Monday, 10 March 2008

What a work of art is Man !!

"Human beings, though part of this cosmos, transcend it", he said. "Of course man always remains man in all his dignity, even if in a coma or in the embryonic state, yet if he lives only biologically he does not realise and develop all the potential of his being. Man is called to open himself to new dimensions".

The first dimension, said the Pope, is that of knowledge. In this context he noted how, unlike the animals, "man wishes to know everything, all of reality. ... He thirsts for knowledge of the infinite, he wishes to arrive at the font of life and to drink therefrom, to find life itself".

This, he continued, leads to the second dimension: "Man is not just a being who knows, he also lives in relationships of friendship and of love. Beyond the dimension of knowledge of truth and of being, there also exists, inseparable from it, the dimension of relationships, of love. And it is here that man comes close to the source of life from which he wishes to drink in order to have life in abundance, to have life itself".

Science, and medicine in particular, he went on, "are a great struggle for life", yet even if medicine were to find "the prescription against death, the prescription of immortality" it would still "be confined within this biosphere.

"It is easy to imagine what would happen if man's biological life were endless, if he were immortal", the Holy Father added. "We would find ourselves in an aged world, a world full of old people, a world that would leave no space for the young, for the renewal of life. Thus we understand that this cannot be the kind of immortality to which we aspire. ... Drinking from the font of life is to enter into communion with this infinite love which is the source of life".

After recalling how the Fathers of the Church called the Eucharist "medicine of immortality" , Benedict XVI explained that in this Sacrament "we enter into communion with the body [of Christ] which is animated by immortal life and thus we enter, now and always, into the space of life itself".

5 comments:

james hastings said...

Hi Angel Boy,

I like your blog; its quite mesmerising, especially the images; you have a gift for art.
May I ask yo a question?
We know Jesus suffered horribly in His Passion. Mel Gibson's great movie, The Passion of the Christ, made this a reality for a modern day audience.
But...do you believe Jesus suffered any illness or sickness, such as depression, cancer, TB, rheumatism, back pain, MS, flakey scalp, athlete's foot, multiple sclerosis etc, between the ages of birth and 30 - when He started His mission. If not, why should we?
This is a serious question.

Blessings

James

On the side of the angels said...

Yes, most certainly !
One cannot be fully human without interacting on a microbial level...practically every bodily function relies upon it....
Our Lord and Saviour would have endured all manner of things...he would have had an endocrine system that would have led to hormonal imbalances during adolescence, he would have had cancer cells , all maner of aches and pains and wearing away of joints etc...his muscles would ache just as ours...but more than any of us one muscle would ache more than any...
His most Sacred Heart

james hastings said...

Ok.
Is that your opinion or is it based on Biblical, theological evidence?

Scriptue tells us death and sickness and pain entered the world through one man, Adam. Jesus was the new Adam. He did not sin. How could the effect of sin, such as pain, sickness, illness etc, have had any presence in Jesus?
Was Jesus' endocrine system not perfect, His hormonal balance balanced, His cancer cells nullified, His pains and wearing away of joints not perfect, as would have Adam's if he had not sinned?
Ilness and sickness are the result of sin. Jesus had no sin. How could He have illness or sickness?

Blessings

James

On the side of the angels said...

ah....
you're confusing essential symbiosis of the human being with the natural world with Christ being perfectly human - Jesus was fully Human and fully divine - beware of the heresy of docetism where Christ only 'seemed' to be Human but didn't experience everything a normal human did [although He never sinned ; his temptations were the most terrible any human ever endured...to suggest he possessed anything other than a human psychology, that he did not undergo physical and mental exhaustion, stubbed his toe, got a summer cold , cut his finger in the workshop etc would be to deny his intrinsic humanity....

james hastings said...

ah....
slow down, Angel Boy.

you're confusing essential symbiosis of the human being with the natural world with Christ being perfectly human -

the 'natural' world is unnatural - the result of the Fall. Jesus was not affected by the Fall. He was human, yes, but also Divine.
He was open to temptation but did not respond; he was open to cancer but did not respond.