Friday, May 18, 2012

Professor Ratzinger's Law of Disguise

Continuing a tribute to B16 seven years on, here is another insight inspired by Professor Ratzinger in his book Introduction to Christianity, Part II, Excursus: Christian Structures.

The law of disguise relates to the idea of Christian paradox expressed in an interesting way. The Alpha of the universe appears as the Omega; the last letter in the alphabet of creation.

Ø  First there is the Earth, a mere nothing in the cosmos, which was to be the point of divine activity.
The Earth
Ø  Then comes Israel, a cipher among the powers of the world which was to be the point of His appearance in the world.
Ancient Israel

Ø  Then Nazareth, again a cipher within Israel, which was to be the point of His definitive arrival.
Ø  Then the Cross on which a man was to hang whose life had been a failure. A sure sign someone was NOT the messiah was if his enemies were to hang him on a tree; it only makes sense in light of the resurrection. God has come so near to us that we can kill Him and thereby, so it seems, ceases to be God for us.

The Cross
Ø  Finally there is the Church with its questionable history and the claim to be the abiding site of His revelation. Precisely when the Church believed, in all the glory of the Renaissance princedom, that she could cast off this hiddenness and be directly the “gate of heaven”, the “house of God”, she became God’s disguise, with God scarcely to be found behind it.
The Church
Like a clever warrior, God slips behind enemy lines in disguise; a divine camouflage so good that the secular eye sees nothing special. The spiritual eye can see only if it is awake and unhindered.

God seems to keep disappearing more and more and, precisely in this way, becomes more and more manifest as Himself.
The Law of Disguise

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