Monday, February 05, 2007

Memento Mori

As Mel Gibson's Mary wiped the blood of Jesus' scourging from the stone pavement, similarly powerless to do much else, I post an occasional weblog, not to violate the intimacy of what Liz and I are now experiencing, but to honor the communio which sustains it. For, as St. Paul insisted:
None of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. (Romans 14:7-8)
So this from Hans Urs von Balthasar:
There are many ways in which even that death which is appointed for the body, although it is a physical event, can be assimilated in advance to that spiritual event that it is meant to be (and shall be, whether or not one wishes it to be), namely, the handing over of corporality to the Giver who fashioned the dust of the earth into a human instrument (Gen. 2:7). The Christian's attitude to the body will be governed by this final sacrifice, which he is to perform as a conscious act; even in health and active life he will make the coming final surrender of corporality the inner meaning of all his action.
The word "instrument" is quintessential von Balthasar: Everyone is called to a specific mission, and every mission is inherently christological in nature and cruciform in structure. Christian faith leads not to the happiness we experience when we get our way, but to the joy that we experience when we realize that we were not meant to.

2 comments:

Peter Q said...

In the same spirit of communio, I should come out of the shadows of simply reading your posts and assure you that I too, who have never met you or Liz in this world, offer you my prayers on your current journey.

frjohnbraun said...

I have long followed your thought, and I now thank you for opening a view to your journey as well. My prayers and thoughts are with you and Liz these days. I think the Church is the people whose lives have been knit together by God. That sense of life that makes us aware of being a people is one of the greatest gifts we never merited.