Thursday, May 31, 2018

Corpus Christi. The Immortal Soul, Metaphysics, God, Sacramental Theology: Christian Anthropology and Eucharistic Adoration

"...[T]hings are not merely things, material for human labor, so man is not merely a functionary who manipulates things things; rather, only by examining the world with respect to its eternal first cause does man learn who he himself is: someone called by God and to God. Only the call of the eternal constitutes man as man. One could actually define him as the being capable of God: what theology tries to designate with the term 'soul' is of course nothing other than the fact that man is known and loved by God in another way than all the other beings below him--known in order to know in return, loved in order to love in return. This sort of staying in God's memory is what makes man live forever--for God's memory never ends; it is what makes a human being man and distinguishes him from animals; if this is ruled out, then, instead of man, only a more highly developed animal is left. But in this way it has become a bit clearer in what sense we may speak about the sacramental foundation of human existence: If being called by God not only brings about man's humanity but constitutes it, then the transparency of the world toward the eternal, which is the basis of the sacramental principle, belongs to the foundation of his existence. Then sacramental communication with the eternal establishes man himself..." 162

"...[T]he Christian sacraments mean not only insertion into the God-permeated cosmos...they mean at the same time insertion into the history that originates in Christ... [T]his addition of the historical dimension represents the distinctively Christian transformation of the sacramental idea, which for the first time give to natural symbolism its binding force and its concrete claim, cleanses it of all ambiguity and makes it into a more certain guarantee for the nearness of the one true God, who is not just...the mysterious abyss of the cosmos, but, rather, its Lord and Creator..." 162

"...[T]here is no such thing as the autonomy of the human spirit, is not a spiritual atom without relations to others but, rather, can live as a man only corporeally, with his fellow men and historically... [Man's] relationship to God, if it is to be a human relationship to God, bust be just as man is: corporeal, fraternal, and historical..." 166

Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament
"Eucharistic adoration is in truth related to the Lord, who through his historical life and suffering has become "Bread" for us; in other words, through his Incarnation and self-abandonment to death he has become the One who is open for us. Such prayer is therefore related to the historical mystery of Jesus Christ, to God's history with men that moves toward us in the sacrament. And it is related to the mystery of the Church: since it is related to the history of God with men, it is related to the whole 'Body of Christ', to the community of believers, in which and through which God comes to us. In this way praying in church and before the Blessed Sacrament is the 'classification' of our relation to God under the mystery of the Church as the specific locality where God meets us.... [T]his is the purpose of our going to church at all: so that I in an orderly fashion may take my place in God's history with men--the only setting in which I as a man have my true human existence and which alone therefore also opens up for me the true space of my encounter with God's eternal love..." 167-168

Joseph Ratzinger, Essay "The Sacramental Foundation of Christian Existence," Salzburg, 1965 in Collected Works 11, Theology of the Liturgy, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2014.
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