05 March 2008

Suffer with her....

The whole Church, insofar as she is in all seriousness (through the Eucharist) the body of Christ, must be co-crucified with her Head, and that, in the first place, without a retrospect onto the subjective suffering of Christians but rather through the sheer fact of her existence and the logic of her faith.

For the content of this faith is that the sinner as sinner is hanging on the Cross of Christ - really, and not only in some vague representation - and that, accordingly, Christ dies 'my death of sin' whilst I obtain from beyond myself, in this death, the life of the love of God. Paul, then, expresses the total situation of the Church with great precision when he asserts in Galatians 2:19-20:

It is no longer I who live (as an I abiding with itself as home), but Christ who lives in me. . . (which means, I am co-crucified with Christ. . .). The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God.

That puts into words the essential constitution of the Church's being. To become a Christian means to come to the Cross.

Mysterium Paschale
Hans Urs von Balthasar

No comments: