Theology of Christ as Center of the Physical Cosmos[1]  

Thermonuclear reaction –

The point I am after is this: The entire physical cosmos is an extension of the humanity of Jesus Christ. As enfleshed Person (“I and the Father are one” Jn. 10, 30), He is enfleshed God. He was touched in the flesh (“Feel me and see that a ghost does not flesh and bones as you see I have” (Lk. 24, 39-40). He is

Creator of the cosmos that was created for and unto Him (Col 1, 15-19), we would expect this to have impact and resonance on the entire physical universe. As the Body of Christ, as any animal or human body, is not a mere congregation of particles, we should be looking for an iteration of this state of affairs throughout the universe.

 Robert Barron­: “I believe there are intriguing hints in a good deal of contemporary science that the Logos that informs all reality is, as Christians would expect, marked by a kind of being-with or being-for. Classical physics and astronomy were predicated on the assumption that reality is made up of separately existing objects, relating to one another extrinsically within the great theater of space. But post-Einsteinian physics – and now quantum theory even more radically – tend to see not so much ‘things’ as patterns of interaction, overlapping fields of energy. What Charles Williams called “co-inherence,” the interpenetration of all dimensions of reality, seems to obtain at the most fundamental levels of being The EPR (Einstein Podolsky Rosen) and Bell’s theorem both indicate that certain subatomic particles, having been at one time in contact continue to be marked by one another, even after they have been separated by enormous amounts of space. Does this action at a distance, or nonlocal causality, in fact suggest that a kind of co-inherence or Mitsein obtains across the fields of reality? And might this line of thought be a fruitful entrée for those who hold that the intelligibility that informs all created being is precisely an intelligibility of love?”[2]

 

Pope Francis: “Laudato ‘Si:” VII. THE TRINITY AND THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG CREATURES

233. The universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely. Hence, there is a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dewdrop, in a poor person’s face.[159] The ideal is not only to pass from the exterior to the interior to discover the action of God in the soul, but also to discover God in all things. Saint Bonaventure teaches us that “contemplation deepens the more we feel the working of God’s grace within our hearts, and the better we learn to encounter God in creatures outside ourselves”.[160]

  1. Saint John of the Cross taught that all the goodness present in the realities and experiences of this world “is present in God eminently and infinitely, or more properly, in each of these sublime realities is God”.[161]  This is not because the finite things of this world are really divine, but because the mystic experiences the intimate connection between God and all beings, and thus feels that “all things are God”.[162]Standing awestruck before a mountain, he or she cannot separate this experience from God, and perceives that the interior awe being lived has to be entrusted to the Lord: “Mountains have heights and they are plentiful, vast, beautiful, graceful, bright and fragrant. These mountains are what my Beloved is to me. Lonely valleys are quiet, pleasant, cool, shady and flowing with fresh water; in the variety of their groves and in the sweet song of the birds, they afford abundant recreation and delight to the senses, and in their solitude and silence, they refresh us and give rest. These valleys are what my Beloved is to me”.[163]…….

* * * * * * * * *

  1. The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the loving and self-communicating foundation of all that exists. The Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created, united himself to this earth when he was formed in the womb of Mary. The Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very heart of the universe, inspiring and bringing new pathways. The world was created by the three Persons acting as a single divine principle, but each one of them performed this common work in accordance with his own personal property. Consequently, “when we contemplate with wonder the universe in all its grandeur and beauty, we must praise the whole Trinity”.[169]
  2. For Christians, believing in one God who is trinitarian communion suggests that the Trinity has left its mark on all creation. Saint Bonaventure went so far as to say that human beings, before sin, were able to see how each creature “testifies that God is three”. The reflection of the Trinity was there to be recognized in nature “when that book was open to man and our eyes had not yet become darkened”.[170]The Franciscan saint teaches us that each creature bears in itself a specifically Trinitarian structure, so real that it could be readily contemplated if only the human gaze were not so partial, dark and fragile. In this way, he points out to us the challenge of trying to read reality in a Trinitarian key.
  3. The divine Persons are subsistent relations, and the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationships. Creatures tend towards God, and in turn it is proper to every living being to tend towards other things, so that throughout the universe we can find any number of constant and secretly interwoven relationships.[171]This leads us not only to marvel at the manifold connections existing among creatures, but also to discover a key to our own fulfilment. The human person grows more, matures more and is sanctified more to the extent that he or she enters into relationships, going out from themselves to live in communion with God, with others and with all creatures. In this way, they make their own that trinitarian dynamism which God imprinted in them when they were created. Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.

 

[(162)The spiritual writer Ali al-Khawas stresses from his own experience the need not to put too much distance between the creatures of the world and the interior experience of God. As he puts it: “Prejudice should not have us criticize those who seek ecstasy in music or poetry. There is a subtle mystery in each of the movements and sounds of this world. The initiate will capture what is being said when the wind blows, the trees sway, water flows, flies buzz, doors creak, birds sing, or in the sound of strings or flutes, the sighs of the sick, the groans of the afflicted…” (EVA DE VITRAY-MEYEROVITCH [ed.], Anthologie du soufisme, Paris 1978, 200)].

“Fides et Ratio” (John Paul II) #83:

“I want only to state that reality and truth do transcend the factual and the empirical, and to vindicate the human being’s capacity to know this transcendent and metaphysical dimension in a way that is true and certain, albeit imperfect and analogical. In this sense, metaphysics should not be seen as an alternative to anthropology, since it is metaphysics which makes it possible to ground the concept of personal dignity in virtue of their spiritual nature. In a special way, the person constitutes a privileged locus for the encounter with being, and hence with metaphysical enquiry.

