St. John the Apostle

John takes the true measurement of Christ from Christ Himself, not from any fictitious priorcategory:

1- Transcendent “To Be [Esse]“: Before Abraham came to be, I am (Jn. 8, 58). As Creator, Christ transcends all created being

2- Immanent Man in time and space: “But  Jesus turned round, and seeing them following him, said to them, ‘What is it you seek?’ They said to him, ‘Rabbi (which interpreted means Master), where dwellest thou?’ He said to them, ‘Come and see.’ They came and saw where he was staying; and they stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.(Jn. 1, 38-39).

John presents the two radical dimensions of the Person of Jesus Christ: God and Man – totally God, and totally man [not 1/2 man and 1/ 2 God)]. The mistaken presupposition here would be that God before becoming man was pure spirit, and therefore ceased to be fully Himself when He became man. But as we shall see, we are not to form our categories of reality and then fit the revelation of God into them. Rather, if Creation and Redemption are revealed to us, then we must accept God’s revelation of Himself such as He does so, and not impose our abstract categories and demand that He fit into them.

[Blogger: I propose that the failure to understand Pope Francis today in Amoris Laetitia  is due to the Gnostic mind in a large portion of the Church that identifies God and Truth as spirit, and as such must be presented in clear and distinct doctrinal formulation. Ambiguity in thought is identified with a contamination of matter, and therefore untruth. The battle lines that have formed around “Amoris Laetitia” are the conceptual clarities of divorce-remarriage, mortal sin, and the proscription of receiving Communion in mortal sin – and the ontological formation of consciousness (as conscience) and growth into an experience of Christ in the day-to-day materiality of ordinary life. That is, matter enters into the very meaning of man, and therefore, into the very meaning of God. This spells ambiguity for the gnostic mind, and it is about this that the lines are being drawn]

“Of all the apostles, who stresses most the corporal reality of the Resurrected Christ? He who most stressed the divinity of Jesus, John. He who proclaimed Christ as the Logos, the eternal Son, also traced the living features of his resurrected body. There were reasons for this. By the time John’s Gospel was written, Christianity’s message had spread so far that the moment had come for a clarification of the Christian essence. In addition, John had certain polemic reasons for his clear-cut statement: his writings had to face a powerful enemy: the pagan and half-Christian spiritualism of the Gnostics, who were convinced that God was spirit. However their conviction was so narrow and distorted, that they concluded that he was therefore anti-corporal, and that in his eyes all matter was impure. Consequently, they could not accept the Incarnation; insisting instead that a divine being, the eternal Logos, had descended from heaven and made his dwelling in the man Jesus. Through his mouth we are taught the truth and shown the way from the fleshly to the spiritual. When the man Jesus died, the logos, had descended from heaven and made is dwelling in the man Jesus. When the man Jesus died, the Logos left him and returned to heaven. To this St. John says: God became man and remains man in all eternity.

“To the question: What have we to do with the spiritualism of Gnostics? – the answer is: A great deal! Modernity is often completely confused by ‘spiritualism.’ (We say) how it is constantly trying to explain away the Resurrection as deception; Jesus’ divinity as mere religious experience. the figure of the resurrected Christ as the product of communal piety, in order to separate ‘the real’ Jesus from the Christ of faith. Whether expressed historically or psychologically, as  it is today, or mythologically,  as it was at the time of the Gnostics, the argument remains the same. In reply, John erected two monumental landmarks. The first in the sentence ‘And the Word was made flesh…’ (Jn. 1, 14). Not ‘entered into’ a human being, but became that being, so that he was simultaneously human and divine;his deed God’s deed; his fate God’s fate, resulting in an indivisible unity of existence, responsibility and dignity. Not merely ‘And the Word as made man’ – but, that there be no possible mistake ‘…was made flesh’ – the clarity  is almost unbearable.

“The second landmark is in John’s proclamation: ‘This is now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples, after he had risen from the dead’ ((21, 14), Not merely in the memory of his followers; not merely made manifest through the power of his teaching and his works, but in the divine and human, spiritual and corporal reality transformed, transfigured. God’s Son did not discard his humanity, but took it with him into the eternal glory revealed in the Apocalypse and in the dying Stephen’s vision, and referred to  by St. Paul when he speaks of the risen Christ sitting on the right hand of God (Eph. 1, 20; Rom. 8, 34).

“We do well to pause and consider what is being claimed, for it is truly unheard of; and if something in is estranged ro revolts, it should speak up, for it has the right to do so.

“Who is God? The Supreme Spirit, and so pure, that the angels by contrast are ‘flesh’! He is the Endless, Omnipotent, Eternal, All-inclusive One in the simplicity of his pure reality. The Unchanging One, living in himself, sufficient unto himself. What possible use could he have for a human body in heaven? The Incarnation is already incomprehensible enough; it we accept it as an act of unfathomable love, this life and death , isn’t that sufficient? Why must we also believe that this piece of creation is assimilated into the eternity of God’s existence? What for? A bit of earthliness lost and caught up into the tremendousness of eternity? Why doesn’t the Logos shake the dust from him and return to the pure clarity of his free divinity?… Revelation defines such ideas as philosophy or worldly religion, to which Christian thought is by nature and definition diametrically opposed. But then what manner of God is this, with whom Resurrection, Ascension and throning on this right hand are possible? Precisely the kind of God who makes such things possible.! He is the God of the Resurrection, and we must learn that it is not the Resurrection that is irreconcilable to him, but part of our thinking that is irreconcilable to the Resurrection, for it is false.

