Posts Tagged ‘Revelation’

Divine Revelation Does Not Follow Earthly Logic

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2012/12/21 at 9:11 AM

Benedict XVI dedicated the catechesis to the Messianic Hymn of Jubilee, Jesus’ prayer of praise recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which constitutes the “apex of a path of prayer in which Jesus’ profound and intimate communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit and His divine filiation clearly emerges “.

Already at the opening of the hymn, the Pope observed, Jesus addresses God by calling him Father, a term that expresses “Jesus’ awareness and certainty of being ‘the Son’ in close and constant communion with Him. This is the central point and the source of Jesus’ every prayer. … The name of ‘Father’ is followed by a second title: ‘Lord of heaven and earth'”, which “recalls the great biblical narration of the history of God’s love for human beings that began with creation. Jesus … is the pinnacle and the fullness of this history of love. … Through the expression ‘Lord of heaven and earth’ we also recognize how, in Jesus, the one who reveals the Father, the possibility of access to God is opened to humanity”.

But, to whom does the Son want to reveal the mysteries of God? “Divine revelation”, the pontiff explained, “does not occur within earthly logic, according to which humans are the wise and powerful who posses important knowledge and transmit it to those who are more simple. … God’s style is another: His communication is addressed precisely to the ‘childlike’. … And what is this childlikeness that opens humans to a filial intimacy with God and to welcoming His will? … It is the pureness of heart that allows us to recognize the face of God in Jesus Christ. It is keeping our hearts as simple as those of children, without the presumptions of those who are locked in themselves, thinking they have no need of anyone, not even God”.

“In Matthew’s Gospel, after the Hymn of Jubilee, we encounter one of Jesus’ most moving pleas: ‘Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.’ Jesus asks that we go to Him, the true wisdom, to the one who is ‘meek and humble of heart’; He proposes His ‘yoke’, the path of evangelical wisdom, which is neither a doctrine to learn nor an ethical proposal, but rather a Person to follow: He himself, the only-begotten Son, in perfect communion with the Father”.

“We also can address God with the confidence of sons and daughters”, Benedict XVI concluded, “calling Him Father when we pray. But we have to keep the heart of a child, the heart of those ‘poor in spirit’, in order to recognize that we are not self-sufficient … that we need God, that we have to seek Him, listen to Him, speak to Him. Prayer opens us to receiving the gift of God, His wisdom who is Jesus himself, in order to accept the will of the Father in our lives and to find consolation in the weariness of our journey”.

Vatican Information Service #20111207

Development of Doctrine

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/11/05 at 1:11 AM

This is Revelation: God’s mysteries opening up gradually . . . whereby little by little God makes Himself known.

St. Augustine wrote  that God in His mercy reveals his mysteries to man gradually in order that the whole world should experience “this saving proclamation, on hearing it should believe, on believing it hope, on hoping in it love.”

In his essay on THE DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE,  John Henry Newman demonstrated that the theology of the Church is no random combination of various opinions, but a diligent and patient working out of one doctrine from many materials.  He explained the slow, painful, anxious taking up of a new perspective into an existing body of belief.

“The integrity of the Catholic development is still more evident when they are viewed in contrast with the history of other doctrinal systems.  Philosophies and religions of the world have each its day, and are part of a succession.  They supplant and are in turn supplanted.  But the Catholic religion alone has had no limits; it alone has ever been greater than the emergence, and can do what others cannot do.

Truth is ever consolidating itself, and, as time goes on, shining into broader day.  For while the devises of adversaries were extinguished at once, undone by their very  impetuosity-on heresy after another presenting its own novelty, the former specimens ever dissolving and wasting variously in manifold and  multiform shapes-the  brightness of the Catholic and only true Church went forward increasing and enlarging, yet ever in the same things, and in the same way, beaming on the whole race of Greeks and barbarians with the awfulness, and simplicity, and nobleness, and sobriety, and purity of its divine polity and philosophy.

Exclusivity, bigotry and intolerance are some of the ordinary charges hurled at the Church by those who hold: that truth and falsehood in religion are but a matter of opinion; that one doctrine is as good as another; that the God does not intend we should gain the truth; that there is no truth; that we are not more acceptable to God by believing this than by believing that; that no one is answerable for his opinions; that they are a matter of necessity or accident; that it is enough if we sincerely hold what we profess; that our merit lies in seeking not possessing; that it is a duty to follow what seems to us true, without a fear lest it should not be true; that it maybe a gain to succeed, and can be no harm or fail; that we may take up and lay down opinions at pleasure; that belief belongs to the mere intellect,not to the heart also; that we may safely trust to ourselves in matters of Faith, and need no other guide.”

Newman, John Henry ESSAY ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE.  http://www.amazon.com/Essay-Development-Christian-Doctrine/dp/1616402520/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310080803&sr=1-2