Thursday, May 11, 2006

Resurrection - 2006

“What does `Rising From the Dead’ Mean?”

In his Easter Vigil homily, Benedict XVI reported that “A German theologian once said ironically that the miracle of a corpse returning to life – if it really happened, which he did not actually believe – would be ultimately irrelevant precisely because it would not concern us.” Basically, it would be a miracle of an isolated event, of an isolated individual, and therefore would not in itself have any cosmic or universal human repercussion. And that seems quite correct. Why would Benedict go on to say that “Christ’s Resurrection is something more, something different” “the greatest `mutation,’ absolutely the most crucial leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us, and concerns the whole of history.”

Jesus Christ is Prototype of Man, not Exception

As we have seen below, then-Cardinal Ratzinger labored to clarify that scholastic philosophy had not permitted Christian faith to penetrate radically into the pre-Christian philosophy that had assumed and was using. In the struggle of the early Church to generate an adequate Christology, it had to go through four major councils: Nicea (325), Ephesus (431), Chalcedon (451) and Constantinople (480-481). It labored to distinguish nature and person, and in doing so transmogrified the Greek and Latin meaning of being from individual substance into constitutive relation. But this was/is not easily grasped. Ratzinger commented:

“The first misunderstanding is to take the statement, `Christ has only one person, namely, a divine person,’ as a subtraction from the wholeness of Jesus’ humanity. This misunderstanding has occurred de facto and is still occurring. All too easily one thinks as follows: Person is the authentic and true apex of human existence. It is missing in Jesus. Therefore, the entirety of human reality is not present in him. The assumption that some defect is present here was the point of departure of various distortions and aberrations, for example in the theology of the saints and of the Mother of God. In reality, this formula does not mean that anything is lacking in the humanity of the man Jesus. That nothing is lacking hi his humanity was fought through inch by inch in the history of dogma, for the attempt was made again and again to show wehre something is missing. Arianism and Appollinarianism first thought Christ had no human soul; monophysitism denied him his human nature. After these fundamental errors had been rejected, weaker forms of the same tendency made their appearance. The monothelites asserted that although Christ had everything, he had at least no human will, the heart of personal existence. After this view had been rejected too, monergism appeared. Although Christ had a human will, he did not have the actualization of this will; the actualization comes from God. These are all attempts at localizing the concept of person at some place in the psychic inventory. One after the other was rejected in order to make one point clear: this is not how the statement is meant; nothing is missing; no subtraction from humanity whatever is permitted or given. I believe that if one follows this struggle in which human reality had to be brought in, as it were, and affirmed for Jesus, one sees what tremendous effort and intellectual transformation lay behind the working out of this concept of person, which was quite foreign in its inner disposition to the Greek and Latin mind. It is not conceived in substantialist, but, as we shall soon see, in existential terms. In this light, Boethius’s concept of person, which prevailed in Western philosophy, must be criticized as entirely insufficient. Remaining on the level of the Greek mind, Boethius defined `person’ as naturae rationalis individua substantia, as the individual substance of a rational nature. One sees that the concept of person stands entirely on the level of substance. This cannot clarify anything about the Trinity or about Christology; it is an affirmation that remains on the level of the Greek mind which thinks in substantialist terms.”

Ratzinger then points out that, although scholastic philosophy moved from the level of essence and substance to the level of existence in people like Richard of St. Victor and St. Thomas Aquinas, they kept the insight to the level of the Trinity and Christology, but did not bring it to bear on the level of anthropology. Certainly, St. Thomas Aquinas gave ontological primacy to existence, or more exactly to “esse” as the “act of all acts and perfection of all perfections,”[2] but he did not make the relationality of the Esse Personale of the Logos (which he saw clearly[3]) hold through to the meaning of man. Rather, he treated Christ, says Ratzinger, “as the simply unique ontological exception which must be treated as such. This exception is an object of highly interesting ontological speculation, but it must remain separate in its box as an exception to the rule and must not be permitted to mix with the rest of human thought”[4] (underline mine).

