Ratzingers foredrag i Fontgombault i 2001 – del 4

Forsonig, soning for synd, er blitt fremmed for det moderne menensket, vi kan ikke se at vår synd virkelig sårer Gud, sier Ratzinger videre i sitt foredrag i Fontgombault. Og banaliseringen av liturgien kommer fra denne banaliseringen av vårt syn på Gud. Les selv:

All this has become very foreign to contemporary thought. Reparation («expiation») can perhaps mean something within the limits of human conflicts and the settling of guilt which holds sway among human beings, but its transposition to the relationship between God and man can not work. This, surely, is largely the result of the fact that our image of God has grown dim, has come close to deism. One can no longer imagine that human offences can wound God, and even less that they could necessitate an expiation such as that which constitutes the Cross of Christ. The same applies to vicarious substitution: we can hardly still imagine anything in that category – our image of man has become too individualistic for that.

Thus the crisis of the liturgy has its basis in central ideas about man. In order to overcome it, it does not suffice to banalise the liturgy and transform it into a simple gathering at a fraternal meal. But how can we escape from these disorientations? How can we recover the meaning of this immense thing which is at the heart of the message of the Cross and of the Resurrection? In the final analysis, not through theories and scholarly reflections, but only through conversion, by a radical change of life. It is, however, possible to single out some things which open the way to this change of heart, and I would like to put forward some suggestions in that direction, in three stages.

The first stage should be a preliminary question on the essential meaning of the word «sacrifice.» People commonly consider sacrifice as the destruction of something precious in the eyes of man; in destroying it, man wants to consecrate this reality to God, to recognise His sovereignty. In fact, however, a destruction does not honour God. … … What then does sacrifice consist of? Not in destruction, not in this or that thing, but in the transformation of man. In the fact that he becomes himself conformed to God. He becomes conformed to God when he becomes love. «That is why true sacrifice is every work which allows us to unite ourselves to God in a holy fellowship,» as Augustine puts it.

With this key from the New Testament, Augustine interprets the Old Testament sacrifices as symbols pointing to this sacrifice properly so called, and that is why, he says, worship had to be transformed, the symbol had to disappear in favour of the reality. «All the divine prescriptions of Scripture which concern the sacrifices of the tabernacle or of the temple, are figures which refer to the love of God and neighbour» (City of God X, 5). But Augustine also knows that love only becomes true when it leads a man to God, and thus directs him to his true end; it alone can likewise bring about unity of men among themselves. Therefore the concept of sacrifice refers to community, and the first definition which Augustine attempted, is broadened by the following statement: «The whole redeemed human community, that is to say the assembly and the community of the saints, is offered to God in sacrifice by the High Priest Who offered Himself» (Ibid X,6). And even more simply: «This sacrifice is ourselves,» or again: «Such is the Christian sacrifice: the multitude – a single body in Christ» (Ibid X, 6).Sacrifice consists then, we shall say it once more, in a process of transformation, in the conformity of man to God, in His theiosis, as the Fathers would say. It consists, to express it in modern phraseology, in the abolition of difference – in the union between God and man, between God and creation: «God all in all» (1 Cor. 15; 28).

Les mer her (avsnitt 4 i foredraget).

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