December 27, 2015

Un-imprimatur'd Thoughts

It seems like the typical religious error is either a semi-pantheistic view or a overly transcendent one. The transcendent view sees God as the only Good and therefore the only one inspiring of awe. The relationship is mostly vertical, God to man; other human beings are seen as so much lesser than God that they're hard to appreciate or love or serve. It makes God too confined, not able to vivify others or ourselves. "Emmanuel" gets a lost in the shuffle; the Blessed Sacrament is holy, our neighbor and us louts. 

The other view, that of emphasizing only the horizontal, makes it seem like God is an absentee Father such that his children need to love each other as proxies.  This is the dry theology like the one I grew up with in the '70s: "love one another" was the whole focus and there was little thought of God enabling or inspiring that love. We were on our own as the song American Pie went, and nothing better exemplifies this than the teaching that the miracle of multiplication of the loaves and fishes was not a physical miracle but a result of people sharing what they had. You can say that's a miracle, that everyone wanted to share what they had, but the way I read it back in the '70s was that it meant God was secretly a deist. 

As usual, it's "both/and".  God loves us enough to come into our temples and thus loving neighbor is loving God "in disguise".

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