Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cool Quotes 1: Ratzinger/Plato - Good Friday and the Just Man

I read a few apropos sections from Ratzinger's Introduction to Christianity to aid my Holy Week reflections. An except from Ratzinger reflecting on Jesus' Crucifixion:

The Cross is revelation. It reveals, not any particular thing, but God and man. It reveals who God is and in what way man is. There is a curious presentiment of this situation in Greek philosophy: Plato's image of the crucified 'just man.' In the Republic the great philosopher asks what is likely to be the position of a completely just man in this world. He comes to the conclusion that a man's righteousness is only complete and guaranteed when he takes on the appearance of unrighteousness, for only then is it clear that he does not follow the opinion of men but pursues justice only for its own sake. So according to Plato the truly just man must be misunderstood and persecuted in this world; indeed Plato goes so far as to write: "They will say that our just man will be scourged, racked, fettered, will have his eyes burned out, and at last, after all hte manner of suffering, will be crucified." This passage, writting four hundred years before Christ, is always bound to move a Christian deeply.
- pg 292, quoting Republic book 2, 361e - 362a.


Henry Karlson said...

Of course, that's also very Balthasarian -- but it is also reasons like this that Socrates through Plato was recognized as a "proto" Christ by many Christians, not that he was Christ, but his death foreshadowed what was to come in Christ himself.

cantueso said...

What a quote! But I would like to add that there are many people who are great and good without getting persecuted. A lot depends on where you live. Also, it helps if you don't become a public figure.

In other words, one can be a fairly good individual without being a hero.

Anonymous said...

It's also in Jesus of Nazareth II, p. 210