Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Romance of Salvation, Part III

I happened this evening to come across a quote from Von Balthasar that seems apropos of the reflections on our duty to fulfill a specific role in the drama of salvation.

"The consciousness of interior solitude...within the Church's framework...does not consist in the individual foregoing his own personality and letting it become absorbed and dissolved in a total Truth, thinking so to find redemption. It is rather an alert presence and preparedness of the entire personality for the service in love of the mystery of the encounter between Christ and the Church, a mystery wholly surpassing his own nature....

"The person who knows himself called has to embolden himself to act the 'role' of the Church (this is what the Father of the Church called "personam Ecclesiae gerere [to play the part of the Church; lit. wear the persona of the Church]" As he can never be this 'person' himself, he must act in the consciousness of performing a purely vicarious service. The individual is merely the servant, the handmaid; the Church alone is bride and mistress....Yet, however lowly, he has to perform this function; he must represetn the 'person' of the Church in his own person; servant that he is, he must take on the role of a bride."

New York: Paulist
pp 77-79

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