Friday, September 29, 2006

Let's Get Personal

In his characteristically insightful article, “Beyond ‘Unity’: An Approach to Inter-Spiritual Dialogue,” (Communio, Vol. XXXIII, Number 1, Spring 2006), Stratford Caldecott quotes a correspondent, John Médaille:
The one who gives without receiving (if such there could be) might be a great philanthropist, but is not a person; and one who receives without giving may become as rich as a great philanthropist, but is not a person; they are individuals, and they and all their works will be destroyed. To the extent that a person “holds on” to whatever he receives (and all that he has is something received), he remains an individual; to the extent that the individual refashions what he receives and gives it, he becomes a person. In this way, each person recapitulates the whole of being, which is nothing less than an interchange of love between the divine persons. What is “ours” will pass; what is given and received will endure.
I am reminded of the marvelous words of a former (now disgraced) bishop of my acquaintance, whose faith, tarnished as faith always is by those fortunate enough to have been given it: "Everything not given away is lost."

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