Thursday, September 1, 2011

Man Fully Alive

It was trendy at and after Vatican II to quote this phrase from St Irenaeus's Adversus haereses (iv.20.7): "The glory of God is man fully alive...." The second half of the sentence was often omitted, as was the context of the remark.

The passage is: "The glory of God is man fully alive, and the life of man is the vision of God. If the revelation of God through creation already brings life to all living beings on the earth, how much more will the manifestation of the Father by the Word bring life to those who see God."

It's the beholding of God that gives glorious divine life to man. Without the visio Dei, we're dead. And how do you get this vision? Only in the Word, who makes God known while still preserving the invisibility of the Father. And notice that St Irenaeus also distinguishes between natural, earthly life--given by the Word in creation--and the supernatural life that comes from the manifestation of the Father in Christ. 

Keep this up and, next thing you know, people will start to think the Catholic faith is natural, so that believers can be "architects of a new humanity." Yikes!

No comments:

Post a Comment