Creed: “And He Was Made Man”
Infancy and Hidden Life:
The Redemptive Dimension of the Facts of the Life of Christ.
The program asks for the redemptive dimension of the deeds of the life of Christ. The mystery of the infancy of Jesus; or how can the most ordinary acts of the life of a child have redemptive value? Which is the same as asking about the work of Jesus and its redemptive value.
1) The Metaphysical Account:
The key is to give an account of the word “Redemption” in metaphysical anthropology. This is faith seeking reason. The nub of it is Ratzinger’s account in “Behold the Pierced One.”
“Thus the Logos adopts the being of the man Jesus into his own being and speaks of it in terms of his own I: ‘For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me’ (Jn. 6, 38). In the Son’s obedience, where both wills become one in a single Yes to the will of the Father, communion takes place between human and divine being. The ‘wondrous exchange,’ the ‘alchemy of being,’ is realized here as a liberating and reconciling communication, which becomes a communion between Creator and creature. It is in the pain of this exchange, and only here, that that fundamental change takes place in men, the change which alone can redeem him and transform the conditions of the world. Here community is born, here the Church comes into being. The act whereby we participate in the Son’s obedience, which involves man’s genuine transformation, is also the only really effective contribution toward renewing and transforming society an the world as a whole. Only where this act takes place is there a change for good – in the direction of the kingdom of God.”
The answer is found in the exegesis of Jn. 6, 38: the divine “I” of the Logos obeys the Will of the Father insofar as Son He is total relation to the Father, and hence His entire “To-Be” as Person, is “For” the Father. Hence, His “willing” as God “is” obedience as relation. Now that same divine Person assumes a human will as His own, and He wills with it. Made in the image of the Son as relation to the Father, the freedom of the human will consists also in “being-for” the Father.
The Magisterial Background:
There is only one who can save and redeem us, and that is He Who is both God and man. The Church used Greek philosophy to render this experiential (“performative”) event into conceptual reason in four major Christological Councils: Nicea, Ephesus, Chalcedon and Constantinople III.
Nicea (325): The divine Persons are distinct as Persons, yet equal as God.
The principal struggle was with the subordinationism of Arius who claimed Christ to be less in being than the Father, and therefore, not God. The basic affirmation is that Jesus Christ is one in being - homoousios –– with the Father, and therefore equal to Him as God.
Ephesus (431): Jesus Christ was fully God and fully Man with a human soul and the faculties of intellect and will. Logos-sarx monophysism opposed this holding that there was no human soul, nor human intellect and human will. If Christ had a human will, how could that will be free?
The principal struggle here during the fourth century came from the lack of emphasis on the completeness and autonomy of the humanity of Christ. The fourth century was dominated by the revolutionary truth that Jesus is homoousios with the Father. Thus a Logos-Sarx (God wrapped in flesh) Christology flourished whereby the Word had become flesh. But the question still remained, had he become fully man also with a human soul and its faculties of intellect and will such that in Christ there would be two intellects and two wills? How would that work?
Nestorius (with the discipleship of Theodore of Mopsuestia) championed the affirmation of the full humanity of Christ. However, the Greek mind and its conceptual metaphysics of substance had to be exploded into the distinction between nature and person precisely here. The heresy that Nestorius proclaimed insisting on the full humanity of Christ (which is the totally correct positions) consisted in proclaiming that if there were two full natures, then there must be two persons. And the inexorable logic of that demanded that the son of Mary would not be the son of God. Mary would not, then, be the Mother of God (Theotokos). Besides, “(t)he two persons are connected with each other by a mere accidental or moral unity. The man Christ is not God, but a bearer of God. The Incarnation does not mean that God the Son became man, but merely that the Divine Logos resided in the man in the same manner as God swells in the just. The human activities (birth, suffering, death) may be asserted of the Man-Christ only; the Divine activities (creation, omnipotence, eternity) of the God-Logos only. Consequently Mary cannot in the proper sense be designated by the title, customary since the time of Origen, of `Mother of God’ (θεοτόκος). She is merely a bearer of man (άνθροποτόκος) or Mother of Christ (χριστοτόκος) The conviction that in Christ there are two persons appears also in the doctrine of authentication peculiar to the Antiochians, according to which the Man-Christ was obliged to merit divine dignity and adoration by his obedience in suffering. Nestorian tendencies appear in the Christology of early scholasticism also, above all in the `habitus’’ theory, which goes back to Peter Abelard, and which was favoured by Petrus Lombardus which compares the assumption of human nature by the Divine Logos to the putting on of a garment. St. Thomas condemns this as heresy, since it imiplies a mere accidental unification (S. Th. III, 2, 6).”
