Worship is the moment when human beings, on behalf of all creation, justified by the grace of Christ, stand before God through the power of the Spirit, in the presence of the angels and surrounded by the communion of saints, seeking to become what God is, holy and eternal, taking their place at the heavenly banquet, and finding their voice in the heavenly choir.
I’m impressed that this sentence made it past his editor. The run-on is just magnificent.
The Holy Spirit is the vital power that bestows free mercy on theology and on theologians just as on the community and on every single Christian. Both of these remain utterly in need of him. Only the Holy Spirit himself can help a theology that is or has become unspiritual. Only the Spirit can assist theology to become enduringly conscious and aware of the misery of its arbitrary devices of controlling him. Only where the Spirit is sighed, cried, and prayed for does he become present and newly active.
The Gospel emerges from human remembering and presupposes the communion of those who remember, in this case very concretely the school of John and, before that, the community of disciples. But because the author thinks and writes with the memory of the Church, the ‘we’ to which he belongs open beyond the personal and is guided in its depths by the Spirit of God, who is the Spirit of truth. In this sense, the Gospel itself opens up a path of understanding, which always remains bound to the scriptural word, and yet from generation to generation can lead, and is meant to lead, ever anew into the depth of all the truth.
It was no flock of sheep the Christian shepherd was leading, but a herd of bulls and tigers, of terrible ideals and devouring doctrines, each one of them strong enough to turn to a false religion and lay waste the world. Remember that the Church went in specifically for dangerous ideas; she was a lion tamer. The idea of birth through a Holy Spirit, of the death of a divine being, of the forgiveness of sins, or the fulfillment of prophecies, are ideas which, anyone can see, need but a touch to turn them into something blasphemous or ferocious.
The gift of God is God himself. The ‘good things’ that he gives us are himself. This reveals in a surprising way what prayer is really all about: It is not about this or that, but about God’s desire to offer us the gift of himself - that is the gift of all gifts, the ‘one thing necessary.’ Prayer is a way of gradually purifying and correcting our wishes and of slowly coming to realize what we really need: God and his Spirit.
Since the Resurrection of Jesus by the Father and the gift of their common Spirit, God is wholly and definitively present for us. He is disclosed to us in the depths of his triune mystery, even if this depth which has been revealed to us… manifests in a wholly new and quite overwhelming fashion the abyssal and hidden character of his being.
Nothing could conceal the God of the universe more completely than a half-naked man being tortured to death. And yet the Christian claim is that it is precisely here, in this self-emptying, that the very fullness of God’s inner life is revealed, for the Father is only the Father in his complete self-giving to the Son, which is returned by the Son as the Gift, which is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the ugliness of the cross itself paradoxically is pure glory. The particularity of the cross does not limit God, but opens up the world to participate in the drama enacted on the stage of the Trinity itself.
When speaking of the unoriginate source of all, tradition calls God Father; as self-expressing and spoken out into history, God is called Word or Son; as uniting in love given and received by us, God is Spirit. This all refers to only one God, the holy mystery whose own dynamic self-distinctions ground his saving relation to the world. As Rahner observes, lifeless self-identity is not the most perfect way of being absolute.
Women are equally created in the image and likeness of God, equally redeemed by Christ, equally sanctified by the Holy Spirit; women are equally involved in the ongoing tragedy of sin and the mystery of grace, equally called to mission in this world, equally destined for life with God in glory.