Friday, December 10, 2010

Laying the Stars at Our Feet

From an Advent homily by the Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa:
We now come to the Christian vision. Celsus is not mistaken in making it stem from the great affirmation of Genesis 2:26 about man created "in the image and likeness" of God.[14] The biblical vision has its most splendid expression in Psalm 8:

"When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers,
The moon and stars that you set in place,
What are humans that you are mindful of them,
Mere mortals that you care for them?

"Yet you have made them little less than a god,
Crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them rule over the work of your hands,
Put all things at their feet."

The creation of man in the image of God has implications on the concept of man that the present debate drives us to bring to light. All is based on the revelation of the Trinity brought by Christ. Man is created in the image of God, which means that he participates in the intimate essence of God which is a relationship of love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is obvious that there is an ontological gap between God and the creature. However, through grace (never forget this specification!) this gap is filled, so much so that it is less profound than the one that exists between man and the rest of creation.

Only man, in fact, in as much as person capable of relations, participates in the personal and relational dimension of God, he is His image. Which means that he, in his essence, even though at a creaturely level, is that which, at the uncreated level, are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in their essence. The created person is "person" precisely because of this rational nucleus that renders it capable to receive the relationship that God wishes to establish with it and at the same time becomes generator of relations towards others and towards the world.

2 comments:

Michael Gormley said...

Dear Elena Maria Vidal,

THE HOLY SPIRIT

Catholics certainly believe in the individual's infilling with the Holy Spirit, but we hold this in balance with the equally important truth that the Church herself is inspired and filled and guided by the Holy Spirit.

The Church is the Body of Christ on earth, and as such is a living, moving, breathing, Spirit filled organism--against which the gates of hell will never prevail.

It is this Spirit filled Church which provides the balance and ballast for our own individual experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Spirit-filled Church which provides the correction and qualification of our claims. It is the Spirit-filled Church which validates God's guidance in our lives and it is the Spirit filled lives of the saints, the teaching of the Church and the liturgy of the Church which deepen, broaden, complete and sacramentally seal the personal infilling of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit will not be subject to human reason. This is the fundamental problem with Protestantism. The intellect becomes one’s compass for truth, instead of the Living Voice of the Holy Ghost.

The proper use of reason is to believe in and serve the Divine Revelation revealed by the Holy Ghost in the Church, not to criticize what is revealed endlessly until you satisfy your intellect.

The intellect is only perfected after it has accepted the divine truths that God reveals to it.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you for the exegesis.

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