St. Cyril of Alexandria launched Twelve Anathematisms that were confirmed by the Council of Ephesus and summarized by Ott:
(a) “Christ Incarnate is a single, that is, a sole Person. He is God and man at the same time. (b) The God-Logos is connected with the flesh by an inner, physical or substantial unification. Christ is not the bearer of God, but is God really. (c) The human and the divine activities predicated of Christ in Holy Writ and in the Fathers may not be divided between two persons or hypostases, the Man-Christ and the God-Logos, but must be attributed to the one Christ, the Logos become Flesh. It is the Divine Logos, who suffered in the flesh, was crucified, died, and rose again. (d) The Holy Virgin is the Mother of God since she truly bore the God-Logos become Flesh.”
St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote to Nestorius the following epistle approved by the Council of Ephesus: “For in the first place no common man was born of the holy Virgin; then the Word thus descended upon him; but being untied from the womb itself he is said to have endured a generation in the flesh in order to appropriate the producing of His own body. Thus [the holy Fathers] did not hesitate to speak of the holy Virgin as the Mother of God.”
The text of Chalcedon (451):
“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all teach that with one accord we confess one and the same son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in human nature, truly God and the same with a rational soul and a body truly man, consubstantial with the Father according to divinity, and consubstantial with us, according to human nature, like unto us in all things except sin,; indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divine nature, but in the last days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to human nature; for us and for our deliverance, one and the same Christ only begotten Son our Lord, acknowledged in two natures, without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures nowhere removed on account of the union but rather the peculiarity of each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Himself taught us, and the creed of our fathers has handed down to us.”
“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all teach that with one accord we confess one and the same son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in human nature, truly God and the same with a rational soul and a body truly man, consubstantial with the Father according to divinity, and consubstantial with us, according to human nature, like unto us in all things except sin,; indeed born of the Father before the ages according to divine nature, but in the last days the same born of the virgin Mary, Mother of God according to human nature; for us and for our deliverance, one and the same Christ only begotten Son our Lord, acknowledged in two natures, without mingling, without change, indivisibly, undividedly, the distinction of the natures nowhere removed on account of the union but rather the peculiarity of each nature being kept, and uniting in one person and substance, not divided or separated into two persons, but one and the same son only begotten God Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as from the beginning the prophets taught about Him and the Lord Jesus Himself taught us, and the creed of our fathers has handed down to us.
“Therefore, since these have been arranged by us with all possible care and diligence, the holy and ecumenical synod has declared that no one is allowed to profess or in any case to write up or to compose or to devise or to teach others a different faith.”
Constantinople III (680-681): “Compenetration” of divine and human wills not “parallel”
The Text of Constantinople III (680-681):
“And we proclaim equally two natural volitions or wills in him and two natural principles of action which undergo no division, no change, no partition, no confusion, in accordance with the teaching of the holy fathers. And the two natural wills not in opposition, as the impious heretics said, far from it, but his human will following, and not resisting or struggling, rather in fact subject to his divine and all powerful will. For the will of the flesh had to be moved, and yet to be subjected to the divine will, according to the most wise Athanasius. For just as his flesh is said to be and is flesh of the Word of God, so too the natural will of his flesh is said to and does belong to the Word of God, just as he says himself: I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me, calling his own will that of his flesh, since his flesh too became his own. For in the same way that his all holy and blameless animate flesh was not destroyed in being made divine but remained in its own limit and category, so his human will as well was not destroyed by being made divine, but rather was preserved, according to the theologian Gregory, who says: "For his willing, when he is considered as saviour, is not in opposition to God, being made divine in its entirety"… Therefore, protecting on all sides the "no confusion" and "no division", we announce the whole in these brief words: Believing our lord Jesus Christ, even after his incarnation, to be one of the holy Trinity and our true God, we say that he has two natures [naturas] shining forth in his one subsistence[subsistentia] in which he demonstrated the miracles and the sufferings throughout his entire providential dwelling here, not in appearance but in truth, the difference of the natures being made known in the same one subsistence in that each nature wills and performs the things that are proper to it in a communion with the other; then in accord with this reasoning we hold that two natural wills and principles of action meet in correspondence for the salvation of the human race.
