Friday, May 26, 2017

True Freedom Consists in Being at Home

Go to minute 45:55

Consider the satisfaction palpable in the expressions of the First Lady Milania Trump and Jared and Ivanka Kuschner at their meeting with the Vicar of Christ, the visible head of the Church.

What strikes me the most about that encounter is how the Pontifex Maximus is actually doing the work of seeking to build bridges and peace. It appeared that the ladies and even Ivanka's husband were especially enjoying themselves and at peace and even at home in the presence of the Roman Pontiff and in the apostolic palace.

The great miracle of the Catholic religion!

All the kings of the earth shall come to pay their homage to Christ the King, the King of Peace and Lord of all, in the Wife of Christ, Holy Mother Church!

Although paradoxical to contemporary thought, freedom consists in becoming a part of the house, in being included in the building.

This idea is not paradoxical from the perspective of the ancient concept of freedom. For the ancients, whoever belongs to the house is free, and freedom is finding a home.

Augustine presupposes this ancient social notion of freedom, but then decisively transcends it in accordance with Christian faith. Freedom stands in an insoluble relation to truth, which is man's authentic way of finding a home. Man is free only if he is at home, i.e., if he is in the truth.

A movement that distances man from the truth of himself, from truth itself, can never be freedom because such a movement destroys man, alienates him from himself, and thus takes from him his own realm of movement, in which he can become himself. That is why the devil is captivity, and that is why the risen Christ, who involved man and built him into the house, is liberation...

...If man is tempted away from himself, he wanders aimlessly into emptiness. Precisely in this appearance of freedom, he is the exile, the prisoner, the criminal. (Cf. St. Augustine, Confessions 8.5.12-12.30; particularly 7.16)...Augustine is speaking not just on the basis of a dogmatic or philosophical theory but from the experience of his whole life. In indeterminacy, in the apparent freedom of an existence in which everything was possible but nothing was meaningful, he was enslaved. He was exiled from himself and captured by complete unconnectedness, which was based upon the absence of self and its detachment from its own truth. On the other hand, the gift of the victorious Christ is the homecoming and thereby makes possible the building of the house, and the house is called "Church..."

...[I]f the gifts [of which Saint Paul speaks] are ultimaltely one gift in many forms, namely the Spirit of God, and if the Spirit is the gift of Jesus Christ (which he gives and receives in men and women), then the innermost finality of all gifts is unity...

Joseph Ratzinger, "The Holy Spirit as Communio: Concerning the Relationship of Pneumatology and Spirituality in Augustine," in Joseph Ratzinger in Communio, Vol 2: Anthropology and Culture, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2013, 181-183.
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