June 11, 2007

Ignis Internum

It is rare that I add to our Blogsite (at least by actually logging in and typing something). But, this morning as I got to work early and was reading my devotion for the day, I am reminded why Kristine and I title our site "The Fire Within" (Title stolen from Thomas Dubay). I hope you have a chance to read and meditate on this excerpt from Joseph Ratzinger's a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI's book titled, "Introduction to Christianity."

"In the Bible the cross is… the expression of a life that is completely being for others. It is not man who goes to God with a compensatory gift, but God who comes to man, in order to give to Him. He restores disturbed right on the initiative of his own power to love, by making unjust man just again, the dead living again, through his own creative mercy. In the New Testament the cross appears primarily as a movement from above to below. It does not stand there as the work of expiation which mankind offers to the wrathful God, but as the expression of that foolish love of God’s which gives itself away to the point of humiliation in order thus to save man; it is His approach to us, not the other way about… Worship, too, man’s whole existence acquires in Christianity a new direction. Worship follows in Christianity first of all in thankful acceptance of the divine deed of salvation. The essential form of Christian worship is therefore rightly called “Eucharistia,” thanksgiving. In this form of worship human achievements are not placed before God; on the contrary, it consist in man’s letting himself be endowed with gifts; we do not glorify God by supposedly giving to Him out of our resources… but letting ourselves be endowed with His own gifts and thus recognizing Him as the only Lord. We worship Him by dropping the fiction of a realm in which we could face him as independent business partners… Christian sacrifice does not consist in giving of what God would not have without us but in our becoming totally receptive and letting ourselves be completely taken over by Him. God act on us – that is Christian sacrifice."
-Pope Benedict XVI

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