Spring 1969

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Page 74

SPIRITUAL LIFE

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desire at the depths of our souls and making us holy sons. It is important for. the correlation of grace and Trinity that Christians appreciate the relations they have to each of the divine Persons. Without taking these to be persons in the modem sense, and so unknowingly practicing tritheism, we should yet make real the perfect plurality God declares himself to be. For grace is essentially God's own presence in us-the gift of himself-and therefore it is Trinitarian. What our faith clings to in the dark surround of mystery is God's own perfect fulness of knowing and loving. The other cardinal features of Christianity Rahner relates to these three most fundamental mysteries. For instance, he sees the Church as the consequence of the Incarnation: it is the continuing historical locus of God's eschatologically victorious grace. In this people joined to Christ by faith and love. God keeps present in the world the declared, categorical form of his transcendental and efficacious revelation. The sacraments and scripture are principal channels by which this gathered people declares the essential grace and purpose which form it. The sacraments actuate the Incarnational communication of grace for important times of human life, while Scripture is read in the Church as the canonical form of the normative apostolic Church's self-understanding. This quick sketch of Raimer's move from the experiential mystery of human life to the main outline of Christian belief is an attempt to render the fruits of the concern of simplicity and integration that dominates his theology. Again and again Rahner insists that our time demands a profound, global faith and a short f01mula of belief which will exhibit the radical essence of Christianity as a gracious answer of God to the question we men are. God's mystery. is never abolished by theology, and the living declaration of his self-sending Word always begins and ends with a confession that he is incomparably more than our minds and hearts. But in Jesus Christ we have the concrete symbol on which our faith can focus, to assure it the balanced hope needed for divine sonship in the world. Theology should count it its greatest privilege to serve God's