Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dependence of the I

As the relationship of God to man in the creative word of grace and love stands, "I am, and through me you are," we find the relationship of man to God reversed, through which man is aware of his own existence and of his spiritual foundation, supporting the expression of every prayer and constituting the meaning of word and thought: "you are and through you I am." The you in his divinity is the "first," the I in his humanity is the "second Person" and so the ranking of spiritual being is produced. God is not a "projection of the I'' as some psychologists believe, who cannot grasp man's real God-relationship (because they themselves do not believe in God), but rather only the human idea of the divine. The existence of the you does not require the existence of the I, but rather the opposite.

It's origin proceeding from the word in the divinity, the life of the spirit in itself is understood and demands a personal relationship to God, and it is the creating and willing capacity in man, from God Himself; that man, when he prays he speaks to him as to the Father without mediation. In prayer - in the "Dialog with God" - the word returns the word back from whence it came. And when man prays merely the first word of the Pater noster in the right sense of praying, then does the "ineffable mystery of God" become word - from men; as it in the life of Jesus, who taught us to pray the Pater, became Word, but from God alone.

Ferdinand Ebner, "Third Fragment" in Das Wort und die Geistigen Realitäten, in Gesammelte Werke, Erste Band, Vienna: Herder, 1952, 53.

The fall of sin is the victory of the non-I is us, in opposition to the self-gift of the I to the you. In sin both the I and the you disappear in our awareness.

Ebner, Wort und Liebe, Regensburg: Pustet, 1935, 89.
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