Page 1

$2.95


CHICAGO STUDIES EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor George J. Dyer Business Manager

Associate Editor

John F. Dedek

Frank Potesta

Production Mannger

Executive Director

Edmund J. Siedlecki

Marjorie M. Lukas

Editorial Advisors Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. Gerard T. Broccolo William D. Carroll John J. Collins Agnes Cunningham, sscm James P. Doyle Willard F. Jabusch James P. Keleher Edward H. Konerrnan, S.J. Ernest Lussier, S.S.S.

Thomas B. McDonough Charles R. Meyer Thomas J. Murphy Joseph J. O'Brierl Timothy E. O'Connell John J. Pilch John J. Shea Richard F. Schroeder Edward J. Stokes, S.J. Thomas F. Sullivan

CHICAGO STUDIES is edited by the faculty of St. Mary of the Lake Seminary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago for the continuing education. of the clergy. The editors welcome articles and letters likely to be of interest to our readers. All communications l'egarding articles and editorial policy should be addressed to the editors. Subscriptions should be sent to CHICAGO STUDIES, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Subscription rates: $6.00 a year, $11.00 for two years, $21.00 for four years; Foreign subscribers: add 50c per year. CHICAGO STUDIES is published three times a year with ecclesiastical pennission and copyright, 1974, by Civitas Dei Foundation, Box 665, Mundelein, Illinois 60060. Third Class postage paid at St. Meinrad, Ind. Views expressed in the articles are those of the respective authors and not necessarily those of the editors or editorial board. Indexed in The Catholic Periodical Index and New Testament Abstract.~.

Microfilms of current and backlile volumes of CHICAGO STUDIES are now available from University Microfilms, Inc., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by self addressed stamped envelope.


VOLUME 13

NUMBER 1

SPRING 1974

Articles

SATAN

3

Two MORAL CASES: INVALID MARRIAGES AND HOMOSEXUALITY

20

John F. Dedek

THE PRIEST AS SHAMAN

34

Hilary Smith

PASTORAL 1\INISTER

4:~

John J. Shea

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION FOR THE CATHOLIC DIVORCED AND REMARRIED

54

John T. Finnegan

NEW TESTAMENT PERSPECTIVES ON THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD

65

Daniel J. Hm-rington, S. J.

ON CHRISTIAN LIFE IN THE FUTURE: THE NEED FOR CONTEMPLATION

77

Ga,ry J. Quinn

HUMAN EXPERIENC>; AND MORAL MEANING

88

Norbert J. Rigali, S.J.

MAKING THE NEW LITURGY WORK

105

AUTHORS

111

Ernest Lussier, S.S.S.

THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE

Edmund J. Siedlecki

OuR CovER: "Jeremiah" by George Aarons through the courtesy of the National Sculpture Society.

1Bt.o37


Ernest Lussier, S.S.S.

Satan Is the belief in a personal Satan 1>art of divine revelat¡ion?

It is fashionable today to refuse to recognize the existence of personal evil spil¡its and to think that a sufficient explanation of the problem of evil and of the present occult revival can be found in psychoanalytical and psychiatric studies or in spiritualistic experience. See for example Henry Ansgar Kelley's book The Devil, Derrwnology, and Witchcraft, Doubleday, 1968, which has been described as the "death of the devil"; or the book by Ruth Nanda Anshen, The Reality of the Devil: Evil in Man, Harper and Row, 1972. The devil and the other evil spirits of the Bible would be simply part of the cultural furniture of the time which can easily be removed without damaging the structure of Christianity. Another current approach is to glibly reject the idea of Satan: "The subject is not one which sophisticated people ought to spend much time studying. It is Sunday supplement stuff, not material for real reflection ... . It is bunk ... the work of men out for a fast buck" ("Satan and the Occult in Contemporary Society" by Joseph W. Goetz, Dialog Autumn 1973 p. 272-278). Actually belief in good and evil spirits is universal in the history of religions; it has played 3


