Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cool Quotes 3

Barron/Ratzinger on the subversive nature of the Christian Credo - I/We Believe

Barron writes:

"The opening statement of the credo -- I believe in one God, the Father the Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth-- is a reaffirmation of the Old Testament Shema ('Hear O Israel, the Lord your God is God alone'), a declaration that formed the people of Israel and provided the ethical foundation for their lives. Joseph Ratzinger has commented that this proclamation of monotheistic faith is subversive in nature, since it implies that no nation, state, political party, leader, ideology, or culture, indeed nothing in the created realm, can be of ultimate concern. The Credo therefore, like the Shema, relativizes and places in question all rival gods, all powers that would week, in a final sense, to order human life."
 - Fr. Robert Barron, Bridging the Great Divine, 44-45, citing Ratzinger, Intro to Christianity, 73-76.

Ratzinger writes:

"For to believe as a Christian means in fact entrusting oneself to the meaning that upholds me and the world; taking it as the firm ground on which I can stand fearlessly....[It] means understanding our existence as a response to the world, the logos, that upholds and maintains all things...And further: Christian belief means opting for the view that what cannot be seen is more real than what can be seen. It is an avowal of the primacy of the invisible as the truly real, which upholds us and hence enables us to face the visible with calm composure -- knowing that we are responsible before the invisible as the true ground of all things. To that extent it is undeniable that Christianity belief is a double affront to the attitude that the present world situation seems to force us to adopt. ...[It] invites us to confine ourselves to the 'visible,' the 'apparent,' in the widest sense of the terms; to extend the basic methodology to which natural science is indebted for its success to the totality of our relationship with reality...The primacy of the invisible over the visible...runs directly counter to this basic situation. No doubt that is why it is so difficult for us today to make the leap of entrusting ourselves to what cannot be seen."
- Introduction to Christianity, 73-75.

Yet how many of us are more American than we are Christian? How many of us are more Republican or Democrat, Liberal or Conservative, than we are Catholic? How many us listen to , reflect upon, and live out the Gospel truth, recognizing the suffering Christ in the suffering poor, in the war torn villages of our enemies, in the undocumented immigrants, in the prisoner, the homeless, the unborn? 

What is the ground of our lives? 

P.S. The next quote will examine what our lives might look like if we actually abandoned ourselves in the invisible, if we totally entrusted ourselves to the logos as the ultimate ground of reality.

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