Rite and Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy

Rite and Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy

Rite and Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy

Rite and Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy

Excerpt

CHRISTIANITY is a supernatural religion: it marks a direct intervention on the part of God in the affairs of this world, in human life. To use a Biblical expression, Christian beliefs are not "thoughts risen in the heart of man." They are God's own thoughts, expressed in terms chosen directly under His inspiration. Christian institutions are not human works. In their essentials, at least, they are the realization of God's own plan, and not of any human design; and it was God Himself who personally intervened in their establishment.

But this does not mean that we are not concerned with the human aspects of Christianity. If it is the work of God, it is of a God who became man. In other words, if God has marked the whole of Christianity with His personal seal, He began by clothing Himself in our humanity so that Christianity might come into being. And yet this image of a garment does not convey the full reality of the Incarnation. God did not assume a human nature as a disguise: He was made man. In Him humanity and divinity -- without being confused -- became inseparable. The unity of a single person, that of the Son of God, has joined them forever.

With good reason we may insist upon the exalted yet deeply mysterious paradox of this meeting and union. And yet, no matter how far the divine nature may transcend the human, the two cannot be described as being alien to each other. And with even greater reason they may not be conceived as being opposed. In the . . .

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