Thursday, May 21, 2020

Alone with God

2.  This man, about whom the account of the first chapter [of Genesis] says that he has been created "in the image of God," is manifested in the second account as a subject of the covenant, that is, a subject constituted as a person, constituted according to the measure of "partner of the Absolute," inasmuch as he must consciously discern and choose between good and evil, between life and death.  The words of the first command of  God-Yahweh (Gen 2:16-17)[about what to eat], which speak directly about the submission and dependence of man-creature on his Creator, indirectly reveal precisely this level of humanity as subject of the covenant and "partner of the Absolute".   Man is alone:  this is to say that through his own humanity, through what he is, he is at the same time set into a unique, exclusive, and unrepeatable relationship with God himself. ...
Man and Woman He Created Them, General Audience of October 24, 1949, John Paul II

6.  Suffering, and the consecration it demands, cannot be understood perfectly outside the context of baptism.  For baptism, in giving us our identity, gives us a divine vocation to find ourselves in Christ.  But both the grace and character of baptism give our soul a spiritual conformity to Christ in His sufferings.  For baptism is the application to our souls of the Passion of Christ.
     Baptism engrafts us into the mystical vine which is the body of Christ, and makes us live in His life and ripen like grapes on the trellis of His Cross.  It brings us into the communion of the saints whose life flows from the Passion of Jesus.  But every sacrament of union is also a sacrament of separation.  In making us members of one another, baptism also more clearly distinguishes us, not only from those who do not live in Christ, but also and even especially from one another.  For it gives us our person, incommunicable vocation to reproduce in our own lives the life and sufferings and charity of Christ in a way unknown to anyone else who has ever lived under the sun.
No Man is an Island, Chapter 5 "The Word of the Cross"  Thomas Merton, OCSO  1955 p. 82

In the theology of the body (Man and Woman He Created Them), JPII describes the "Original Solitude" of  Adam in Eden.  Man is a person, a partner of God through covenant, who discerns between good and evil in his appetite.  Until God creates Eve, Adam is alone with God.  In Baptism, we again enter into covenant with God and become part of the body of the Christ.  We are again alone with God but this time we are joined to other Christians through Christ.  This leaves us alone in our interiority, in our hearts.  When we suffer from evil it is because of how we fulfill our appetites.  If we satisfy the desires of God, we encounter good.  If we fulfill the desires of our "fallen" hearts, we encounter evil.  We suffer when we encounter this fruit of evil (ours or someone else's) and we suffer in our interiority.  We are alone except for God, for Jesus.  If we suffer in union with Jesus, we are not alone within our suffering, we are united with Jesus in His suffering.  And, we are united with Jesus in His resurrection .

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