Tag Archives: Christ

Christ begging for the heart of man

“‘Christ begging for the heart of man, and the heart of man begging for Christ.’ What change needs to take place for our gaze to be able to look at ourselves like this? What familiarity, what a sharing of our lives with a different gaze, until we can look with the same compassion upon our humanity, as we always felt ourselves looked upon by Father Giussani.”
(Father Carrón, “Man is exclusive relationship with God,” 2007)

The promise made by Christ: error won’t prevail

I read a recent post by my friend and fellow blogger Webster Bull’s article “Richard III and the Contemporaneity of Christ” on the Il Sussidiario (the post was first published on Bull’s blog, Witness, a few weeks ago). Webster asks a great question: how do we know the Church has gotten Christ correct? That is, do we have confidence that the Church hasn’t given the faithful a wrong teaching about the person of Jesus and the Gospel?

Well the Church relies on use of natural reason and the coherence of Divine Revelation to authentically pass on knowledge of God’s plan of salvation. Theologians, priests, catechists and the like don’t define the tenets of the Faith; we hear the sound teaching of saints like Augustine, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Ratzinger, but they are not the ones who define what is to believed. Only the Church through the communio that exists between sacred Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium, gives what is to be believed and how to live the Christian life. In divine revelation, the Lord told us, actually He promised us, that the Holy Spirit will preserve all that He (Jesus) preached and the historical reality we know as the Church: the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, that is, error will not destroy the Truth. This historical reality, this guided companionship, this sacrament, this icon is what is known as the Church. So what was truth in the 1st century is also true (with some development since the first days) in the 21st. Hence, the contemporaneity of Christ. Christ is not a past event, He is a present reality. This theological datum is expressed in the Plus, we Catholics believe that one piece of Scripture interprets another, and all of Scripture speaks of Christ and the plan of salvation; the same is true for the dogma of the faith.

In one of his letters, Saint Jerome said that he follows no one but Christ and those in communion with Him, that is, with the chair of Peter. So, I don’t think it is possible for the Church to teach anything but the truth of Christ that is free from ideology. But we also need to use our reason –in light of magisterial teaching– to determine if error could be taught by some theologian because we know that some theologians are their own magisterium and wedded to their opinion alone when it comes to dogma or doctrine.

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Together in Christ

Pope Benedictus XVI

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The Pope’s “Together in Christ” two day visit of Croatia was significant for several reasons. For him, and I think for all of us who were either physically in Zagreb or tuned via the media, time spent with the Croatians was monumental because it clearly exhibited the “dynamism of communion.” (What visit of a pope is insignificant, the wag asks?) In his own words, the Benedict reviews the events he and the world lived with him in this way:

  • “the experience of finding ourselves together united in the name of Christ,
  • the experience of being Church, which is manifested … around the Successor of Peter. 
  • ‘Together in Christ’ referred in a particular way to the family (… the occasion of my visit was the First National Day of Croatian Catholic Families…

It was very important for me to confirm in the faith especially these families that the Second Vatican Council called “domestic churches” (cf. Lumen Gentium, 11). 

In today’s Europe [and one can extend this to the globe], nations with a strong Christian tradition have a special responsibility to defend and promote the value of the family founded on marriage, which remains decisive both within the field of education as well as in the social sphere.”

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Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology, NEW book by Father Edward Oakes

Infiniity Dwindled to Infancy cover.jpg

Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology (Eerdmans, 2011) is due to be released in July. If you pre-order now, there is a discount on Amazon.
Father Oakes utilizes a wide range of works taken from Scripture, theology and literature to explore the questions on the lordship of Jesus Christ. He’s attentive to the Magisterium. The concern is to know what the we, as Christians, believe and teach about who Jesus Christ is, and why. In this book the author is wants to answer this question: what does it mean for an infinite God to become man?
The title of this book is taken from a poem of Jesuit Father Gerard Manley Hopkins, “The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe.” There the poet says:
“This air, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race.”
Infinity Dwindled to Infancy has three parts: the data, the history and the teaching on the identity and work of Christ. The work carries an Imprimatur from Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and the Nihil obstat from Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, theologian for the US Conference of Bishops.

Father Edward T. Oakes, SJ, is a professor of systematic theologian teaching at Mundelein Seminary. He is a member of the some time meeting of the Dulles Colloquium (a theological discussion group that was organized by Father Richard J. Neuhaus and Cardinal Avery Dulles) and he is a member of the ecumenical theological discussion group Evangelicals and Catholics Together. Oakes is a frequent writer for First Things and several other periodicals. Oakes is the author of Pattern of Redemption and a co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs Von Balthasar. There are several translations done by Father Oakes of Balthasar to note.

Benedict: to awaken hope in place of despair, joy in place of sadness, & life in place of death

Holy Saturday Baptism.jpgIn these first days of Easter the Church rejoices in
Christ’s resurrection from the dead, which has brought new life to us and to
our world. Saint Paul exhorts us to make this new life evident by putting to
death the things of this earth and setting our hearts on the things that are on
high, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father (cf. Col 3:1-2).
Having put on Christ in Baptism, we are called to be renewed daily in the
virtues which he taught us, especially charity which binds all the rest together
in perfect harmony
. By living this new life we are not only interiorly
transformed, but we also change the world around us. Charity in fact brings
that spiritual freedom which can break down any wall, and build a new world of
solidarity, goodness and respect for the dignity of all. Easter, then, is a
gift to be received ever anew in faith, so that we may become a constant leaven
of life, justice and reconciliation in our world
. As believers in the risen
Lord, this is our mission: to awaken hope in place of despair, joy in place of
sadness, and life in place of death.
With Christ, through him and in him, let
us strive to make all things new!

Pope Benedict XVI
Summary of Wednesday General Audience

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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