Preface of Benedict XVI (Josef Ratzinger):
“As we have seen in our reflections so far, Jesus Christ opens the way to the impossible, to communion between God and man, since he, the incarnate Word, is this communion. He performs the `alchemy’ which melts down human nature and infuses it into the being of God To receive the Lord in the Eucharist, therefore, means entering into a community of being with Christ, it means entering through that opening in human nature through which God is accessible – which is the precondition for human beings opening up to one another in a really deep way. Communion with God is the path ot interpersonal communion among men. If we are to grasp the spiritual content of the Eucharist, therefore, we must understand the spiritual tension which marks the God-man: only in the context of a spiritual Christology will the spirituality of the sacrament reveal itself to us.
Western theology, with its predominantly metaphysical and historical concerns, has rather neglected this aspect, which is in fact the link between the various disciplines of theology and between theological reflection and the concrete, spiritual working out of Christianity. The third Council of Constantinople (the thirteen hundredth anniversary of which, in 1981, was – significantly enough – almost forgotten, compared with the celebrations commemorating the First Council of Constantinople and that of Ephesus) sets forth the essential elements which, in my view, are also fundamental to a proper interpretation of the Council of Chalcedon. Obviously, we do not have space to make a thorough exposition of the problems, but let us at least try briefly to outline the issues which concern us here. Chalcedon had described the ontological content of the Incarnation with its celebrated formula of Two Natures in One Person. This ontology signaled the beginning of a great dispute, and the Third Council of Constantinople found itself confronted with the question: What is the spiritual substance of this ontology? Or, more concretely: What does it mean, in practical and existential terms, to speak of `One Persons in Two natures’? How can a person live with two wills and a twofold intellect? These were by no means questions posed out of theoretical curiosity: the questions affect us too, for the issue is this: How can we live as baptized people, to whom Paul’s words must apply: `I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me’ (Gal 2, 20)?
“As is well known, then – in the seventh century – as today, two solutions which were equally unacceptable presented themselves. Some said that in Christ there was in fact no actual human will. The third Council of Constantinople rejects this picture of Christ as that of a `Christ lacking on both will and power.’ The other solution took the opposite view and assumed that there were two completely separate spheres of will in Christ. But this led to a kind of schizophrenia, a monstrous suggestion which was also unacceptable. The Council’s answer is this: the ontological union of two faculties of will which remain independent within the unity of the Person means that, at the existential level, there is a communion (κοιωνία)of the two wills. With this interpretation of union as communion, the Council sketches an ontology of freedom. The two `wills’ are united in the way in which two wills can be united, namely, in a common affirmation of a shared value. In to her words, common affirmation of a shared value. In other words, what unites the two wills is the Yes of Christ’s human will to the divine will of the Logos. Thus, in concrete terms - `existentially’ – the two wills become a single will while remaining, at the ontological level, two independent realities. The Council adds that, just as the Lord’s flesh may be called the flesh of the Logos, his human will may also be termed the Logos’ own will. In practice the Council is here applying the Trinitarian model (with the mandatory ever-greater difference in the analogy) to Christology: the highest unity there is – the unity of God – is not the unity of unstructured, amorphous substance but unity by communion, a unity which both creates and is love. Thus the Logos adopts the being of the man Jesus into his own being and speaks of it in terms of his own I: `For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me’ (Jn. 6, 38). In the Son’s obedience, where both wills become one in a single Yes to the will of the Father, communion takes place between human and divine being. The `wondrous exchange,’ the `alchemy of being,’ is realized here as a liberating and reconciling communication, which becomes a communion between Creator and creature. It is in the pain of this exchange, and only here, that that fundamental change takes place in man, the change which alone can redeem him and transform the conditions of the world. Here community is born, here the Church comes into being. The act whereby we participate in the son’s obedience, which involves man’s genuine transformation, is also the only really effective contribution toward renewing and transforming society and the world as a whole. Only where this act takes place is there a change for good – in the direction of the kingdom of God.”
