Friday, January 05, 2007
This morning I was reading from Mark McIntosh's book, "Christology From Within” on the work of Hans Urs von Balthasar, when I came across a footnote that had the below quote from John Henry Cardinal Newman.
We speak of Him in a vague way as God, which is true, but not the whole truth; and, in consequence when we proceed to consider His humiliation, we are unable to carry on the notion of His personality from heaven to earth. He who was but now spoken of as God, without mention of the Father from whom He is, is next described as if a creature; but how do these distinct notions of Him hold together in our minds? We are able indeed to continue the idea of a Son into that of a servant, though the descent was infinite, and, to our reason, incomprehensible; but when we merely speak first of God, then of man, we seem to change the Nature without preserving the Person. In truth, His Divine Sonship is that portion of the sacred doctrine on which the mind is providentially intended to rest throughout, and so to preserve for itself His identity unbroken.
In the 3 Massketeers’ study on conversion, I have been of late sidetracked to works that explore Trinitarian thought and personhood. I found Newman’s sermon another good reference to our puny efforts at trying to come to some kind of understanding of authentic personhood.