Saturday, October 03, 2009

Benedict's Meaning of "Eschatology:" "Get Me a Hamburger!"

Lorenzo Albacete preaching a retreat to priests in Malvern, Pa 2009:

“(Benedict XVI) says. ‘What can I trust?’ This is what was propelling those guys who came together to form that monastic movement. What is trustworthy? What has real value? The non-real, superfluous, will not survive. Nothing can be built on it, Jesus Himself said that. You can’t build on the sand, you need to know where the rock is. Only that will survive. What is the sand? What is the rock?”

In the midst of this cultural collapse what do we do? We have ethical fights. Good vs. Bad. Orthodox vs. heretical. Instead of gong to the roots of our faith. We tried say this in the statement we put out about the dispute of President Obama going to Notre Dame…. We said, this is the time to find out what is a Catholic university… The reality of Christ’s presence as a stunning surprise in the midst of our search, and what it does to us. This is what these guys got together to deal with. They wre looking to escape, to escape the cultural debate, if you wish. Or even the ethical one. And find out the origin of it all, wyhat is really important. What does my humanity really mean? The Holy Father says, that they had an ‘eschatological orientation.’ But watch out, he says, because that is ‘not to be understood as what happens after the end of the world,’ or otherworldly. Not after personal death, nor at the end of the world. What they were looking for is now: ‘how to find the definitive in the provisional, now.’ The eschatological is the definitive. Certainly you can use it to describe what will be so at the end of history. But you can use it now. It’s not at the end of history that my interests lead me to, but now. It’s not the end of history – it’s getting up in the damn morning! Why do I get up? What can I expect from this day? Look, you can sit around and say, ‘Oh I expect at the end of history, there will be the resurrection of the dead, etc…’ Get me a hamburger. What about now? Why do you get up in the morning? This search for the definitive in the provisional, it’s the most important thing about our lives. It’s not something we do in addition to being human; it is what it means to be human. It is the ‘life in us’,,, We are structurally this search.”

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