Wherever men and women discover a call to the absolute and transcendent, the metaphysical dimension of reality opens up before them: in truth, in beauty, in moral values, in other persons, in being itself, in God. We face a great challenge at the end of this millennium to move from phenomenon to foundation, a step as necessary as it is urgent. We cannot stop short at experience alone; even if experience does reveal the human being’s interiority and spirituality, speculative thinking must penetrate to the spiritual core and the ground from which it rises. Therefore, a philosophy which shuns metaphysics would be radically unsuited to the task of mediation in the understanding of Revelation.

The word of God refers constantly to things which transcend human experience and even human thought; but this “mystery” could not be revealed, nor could theology render it in some way intelligible, 102 were human knowledge limited strictly to the world of sense experience. Metaphysics thus plays an essential role of mediation in theological research. A theology without a metaphysical horizon could not move beyond an analysis of religious experience, nor would it allow the intellectus fidei to give a coherent account of the universal and transcendent value of revealed truth.

If I insist so strongly on the metaphysical element, it is because I am convinced that it is the path to be taken in order to move beyond the crisis pervading large sectors of philosophy at the moment, and thus to correct certain mistaken modes of behaviour now widespread in our society.

What is reality: Benedict XVI: The Enfleshed Word of the Father, Jesus Christ

Synod on the Word of God (October 6, 2008): Keynote Address.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopacy,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the beginning of our Synod the Liturgy of the Hours presents a passage from Psalm 118 on the Word of God: a praise of his Word, an expression of the joy of Israel in learning it and, in it, to recognize his will and his Face. I would like to meditate on some verses of this Psalm with you.

It begins like this: “In aeternum, Domine, verbum tuum constitutum est in caelo… firmasti terram, et permanet”. This refers to the solidity of the Word. It is solid, it is the true reality on which one must base one’s life. Let us remember the words of Jesus who continues the words of this Psalm: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”. Humanly speaking, the word, my human word, is almost nothing in reality, a breath. As soon as it is pronounced it disappears. It seems to be nothing. But already the human word has incredible power. Words create history, words form thoughts, the thoughts that create the word. It is the word that forms history, reality.

Furthermore, the Word of God is the foundation of everything, it is the true reality. And to be realistic, we must rely upon this reality. We must change our idea that matter, solid things, things we can touch, are the more solid, the more certain reality. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount the Lord speaks to us about the two possible foundations for building the house of one’s life: sand and rock. The one who builds on sand builds only on visible and tangible things, on success, on career, on money. Apparently these are the true realities. But all this one day will pass away. We can see this now with the fall of large banks: this money disappears, it is nothing. And thus all things, which seem to be the true realities we can count on, are only realities of a secondary order. The one who builds his life on these realities, on matter, on success, on appearances, builds upon sand. Only the Word of God is the foundation of all reality, it is as stable as the heavens and more than the heavens, it is reality. Therefore, we must change our concept of realism. The realist is the one who recognizes the Word of God, in this apparently weak reality, as the foundation of all things. Realist is the one who builds his life on this foundation, which is permanent. Thus the first verses of the Psalm invite us to discover what reality is and how to find the foundation of our life, how to build life.”

  1. Scripture    Colossians 1:15-19:   The Person of Christ:15 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

Reconciled in Christ

19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell,

Consider Barron’s gloss on this text,  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 B)  Ratzinger’s “Theololgical Epistemology:” Luke describes Christ is always found in prayer (LK. 6, 12; 9, 18; 9, 28). Like is known by like. Therefore, to know Christ as He is as Person divine “I”], one must do what He does, experience the action in oneself and then transfer the consciousness accompanying that action to Him. Therefore, Lk. 6, 18 finds the apostles in prayer with Jesus when He asks who men (who do not pray) say that He is; and then, who do they say that He is (“The Christ, Son of the living God”).

Fides et Ratio #83.

” I want only to state that reality and truth do transcend the factual and the empirical, and to vindicate the human being’s capacity to know this transcendent and metaphysical dimension in a way that is true and certain, albeit imperfect and analogical. In this sense, metaphysics should not be seen as an alternative to anthropology, since it is metaphysics which makes it possible to ground the concept of personal dignity in virtue of their spiritual nature. In a special way, the person constitutes a privileged locus for the encounter with being [actu essendi], and hence with metaphysical enquiry.”

 Blogger:  Don’t miss that the “object” of faith is the human person himself in that he transcends himself and experiences himself as “alter Christus.” One thing is to experience “things” through the external senses, and another is to experience the self (as ontological reality: being) and as image and likeness of the Son Who is the revelation of the Father. That is, the act of faith as action of the person transcending himself yields the experience of revelation. The veil obscuring the mind is lifted by the conversion away from self (act of faith as self-transcendence) and the reality of being (person) is offered to reason. This is the meaning of the relation of faith and reason, and the reason that reason cannot reason adequately or fully without faith. Thus, reason without faith is not fully reason and therefore, unreasonable because it is dealing only with empirical reality and not the full scope. Benedict XVI wrote long and hard on this in 2008: “Broadening Reason.”

 

[1] See Barron’s “The Priority of Christ.” When we say “being” we say Christ.

[2] Robert Barron, “Exploring Catholic Theology,” Baker Academic (2015) 226-227

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