Friday, June 06, 2008

Called to Communion is Ever So Linked with the Mystery of the Person

We are social creatures. Yet, we Judeo-Christians believe that we are called out of the culture, out of the crowd, out of the mob, called out of our complicity in sacred violence to become a new creation, a person... But what is a person? From the first book of the Bible we are told that we are made in the image and likeness of God. But what does that look like? In the New Testament the full implications of this is revealed in Jesus Christ and the sending of the Holy Spirit.

So we are made in the image and likeness of that God - the God of Three Persons, The Trinity. (From Gil Bailie - THE SUBJECT OF GAUDIUM ET SPES RECLAIMING A CHRISTOCENTRIC ANTHROPOLOGY OF THE HUMAN PERSON)
The mystery of the person as embedded in Trinitarian and Christological thought was regarded as revelatory only of the Persons of the Trinity and of the unique person of Christ.
And so each of the “Persons” of the Trinity plays a “role” in the gift of personhood to humanity.

And in the same way, we each play a role in the gift of personhood to our sisters and brothers.

From Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) - Called to Communion - Understanding the Church Today:

Forgiveness, together with its realization in me by way of penance and discipleship, is first of all the wholly personal center of all renewal. But because forgiveness touches the very core of the person, it gathers men together and is also the center of the renewal of the community (the Church). For when the dust and filth that disfigure God's image in me are removed (by the grace of forgiveness & reconciliation), I thereby become similar to the other who is likewise God's image; above all I become similar to Christ, who is the image of God without qualification, the model according to which we have all been created.
Gil Bailie asks the most pertinent question we can ask today:

Can the call to personhood be made today so as to be heard? The answer is yes, and in my view the way to make it and to make it intelligible is to show how anthropologically sound – and how spiritually and psychologically gratifying – is the uniquely Christian understanding of the person, the person as seen in the light of a Christocentric anthropology. In recovering the mystery of the person thus understood, the anthropological insights of René Girard are simply indispensable.

In the end, like it or not, this understanding of what it means to be a person will be upheld only within The Catholic Church of Rome.

I conclude with Pope Benedict XVI as he extols each and everyone of us to take up our role in the Church as we participate - not with lukewarmness, but in the Fullness of Truth, Goodness and Beauty of the Body of Christ.

The Church will be all the more the homeland for man's heart, the more we listen to God and the more what comes from Him is of central importance in her: his Word and the sacraments He has given us. The obedience of all toward Him is the guarantee of our freedom.
We are truly 'inter-dividual' rather than individual and so we are free in as much as we surrender our will and fully participate in the Church - the Body of Christ.

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