[And here is the point:] “If we take Christ’s figure as our point of departure trying to understand from there, we find ourselves faced with the choice between a completely new conception of God and our relation to him, and utter rejection of everything  that surpasses the limitations of a ‘great man’… We must completely reform our idea of humanity, if it is to fit the mold Christ has indicated. We can no longer say: man is as the world supposes him to be; therefore it is impossible that he throne at God’s right, but: since Revelation has revealed that the son of Man does throne at God’s right, man must be other than the world supposes him. We must learn that God is not only ‘supreme Being,’ but supremely divine and human Being; we must realize that man is not only human, but that the tip of his essence reaches into the unknown, and receives it fulfillment in his Resurrection.” [Romano Guardini, “The Lord” Henry Regnery (1954) 411-413).

Blogger: See how this is a retrieval and clarification of the meaning of Creation from nothing. As Creator, God is not a being of His creation. He is not a being at all, not even the Supreme Being at the top of the ontological chain. He is not part of the chain at all. He is the unique Cause of the Chain which has come from nothing, each part receiving is from Him. He is the pure Act of Existence. He is pure ising. Therefore, if He enters into the chain of being, He enters as a being without ceasing to be ising. The Church at Chalcedon (451) has called the “ising” of Christ “Person.” The humanity of Christ is the material entity that receives all its “ising” from the “ising” “I.” And Christ is the prototype of every man and meaning thereof. 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Overcoming the Relativism of Modern Philosophy: Descartes to the Present Day

That which appears below is an extraordinary piece that follows on the phenomenology of Karol Wojtyla and the Epistemological Theology of Joseph Ratzinger. Remember that Wojtyla did his doctoral thesis on the meaning of faith in St. John of the Cross. There he learned the “nondual consciousness” of John of the Cross. That is, faith is not a dualistic, conceptual, propositional way of knowing, but consciousness. And, let it be clear: at root it is the consciousness that the believer has of himself as person by going out of himself and thus becomining “another Christ,” Christ Himself.” 

    This is what Karol Wojtyla understood when he applied the phenomenology of Edmund Hussel to the act of faith with thomistic metaphysics (via Max Scheler). He made a phenomenology of St. John of the Cross’s non-dual consciousness [faith] and he handed reason an ontologically realistic grasp of the subject as “I.” “Experience” of the act of going out of self (faith) was his philosophic vehicle. Descartes had left it camouflaged since he did not realize that the consciousness of the “I” was the result of real-life experiences, and that in experience, the “I” is really experiencing itself (“I”) acting and the “being of whom we become conscious. The being of the “I” tends to be hidden by the consciousness which we perceive, and therefore, the “I” becomes confused with consciousness (throughout all of philosophy after Descartes to the present day).

But what Descarted did not realize, Wojtyla did: that the faith experience of the acting person, “I,” is the real contact reason has with the reality we call “being.” And it takes place here above all because there is no mediation between the “I” and itself. And reason registers this immediacy as identity. We have the intimate contact between “I” and being that had been hidden since the beginning of human thought. The result of the confusion of the “I” with consciousness led the entire philosophic enterprise into the bogus problem of the separation of morality from real being.

* * * * * * * 
 

Nondual Consciousness: Richard Rohr

The Meaning of Spiritual Love
Friday, August 19, 2016

When I teach nondual consciousness, I often use the phrase “not one, but not two either.” Nondual consciousness heals our splits and sense of separation. Think of how a truly loving, faithful relationship has helped you be fully and wholly yourself. John of the Cross describes this relationship in his “Spiritual Canticle,” and this is my paraphrase:

When you regarded me

Your eyes imprinted your grace in me,

In this, you loved me again,

And thus my eyes merited

To also love what you see in me. . . .

Let us go forth together to see ourselves in your beauty. [1]

When we read poetry as beautiful and profound as this verse, we can see why John of the Cross was far ahead of his time in the spiritual and psychological understanding of how love works and how true love changes us at a deep level. He consistently speaks of divine love as the template and model for all human love, and human love as the necessary school and preparation for any transcendent encounter. If you have never experienced any human love, it will be very hard for you to access God as Love (although grace overcomes this barrier). If you have never let God love you, you will not know how to love other people or things as they deserve.

In this surely inspired passage, John describes the very process of love at its best: You give a piece of yourself to the other. You see a piece of yourself in the other (usually unconsciously). This allows the other to do the same in return. You do not need or demand anything back from them, because you know that you are both participating in a single, Bigger Gazing and Loving—one that fully satisfies and creates an immense Inner Aliveness. Simply to love is its own reward. You accept being accepted—for no reason and by no criteria whatsoever! This is the key that unlocks everything in me, for others, and toward God, so much so that we call it “salvation.”

To put it another way, what I let God see and accept in me also becomes what I can see and accept in myself. And even more, it becomes that whereby I see everything else. This is why it is crucial to allow God, and at least one other person, to see us in our imperfection and nakedness, as we are—rather than as we ideally wish to be. It is also why we must give others this same experience of being looked upon in their imperfection; otherwise, they will never know the essential and utterly transformative mystery of grace. This is the glue that binds the universe of persons together.

Such utterly free and gratuitous love is the only love that validates, transforms, and changes us at the deepest levels of consciousness. It is what we all desire and what we were created for. Once you allow and accept God’s love for yourself, you will almost naturally become a conduit of the same for others.

Can you let God “look upon you in your lowliness,” as Mary put it (Luke 1:48), without waiting for some future moment when you believe you are worthy? Remember the words of John of the Cross: “Love what God sees in you.” Many of us never go there, because to be loved in this way is to live in the naked now, and it is indeed a quite naked moment.