Monday, October 18, 2010

Walker Percy's Insight - But - Without Supernatural Patience

1) Benedict XVI’s Theology of the Church:

“The Church is not an apparatus, nor a social institution, nor one social institution among many others. It is a person. It is a woman. It is a Mother. It is alive. A Marian understanding of the church is totally opposed to the concept of the Church as a bureaucracy or a simple organization. We cannot make the Church, we must be the Church. We are the Church, the Church is in us only to the extent that our faith more than action forges our being. Only by being Marian, can we become the Church. At its very beginning the Church was not made, but given birth. She existed in the soul of Mary from the moment she uttered her fiat. This is the most profound will of the Council: the Church should be awakened in our souls. Mary shows us the way.”[1]

David, Dressed in the Armor of Saul, To Battle Goliath

“There are some very real grounds to fear that the Church may assume too many institutions of human law, which then become the armor of Saul making it difficult for the young David to walk. We must always ascertain if institutions which were once useful still serve a purpose. The only institutional element the Church needs is the one given to it by the Lord: the sacramental structure of the people of God [Baptism and Orders], centered on the Eucharist.”[2]

2) Walker Percy’s Insight – But - Without Supernatural Patience

“You see, Barrett, Val had a dream of what the Church should come to. (And I agree! Absolutely!) For example, she did not mind at all if Christendom should be done for, stove in, kaput, screwed up once and all. She did not mind that the Christers were like everybody else, if not worse. She did not even mind that God shall be gone, absent, not present, A.W.O.L., and that no one noticed or cared, not even the believers. Because she wanted us to go the route and be like Sweden, which is not necessarily bad, but to go the route, to leave God out of it and be happy or miserable, as the case might be. She believes that then, if we go the route and run out of Christendom, that the air would be cleared and even that God might give us a sign. That’s how her own place makes sense, you see, her little foundation in the pines. She conceived herself as being there with her Delco and her butane tanks to start all over again. Did you notice how much it looked like one of those surviving enclaves after the Final War, and she’s probably right: I mean, who in the hell would want to bomb South Alabama? But yes, I agree with her. Absolutely! It’s just that nothing came of it.”[3]

P.S. I take "Christendom" to be the clericalized theocracy closer to an ideology than to the living Person of Christ.

[1] [1] J. Ratzinger, The Ecclesiology of Vatican II, L’Osservatore Romano N. 4 – 23 January 2002, 7.)

[2] J. Ratzinger, 30 Days, No. 5 – 1998, p. 22

[3] Walker Percy, “The Last Gentleman,” Ballantine (1993) 297.

No comments: