Thursday, November 12, 2009
I always think of St. Augustine's words "Be moderate in everything except in love." Being moderate has its consequences of not being too liberal nor too conservative - This is the middle road. I attempt to join in my thought the conservative outlook of Ratzinger and the liberal outlook of Rahner, so that in the end I can retrieve from both the truth in as much as it conforms to the Christian tradition as I see it. In the same way, I attempt to join the zeal of conservative Eastern Orthodox Churches (which are real Churches) and Evangelical Communions (who belong to Christ in their unflinching faith) with the more liberal approach of inculturation, openness to the human needs, and Biblical criticism recognized by the Catholic Church done without compromizing the essence of the Creed. This is partly only why I believe in the Catholic Church who alone enjoys the fullness of truth, and still recognizes the goodness found anywhere and in any tradition. Her openness is so great that it encompasses the universe of humanity. God is the source of everything. Since God is Love, the essence of everything is love. Even when I believe that the essence of everything is love, it does not blow me into a radical non-Christian belief because I believe too that non-Christian religions have a share in the ray that its fullness exists in Christ alone. The good elements in these religions belong to Christ and so every good there is in the end oriented towards Christ who alone saves - He is the mediator between God and man (every man). This flows in Christ through the Sanctifier agent - the Holy Spirit who sanctifies all in as much as they receive His urges and grace. As the Creed states, Christ is God from God. He is perfect in his divinity and in his humanity which remain united in his person. The sacrament of Christ on earth is manifested in the Catholic Church who, by God's grace, develops in the fullness of truth and grace (Development of doctrine as expounded by John Henry Newman). Development itself is part and parcel of how Christians perceive the truth - It is not corruption of dogma since it does not alter the organic unity of the sacred deposit of faith, only how it is perceived. This is also in accord with development in all branches of knowledge (natural, psychological, spiritual, philosophical and otherwise) both objective and subjective. In a way, we know more today than our ancestors. It also points to the fact that unity of knowledge has its source in the one God we worship. Knowledge includes experience - Knowledge in the ancient traditions meant subjective experience of the other. In this sense, it is written that Joseph did not know Mary since he did not know her in her inner depth which man and woman naturally communicate through intercourse. In this sense too we never encompass or comprehend God in his essence. The apophatic theology in the Eastern Christian tradition tells us that God is unknowable in his essence. Our knowlegde is limited to what we sense transmitted to us through the mind - which uses the brain as its physical channel. You see from the above the important movement - Rather than focusing on what divides, the focus is on what unites which is the work of the Holy Spirit in us. I think that prayer is that form of dialogue with God and his saints - never exhausted, through the Spirit. As God is a communion of three persons, so we too are created and exist as a communion. The Church, Catholic and one, embraces all people of good will. She is the guiding star par excellence who is always in need of renewal (Vatican II). In the end, the Alpha and Omega, Christ, will unite to his Father all who are saved in Him so God will be all in all (Revelation).