|As I feel my way along here, let me offer this take on the pope in Krakow on Saturday July 30 (2016) as the point. I am back in New York now. Francis voiced this statement: “Jesus directs us to a one-way street: that of going forth from ourselves. It is a one-way trip, with no return ticket. It involves making an exodus from ourselves, losing our lives for his sake and setting out on the path of self-gift.” His mouthing the great transformation that must take place in our thinking: “making an exodus from ourselves.”
Let me back up to the great point. Pre-revelation thought always worked within the sensible perception of the world. What else was there? But Old Testament Genesis offers that God made the world “from nothing.” That means from no existing thing. That means that He is no thing. It means that He is not A Being. He is not even The Supreme Being. It forces the mind to see – not knowing what it is saying – that God is sheer existence, which St. Thomas formulated as Ipsum Esse: the dynamic act of all acts that gives to everything that is, the act of “to be.”
That means that God is beyond every kind of knowing that is about a being. That is we cannot name God as we name things. We cannot sense God, and we cannot name Him as we name things. And this makes sense of Mt. 11, 27 where Christ says that no one knows the Son except the Fat her, and no one knows the Father except the Son. And him to whom the Son reveals Him. So, you cannot know God except by becoming God.
But then, the Son became man. And we are men. And we can know a man by doing what he does and experiencing in ourselves what he does. That is, He experiences Himself by dioing x and y, and we experience ourselves doing x and y. If I know myself experientially by doing, then by transference I know Him. And if the other is a divine Person, then by doing what He does, I can be divine in myself – in my experiencing – and know Him by knowing myself.
Therefore, we can know God in Himself experientially. And in passing, recall that Christ said “This is eternal life, that they know you the one true God, and him whom you have sent” (Jn. 17, 3). In the light of this, consider the following report on the pope yesterday. Tip: as Christ is “out self” as divine Person, if you go out self, you become Christ and know Christ. And since I and the Father are one (Jn. 10, 30), you will know the Father and can cry out: Abba. Read: