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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some sanity and common sense

The Homiletic and Pastoral Review has an article which is like a breath of fresh air: sanity and common sense.

It is Razing the bastions, yet again  By Fr. David Meconi, S.J, Professor of Patristic Theology at St. Louis University and editor of HPR

Here is a brief extract:

"Finally, the only way to bring the Gospel to the world rightly is to be ever mindful that the battle has already been won!

I mean this both in the ultimate sense on Calvary but also in the more immediate sense in that the revolution sought immediately after the Council [the Second Vatican Council] is simply not coming to pass. Not that it ever could have, as the Lord safeguards his Body from falling into certain pernicious gates, but these victories are more obvious now than they could have been in the sixties and seventies.

So, as part of our prayer let us meditate on the confidence we should have in Christ’s power in and through us, as well as the consequent gratitude we should have for his including us in his victorious mission.

In founding a Church, the Son has united a collective and called-out—ecclesia—humanity to his own divine personhood. Such mediation is thus at the heart of our Christian discipleship; saying “yes” to the Church of Christ is Christ’s “yes” to his Father.

As such, one cannot truly love God and despise his Church; one lies if he can say he has some sort of devotion to Christ but no regard for his Body on earth, the Church.

The “whole Christ” (to borrow Augustine’s phrase) is the Head and the Body, and Christ has decided to make himself wholly accessible only through this ecclesia. His body is where he longs to extend and continue his transformative power: his healing, his teaching, his acts of love and divine intimacy.

When von Balthasar called the Church to raze her bastions and confidently enter the world with message and vision renewed, he wrote:

“Let us therefore not cling tightly to structures of thought, but let us plunge into the primal demands of the Gospel, which are also the primal graces, visible and capable of being grasped in the example of Christ, who gave himself for all in order to save all.”

In this imitation of Christ we too must let go of all that keeps us from “plunging” into the demands of love.

We must, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, go from God to the world speaking boldly (the gift of parrhesia), with “straightforward simplicity, filial trust, joyous assurance, humble boldness, the certainty of being loved” (§2778).

Confident of such unshakeable and perfect love, let us then be confident and bold in our evangelization, knowing the Truth, preaching the Truth, embracing the Truth—and in him, all others."