Sunday, November 15, 2009

How Did the Church Come to be Understood as "Communio?"

Understanding the Church as “Communio” in the Light of the Revolution in the Meaning of Revelation and Faith:

Source – J. Ratzinger

[“Here ‘Revelation’ is always a concept denoting an act. The word refers to the act in which God shows himself, not to the objectified result of this act. And because this is so, the receiving subject is always also a part of the concept of ‘revelation.’ Where there is no one to perceive revelation,’ no re-vel-ation has occurred, because no veil has been removed. By definition, revelation requires a someone who apprehends it.” “Then revelation precedes Scripture and becomes deposited in Scripture but is not simply identical with it . This in turn means that revelation is always something greater than what is merely written down.” (Ratzinger “Milestones…. 108-109)]

The ontological starting point for unmediated realism: The Word of God.

· The Ultimate Reality: Not sensible things, but the Word of God Which-Who is the creating source of all things.

· How is this Reality known? It consists in becoming the “Act” which is the Person of the Word Himself. Therefore, one becomes the Word in oneself and experiences the truth of it in the act of transcending oneself. Therefore, objective knowing of the Greatest Reality that is is an experience of oneself in the act of going out of self.

· This is the act of the Virgin in her fiat. This is ecclesiogenesis: becoming the Church. The Church is engendered as an organism by the reception that is a “becoming” of the Word. One becomes “another Christ.”

· This act of “becoming” is called “Faith.”

Benedict XVI: Keynote Address to the Synod on the Word of God of October 2008:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the beginning of our Synod the Liturgy of the Hours proposes a passage from Psalm 18 on the Word of God: praise for His Word, expression of the joy of Israel in learning it and, in it, to learn about His will and His face. I would like to meditate on a few verses of this Psalm with you.

It begins like this: “In aeternum, Domine, verbum tuum constitutum est in caelo... firmasti terram, et permanet”. This refers to the solidity of the Word. It is solid, it is the true reality on which we must base our life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: “Sky and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, but a breath. As soon as it is pronounced, it disappears. It seems like nothing. But already the human word has incredible force. It is words that create history, it is words that form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.

Even more, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our notion that matter, solid things, things we can touch, is the most solid, the most certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. He who builds on sand only builds on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will vanish. We can see this now with the fall of two large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. Who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is he who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is he who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life.

From Cardinal Ouellet Summary on the Synod on the Word of God, October 2008: “The

Transition From Noetic Dimension of Truths to be Believed In” to Revelation as Personal Self-Communication of God.”

“Thanks to the Trinitarian and Christocentric vision of Vatican Council II, the Church renewed consciousness in its own mystery and mission. The Dogmatic Constitution, Lumen Gentium, and the pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, develop an ecclesiology of communion that relies on the renewed concept of Revelation. In fact, the dogmatic Constitution Dei Verbum marked a real turning point in the manner of dealing with Divine Revelation. Instead of privileging, as before, the noetic dimension of truths to be believed in, the Council Fathers emphasized the dynamic and dialogic accent [2] of Revelation as personal self-communication of God. Thus they put down the bases for a more vivid encounter and dialogue between God who calls and His people who respond.

This turning point was vastly welcomed as a decisive fact by theologians, exegetes and pastors.[3] However, one generally recognizes the fact that the Constitution Dei Verbum was not sufficiently received and that the turning point still has not achieved all the fruits desired and expected in the life and mission of the Church.[4] Taking into account the progress to date, the question should be: why has the model of personal communication [5] not penetrated the Church's conscience, prayer, and pastoral practices as well as the theological and exegetical method? The Synod should propose concrete solutions to bridge the lacunae and find a remedy to the ignorance of the Scriptures which adds to today's difficulties in evangelization.”

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