Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance.
To be sure, the response of faith to revelation, which God grants to the creature he chooses and moves with his love, occurs in such a way that it is truly the creature that provides the response, with its own nature and its natural powers of love.
Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness.
Prior to an individual's encounter with the love of God at a particular time in history, however, there has to be another, more fundamental and archetypal encounter, which belongs to the conditions of possibility of the appearance of divine love to man.
It is, finally, a word is untimely in three different senses, and bearing it as one's treasure will not win one anyone's favours; one rather risks finding oneself outside everyone's camp... Beauty is the word that shall be our first.
If one does away with the fact of the Resurrection, one also does away with the Cross, for both stand and fall together, and one would then have to find a new center for the whole message of the gospel.
Whoever removes the Cross and its interpretation by the New Testament from the center, in order to replace it, for example, with the social commitment of Jesus to the oppressed as a new center, no longer stands in continuity with the apostolic faith.
But the saints are never the kind of killjoy spinster aunts who go in for faultfinding and lack all sense of humor. (Nor should the Karl Barth who so loved and understood Mozart be regarded as such.)For humor is a mysterious but unmistakable charism inseparable from Catholic faith, and neither the "progressives" nor the "integralists" seem to possess it - the latter even less than the former.
The Christian response is contained in these two fundamental dogmas: that of the Trinity and that of the Incarnation. In the trinitarian dogma God is one, good, true, and beautiful because he is essentially Love, and Love supposes the one, the other, and their unity.
Without Easter, Good Friday would have no meaning. Without Easter, there would be no hope that suffering and abandonment might be tolerable. But with Easter, a way out becomes visible for human sorrows, an absolute future: more than a hope, a divine expectation.
No one should think he can quickly dispose of questions posed here offhandedly. It was precisely because writers were in the habit during the time of the Reformation of theologizing with a hammer that the split in the Church became irreparable. And to work at overcoming this split means much effort. Only the patient need apply.
The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.
Only the Christian religion, which in its essence is communicated by the eternal child of God, keeps alive in its believers the lifelong awareness of their being children, and therefore of having to ask and give thanks for things.
In Christ, for the first time, we see that in God himself there exists--within his inseparable unity--the distinction between the Father who gives and the Gift which is given (the Son), but only in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
It would be unjust toward children to introduce them to Christian teaching and existence only as little pagans and catechumens, in order to leave it up to them to choose the Faith on their own responsibility at a point in time difficult to determine.
Above all we must not wish to cling to our suffering. Suffering surely deepens us and enhances our person, but we must not desire to become a deeper self than God wills. To suffer no longer can be a beautiful, perhaps the ultimate sacrifice.
Everything in Irenaeus is bathed in a warm and radiant joy, a wise and majestic gentleness. His words of struggle are hard as iron and crystal clear, ... so penetrating that they cannot fail to enlighten the unbiased observer.