Vatican II Makes Explicit the Connection Between Christology and Anthropology

Christ is not the exception, but the meaning of man

Vatican II: In Gaudium et Spes #22, it reads, “In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear. For Adam, the first man, was a type of him who was to come, Christ the Lord, Christ the new Adam, in the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love, fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling.” Gaudium et Spes #22 then goes on to present Christ as St. Paul: “He who is the `image of the invisible God’ (Col. 1, 15), is himself the perfect man who has restored in the children of Adam that likeness to God which had been disfigured ever since the first sin.” The footnote refers to Romans 5, 14 that reads: “yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin after the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come” and then quotes Tertullian in the same footnote: “For in all the form which was moulded in the clay, Christ was in the thoughts as the man who to be.”

All of this means that Jesus Christ is not merely a religious figure, but the anthropological prototype. When God thought man, He did not think Adam; He thought Christ. Jesus Christ, as God-man, is not the exception, but the meaning of man - every man. And that is the reason why the resurrection of Christ from the dead has implications for the resurrection from the dead for every man. Perhaps, even a stronger reference to the meaning of the human person is Ephesians 1, 4-5: “Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish in his sight in love. He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ as his sons according to the purpose of his will…”

There is only one act of existence – “Esse” – in Jesus Christ:

St. Thomas poses the question as to whether there are one or two acts of existence in Christ. In accord with his metaphysics of “esse,” he states: “It seems that in Christ there is not only one at of existence but two. For Damascene states that whatever follows upon nature is in Christ two-fold. But the act of existence follows upon nature since it is a consequence of form. Therefore in Christ there are tow acts of existence.” His “sed contra” states that “a thing is one to the extent that it is a being; for `that which is one’ and `that which is a being’ are convertible terms. If, then, there were two acts of existence in Christ and not only one, he would be two and not one.” Thomas then “replies:” “Since in Christ there are two natures and one subsisting subject, it necessarily follows that what pertains to nature is in Christ two-fold, while what pertains to the subsisting subject is one only. Now the act of existence pertains both to nature and to the subsisting subject. It pertains to the subject as to that which possesses existence. It pertains to the nature as to that by which something has existence; thus the nature is considered as a form which belongs to the order of existence inasmuch as by it something exists.”[5] Finally, in his response to the second objection, he says: “The esse aeternum of the Son of God which is identified with the divine nature becomes the existence of the man inasmuch as the human nature is assumed by the Son of God into the unity of his person.”

This is the major point that Benedict makes. The “Esse” of Christ is the very relational Person of the Son. The Son is son as subsistent only insofar as He is relation from and to the Father. As the Father is the engendering of the Son, the Son is the glorification and obedience to the Father.

The man, Jesus of Nazareth, does not exist in a static fashion because of the personal Esse of the Son. The Esse of the Son is the relation of obedience. Since the human will of the man Jesus is the human will of the divine Person, there is a crescendo to a radical maximum in the obedience to death on the Cross. There is a historical development of the assimilation of the human will by the divine Person until finally in living out radically who He is as obedient Son, the humanity of Christ is given totally and radically. Hence, after the crucifixion, death and resurrection, those who recognized Jesus before did not recognize Him in His post-resurrection appearances.

The Resurrected Christ Is “Mutation” into a New Order of Being: the Original Pre-Destination of Man

Benedict said in his Easter Vigil Homily: “Christ’s Resurrection is something more, something different. If we may borrow the language of the theory of evolution, it is the greatest `mutation,’ absolutely the most crucial leap into a totally new dimension that there has ever been in the long history of life and its development: a leap into a completely new order which does concern us, and concerns the whole of history.” He asks: “What happened there? What does it mean for us, for the whole world and for me personally? Above all: what happened? Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He is in a totally new life[6] (bold mine).

