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God is light, God is love

zondag, 26 februari 2012 09:05

Our brother, Fr. Marie-Dominique Goutierre's latest book is on the first letter of Saint John. Here is the introduction, translated to English. How is it possible for what John writes about God to be given to us as the Word of God? While the Gospels offer us the words and gestures of Christ Himself, the letters come to us from the Church's first theologians. How does the Holy Spirit, given to us by Jesus that we might enter more fully into His Revelation, enable us to unfold and truly discover, beyond a modern perspective on interpretation, the mysteries of what God said and who He is?
Thank you, father!

God is light, God is love
A theological reading of the first letter of St. John
By Marie-Dominique Goutierre
(Editions Parole et Silence, 2012)

         After the Last Supper Jesus promised to His Apostles that He would send them the Paraclete. And He does so through the Cross, by fully becoming the Lamb of God: “I am telling you the truth: it is for your own good that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16,7); Jesus’ departure, the offering of His life in love, is the sine qua non condition for sending the Paraclete. Now, Jesus surrenders His life, lays down His soul, at the Cross. Because He had promised, and because it was a promise of love, Jesus could not delay in sending the Paraclete to those He had said He would send Him to, and first of all, in love’s haste, to His Mother and His beloved disciple.

        The last priestly act of Christ is to entrust His soul into the hands of the Father, an offering of love of His human life, performed in this ultimate initiative: “After Jesus had taken the wine he said, 'It is fulfilled'; and bowing his head he gave up His spirit.” (Jn 19,30) What Jesus had taught when He revealed Himself as the Good Shepherd is fully accomplished here: “The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down, so I have power to take it up again; and this is the command I have received from my Father.” (Jn 10,17-18) And Jesus becomes the instrument for the sending of the Holy Spirit Paraclete after His death, after He has become the Lamb who was as though slain (Ap. 5,6), the victim of love par excellence.

Gepubliceerd in Theologie

The Silent Struggle

maandag, 13 februari 2012 11:16

I'd like to recomend the following book, The Silent Struggle. A remarkable story of triumph over abuse and anorexia, by Sr Marie-Therese of the Cross. (Redemptorist Publications, 2008)
In this book the author, an English carmelite living in London, offers the quite extraordinary witness of her battle with anorexia which, as far as exemples go, must rank as one of longest and most comprehensive. I found it extremely enlightening with regards to the way in which this illness can begin and develop, and how it's influence upon the person is so subtle and profound - both difficult to detect and to admit. Her 50 years of suffering also spanned a period when the medical art attempted multiple treatments based on very varied, and often frighteningly erroneous, understandings of anorexia and bulimia... she saw it all, so to speak, and witnesses to how a true understanding of the roots of this problem are so necessary yet so difficult to reach, uncover and establish as such in the understanding of the sufferer themselves. In short, this book seems to me to be a kind of manual for understanding this illness.

Sister also offers powerful explanations of why the last recovery program she tried worked and the personal steps that preceded it and paved the way to it. Through her narrative and her insightful observations and reflexions the reader learns much about the human person in the complexity of heavily damaged conditioning and how a human understanding of that is needed. One also sees how her Faith in Christ was the deepest answer to the suffering and the ultimate reason to recover her true self, though she experienced no miracle cure (rather, the love and intelligence of a few people who helped her). It's an easily readable book, written in a very personal style, and the author remains discreet in her explanations of the abuse she suffered.

Annorexia is a powerful illness and one which is often overlooked or misunderstood... this book has for me been an essential deepening of my understanding of it and what one can sometimes do to help those suffering with it. Above all, it's a rare witness to a very real and full recovery from such a devastating condition and the suffering that it veils; a recovery she made with her fellow sisters, priests and doctors... a powerful exemple of how Faith and intelligence need to work together in the setting of friendship - friendship with Christ and with brothers and sisters on the Way!
Gepubliceerd in Filosofie
Broeders van Sint JanDe Broeders van Sint Jan hebben hun leven aan God gewijd, ten dienste van God en hun naasten. Zij willen leven volgens het Evangelie van Jezus Christus en zich door hun gebed en hun activiteiten inzetten voor jong en oud.

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