Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, March 31, 2006

Christ Reveals the Trinitarian Life

Station at Saint Eusebius'

The Station is at the 'Dominicum Eusebii', erected on the site of the house where St Eusebius of Vercelli, a 4th century bishop and an ardent defender of the faith against Arius, died a martyr c.357. It is situated on the Esquiline hill near the great cemetery of the Via Merulana and as the titulus Eusebii is one of Rome's ancient parish churches. In the 18th century the Irish Augustinians occupied the priory and basilica. This title is given to a cardinal priest and is currently vacant.

Remembering St Eusebius' struggle against the heresy of Arianism, we can agree with Von Balthasar when he says that "all great heresies strike Christ on his most sensitive and painful spot: on the centre of his love. They always argue away either the divinity of his humanity or the humanity of his divinity, under the pretext of an alleged purity" (The Grain of Wheat, 67).

Earlier in this same book (pp61-62), Balthasar examines the Mystery of the Person of Christ, who is both true God and true Man. What follows is an excerpt from Balthasar's reflections which bring us deeper into the Mystery of Christ and hence, of His Cross:

"In all his actions, words, and so on, Christ, being God and Man, is always both Archetype and Image, Form and Mirror, Model and Imitation, Lord and Servant. Everything about him is a question and a call by God to man and at the same time an answer by man to God. It is an apologetical oversimplification when the Fathers divide the Lord's words into those he spoke as God and those he spoke as man. The sufferings of the Lord, for example, are at every second just as divine as they are human: they are a revelation of God to man and a self-surrender of man to God. Two paths are trod simultaneously in Christ, two opposite currents intersect in him: that from heaven to earth and that from earth to heaven. More precisely: Christ is both the unmediated unity of the divine and human natures within the simplicity of his Person (and to that extent every one of his statements is a simple symbol that expresses this unity) and also the representation of the infinite distance between God and creature, exponentially raised and abysmally ruptured by sin (and to that extent his deeds and words are dialectical).

Christ portrays the love between God and man both from the side of its polarity (because every love demands two separate poles and suffers no amalgamation) and from the side of its unity (because in his Person simple love is evidenced beyond all tensions, and this is why his Person can only be divine). This enormous double signification that Christ represents is, in turn, possible only because it is a revelation of the Trinity: of the distance between Father and Son, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, as an autonomous Person. Christ's essence is itself trinitarian. Once this has been understood, then we can contemplate the whole gospel as the direct disclosure of trinitarian life."

I'm not sure such a paradox and mystery can ever be fully understood, except by the eyes of faith and revealed in prayer... And it is this that we ask the Lord to reveal more fully to us, with the intercession of St Eusebius of Vercelli.


Anonymous arthur said...

BINGO!!!!!!!!! Wow, you're good!!

5:43 am  

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