Sunday, June 27, 2010

Musings on These Feast Days of Opus Dei

Apropos of These Feasts of Opus Dei

Revelation Takes Place in History

Absolute everything on this blog responds to one idea: that "to be" is constitutively relational. The point below is the same: sanctity is not the development of a substance as "thing-in-itself". Sanctity is intrinsically relational, and therefore the result of self-gift to the Revealer, the Person of Christ.

We are not called to a detached mysticism as Eve going off to the East. Notice that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Peter, James John, etc. are not great mystical figures like Gandhi, the Buddha, Lao-tzu. We are receptors of the Holy Spirit whereby we become Christ in the flesh via the small thing. Then-Joseph Ratzinger wrote: “God seeks out man in the midst of this 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.” Danielou says: “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.”[1] [2]

We are not called to a transcendent, mystical life in solitude whereby we might be great religious figures. By Baptism, we are called to be another God-Incarnate in the humdrum and quotidian affairs of secular life. Can you image hearing the risen Christ say “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” The “Me” are the Christians of Damascus.

[1] Danielou, Vom Geheimnis der Geschichte (On the Mystery of History), pp. 133 f.

[2] J. Ratzinger, “Truth and Tolerance,” Ignatius (2004) 42-43.

No comments: