Encounter with God in Jesus Christ in the Church
Opinions, private points of view and speculations no longer suffice for anyone weighing up their effect on the course of human life, and whose respect for humanity is awake. They certainly do not satisfy anyone who is conscious of being able to arrive by means of theological responses at the first cause of truth. God has manifested his word to us. We cannot find it and grasp it unaided by the power of our intellect alone, however much may be conceded to our diligence in illuminating the credibility of this word and how it corresponds to our questions and to out various forms of human knowledge. It is in the inner logic of Revelation that the defence and interpretation of this word require the special gift of the Spirit. It follows, then, that the study of Catholic theology must always be subject to a willingness to listen to the binding testimony of the Church and to accept the decisions of those who, in their capacity as pastors of the Church, are responsible before God for protecting the deposit of faith.
Without the church, the word of God would not have been handed down and preserved; one cannot want God's word without the Church. Intellectual comprehension of the faith must of course be integrated with another aspect: the faith, besides being known, must be lived. In the New Testament itself a faith based uniquely on knowing would be rejected as a perversion. For example, according to the Letter of St James, the demonic forces know the One God but, since they do not accept this knowledge with their inner nature, all that remains for them is to tremble before this God. For them punishment not salvation is in store (Cf James 2:19)
When God addresses his word to us, he does not tell us some fact about things or other people; he does not communicate something - he communicates himself. Thus God's word demands a response, which ought to be given with our entire person. The reality of God eludes those who confine themselves to thinking of his word and of his truth only as objects of impartial research. On the contrary, the way to draw near to God as God is by worship alone. One of the great mystics, Meister Eckhart, used to urge his listeners ' to get rid of the imaged God'. If God remains purely and simply 'he', we remain alone and empty. god gives himself to us as 'you'. We only find him when we too say 'you'. It follows, as Eckhart used to say, that we ought to have God present 'in our heart, in our search and in our love'.
Learn to know Christ and make yourselves known to him! he knows each one of you individually. this is no knowledge giving rise to opposition and rebellion, a knowledge from which one needs to flee in order to safeguard one's own personal mystery. This is no knowledge composed of hypotheses which reduce human being to socio-utilitarin dimensions. His is a knowledge full of simple truth about human nature and, above all, full of love. Submit to being known by the Good Shepherd, his knowledge is simple and full of love. Be sure, he knows each of you better than you know yourselves. He knows because he has given his life for you (John 15:13) Allow him to find you. At times people, young people, lose their bearing in the world surrounding them, in the vast network of human affairs enveloping them. Allow Christ to find you. Let him know all about you, let him guide you. True, in order to follow someone, you must at the same time make demands on yourself; such is the law of friendship. If we wish to travel together, we shall have to give thought to the road we are taking. if it leads up into the mountains, we shall have to follow the signposts. If we have to climb a mountain, we must not leave the rope behind. And besides, we must keep in contact with our divine Friend whose name is Jesus Christ. We have to co-operate with him.
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