Friday, May 27, 2011

Being practical people, Americans ask, Why does it matter?

Since I posted a musical traditio earlier this week in honor of Mr. Zimmerman's birthday, today I am posting a textual traditio. It bears reminding both of my readers that traditio refers both to what is passed on from generation to generation as well as the act, the how of handing it on. While it is too early to tell whether blogs will from a legitimate part of preserving the patrimony of faith in Christ as handed on form the apostles, I will proceed today anyway with something by Pope Benedict XVI:

The mystery of the Cross does not simply confront us; rather, it draws us in and gives a new value to our life.

This existential aspect of the new concept of worship and sacrifice appears with particular clarity in the twelfth chapter of the Letter to the Romans: "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship [word-like] worship" (v.1) The idea of worshipping God in the manner of the word (logikê latreía) is taken up here, and it means the offering of one's whole existence to God, in which, so to speak, the whole person becomes "word-like", "godlike". In the process, the physical dimension is emphasized: it is our physical existence that must be penetrated by the word and must become a gift to God (Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week- From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection 236)

During Lent I posted something by A.W. Tozer from his book The Pursuit of God (you can read in its entirety on-line) on this same verse, which is my "life verse." Not too many Catholics have such verses (it is more of an Evangelical thing), but Romans 12:1 is mine. The value of this verse is consitently reinforced by my on-going engagement with Don Gius and my recent serious re-engagement with the works of Bonhoeffer, neither of whom had any patience with passive following. After all, faith, which can only ever really be faith in Christ, is not merely swapping one set of preconceptions for another, which move reduces it to an ideology, something I see all the time, even within the ekklesia.

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