Spring 1969

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CHICAGO STUDIES

It is a sense of personal wholeness which enabled Paul to be aware of the profound sinfulness of an I from which all his

sinful action and inaction stemmed, and which made it possible for the Psalmist to realize that the very core of his being and identity yearned for transformation through the healing presence and action of his God. Influenced by existentialism and depth psychology, moral theologians are beginning to see the moral 1路elevance of this sense of personal, unobjectifiable wholeness. As an example, it might be in order to quote at some length recent remarks of Father Joseph Fuchs: " ... Conversion is always on the level where a person is present to himself, where you cannot fully reflect on it .... I cannot Jove God without knowing it; as subject I am aware and conscious of it but this Jove of God is not as an object of reflection. For full reflection is impossible .... I cannot go out of myself and' with conceptual clarity certainly know that I am living in grace. True conversion occurs in the subject as subject, not as object of reflection .... Not every sinful act nor every good act is in the full sense of the word either sin or conversion, but only those acts which engage the person precisely as a person, as a whole. From the moment of his first perfect human act, an adult person is always, continuously, freely, and as a whole engaged, .either giving himself as a whole to God, or refusing himself as a whole to God. A morally adult man is never indifferent; he is always committed as a total person." 路 These words of a contemporar~路 moral theologian, serving to illustrate how moral theology today is beginning to take into explicit account the moral meaning and. relevance of a sense of personal wholeness, seem simultaneously to bring us back to our religious roots in biblical experience, the religious experience of the Psalmist and St. Paul. 路 If a sense of personal wholeness develops only in an historical world, it should be noted that the biblical world, unlike the Greek world which succeeded it, was an historical world. For