In a later moment (1985), Cardinal Ratzinger directed a retreat for John Paul II. There, he made the same point, but with nuances. He said:
“In the manuals, the theological development after Chalcedon 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. This 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, whereon 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 free do not exist.”
“The same query returned at the third Council of Constantinople (680-681) after two centuries of dramatic struggle, marked most often also by Byzantine politics. According to this Council, on the one hand: the unity between the divinity and the humanity in Christ does not in any sense imply an amputation or reduction of the humanity. 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 judge 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 two natures and one person in Christ in view of the problem of the will of Jesus. 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 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 pure assent to the will of the Father.
“Maximus the Confessor, the great theologian-exegete of this second phase of the development of Christological dogma, has illustrated those references to the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, which we have already seen in the previous meditation, as the most clear expressions of the singular relationship of Jesus with God. In effect, in such prayer we can, so to speak, look into the inner life of the Word become man. We can see it in that phrase which remains the measure and model of all effective prayer: ‘;Not what I will, but what thou wilt’ (Mk. 14, 36). The human will of Jesus enters into the will of the Son. By doing so, it receives the identity of the Son, which consists in entire subordination of the I to the Thou, in the giving and transferring of the I to the Thou: this is the mode of being of the one who is pure relation and pure act. When the ‘I’ gives itself to the ‘Thou,’ freedom originates, because the ‘form of God’ has been assumed….
My Comment: It is most important to observe that the two “wills” are “wills” of the One Person Who wills as both God and man. The human faculty of a human person does not will. The person wills. So also, if that human will is the will of a divine Person, it is the divine Person willing with a human faculty, not the human faculty. And yet, at the same time, that human will is not abolished by the fact that it has been assumed by a divine Person. On the contrary, the human will as the entire human nature of the historical man Jesus (whose only Person is the Logos) now achieves the autonomy and freedom of the divine Person. The human will does not lose its freedom by saying Yes to the will of the Father. It achieves the supreme freedom of self-gift that is its ontological “construction” as image of God.
In an earlier, more formal presentation of Constantinople III, Benedict said the following (a repeat, but maximally important to understand the impact of Christian faith on the Greek mind, the tension it put on “Being-as Substance” – as being-in-itself – and the paradigm shift from cosmic necessity to freedom, from individual to person.
Thesis 6: “The so-called Neo-Chalcedonian theology which is summed up in the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) makes an important contribution to a proper grasp of the inner unity of biblical and dogmatic theology, of theology and religious life. Only from this standpoint does the dogma of Chalcedon (451) yield its full meaning.”
“It is common enough for the theological textbooks to pay scant attention to the theological development which followed Chalcedon. In many ways one is left with the impression that dogmatic Christology comes to a stop with a certain parallelism of the two natures in Christ. It was this same impression that led to the divisions in the wake of Chalcedon. In fact, however, the affirmation of the true humanity and the true divinity in Christ can only retain its meaning if the mode of the unity of both is clarified. The Council defined this unity by speaking of the `one Person’ in Christ, but it was a formula, which remained to be explored in its implications. For the unity of divinity and humanity in Christ which brings `salvation’ to man is not juxtaposition but a mutual indwelling. Only in this way can there be that genuine `becoming like God,’ without which there is no liberation and no freedom.“It was to this question, after two centuries of dramatic struggles which also, in many ways, bore the mark of imperial politics, that the Third Council of Constantinople (680-681) addressed itself. On the one hand, it reaches that the unity of God and man in Christ involves no amputation or reduction in any way of human nature. In conjoining himself to man, his creature, God does not violate or diminish him; in doing so, he brings him for the first time to his real fullness. On the other hand (and this is no less important), it abolishes all dualism or parallelism of the two natures, such as had always seemed necessary in order to safeguard Jesus’ human freedom. In such attempts it had been forgotten that when the human will is taken up into the will of God, freedom is not destroyed; indeed, only then does genuine freedom come into its own. The Council of Constantinople analyzed the question of the two-ness, and the one-ness in Christ by reference t the concrete issue of the will of Jesus. It resolutely maintains that, as man, Jesus has a human will that is not absorbed by the divine will. But this human will follows the divine will and thus becomes one will with it, not in a natural manner but along the path of freedom. The metaphysical two-ness of a human and divine will is not abrogated, but in the real of the person, in the realm of freedom, the fusion of both takes place, with the result that they become one will, not naturally, but personally. This free unity – a form of unity created by love – is higher and more interior than a merely natural unity. It corresponds to the highest unity there is, namely Trinitarian unity. The Council illustrates this unity by citing a dominical word handed down to us in the Gospel of John: `I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me’ (Jn. 6, 38). Here it is the divine Logos who is speaking, and he speaks of the human will of the man Jesus as his will, the will of the Logos. With this exegesis of John 6, 38 the Council indicates the unity of the subject in Christ. There are not two `I’s in him, but only one. The Logos speaks in the I-form of the human will and mind of Jesus; it has become his I, has become adopted into his I, because the human will is completely one with the will of the Logos. United with the latter, it has become a pure Yes to the Father’s will.“Maximus the Confessor, the great theological interpreter of this second phase of the development of the Christological dogma, illuminates this whole context by reference to Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives, which, as we already saw in Thesis 1, expresses Jesus’ unique relationship to God. Indeed, it is as if we were actually looking in on the inner life of the Word-made-man. It is revealed to us in the sentence, which remains the measure and model of all real prayer: `Not what I will, but what thou wilt’ (Mk. 14, 36). Jesus human will assimilates itself to the will of the Son. IN doing this, he receives the Son’s identity, i.e., the complete subordination of the “to the Thou, the self-giving and self-expropriation of the I to the Thou. This is the very essence of him who is pure relation and pure act. Wherever the I gives itself to the Thou, there is freedom because this involves the reception of the `form of God.’“But we can also describe this process, and describe it better, from the other side: the Logos so humbles himself that he adopts a man’s will as his own and addresses the Father with the I of this human being; he transfers his own I to this man and thus transforms human speech into the eternal Word, into his blessed `Yes, Father.’ By imparting his own I, his own identity, to this human being, he liberates him, redeems him, and makes him God. Now we can take the real meaning of `God has become man’ in both hands, as it were: the Son transforms the anguish of a man into his own filial obedience, the speech of the servant into the Word that is the Son.“Thus we come to grasp the manner of our liberation, our participation in the Son’s freedom. As a result of the unity of wills of which we have spoken, the greatest possible change has taken place in man, the only change which meets his desire: he has become divine. We can therefore describe that prayer which enters into the praying of Jesus and becomes the prayer of Jesus in the Body of Christ as freedom’s laboratory. Here, and nowhere else, takes place that radical change in man of which we stand in need, that the world may become a better place. For it is only along this path that conscience attains its fundamental soundness and it unshakable power. And only from such a conscience can there come that ordering of human affairs which corresponds to human dignity and protects it.”
Considering what we saw at the end of class III in Ratzinger’s “Notion of Person in Theology,” all of this comes down to the act of the Person of Christ as pure relation to the Father. The particular act, be it of the infancy, the hidden life or public life, every act is an act of the divine Person through His human will that becomes pure relationality as self-gift. Every act of Christ as man is an act of His divine Person through an autonomous human will. No matter how small and insignificant is the act of the God-man, it is an act of the divine Person and therefore totally transcendent in value. It is the “quid divinum” in the ordinary that our Father referred to in 1968: “Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it.”
