Tuesday, December 29, 2020

God's Condescension Answers Man's Autonomous Loneliness

Man's spirit is essentially transcendent.

Spiritual activity is a reference to the encounter with something which is object. This duality of the I and the object together with the effort to save, through understanding, the abyss which separates both and appropriates the other, the non-I, by the will, characterizes the human spirit as such. The "to transcend" of the I beyond itself, which continues to give itself in the consciousness of itself or in the objectifying self-knowledge of the I for the I, is essentially the spiritual life. The "intention" or reference of the knowing and of the willing toward its object is the bridge which the spirit extends between the I and the non-I by means of the acts of the understanding and the will. Only together with the other does the spirit come to be what it is in itself, to grasp itself as a proper being which has a "world." Man can only come to be himself by a singular dialectic, only before that which he is not. (24-25)

Revelation (divine condescension) fulfills man, enabling true transcendence.

The Deist notion of Transcendence is not yet that of revelation. In the latter, the God who hovers over the cosmos is at the same time the God who approaches the world in order to draw it to Himself, while man, not remaining a prisoner to the loneliness of his autonomy, presents himself as the creature who discovers in the law of his essence the idea and the norm of his Creator and gives an obedience to the law of revelation which purifies his humanitas and elevates it toward God. (31)

Theodor Steinbüchel, Die philosophische Grundlegung der katholischen Sittenlehre I, Düsseldorf: L. Schwann, 1938.

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