Sunday, April 05, 2015

Resurrection - Text From Barron, Insight From Guardini

Christ is risen! Alleluia! - See Guardini below!

[On] this Easter we should remember that Jesus is not just a soul that's gone to heaven. The resurrected Christ, as Paul said, is the first fruits of a new life. A whole new human nature has appeared and emerged.

[Blogger: Ratzinger describes the three meanings of new life and the associated words: Bios, Psuche and Zoe. Bios is organic biological life; Psuche is psychological life; Zoe is trinitarian, supernatural, life. It is constitutively relational and enfleshed. The man, Jesus, entered it definitively as man by obeying the Father -   to death. There is no further relation to the Father achievable in the flesh than love to death - no greater love than to give up one's life  to the Father or a friend. It is a new enfleshed way of being. As Barron says, this is for all of us.]

Resurrection can't simply mean, as many contemporary authors want us to believe, that the cause of Jesus goes on. (As though you listen to the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven and the society of Beethoven lovers says, "Well, the spirit of Beethoven goes on.") People don't give their whole lives, don't go to the end of the world preaching, don't go to their death in support of a vague metaphor. What galvanized the first Christians was that Jesus - the crucified one who had died-is now alive again.

On this Easter, we Christians must avoid another problem: seeing the Resurrection simply as a return to this life. Lazarus was raised from the dead, only to die again. He still belonged to the realm of death. When Lazarus came forth, he was still wearing his grave clothes. He still belonged, in some way, to the tomb.

That's not what happens in the Resurrection. When Jesus rises from the dead, He leaves his grave clothes behind. Jesus now lives a new life exalted through the power of the Father. His relationship to space and time is now completely changed. He passes through locked doors. He comes and goes as he pleases.

Jesus is the first fruit of a new way of being, a new life. It's still a human life, but it is now lived at a higher pitch of intensity. This is such good news for us because this is what God intends for all of us: that we now will share in the risen life of Jesus.

It's our human life - yes, still bodily - but now lived at a higher level, spiritualized and glorified."

Romano Guardini: "Again and again it is stressed: Here is something far out of the ordinary. The Lord is transformed. His life is different from what it was, his existence incomprehensible. It has a new power that comes straight from the divine, to which it constantly returns for replenishment. Yet  it corporal; the whole Jesus is contained in it, his essence and his character. More: his earthly life, passion and death are incorporated in it, as the wounds show. Nothing is sloughed off; nothing left behind as unessential. Everything is tangible though transformed, reality; that reality of which we were given a premonition on the last journey to Jerusalem - the mysterious lightning-like flash of the Transfiguration. This was no mere subjective experience of the disciples, but an independent reality; no 'pure' spirituality, but the saturation , transformation by the Holy Spirit of Christ's whole life, body included. Indeed, only in the transformed existence, does the body fully come into its own. For the human body is different from  the animal's and is only then fulfilled when it no longer can be confused with the animal body. The Resurrection and Transfiguration are necessary to the full understanding of what the human body really is [Blogger: Consider John Paul II's "theology of the body" where the language of the human body is the language of the person's relationality. The human body is not animal-body but person-body. The dynamic giving being to the body is the person, not the soul; as the Person of Christ is the dynamizing Protagonist of His whole humanity, and Christ is the meaning of man (Gaudium et spes #22). See St. Thomas S. Th. III, 17, a. 2].

    "... But then what manner  of God is this, with whom Resurrection, Ascension and throning on his right hand are possible? Precisely the kind of God who makes such things possible! He is theGod of the Resurrection, and we must learn that it is not the Resurrection that is irreconcilable to him, but part of our thinking that is irreconcilable to the Resurrection, for it is false.

   If we take  Christ's figure as our point of departure, trying to understand from there, we find ourselves faced wi th the choice between a completely new conception of God and our relation to him, and utter rejection of everything  that surpasses the limitation of a 'great  man.' ... We must also completely reform our idea of humanity, if it is to fit the mold Christ has indicated. We can no longer say: it is to fit the mold Christ has indicated. We can no longer say: man is as the world supposes him to be; therefore it is impossible that he throne at God's right, but: since Revelation has revealed that the Son of Man does throne at God's right, man must be other than the world supposes him. We must learn that God is not only 'supreme Being,' but supremely divine and human Being; we must realize that man is not only human, but that the tip of his essence reaches into the unknown, and receives its fulfillment in his Resurrection. 
   It is the Resurrection that brings ultimate clarity to that which is known as salvation. Not only does it reveal who God is, who we are, what sin really means; not only does it indicate the way to new accomplishment for the children of God; we cannot even say that it 'only' propitiates sin, anchoring the superabundance of divine pardon in justice and love - but something greater, more vital, in the concrete sense of the word, resurrection consists of the transformation of the totality of our being, spirit and flesh, by the creative power of God's love. Living reality, not only idea, attitude or orientation. It is the second divine Beginning - comparable only to the first, the tremendous act of creation. To the question: What is salvation? what does it mean to save, to have saved, to be saved - no full answer can be given without the words 'the resurrected Christ.' In his corporal reality , in his transfigured humanity he is the world redeemed. That is why he is called 'the firstborn of all creatures' 'the begining,' 'the first born from  the dead' (Col. 1, 15, 18). Through him transitory creation is lifted into the eternal existence of God and God, now invulnerable, stands in the world, an eternally fresh start. He is a vital road that invites all to follow, for all creation is called to share in his Transfiguration - that is the essential message of St. Paul and St. John... 

Early modernism manufactured a dogma to the effect that Christianity was anti-corporeal, that the body was the enemy of the spirit. This is true only in the limited sense of pagan antiquity, or of the Renaissance, or of our own epoch, where the body is detached from God. Actually, Christianity alone dared to draw  the body into the inmost sphere of divine proximity."  [Romano Guardini, "The Lord," Regnery - Gateway Edition (1996) 482-486.

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