Fr. George Rutler – Christ in the City III

In 15 Audio on 2012/11/16 at 12:00 AM

Christ in the City, 2006

Host – Fr. George Rutler, S.T.D.

Fr. George Rutler, S.T.D., discusses varied themes relative to finding Christ in daily life, even amongst the bustle of urban living. His topics for reflection include faith, entering the “narrow gate,” the feast of Pentecost, the “high priestly prayer” of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, hearing the divine music, and seeing works of art as representations of the holy or divine. Dealing with matters of everyday life, Rutler presents the topics of fanaticism, procrastination and distractions.

Please click on this link to access these programs: : http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7088&T1=Rutler

Christ in the City, 2006

1. Pentecost…Fr. Rutler presents the relevance of the Churchʼs feast of Pentecost–the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians today–using metaphors derived from events transpiring within the Upper Room in Jerusalem, Pearl Harbor, Ground Zero in New York, as well as the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI in Rome.

2.Divine Music…Fr. Rutler speaks of beauty and truth originating with God, who is the perfection of every virtue. Hence light and music are forms of the divine harmony and luminescence. All human creations owe their debt of inspiration to their Creator. It is a revelation to realize that natural gifts come from the supernatural. Hence to listen to the divine music is to hear the voice of God spoken to our consciences or souls. Such an art of quiet listening would be considered a refined art in noisy city life.

3.The High Priestly Prayer…Fr. Rutler uses illustrations from the life of Pope John Paul II, the Titanic and Pearl Harbor to lead into discussion of Christʼs prayer for unity among his Church. Before his impending death, Jesus prayed that believers not necessarily be delivered from the often troubling circumstances of living in the world, but that they be preserved in the truth and kept safe from the evil one.

4. Fanaticism…Fr. Rutler refers to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as the life of John Paul II and the example of the Dead Sea to show the difference between following the truth in a healthy way as opposed to acting out of a blind, unhealthy zeal. Fanatics are marked by a lack of balance, whereas a manʼs life can only be perfectly balanced in God. Christ gave us the sacraments to help us to live out the virtues in a way unaided human disciple could never attain.

5. Sermon on the Mount…Fr. Rutler emphatically states that the Sermon on the Mount was not given by Christ as a lesson in ethics, merely as a philosophical system or code of moral behavior requiring intellectual assent only. This summation of Christianity serves as an announcement that Christ is God, and that as such he wants to give supernatural help to be what God wants us to be. He declares that he was sent to show us the way to heaven, to bid us understand what it means to thirst for righteousness, to hunger for it. He even opens up the way to heaven by dying on the cross for us.

6. Procrastination…Fr. Rutler praises Christʼs attitude of obedience, always knowing where he was going, heading resolutely toward his Passion and resurrection in Jerusalem, and bidding his disciples to follow him on this narrow way to salvation. He encourages his disciples on this way because he knows how easy it is to go astray and to procrastinate, a danger to the soul more persistant and more subtle than a willful denial. As examples of his argument, Rutler cites the prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, Hank Williams, Sr., Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

7. Faith…Fr. Rutler makes the point that faith requires admitting that there is a being with a higher intelligence than we have. The beginning of wisdom is to recognize the limitations of our intellect and our need for assistance. An act of faith needs to be made, and then the object of our faith will give us what is good. St. Paul uses the image of the mirror to say that now we see dimly only, as in a reflection, but in the next life, face to face with God. Faith is the beginning and love the end of our perception of God, and God brings the two together so that the mind is no longer isolated.

8. The Narrow Gate…Fr. Rutler makes the clear distinction between the narrow way of Christ and the narrowmindedness of bigotry. People often make a habit of narrowing the circle of those they choose to love and those they exclude. Christ came into the world to help us to see clearly, to focus our attention on him as the very presence of the Divine Love in time and space. To come into his presence is to encounter a narrowness that gives access to all races. This specificity is not one of opinion, but of the precision of truth that anyone, anywhere can accept. Choosing to follow his universal way is the condition by which people can come to sit at table in the kingdom of God.

9. Distractions…Fr. Rutler presents distraction as one of the problems of the modern age. People have the technology to have so much information at their fingertips and so many modes of communication available at all times that they can lose their presence of mind at the given moment, giving way to numerous distractions. Christ provides the answer to this lack of focus, notably in his Transfiguration. The Father is well pleased with Christ because he always does his will. The apostles find direction in as much as they look to Christ. Modern-day examples of being rooted in God include the prayer of GeorgeWashington before the battle of Valley Forge, the Apparitions at Fatima, and the ministry of Pope John Paul II.

10.Works of Art…Fr. Rutler views works of art as representations of higher realities. The works stand for something larger than or beyond themselves; even more than the technical merit of their appearance, their value is determined by what they represent. Such is the case

especially when dealing with sacred art. Artworks connote the presence of an artist, and behind him or her, even the supreme artist, God. The whole universe is his masterpiece, and we are his favorite works of art. Art of the saints beckons us with very holy and eternal glances to contemplate him whose will is that we may rejoice with him forever.

Please click on this site to access programs: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=7088&T1=Rutler

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