Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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sacred history is thus also the history of our own time

“Marxists, for their part, are not strictly obliged to deny the worth and beauty of historical Christianity, or to minimize its revolutionary consequences: but they maintain that its work is done, that the crisis of dissolution is upon it, that a new era has begun; mankind has progressed beyond Christianity towards a religion of the future. The Christian answer to this contemporary challenge is a confession of faith: there is no superseding Christ, he is the fulfillment of all things, he is Alpha and Omega, the last end of the world as he is the spring of its eternal youth. In him all things are made new, and the word ‘beyond’ has no meaning in relation to him who is the consummation of all. His coming is the completion of the human story; therefore we look for no progress, no development comparable in importance with that which we already possess in Jesus Christ. He has given us infinitely more than any technological advance or social revolution could offer.

The Marxist conception of history is open-ended: his preoccupations are with the future. For Christians, the structure of history is complete, and its decisive event, instead of coming last, occupies the central position. Nothing can ultimately go wrong. The acceptance of final justification and salvation as a gift, not as of our own making, is simply a reflection, in the eschatological plane, of the sense of utter dependence which characterizes, and indeed constitutes the basis of, all religion. But this does not mean that we have no more to do; after the central, decisive event, the task remains of ensuring that all men come into effective possession of the gift once secured in principle for all mankind. Sacred history is thus also the history of our own time.

In this later current period of time the outstanding events are those of the sacramental life. This is something vastly more important than the achievements of modern thought, or the discoveries of science, or victorious wars, or successful revolutions, all which things make up the tissue of recorded history, but leave no trace at the deeper levels where real history is enacted. The greatness of these mighty works belongs to the intellectual and the physical world, but the mighty works of the spiritual world, in the order of charity, are the sacraments. ‘Jesus Christ made no discoveries’, wrote Pascal, ‘but he was humble, patient, holy, holy in the sight of God, terrible to evil spirits.’ For want of a thorough-going conviction of this truth, we are too easily apt to be impressed by intellectual and physical achievements, and to forget that we ourselves hold the secret of God’s own plan of love. In our false sense of values we make to ourselves idols of the things men revere-science, money, history, the State-though the first of the commandments is ‘thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and serve none but him’ (Matt. 4:10).” pg. 82,83 “The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History” by Jean Danielou

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