The Phenomenology of Work: as creature of the earth, the human person must master self (to subdue self as earth) in order to get possession of self and become owner of self. Once in self-possession, the “I” is able to make the gift of the self (or not), by which the self becomes more of the true self (since the truth of self as image of the divine “I” of the Logos is to be in relation to the Father). The act of work is this act of the “I” in the dynamic of gift, and as gift, divine, as relation to God and to the other. This self-giftedness takes place on the occasion and in the execution of ordinary, secular work making it Christogenic of the person of the worker and a “quid divinum” in the objective order of things (culture) while increasing the freedom and autonomy of person and the secular order.
II: The Theological Account:
Significance of the Infancy of Jesus:
The overriding metaphysics of divine personhood: to-be-in-relation, hence in dependency on and openness to the Father and therefore to all others.
As Child, Jesus is Response: ‘Yes’
(Notice that we are now ‘within’ the Trinity where the defining and operative principle is relation)
Ratzinger: “By becoming incarnate, Jesus became a baby…. What does ‘being a baby, ‘being a child’ mean? It is dependency in absolutely everything, needing help, having to turn to others. As a baby, Jesus comes not only from God but also from other humans. He has been in the womb of a woman, from whom he received his flesh and his blood, the beating of his heart, his bearing, his words.
“He has received life from the life of another human being. A derivation like this, from others, of what is proper to oneself, is not a purely biological factor. It means that Jesus received also his manner of thinking and observing, the cast of his human soul, from people existing before him, and finally from his mother. It means that in what he inherited from his ancestors he wanted to follow the tortuous road leading back from Mary to Abraham and finally to Adam. He carried in himself the burden of that history. He lived and suffered it, purging it of all the refuse and error, for it to become a pure ‘Yes.’ ‘for the Son of God, Jesus Christ,… was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes’ (2 Cor. 1, 19).”
My comment: Consider here the reality of Eph. 1, 4: “Even as he [God the Father] chose us in him before the foundation of the world” whereby Vatican II in Gaudium et Spes #22 did the exegesis that Jesus Christ is the prototype of man (Adam being only a “type”) in that he “fully reveals man to himself” as well as being “the very revelation of the mystery of the Father and of his love.”
My Comment: As a result, the genealogies of Matthew and Luke show in different ways that Jesus Christ is the meaning of man, and has “pre-existed” every man for whom He is the prototype, and hence has been present throughout all of history, not just one historical period. Jesus Christ did not drop like a meteor into one period of history two thousand years ago whereupon we divide all history into B.C. and A.D. Ratzinger sees this as hugely important for the understanding that true religion does not come from us, but from God. Judeo-Christianity is the dethronement of great religious figures because it does not come from them. Ratzinger comments: “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, with all their wiles and tricks, with their ill-temper and their inclination to violence, seem at least quite mediocre and pathetic next to someone like Buddha, Confucius, or Lao-tzu, but even such great prophetic characters as Hosea, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel are not entirely persuasive in such a comparison.” The point is that God has always been present in history and has revealed himself to man. Man’s position is to be a child, to listen and to obey. “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob really are not ‘great religious personalities.” “God seeks out man in the midst of his worldly and earthly connections and relationships; God, whom no one, not even the purest of men, can discover for himself, comes to man of his own volition and enters into relationship with him… It is not primarily the discovery of some truth; rather, it is the activity of God himself making history. Its meaning is, not that divine reality becomes visible to man, but that it makes the person who receives the revelation into an actor in divine history. For here, in contrast to mysticism, God is the one who acts, and it is he who brings salvation to man.” Ratzinger then quotes Jean (Cardinal) Danielou:
“Those who are saved are the inward-looking souls, whatever the religion they profess. For Christianity, they are the believers, whatever level of inwardness they may have achieved. A little child, an overworked workman, if they believe, stand at a higher level than the greatest ascetics. ‘We are not great religious personalities,’ Guardini once said: ‘we are servants of the Word.’ Christ himself had said that Saint John the Baptist might well be ‘the greatest among the children of men,’ but that ‘the least among the sons of the kingdom is greater than he’ (see Lk. 7, 28). It is possible for there to be great religious personalities in the world even outside of Christianity; it is indeed very possible for the greatest religious personalities to be found outside Christianity; but that means nothing; what counts is obedience to the Word of Christ.”
