Sunday, February 14, 2010

2/14/10: 80th Anniversary of the Founding of the Women's Branch of Opus Dei and Coincident with Anniversary of the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross


The Anthropology of Christian Priesthood

1) Spirit: The spirit of Opus Dei is the gift of self in ordinary life and work. It is the praxis of the universal call to sanctity as documented in Chapter 5 of Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council

2) Women and Priests: Same Vocation: The date marks the universality of laymen (men and women) and ministerial priests as exhibiting the same Christian – and therefore priestly – anthropology. Both laymen and ministerial priests are sacramentally inserted into Christ the priest, and therefore mediators between themselves and God, as Christ mediates between Himself and the Father as God-man making the gift of His own Blood. He is priest of his own existence. Laymen and ministerial priests are both priests as ministers of their own existence. As Bridegroom and Bride, however, they are essentially and irreducibly different in the way the mediation and therefore priesthood is exercised.

3) Communio: Together, laymen and ministerial priests form the primitive communio of the early Church having the relational anthropology of self-giftedness whereby one cannot be who he is without the other. Laymen and priests are not merely “united” but form an “Unum” that is Christ Himself.

4) The Mass: The dynamizing action that enables both laity and ministerial priest is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Holy Mass is the “action” of the “I Am” of Jesus Christ who said: “I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” (J. 6, 38). Since it is a divine “I” that is the agent and protagonist of action, not merely the human will as a "faculty," that obedience to death on the Cross is always outside of time as it was within time 2,000 years ago. The “I” of Christ never left the right hand of the Father, even while living out the Incarnation in time. Therefore, whenever there is a trans-substantiation of the bread into His Flesh, and wine into His Blood, the “I” of the Logos is present and living out His relationality to the Father through His human will.

5) Opus Dei: A Little Bit of the Church: ”That action of self-gift that is the Mass, when participated in, becomes the self-gift of the baptized person in the act of work when so willed. This feast is a feast of the whole Church for acquiring what the Founder of Opus Dei called “the priestly soul” and the “lay mentality” which are different aspects of the same anthropology, be it self mastery (subsidiarity), be it self-gift (solidarity). The priestly soul is the mediation between self and God which is an act of divinization. Lay mentality is the freedom and autonomy that results from the mastery of the self that is always autonomous (but always needing affirmation for its initiation).

6) Secularity: The characteristic of this feast is secularity in that the world, ordinary work and family are the space within which this priesthood, freedom of autonomy and divinization take place.

No comments: