Monday, August 30, 2010


Luke 14, 7-14

"When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not recline at table in the place of honor. A more distinguished guest than you may have been invited by him, and the host who invited both of you may approach you and say, 'Give your place to this man,' and then you would proceed with embarrassment to take the lowest place. Rather, when you are invited, to and take the lowest place so that when the host comes to you he may say, 'My friend, move up to a higher position."

The Real

1) The Center of Reality is the Word of God. It begins like this: "In aeternum, Domine, verbum tuum constitutum est in caelo... firmasti terram, et permanet". This refers to the solidity of the Word. It is solid, it is the true reality on which one must base one's life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away". Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, a breath. As soon as it is pronounced it disappears. It seems to be nothing. But already the human word has incredible power. Words create history, words form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.

Furthermore, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one's life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life (B XVI, Oct 6. 2008).

2) The reality of man = to be hearer of the Word. The To Be of God the Son is to be Word spoken “by” the Father “for” others. Therefore, the fundamental anthropology consists in being receptive. Our Lady is that receptivity. She heard the Word of God and did it. She took the Word into herself and performed it. See: Ratzinger’s “Seek That Which Is Above” (pp. 100 ->), Redemptoris Mater: “Blessed is she who believes…” Also, “Blessed, rather, are those who hear the Word of God and do it” (Lk. 11, 28). Humility is the state of being habitually turned away from self in attention to another. The defining act of being turned away from self is being turned toward the Word of God. That turn is called “faith.” The result of that turn is the creation of a vacuum in which one experiences being nothing. It is at that point that one begins to incarnate the Word by deeds of giftedness from within and redemptive salvation begins, and one begins to become real.

Word that is not heard does not reveal. Revelation occurs only when the Word is received. As Ratzinger wrote: “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.”[1] With the constant absorption with communication through gadgetry, there is no openness to the Word of God, and, therefore, no possibility of hearing It. The self is at the center of this constantly tangential state of communication – most of it visual, but when speaking or texting, the “autonomous” self is always doing something else in its persistent hankering for control. The technology places the Autonomous Self at the center in a lonely control. An ongoing degeneration is occurring in the person.

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Milestones…” (1997) 108.

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