Notice that in this context that God is ever present in the world personally (therefore the inappropriateness of dividing history into b.c. and a.d. which came from Joachim of Flora and changed world consciousness) as the Son who is hidden as the relation of Love that is prototypical yet sensibly invisible. He is present, and He is knowable and recognizable if we change to become like Him. The metaphysical grounding of all epistemology is: to know is to become one being with another. That failing, then, like is known by like. Since we cannot become a stone physically, we mediate the stone by sensible perception and intellectual concept. However, we are images of the divine Persons, then, we have to convert into gift in order to know Him who is gift without mediation. In a word, only God knows God. This is the whole of the pope’s mind and the task of his pontificate.
The Public Life: (In progress)
Baptism, Temptations, Preaching (Sermon on the Mount), Miracles and Transfiguration. (Jesus of Nazareth):
 J. Ratzinger, “Behold the Pierced One,” Ignatius (1986).
 Keep in mind that the “Kingdom of God” is the Person of Jesus of Nazareth (Who is the Person of the Logos of the Father). I refer you to Ratzinger’s “Jesus of Nazareth” (46-63); his “What It Means To Be a Christian” (27-28); and “Eschatology” (24-45). In the latter, he remarks (34): “In him the future is present, God is Kingdom at hand, but in such a way that a mere observer, concerned with recording symptoms or plotting the movements of the stars, might well overlook the fact. In a splendid coinage of Origen’s, Jesus is he autobasileia, ‘the Kingdom in person. This leads on to another text about the Kingdom whose reference of the present is (even) less debatable. In Luke and Matthew we read: ‘If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons then the Kingdom of God has come upon you’” (Luke 11 ,20). And, by one becoming another Christ by living out Baptismal grace of making the self-gift, wherever that person is, there the Kingdom of God is. Hence, wherever there is a person converted into Christ, there is the Kingdom of God. Hence, the Kingdom of God is not “heaven” outside time and space, but here and now both in time and space.
 Ibid 92-93.
 Benedict XVI “Spe Salvi” #4.
 The Creed reads: “Accordingly it is the right faith, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God is God and man. He is God begotten of the substance of the Father before time, and he is man born of the substance of his mother in time: perfect God, perfect man, consisting of a rational soul and a human body, equal to the Father according to his Godhead, less than the Father according to humanity. Although he is God and man, yet he is not two, but he is one Christ; one, however, not by the conversion of the Divinity into a human body, but by the assumption of humanity in the Godhead; one absolutely not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For just as the rational soul and body are one man, so God and man are one Christ. He suffered for our salvation…” Denzinger “The Sources of Catholic Dogma” (Enchiridion Symbolorum) Herder (1957) #40, 16.(Enchiridion Symbolorum).
 Ludwig Ott, “Fundamental of Catholic Dogma,” Herder (1964) 143-144.
 Ibid. 144.
 Denzinger, #111a, p. 49.
 J. Ratzinger, “Behold the Pierced One,” Ignatius (1984) 90-93.
 J. Ratzinger, “Journey Towards Easter,” Crossroad (1987) 88-89.
 Pope Benedict XVI, “Journey To Easter,” Crossroad (1987-paperback) 100-102.
 J. Ratzinger, “Behold the Pierced One, Ignatius (1986) 37-42.
 St. Josemaria Escriva, “Passionately Loving the World,” Scepter (2002) 5.
 See John Paul II’s “Laborem Exercens” #6: “Man has to subdue the earth and dominate it, because as the ‘image of God’ he is a person, that is to say, a subjective being capable of acting in a planned and rational way, capable of deciding about himself, and with a tendency to self-realization. As a person, man is therefore the subject of work. As a person he works, he performs various actions belonging to the work process: independently of their objective content, these actions must all serve to realize his humanity, to fulfill the calling to be a person [i.e. to be in relation as gift] that is his by reason of his very humanity… This dominion, in a certain sense, refers to the subjective dimension even more than to the objective one: this dimension conditions the very ethical nature of work.”
 See Gaudium et Spes #36.
 Benedict XVI “Journey to Easter” op. cit 80.
 J. Ratzinger “Truth and Tolerance” Ignatius (2004) 41.
 Ibid 42.
 Ibid. 43.