Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God

Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God

Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God

Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God

Excerpt

One cannot help remarking that the theology of the manuals does not always make a careful distinction between that unique manner of existence which is peculiar to man, and the mode of being, mere objective "being there," which is proper to the things of nature. The absence of this distinction, particularly in treating of grace or of the sacraments, occasionally obscures the simple fact of encounter with God. The intimateness of God's personal approach to man is often lost in a too severely objective examination of that which forms the living core and centre of religion, the personal communion with the God who gives himself to men.

In the study of the sacraments, the consequence of this tendency towards a purely impersonal, almost mechanical approach was that they were considered chiefly in terms of physical categories. The inclination was to look upon the sacraments as but one more application, although in a special manner, of the general laws of cause and effect. Inevitably, the result of this view was that we appeared to be merely passive recipients of sacramental grace, which seemed to be "put into us" automatically. We do not, however, want to divert ourselves with the defects of the theological works of the last two centuries, but positively and constructively to take up the study of the Church's sacraments, with the concept of human, personal encounter as the basis of our consideration.

Religion is above all a saving dialogue between man and the living God. Although man can reach God through creation, he cannot, through his creaturely powers alone, establish any immediate . . .

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