Friday, September 23, 2011
The “What” of Faith is the Who of the Believer-Become-Christ: Core of the Relation of Faith and Reaso
Ratzinger: The Catholic World Report, March 1993, 26-27, 58-59.
“What does the Church believe? This question includes the others: who believes, and how should one believe? The Catechism has dealt with both fundamental questions: the question of `what’ to believe and of `who’ believes, as one question with an interior unity. In other words, the catechism illustrates the act of the faith and the content of the faith in their inseparability.”
Explanation: Ratzinger’s habilitation thesis on the meaning of Revelation and Faith "Milestones..." Ignatius (1998) 108-109:
“‘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 now faith: “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…. Revelation precedes Scripture and becomes deposited in Scripture but is not simply identical with it.”
My rendering: The removal of the veil of our very being by the act of faith as the prime act of self-transcendence comes from the transformation of the self into “another Christ.” Since the divine Person of the Son is pure relation of self-gift to the Father, and since we have been made in the image of the Son as relation to the Father, the very act of going out of self radically is the act of imaging the Son, and in existential fact becoming Son as Christ is Son. We therefore experience Christ – Who is Revelation itself – from within ourselves. We “know” Christ experientially by knowing ourselves experientially. Hence, the “what” of faith is the “who” of the believer as “other Christ.’”