4

CHICAGO STUDIES

and still plays a part in the tensions and conflicts bet\veen theology and medical science. In its theological and anthropological aspects demonology affects the faith, thought, and experience of all humanity. Is this belief truly part of Biblical revelation? That is the heart of the matter. If there is no Biblical revelation on the subject of Satan as a personal being, whatever later elaboration might be available would hardly be credible. The Old Testament is very discreet relative to demonology which appears only as a marginal issue. Certain texts give the impression that genii inhabit the world. These are not only the spirits of the dead who can be conjured and interrogated (1 Sam. 28 :7-25) but also mysterious beings who haunt ruins and desert places: the hairy sheirim, goat-satyrs (Is. 13 :21) and the shedim demons (Deut. 32 :17). In the original sense a denwn may be defined broadly as a supernatural power, as a force that mediates between God and man, as an anonymous god, a personification of one or another of those vague less identifiable powers and influences that were believed to operate .alongside the major deities and to condition particular circumstances and experiences. It is difficult, however, to say whether in the earlier Bible texts these beings are spirits in the strict sense of the word even if they are given proper names like the storm demon Lilith (Is. 34 :14), Azazel, the desert recipient of the Levitical scapegoat (Lev. 16:8, 26), or Levathian, the dragon (Is. 51:9), the fleeing, twisting serpent (Is. 27:1). a monster of primeval chaos. Most of these passages are poetic or simply prohibit the cult of these beings as they interdict the worship of idols. It is characteristic of the Old Testament that a special name was coined to describe the forces that mediate between God and men as God's messengers. The current phrase "the angel (malak) of Yahweh" (Gn. 16:7 etc.) gives a linguistic and material basis for dualism within the spirit world, and paved the way for later development. In the earlier texts the angel is a circumlocution for God himself, denoting God in manifestation. A later distinction was made between God and his angel to emphasize the divine transcendence, as in Ex. 23 :20. With the development of the doctrine of angels (Tob. 5 :4) the distinction from God becomes clearer. The idea of the angel of Yahweh progresses from a personification of the divine attributes or


SATAN

5

operations, to distinct heavenly beings referred to as sons of God (Dent. 32 :8), "the assembly of the holy ones in heaven" (Ps. 89:5, Job 5:1), superhuman creatures who make up God's court and council (Job 1 :6). SATAN AS ACCUSER

Satan is the transcription of a Hebrew substantive meaning adversary, a word that originally applied to anything (1 Mac. 1 :36) or anyone (1 Kgs. 11 :14, 23) who opposes someone else. Satan with time came to indicate an angel in God's service whose function it is to accuse men before God's tribunal. This is the adversary par excellence (Zech. 3:1, Job 1-2) who will ultimately become Satan as a proper noun (1 Chron. 21 :1, Apoc. 12: 9). Satan is usually translated into Greek as devil ( diabolos) so that from the Biblical viewpoint the two words are equivalent and in the New Testament interchangeable. But there is a great difference between the satan of Zechariah and the Satan of the Apocalypse. Jn the course of the centuries the personality of this adversary of the human race was enriched with new characteristics more and more dark and sinister. The most ancient text in the Bible to mention Satan (literally, the Adversary) is Zech. 3:1-5. Satan functions as a public prosecutor and not as essentially evil and opposed to man by an instinct of perversity. He is rebuked not because he accused Joshua unjustly but because as a good public prosecutor he exacts that Joshua be punished and excluded from the priestly office. The angel of Yahweh represents God's mercy; the Satan, God's justice. The vision shows the victOl'y of mercy over justice. The Satan is against God only in as much as he opposes the triumph of God's mercy. Satan here is opposed to man but not to God. Only much later in Wis. 2 :24 is he an enemy of both God and man. This conception of Satan as a personality hostile to God and the good is the result of a development which had hardly begun when Zechariah prophesied. The process can be traced as follows. ln 1 Kgs. 22 :20 the deceiver is not an angel distinguished from the rest by a peculiar title or character but the one who has the best plan for deceiving Ahab and goes by divine direction on his mischievous errand. In the book of Job the corresponding figure has acquired the title, the adversary, and a sceptical and censorious character and ac.ts on


6

CHICAGO STUDIES

his own initiative. By the time of the Chronicler the final stage seems to have been reached; in 1 Chron. 21:1 (compare 2 Sam. 24 :1) the title has become the proper noun Satan and the character thus designated employs his supernatural faculties to tempt man and thwart God's purposes (Wis. 2 :24). FALL OF THE ANGELS

The theme of Satan's opposition to Goo, already found in Gn. 3, finds its explanation in the revelation of the angels' fall from God's grace. The Apocalypse (12 :7-12) describes a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fight "the great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan" (9) who also is assisted by his angels. The dragon is expelled from heaven with his minions. The fact of the fall is clearly asserted yet its reason is only insinuated, while nothing is suggested as to the manner or mode or the occurrence. Apoc. 9:1 and 12 :4 had already vague allusions to the fall. By placing the passage (12 :7-12) in the context of the Incarnation, the Christian apocalyptist apparently has Satan rebelling against the dignity of the new Adam. The theme of Zech. 3:1-5 seems to be in the background. Satan no longer can accuse us (Apoc. 12 :10) since our sins have been expiated in the blood of Christ. It is because he revolts against this triumph of God's mercy that he is expelled from heaven, and now he wars against Christian believers (Apoc.l2:12, 17). Jude 6, followed by 2 Pet. 2:4, presents the fall of the angels a bit differently. Jude is summarizing a story from the first book of Enoch which describes the angels' fall according to Gn. 6:1-4. The fallen angels let themselves be seduced by the daughters of men; they became a prey to fleshly lust. Gn. 6:14 is an old fragment of mythology, assimilated by theY ahwistic tradition. The compiler considered the passage suitable as an introduction to the flood story, to explain the general wickedness of mankind, though it belonged originally to a legend which told of a prehistoric race of giants whose superhuman power was thought to result from divine-human marriage. Jude quotes from Enoch leaving out the details of Gn. 6:1-4; and 2 Peter following in Jude's footsteps is satisfied with the assertion of the bare fact of the angels' fall: "When angels sinned, God did not spare them" (2 Pet. 2 :4).


SATAN

7

Is. 14:3-21 is the only text from which Satan got the name Lucifer. The passage, however, has nothing to do with Satan's fall. It is a satire on the death of a tyrant, some unknown contemporaneous king. The author has used an ancient Canaanite myth about a lesser God's attempt to become head of the Pantheon, to illustrate the pride of an earthly king. Ez. 28:11-19 describes the fall of the king of Tyre. Our Lord's saying in Lk. 10:18, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven," is simply a symbolic way of describing the effect of his mission. And in the New Testament, the morning star, translated Lucifer in the Vulgate is a title for Christ (2 Pet. 1 :19, A poe. 22: 16). The existence of demons and the fact of their fall is surely asserted in Scripture and seems revealed and even certain especially in the New Testament vantage; the nature of the fall, however, remains problematic. The texts of A poe. 12:712, Jude 6, and 2 Pet. 2:4 are crucial, but as has been seen, like prophetic, theological passages are not photographic in theil¡ presentation but mythological, that is approximative and defective in their expression of the mystery of evil. Wis. 2:2 is a transition text: "It was the devil's envy that brought death into the world." It is in line with A poe. 12 :713 with a reference to Gn. 3. The envy again is probably of the privileged position of the human race. St. Paul never uses the image of the fall of the accuser. He does tell us however, that this function of the devil is abolished (Rom. 8 :31-34). Yet he is less concerned to affirm or deny the existence in the world of forces which we can neither understand or control; what he does deny is that any or all of them can touch the one thing that really matters: God's loving care for the younger brothers and sisters of his Son. SATAN, THE TEMPTER

About 100 years after the prophet Zechariah, Satan appears again in the book of Job (1 :6-12, 2 :1-7). He is not yet the demonic personification of later Judaism and Christianity, although in a way he tempts man to sin. He is opposed to man hut is not God's enemy and is not presented as a revolted or fallen angel. He is in good standing among the sons of God


8

CHICAGO STUDIES

but has a liking for unpleasant questions. He not only attends Goo's council but goes round the earth to observe men's conduct and report to Goo what he has seen. His role is then essentially still that of an accuser. If he observes men it is to note their failures against Goo's law and infotm Goo. He is not presented as a pervert who urges man to evil because he delights in evil and hates God. He is simply skeptical, and questions man's motives for good actions. Satan is not yet the tempter, as will be understood later; he is simply the one who tests man's heart. But he is an unpleasant figure, and his cynical attitude toward human possibilities for good contradicts the optimistic estimate of Yahweh himself. He is not far removed from being an outright instigator of man to act in opposition to Goo. By sheer brutality he tries to break down the resistance of the righteous; and the temptation he applies is awful in reality, although heremains unrecognized. This view of Satan does contain implicitly the elements which later produce a more sinister conception of him, especially as leading his victim to sin. A century and a half later the author of the book of Chronicles is the echo of a tradition which tends to consider Satan as an evil being. In his repetition of the story of David's census, "the anger of Yahweh" (2 Sam. 24 :1) becomes "Satan rose against Israel" (1 Chron. 21 :1), a significant theological change, all the more impmtant since the word Satan appears for the first time as a proper noun. Satan is given the role of instigator and tempter. His figure is still rather flimsy since he seems to exist only to take the blame for celtain disasb¡ous influences on man. At the beginning of the Christian era, his personality becomes more fearful. Satan is now identified with the serpent of Genesis 3. He is an evil spirit who flatters man's pride and by means of lies leads him into sin (Wis. 2 :24, A poe. 12:9, Hebr. 2:14). Actually, the ultimate roots of belief in Satan lie in the early Israelite religion ( Gn. 3). This Yahwistic tradition, the oldest in the Pentateuch has not been sufficiently emphasized by Biblical theologians. Notwithstanding the difficulty of its interpretation it remains central in the revelation and development of the understanding of the nature of Satan. The early evidence presented so far, of itself is insufficient to conclude to a personal being but the explanation, the rereading of Gen. 3 in


SATAN

9

Wis. 2 :24 and in the New Testament as a whole, leaves hardly any doubt as to the current conception of Satan as a personal character. THE SERPENT

Nowhere in the Bible do we find as sinister an image of the unnamed tempter as in the ancient account of Genesis 3. Behind man, more intelligent than he, more guilty than he, Genesis places a mysterious animal, a serpent. This serpent is not an ordinary animal. It conceals behind itself a power which is not that of man nor of the animal, no matter how marvelous the latter might be. The serpent is the agent, the spokesman of this power, a power superior to man's, more conscious in its intentions, more subtle in its activities. It knows the heart of man, and knows how to reach it, but its penetration is not the product of love. It is a jealous and evil power, and it is clearly God's enemy. If we must give a name to this power, the most accurate name would be the temptet¡ (Mt. 4 :3, Mk. 1 :13, 1 Cor. 7 :5). Temptation is a reality of our world, a reality which the Y ahwistic author knew quite well, to have described it with such perfection. But he was not acquainted with our abstractions. He only knows the tempter and the liar (Jn. 8 :44). In so doing he is apparently more faithful to reality than we are, especially if in giving this power an abstract name we reduce it to personal nothingness. The symbolism of the serpent is varied in ancient literature. The serpent can be a cosmic, mythological figure, like Leviathan (Is. 27:1) ; a demonic, maleficent creature like the Mesopotamian Lamashtu or Pazuzu (of Exot¡cist notoriety); or beneficient like the serpent-headed dragons appearing on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon; or even a divine figure or emblem associated with the deities of fertility like "Qadesh, lady of the sky, and mistress of all the gods." The author of Genesis dissociates himself from the mythical ideas prevalent outside of Israel at his time. For him there is only one God, the only creator and Lord of heaven and earth. All other beings are creatures. He also realizes that in his own existence and in that of the world at large, the divinely planned harmony between Creator and creature has been vitiated. Man lives at a distance from God, separated from his Creator. Gene-


