The Christian Commitment: Essays in Pastoral Theology

By Karl Rahner; Cecily Hastings | Go to book overview

4
MARY AND THE APOSTOLATE

We are here to take counsel together in serious matters. Our purpose is to arrive by general discussion at norms for pastoral practice; norms which, even though they are "the letter," will not extinguish the spirit; which, while leaving the spirit supreme, will force us to distinguish between the spirit and vague, undisciplined enthusiasms; and which will guard against anyone's continuing to do nothing at all or to let things carry on as before, on the pretext that things cannot be entirely regulated from above, by decisions taken at conference tables. The ultimate problem in any attempt of this kind is, fundamentally, the problem of Christianity itself: for Christianity is at once the religion of the Spirit and the religion of the Word made flesh. Hence it is the religion of which we can say that where the Spirit is, there is freedom; here the letter of the law is overcome; here the Spirit breathes where he will; we are no longer in servitude to men; our instruction is by our anointing; and there is to be no binding of fresh burdens on top of those which the fathers were unable to bear.

But this same Christianity is the religion of him who became man, and hence of the visible Church, of the legally constituted Church, of the tangible sacraments, of the holding of office, of the fullness of power, of humility; the religion which does not shrink from continuing and fulfilling the descent of God into the flesh of this world and which does not regard everything

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