Christ: Not a Resurrected “Corpse:”

A resurrected “corpse” would be a return to βίος or ψυχη, but not a progression into ζώην αιώνιον (eternal life). Eternal life is intrinsically relational as Trinitarian Life, and the conversion of the physical death of Christ into prayer – a “Yes” – to the will of the Father radically divinizes the body of Christ and makes it unrecognizable by those who have not entered into a similar radicality of self-gift.

“First of all it is quite clear that after his resurrection Christ did not go back to his previous earthly life, as we are told the young man of Naim and Lazarus did. He rose again to definitive life, which is no longer governed by the chemical and biological laws and therefore stands outside the possibility of death, in the certainty conferred by love. That is why the encounters with him are `appearances;’ that is why he with whom people had sat at table two days earlier is not recognized by his best friends and, even e\when recognized, remains alien: only where he grants vision is he seen; only when he opens men’s eyes and makes their hearts open up can the countenance of the eternal love that conquers death become recognizable in our mortal world, and in the new, different world, the world of him who is to come. That is also why it is so difficult, indeed absolutely impossible, for the gospels to describe the encounter with the risen Christ; that is why they can only stammer when they speak of these meetings and seem to provide contradictory descriptions of them. In reality they are surprisingly unanimous in the dialectic of their statements, in the simultaneity of touching and not-touching, or recognizing and not-recognizing, of complete identity between the crucified and the risen Christ and complete transformation. People recognize the Lord and yet do not recognize him again; people touch him, and yet he is untouchable; he is the same and yet quite different. As we have said, the dialectic is always the same; it is only the stylistic means by which it is expressed that changes.”

The Christological Anthropology of Resurrection

Continuing the line of thought in Benedict’s Easter Vigil Homily, he asks: “What happened there? What does it mean for us, for the whole world and for me personally? Above all: what happened? Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He is in a totally new life. But how could this happen? What forces were in operation?” He answers: “The crucial point is that this man Jesus was not alone, he was not an “I” closed in upon itself. He was one single reality with the living God, so closely united with him as to form one person with him. He found himself, so to speak, in an embrace with him who is life itself, an embrace not just on the emotional level, but one which included and permeated his being. His own life was not just his own, it was an existential communion with God, a `being taken up’ into God, and hence, it could not in reality be taken away from him. Out of love, he could allow himself to be killed, but precisely by dong so he broke the definitiveness of death, because in him the definitiveness of life was present. He was one single reality with indestructible life, in such a way that it burst forth anew through death. Let us express the same thing once again from another angle. His death was an act of love. At the Last Supper he anticipated death and transformed into self-giving. His existential communion with God was concretely an existential communion with God’s love, and this love is the real power against death, it is stronger than death. The Resurrection was like an explosion of light, an explosion of love which dissolved the hitherto indissoluble compenetration of `dying and becoming.’ It ushered in a new dimension of being, a new dimension of life in which, in a transformed way, matter too was integrated and through which a new world emerges.”

The Christology is the following: The divine nature and the human nature are not sitting in parallel next to each other tied together by the Person of the Logos. We have seen in other postings below that the act of existence and dynamics of the man, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Esse of the divine Logos.[8] That means, not that the humanity of Christ existed in fact and functioned as a “pure nature” endowed with human intellect and will as the knowing and consenting source of the crucifixion. Rather, it means that the humanity of Jesus Christ is the humanity of the Person of the Logos and that He willed obedience to the Father’s will. He said “Yes” to the will of the Father, and the human will and divine will were one “Yes” of the “I” of the Son of God. To give this some clarity, elsewhere Benedict said:

“In the manuals, the theological development after Chalcedon (451) has ordinarily come to be little considered. The impression thus frequently remains that dogmatic Christology finishes up with a certain parallelism between the two natures of Christ. The impression has also been the cause leading to the divisions since Chalcedon. But in effect the declaration of the true humanity and the true divinity of Christ can retain its significance only when there is clarification also of the mode of unity of the two natures, which the Council of Chalcedon has defined by the formula of the `one person’ of Christ, at that time not yet fully examined. In fact only that unity of divinity and humanity which in Christ is not parallelism, where one stands alongside the other, but real compenetration – compenetration between God and man – means salvation for humankind. Only thus in fact does that true `being with God’ take place, without which liberation and freedom do not exist.”[9]

The key here is that the human will of the man Jesus of Nazareth (no human person is present) is totally absorbed, not by a “divine nature,” but in the divine Person of the Logos. The result is that the human will of Jesus is the will of the divine Person Who says “Yes” to the Father with it, and with it ladened with all the sins of all men of all time (2 Cor. 5, 21: “He made him to be sin”). The assumption of the human will by the Person of the Logos is not an absorption by a parallel divine nature which would overpower and annul its humanness. Rather, this concrete human nature becomes that of the divine Person who lives out His divine Personhood precisely as human. The relation, or self-gift, of the Person-divinity brings the initial imaging of God that man is to fulfillment. Gaudium et spes #22 says: “He” – the divine Person - “worked with human hands, he thought with a human mind. He acted with a human will, and with a human heart, he loved.” Instead of annulling human freedom, the assumption and exercise of the humanity by the divine Person increases that freedom and brings it to its fulfillment. Notice that John Paul II teaches that “The Crucified Christ reveals the authentic meaning of freedom; he lives it fully I the total gift of himself and call his disciples to share in his freedom”[10] The obedience of Christ to death precisely with the human will of the man Jesus of Nazareth does not remove its autonomy and freedom. It enhances it. It is precisely the divine Person of the Logos saying and living out the “Yes” of obedience with the human will that is our Redemption. It is not a parallelism of natures bound together by the glue of the “glue” of the divine Person, but the compenetration of nature and Person that is Incarnation and Redemption

Benedict continues:

“If God joins himself to his creature – man/woman – he does not wound or diminish it: he brings it to its plenitude. But on the other hand (and this is no less important) there remains no trace of that dualism or parallelism of the two natures which in the course of history was frequently judged necessary to defend the human liberty of Jesus. Such studies forgot that the assumption of the human will into the divine will does not destroy freedom, but on the contrary generates true liberty. The Council of Constantinople has analysed concretely the problem of the will of joss. We are reminded firmly that there exists a specific will of the man Jesus that is not absorbed into the divine will. But this human will follows the divine will and thus becomes a single will with it, not, however, in a forced way but by way of freedom. The metaphysical duplicity of a human will and a divine will is not eliminated, but in the personal sphere, the area of freedom, there is accomplished a fusion of the two, so that this becomes not one single natural will but one personal will. This free union – a mode of union created by love – is a union higher and more intimate than a purely natural union. It corresponds to the highest union which can exist, the union of the Trinity. The Council explains this union by a saying of the Lord given in the Gospel of John: `I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me’ Jn. 6, 38). Here the divine Logos is speaking, and speaking of the human will of Jesus in the mode by which he calls his will the will of the Logos. With this exegesis of John 6, 38, the council proves the unity of the subject: in Jesus there are not two `I,’ but only one. The Logos speaks of the will and human thought but only one. The Logos speaks of the will and human thought of Jesus using the `I;’ this has become his `I,’ has been assumed into his `I,’ because the human will has become fully one with the will of the Logos, and with it has become our assent to the will of the Father…

“(T)he Logos stoops to assume as his own the will of man, and speaks to the Father with the `I’ of this man, and thereby transforms the word of a man into the eternal word, into his own blessed `Yes, Father.’ While giving to this man his own `I,’ his own identity, the logos frees the man, saves him, divinizes him. We here touch almost palpably on the reality meant by the phrase `God became man:’ the Son transforms the anguish of a man into the obedience of the Son, transforms the speech of the `servant’ into the words transformation of any person, which is at the same time the one thing ultimately desirable: divinization. Thus the prayer which enters into the prayer of Jesus, and which in the body of Christ becomes the prayer of Jesus Christ, can be defined as the `laboratory’ of freedom. Here and in no other place occurs that profound change in a person which we need for the world to become better.”

Ultimately, we are looking here at the anthropology of divinization and therefore resurrection.

Semantically, the hagiographers of the New Testament used different words for “life” and “living” to communicate this anthropology of divinization. For example, when Jesus Christ refers to Trinitarian Life or eternal life, St. John as well as the synoptic writers use the Greek word ζωη.[12] βίος refers to biological life.[13] Ψυχη refers to biological and psychic life.[14]

Benedict asserts the significance of the Greek words, particularly two of them: ζωη and βίος with regard to the Resurrection: “It goes without saying that the life of him who has risen from the dead is not once again βίος, the bio-logical form of our mortal life inside history; it is ζωη, new, different, definitive life; life which has stepped beyond the mortal realm of βίος and history, a realm which has here been surpassed by a greater power. And in fact the resurrection narratives of the New Testament allow us to see clearly that the life of him who has risen again does not lie within the historical βίος, but beyond and above it. It is also true, of course, that this new life begot itself in and had to do so, because after all it is there for history, and the Christian message is basically nothing else than the transmission of the testimony that love has here broken through death and thus transformed fundamentally the situation of al of us. Once we have realized this, it is no longer difficult to find the right kind of hermeneutics for the difficult business of expounding the biblical resurrection narratives, that is, to acquire a clear understanding of the sense in which they must properly be understood.”[15]

In another rendering of the same argument, Benedict says: “Jesus is not one who has `returned’ from the dead like for example the young man of Naim and Lazarus, called back again to an earthly life, which then had to end in a final death. The Resurrection of Jesus is not, for example, an overcoming of clinical death, which we also know about today, which must however at a certain moment end in a clinical death without return. That matters do not stand like this is not only shown by the Evangelists, but also by the same Credo of Paul’s (1 Cor. 15, 3-11) in so far as it describes the successive appearances of the risen Jesus with the Greek word ophthe, customarily translated as `he appeared;’ perhaps we should say more correctly: `made himself seen.’ This formula would make clear that what is treated of here is something different: that Jesus, after the Resurrection, belongs to a sphere of reality which is normally withdrawn from our senses. Only so can it be explained that Jesus was not recognized, as all the Evangelists agree in telling us. He no longer belongs to the world perceptible to the senses, but to the world of God. He can therefore be seen only by one to whom he grants it. And involved also in such a way of seeing are likewise the heart, the spirit, the whole inward person. Even in everyday life, seeing is not that simple process we generally take it to be. Two people looking at the world at the same time rarely see the same thing. Moreover seeing is always from within. According to circumstances, one person can perceive the beauty of things or only their usefulness; one can read in another’s countenance preoccupation, love, hidden s suffering, dissimulation, or notice nothing. All of this appears manifest to the sense also but comes however to be perceived only by a process of the mind and senses together, which is all the more demanding, the more profoundly the sensible manifestation of a thing arises from the depths of reality. Something analogous is true of the risen Lord: he manifested himself to the senses, and yet can stimulate only those senses that sees better than through the senses.

“Taking the whole passage into account, we should then admit that Jesus did not live like are-animated corpse but in virtue of divine power, beyond the region of what is physically and chemically measurable. But it is also true that he himself, this person, the Jesus sentenced two days earlier, was alive…. Resurrection and appearance are two distinct facts, clearly separated in the confession. The Resurrection does not come to an end with the appearances. The appearances are not the Resurrection, but only its reflection. Before all this it is an event for Jesus himself, occurring between him and the Father in virtue of the power of the Holy Spirit; then the event happening to Jesus himself becomes accessible to other people because it is he who makes it accessible. And with this we are back again at the question of the tomb, for which the answer is now found. The tomb is not the central point of the message of the Resurrection; it is instead the Lord in his new life.”[16]

The “Appearances:” Re-Cognition of Christ as “ζωη”

· We have seen below: in theological epistemology, like is known by like.
· The Person of Christ is relation to the Father
· This Relation is lived out through the human will of the man Jesus of Nazareth when the Logos says “Yes” with His human will to the Father.
· Only by becoming relational as the Logos is relational can the Logos be known as “I.”
· Mary Magdalene, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and the seven apostles at Lake Genesareth did not recognize the risen Christ…
· Until each of them made the gift of self: Mary offered to re-bury the body; the two disciples asked Him to stay with them that night at the inn of Emmaus, and the seven (even John) did not recognize Him until they obeyed Him to throw the nets to the right.
· Conclusion: there must be an interior act of self-giving in order to be “like” Christ, and therefore to “know” Him. To know Him is to already be in eternal life (Jn. 17, 3) because of having entered the configuration of ζώη.

The Significance of the 40 Day Delay Before the Ascension:

Why did the Lord hang around for 40 days after the Resurrection? The short answer: To confirm the supernatural dimension of the ordinary life of Jesus of Nazareth. The eternal Christ remains Jesus of Nazareth in the flesh and in the ordinariness of life.

The Gnostic mind boggles at the Incarnation in the first place. The natural rationalism of the human mind affirms God to be pure Spirit. Plato posited the One who transcends all matter and cannot be contaminated with it. The first unmoved Mover of Aristotle is the pure immateriality of Thought thinking itself in immanent activity As Guardini says: “Who is God? The supreme Spirit, and so pure, that the angels by contrast are `flesh’! He is the Endless, Omnipotent, Eternal, All-inclusive One in the simplicity of his pure reality. The Unchanging One, living in himself, sufficient unto himself. What possible use could he have for a human body in heaven? The Incarnation is already incomprehensible enough; if we accept it as an act of unfathomable love, this life and death, isn’t that sufficient? Why must we also believe that this piece of creation is assimilated into the eternity of God’s existence? What for? A bit of earthliness los and caught up into the tremendousness of eternity? Why doesn’t the Logos shake the dust from him and return to the pure clarity of his free divinity? But what manner of God is this, with whom Resurrection, Ascension and throning on his right hand are possible? Precisely the kind of God who makes such things possible! He is the God of the Resurrection, and we must learn that it is not the Resurrection that is irreconcilable to the him, but part of our thinking that is irreconcilable to the Resurrection, for it is false.

“If we take Christ’s figure as our point of departure, trying to understand from there, we find ourselves faced with the choice between a completely new conception of God and our relation to him, and utter rejection of everything that surpasses the limitations of a `great man’… We must also completely reform our idea of humanity, if it is to fit the mould Christ has indicated. We can no longer say: man is as the world supposes him to be; therefore it is impossible that he throne at God’s right, but: since Revelation as revealed that the Son of Man does throne at God’s right, man must be other than the world supposes him.”[17]

“The significance of the 40 day wait in secular ordinariness after the Resurrection confirms the supernatural character of radical self-giftedness in the humdrum of each day. If, muses Guardini, “the Resurrection and the period afterwards had been only offshoots of morbid religious experience, legend or myth – what would those days have looked like? Doubtless, they would have been filled with demonstrations of the liberated one’s power; the hunted one, now omnipotent, would have shattered his enemies; he would have blazed from temple altars, would have covered his followers with honors, and in these and other ways, have fulfilled the longings of the oppressed. He would also have initiated the disciples into the wonderful mysteries of heaven, would have revealed the future, the beginning and end of all things. But nothing of al this occurs. No mysteries are revealed; no one is initiated into the secrets of the unknown. Not one miracle, save that of Christ’s own transfigured existence and the wonderful fish-catch which is only a repetition of an earlier event.”[18]

It is obvious that if the Resurrected body of Christ lives on in ordinariness before ascending to throne at the right hand of the Father, and we have been sacramentally introduced into living the life of that body, then we are capable of living a supernatural life in our own ordinariness and daily work/family life.

St. Josemaria Escriva said: “Surely this confirms in your minds, in a tangible and unforgettable way, the fact that everyday life is the true setting for your lives as Christians. Your ordinary contact with God takes place where your fellow men, your yearnings, your work and your affections are. There you have your daily encounter with Christ. It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God all mankind….You must understand now more clearly that God is calling you to serve him in and from the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for us everyday, in the laboratory, in the operating theater, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holyl, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.”[19]

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Concerning the Notion of Person in Theology,” Communio 17 (Fall, 1990) 447-448
[2] “Esse est actualitas omnium actuum, et propter hoc est perfectio omnium perfectionum;” Qu. Disp. De Anima, q. 7, art. 2, ad 9m.
[3] Summa Theologiae, I, 40, 2, ad 1: “Dicendum quod personae sunt ipsae relationes subsistentes;” Ad 4m: “Dicendum quod relatio praesupponit distinctionem suppositorum, quando est accidens; sed si relatio sit subsistens, non praesupponit, sed secum fert distinctionem.”
[4] Ibid. 449
[5] Summa Theologiae, III, 17, 2.
[6] Benedict XVI, Easter Vigil Homily, Holy Saturday, 15 April 2006 [his birthday].
[7] J. Ratzinger, op. cit. 235.
[8] See above. Summa Theologiae, III, 17, a.2, ad 2.
[9] J. Ratzinger, “Journey Towards Easter” Crossroad (1987) 88.
[10] Veritatis Splendor #85.
[11] Ibid 88-91.
[12] “The way is hard that leads to life,” Matt. 7, 14; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life,” Jn. 14, 6; “I give them eternal life,” Jn. 10, 28; “I came that they may have life,” Jn. 10, 10).
[13] “The cares and riches and pleasures of life,” Lk. 8, 14,
[14] (Psychic: “If he gains the whole world and forfeits his life, Mt. 16, 26; “Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it,” Lk. 17, 33. Physical: “Those who sought the child’s life are dead,” Matt. 2, 20; “I tell you, do not be anxious about your life” Matt. 6, 25.
[15] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius (1990) 234.
[16] J. Ratzinger, “Journey Towards Easter,” op. cit. 114-115.
[17] R. Guardini, “The Lord,” Regnery (1954) 412-413.
[18] Ibid 420-421.
[19] Conversations with St. Josemaria Escriva Sinag-Tala Publishers Manila (1968) 192.


Anonymous said...

Dear Father Connor:

Amidst the growing controvery with the release of book and film, the Da Vinci Code, it is conceivable and highly likely that the "greatest good" will emergence from the author's perhaps unwittingly, hopefully unwittingly, espousing and propagating blasphemy against our Lord Jesus Christ.

The most astounding fact recently related in mainstream media, is the fact that Dan Brown NEVER throughout text and maybe in movie, mentions Mary, our Immaculate Mother. Throughout the breadth and width of Brown's imagination, it is my belief Our Lord protected the sanctity of His Mother and ours. Divine protection strongly evidenced in his work.

Our family's position was absolutely to boycott the fictional tale and the movie as well in order not to monetarily sanction blasphemy.

I enjoy your lucid and educational website on matter of the faith of our church and I thank Almighty God for evidently protecting Our Perfect Mother, Queen of Heaven.

Please relay that to Opus Dei, traditional workmen of God, to console them in the horrendous attack on their faith and community.

The scripture conveys to us cheerfully -- be glad when you are persecuted because of Me. And so we can.

Let us pray that the political heads of state realize that the current expeditures on the war machine could have indeed eradicated world poverty, instituted equity on the economic front which all have determined is the primary source of the terrorism shredding civilization as we know it.

At this time Father Connor, may I ask for a prayer for my beloved daughter's health and happiness always. Thank you and God Bless every effort you enjoin for Christ our Lord.

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