Thought of the day
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday of the Fourth week of Easter
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"No one can take them out of the Father's hand"

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [Benedict XVI, Pope from 2005 to 2013] 
Der Gott Jesu Christi (trans. The God of Jesus Christ, ©Ignatius press, 2008 rev.)
"No one can take them out of the Father's hand"

God is-and the Christian faith adds: God is as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three and one. This is the very heart of Christianity, but it is so often shrouded in a silence born of perplexity. Has the Church perhaps gone one step too far here? Ought we not rather leave something so great and inaccessible as God in his inaccessibility? Can something like the Trinity have any real meaning for us? Well, it is certainly true that the proposition... remains the expression of his otherness, which is infinitely greater than we and transcends all our thinking and our existence. But if this proposition had nothing to say to us, it would not have been revealed... 

What, then, does this mean? Let us begin at the point where God himself began. He calls himself Father. Human fatherhood can give us an inkling of what God is; but where fatherhood no longer exists, where genuine fatherhood is no longer experienced as a phenomenon that goes beyond the biological dimension to embrace a human and intellectual sphere as well, it becomes meaningless to speak of God the Father... Where fatherhood is perceived only as a biological accident on which no genuinely human claims may be based, or the father is seen as a tyrant whose yoke must be thrown off, something in the basic structure of human existence has been damaged. If human existence is to be complete, we need a father, in the true meaning of fatherhood... namely, a responsibility for one's child that does not dominate him but permits him to become his own self... Responsibility for one's child means the desire that he realize his own innermost truth, which lies in his Creator. And naturally, a fatherhood of this kind is possible only if one accepts one's own status as a child... If men are to be fathers in the correct way, they must assent in their heart to the words of Jesus: "You have only one Father, who is heaven" (Mt 23,9)... 

Here, of course, another point is important: the fact that the primary biblical image of God is the "Father" also means that the mystery of motherhood, too, has its origin in him... Man is not God's “image” (Gn 1,27) as an abstraction, for that would lead in turn only to an abstract God. He is God's image in his concrete reality, which is relationship.

Source: © 2001-2014

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