christian religion acquires a very specific character: it is the act of self-surrender by which we enter the Body of Christ. Thus it is an act of love. As love, in and with the Body of Christ, it is always both love of God and love of neighbor, knowing and fulfilling itself as love for the members of this Body.
In Thesis 1 we saw that prayer was the central act of the person of Jesus and, indeed, that this person is constituted by the act of prayer, of unbroken communication with the one he calls “Father”. If this is the case, it is only possible really to understand this person by entering into this act of prayer, by participating in it. This is suggested by Jesus’ saying that no one can come to him unless the Father draws him (Jn 6:44). Where there is no Father, there is no Son. Where there is no relationship with God, there can be no understanding of him who, in his innermost self, is nothing but relationship with God, the Father – although one can doubtless establish plenty of details about him. Therefore a participation in the mind of Jesus, i.e., in his prayer, which (as we have seen) is an act of love, of self-giving and self-expropriation to men, is not some kind of pious supplement to reading the Gospels, adding nothing to knowledge of him or even being an obstacle to the rigorous purity of critical knowing. On the contrary, it is the basic precondition if real understanding, in the sense of modern hermeneutics – i.e., the entering-in to the same time and the same meaning – is to take place…

… - The person who prays begins to see; praying and seeing go together because – as Richard of St. Victor says – “Love is the faculty of seeing”. Real advances in Christology, therefore, can never come merely as the result of the theology of the schools, and that includes the modern theology as we find it in critical exegesis, in the history of doctrine and in an anthropology oriented toward the human sciences, etc. All this is important, as important as schools are. But it is insufficient. It must be complemented by the theology of the saints, which is theology from experience. All real progress in theological understanding has its origin in the eye of love and in its faculty of beholding. – pg 25-26.

2 - made in the image and likeness of God as we are. Fr. Cantalamessa quotes Augustine:

To this point has human perversity arrived, that he whom lust overcomes is
regarded as a man, whereas he whom has overcome lust cannot be a man. Those
who overcome evil cannot be men, whereas those whom evil overcomes are men

To which Fr. Cantalamessa adds:

"Human" has come to mean rather what we have in common with the beasts
than what distinguishes us from them, such as intelligence, will power,
conscience, holiness.

Stir and sit for meditation. Serve only on your knees.

1 comment:

Athos said...

Thank you, brother Aramis, for hallowing a merely national holiday.