Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Meaning of All Endeavor in the Present World, Including the Economic: “some of the promises and principles sound like a funeral procession, with everyone consoling the relatives, but nobody waking the dead.”

In 2,000, Bergoglio said: “Sometimes I wonder if we aren’t marching, in certain aspects of the life of our society, in a sad parade, and if we aren’t’ putting a tombstone on our search as if we were walking toward an unavoidable destiny, doomed to impossible things, and we just resign ourselves to small illusions lacking hope. We must acknowledge, with humility, that the system has fallen into a period of dark shadow – the shadow of distrust – and that some of the promises and principles sound like a funeral procession, with everyone consoling the relatives, but nobody waking the dead.”[1]
Explanation of this: “We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being.”[2]

Always connect this with Joseph Ratzinger's understanding of the Son of God - Pure Relation - as Prototype of the human person: “The Son as Son, and in so far as he is Son, does not proceed in any way from himself and so is completely one with the Father; since he is nothing beside him, claims no special position of his own, confronts the Father with nothing belonging only to him, retains no room for his own individuality, therefore he is completely equal to the Father. The logic is compelling: if there is nothing in which he is just he, no kind of fenced-off private ground, then he coincides with the Father, is ‘one’ with him. It is precisely this totality of interplay that the word ‘Son’ aims at expressing. To John ‘Son’ means being-from-another; thus with this word he defines the being of this man as being from another and for others, as a being that is completely open on both sides, knows no reserved area of the mere ‘I.’ When it thus becomes clear that the being of Jesus as Christ is a completely open being, a being ‘from’ and ‘towards,’ that nowhere clings to itself and nowhere stands on its own, then it is also clear at the same time that this being is pure relation (not substantiality) and, as pure relation, pure unity. This fundamental statement about Christ becomes, as we have seen, at the same time the explanation of Christian existence. To John, being a Christian means being like the Son, becoming a son; that is, not standing on one’s own and in oneself, but living completely open in the ‘from’ and ‘towards.’ In so far as the Christian is a ‘Christian,’ this is true of him. And certainly such utterances will make him aware to how small an extent he is a Christian.[1][2]

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius (1990) 134.
[2] Ratzinger: “I think it is not unimportant to note how the doctrine of the Trinity here passes over into a statement about existence, how the assertion that relation is at the same time pure unity becomes transparently clear to us. It is the nature of the Trinitarian personality to be pure relation and so the most absolute unity. That there is no contradiction in this is probably now perceptible. And one can understand from now on more clearly than before that it is not the ‘atom,’ the indivisible smallest piece of matter, that possesses the highest unity; that on the contrary pure oneness can only occur in the spirit and embraces the relativity of love. Thus the profession of faith in the oneness of God is just as radical as in any other monotheistic religion; indeed only in Christianity does it reach its full stature. But it is the nature of Christian existence to receive and to live life as relatedness, and thus to enter into that unity which is the ground of all reality and sustains it. This will perhaps make it clear how the doctrine of the Trinity, when properly understood, can become the nodal point of theology and of Christian thought in general” [Ibid.].

[1] Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, “Pope Francis,” Putnam (2013) xxvi.
[2] Evangelii Gaudium #8.

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