10

CHICAGO STUDIES

sis 3 tells how this rift came into God's creation. It deals with man's present existence and explains it as the loss of Paradise by apostasy from God. Decision for or against God is unquestionably set before man in Gn. 3. The theme is man and his guilt. Nevertheless, the fact that temptation comes fr¡om withant is not merely due to the need to give outward expression to what goes on within man. In veiled and enigmatic fashion the Yahwist uses the more than animal features in the figure of the serpent to suggest a power inimical to God which helps to bring about man's apostasy from God and which presents a deadly threat to the life of man in every age. Yahwistic theology is etiological, that is explaining the cause or reason, specifically of the mystery of sin and evil in a word created by God. This is its essential theme, man's irrational abuse of his freedom, abetted by some outside help inimical to God, and the consequent origin of evil: physical evil, pain of pregnancy (Gn. 3 :16), hard work (17-19), death (24); and moral evil, man's pride, his abuse of freedom, his propensity to evil, encouraged by some outside push. The role of the serpent in all this is demonic and maleficent, real even if secondary. It is striking how rarely the Satan notion is expressed in the Old Testament as compared to its frequency in the New. Yet the literary evidence does not justify the conclusion that the idea is exclusively post-exilic, for whatever the age of the prologue to Job, there can be no doubt that it rests on an ancient source; and there is the Yah wist ( Gn. 3) who represents the oldest tradition in the Bible. What we may conclude is that in the true religious world of Israel, the figure of Satan is not of central importance and that there is no rigid consistency in the conception of this figure in different times and circles. Foreign influences, like the Persian clualism, were surely at work, especially in post-exilic times in the development of the theology of Satan, but the basic influences were Judaic and Biblical. Attention should be given, as we have done, to the ancient mythologoumena, the ancient, defective, theological vehicles for doctrine: the fight with the dragon (Apoc. 12 :7-12), the marriages with angels (Gn. 6 :1-4), and especially the serpent in Paradise (Gn. 3). Another tradition that helps to explain the background of many New Testament texts is that contained in the intertestamental matet"ial from Qumran.


SATAN

11 THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS

In the history of later Judaism the only more or kss consistent view of Satan is that developed in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They offer a sublimation, a theological presentation of the current Judaic thinking ¡on Satan while avoiding the medley of the phantastic legends of the contemporaneous apocryphal writings. And their influence on this score has been considerable on the New Testament writers such as John and Paul. The Qumran texts (especially the Manual of Discipline and the War Scroll, the War of the Sons of Light against the Son of Darkness) have much to say about the figure of Satan, a being basically evil who is called the Angel of darkness, but mostly Belial, an Old Testament term (Deut. 13:14) which means good-fornothing and comes out as Beliar in 2 Cor. 6:15. Belial exercises his domination over all the world of darkness by the intermediary of evil angels who are subject to him. He is the cause of all the evil that engulfs the world. His will is to bring all men to sin and revolt against God, and all the world would fall under the power of this evil being if God were not there to protect his own, the sons of light, by the intermediary of the angel of light, sometimes Gabriel, sometimes Michael, or both. The thinking at Qumran is predestinarian and the dualism not absolute but modified since God created Belial and appointed an end to his wickedness. These ideas, especially the dualism, light/ da1¡kness, truth/perversion found their way especially in the Pauline and Johannine thought. Of all the New Testament writings John's first epistle offers the closest affinities to the thinking at Qumran and like Qumran its theologizes on the New Testament teaching on .Satan. All the J ohannine developments have for background the same dualism as at Qumran: light/darkness. God is light and Christians must live in God's light (1 Jn. 1 :-510). There is also the Johannine justice/sin dualism which corresponds to the opposition truth (justice) ;perversion in the Qumran texts. John opposes the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 Jn. 4 :6) and divides men into two camps the children of God and the children of the devil (1 Jn. 3 :10) who live under the influence of the devil and allow themselves to be seduced by him. The whole world lies in his power (1 Jn. 5 :19) but Christ the Son of


12

CHICAGO STUDIES

God is there to protect us so that the evil one cannot touch us (1 Jn. 5 :18). Christ is opposed to the devil as the angel of truth in the Qumran texts is opposed to the angel of darkness. All this could be mere personification yet the meaning at Qumran is strongly personal and John shares the concrete non-abstractive mentality of the people of his time. In John's gospel the dualism is not so pronounced, systematic but it is still apparent ( 1 :4-5) and becomes more personal. The crucial point about the devil is made in Jn. 8:44. The relation of the devil to sinful man is the close relation that exists between father and child. Sinners are children of the devil; he determines their whole being. Judas is a case in point: "One of you is a devil" (Jn. 6 :70). For John Judas definitely was the tool of Satan. At the Last Supper the devil had already put into Judas' mind the betrayal ( 13:2, Lk. 22 :3) and after he had taken the bread, given to him by Jesus as a last sign of friendship "Satan entered into him" (Jn. 13 :27). Both the initial and final decision of the betrayal are presented as a sort of diabolical possession, but there is no hint that Judas was now like a demoniac unable to control his actions. Jesus must suffer but Judas need not become the traitor. Satan is the prince of this world (12 :31), he rules over the wol"ld of men estranged from God but only to the extent that man's evil dispositions give him entry. In many Pauline texts the perspective remains that of the Old Testament; Satan is the seducer (2 Cor. 11:3-15) the source of phyisical evil (2 Cor. 12 :7). In other passages the figure of Satan has as background the dualism lightjdarkness so characteristic of Qumran thought. The most significative text is 2 Cor. 6:14-16 where the name Beliar is given to Satan, an hapax in the New Testament. Christians are children of light (Rom. 13:12, Ephes 5 :8). The kingdom of the Son is opposed to the power of darkness (Col. 1:13) the dominion of Satan (Acts 26 :18), the God of this world (2 Cor. 4 :4). Satan is the tempter (1 Thes. 3:5, 2 Cor. 2:11, 2 Tm. 2 :26). For Paul idolatry is really devil worship (1 Cot¡. 10 :20) ; the idols are but marionettes but Satan and his evil spirits pull the strings (cf. Deut. 32 :17). Col. 2:15-18 has special interest as revealing Paul's thought on the subject of angelic spirits. He wants no


SATAN

13

false worship of angels or exaggerated fears of demons. It is true that Paul is not really concerned to affirm or deny the existence in the world of evil spirits. He does, however deny emphatically that, whoever they are and wherever they may be (Ephes. 6 :12), any or all of them can stand up against Christ's mission of salvation. Yet the specific fact of the existence of angels and demons and of Satan in particular, seems solidly entrenched in his way of thinking, and not simply a reflection of current, contemporary thought. JESUS AND SATAN

The current New Testament conception of Satan, at the time of Jesus, can hardly be understood as a mere dramatic or poetic personification of the power of evil. The adversary of the Old Testament is now individualized. Satan is now distinctly personal (Jam. 4 :7) the originator (2 Cor. 11 :3), instigator (1 Thes. 3:5, Mt. 4 :1), and perpetuator (Ephes. 2 :2) of sin and the cause of its penalty, death (Jn. 8:44, Hebr. 2 :14). He is the personal head of the realm of evil with its ministers (Ephes. 2 :2), the source of spiritual evil ( 1 J n. 3 :8) and bodily evil, in the case of possession (Mk. 1 :21-28). The antagonist generally of God (Mt. 13:28, 39, Acts 13 :10) and specifically of man (1 Pet. 5 :8). Satan now appears under nine distinct names. He is the prince of demons (Mk. 3 :22, Jn. 12 :31, Ephes. 2 :2), the tempter ( Mt. 4 :3), the devil, that is, the adversa1¡y ( 1 Pet. 5 :8), Satan (passim), Beelzebul (Mk. 3:22 name of a Canaanite divinity, Baal, the prince), the enemy (Mt. 13 :39), the evil one (Mt. 13:19), the unclean spirit (Mt. 12:43 that is vicious, as opposed to holy), Beliar (2 Cor. 6 :15) and, finally, the serpent (2 Cor. 11:3, A poe. 12 :9). Demons were thought of in Jesus' day as non-material existences of a personal sort, hostile to human welfare and rebellious against God. The gospels reflect widespread dread of demons and a general sense of helplessness before demonic activity. Jesus is portrayed as one who can deliver from demonic oppression and from Satan himself, evil's supreme embodiment. Demoniacs are persons controlled in body (Mt. 8:16, 28) or will (Lk. 22 :3) or both (Mt. 27 :5) by evil forces. Demon posses-


14

CHICAGO STUDIES

sion is also appealed to, to explain unconventional behavior for example of John the Baptist (Mt. 11 :18) ; or attitudes considered basically false, for example of Jesus himself (Jn. 7 :20). The question of belief in demons surfaces prominently in the question of Jesus' cure of demoniacs. The problem is complicated by the fact that at the time of Jesus people did not distinguish cleal"ly between sickness and diabolic possession. Yet references to demons are relatively few in the New Testament except in the case of the possessed. Until the day of judgment the demons are to some extent free to work their mischief on earth (A poe. 9 :5). They are often presented as taking possession of men (Mt. 12 :43-45). Demonic possession is often accompanied or at least assimilated to disease, because disease, a consequence of sin (Mt. 9 :2) is another manifestation of Satan's domination ( Lk. 13 :16). The gospel exorcisms consequently often take the form of cures (Mk. 9:1429), although there are also cases of simple expulsions ( Mk. 5: l-20), and of sicknesses that has no features of possession and are still attributed to Satan (Lk. 13:10-17). In fact most of our Lord's miracles are miracles of healing ( 17) or nature miracles (9); actually the gospels record only about five expulsions of demons and three raisings from the dead. The gospel miracles are not merely apologetic credentials but especially part of the gospel message. They are the first signs of the triumph of the Spirit over Satan's empire, demonstrated by Jesus' power over the devils and over all the powers of evil including disease (Mt. 8 :17) and especially sin (Mt. 9 :2). And the gospels often and clearly distinguish between the possessed by demons and the sick (Mt. 4:23-25, Mk. 1 :32-34). While it is true that in certain instances the gospel may attribute to a spirit some affliction which nowadays we would classify more prosaically as epilepsy or insanity, there can hardly be any doubt that in many cases there is question of real exorcism of real devils. It is true that neither Paul nor John mention any exorcisms. But Paul has no special interest in the matter, his main attraction being final eschatology and Satan's instrument, the Antichrist (2 Thes. 2 :3). And John does not speak much of the kingdom of God and consequently does not present the miracles as acts of power, helping to establish the kingdom. He does mention the hostility between Jesus and Satan (14 :30,


SATAN

15

16:33); in fact, Johannine thought is more dualistic than that

of the Synoptics, but the miracles are not seen as weapons in the struggle. In John the primary function of the miracles seems to be symbolism; they are works and signs. There cannot be much doubt that people at the time of Christ believed in personal devils and Satan, a belief that is apparent throughout the New Testament. Is this belief part of J'evelation, of the teaching of Scripture or simply part of the message that must be demythologized as approximative defective presentation of the mystery of evil. Actually many interpreters today explain the origin of belief in demons as a simple objectification of the psychical, specifically a belief vested in an experience which in some way or other entails a thrill of fear. The evil spirit would be a projection, a personified fear, a symbolic picture in the history book of religions, the dark illustrations of an otherwise attractive collection of figures. Such psychological remarks, however, notwithstanding their usefulness for solving many cases in parapsychology, surely cannot be the total explanation of the religious phenomenon in general and of angelology and demonology in particular. TRUE EXORCISM?

Did Jesus actually cast out demons from men? A number of interpreters who aJ¡e convinced that demons do not exist claim that Jesus e1'1Wl. They argue that all diseases a1¡e solely the result of natural causes. From the point of view of science Jesus made a mistake when he followed the views then held by the masses and practised exorcism. Others are of the opinion that Jesus adapted himself to the preva•lent popular belief for pedagogical motives. It was not Jesus' intention to give mankind a clearer idea of the essence and the laws of nature; he had a higher aim in mind. Moreover, in what better way could Jesus successfully have combated the widespread belief in demons? The people believe in demons; Jesus destroys the devils' supposed work. It seems, however, that belief in demons is not merely a matter of scientific nature; the issue is instead an important religious and moral question. Jesus did accommodate himself to some extent to the belief of his times, assuming that the ea.rth is flat and that the universe is geocentric, and


16

CHICAGO STUDIES

he could then have assumed the demonic explanation for psychic clis01·ders. But it seems that the texts indicate more than that, and it seems clear that Jesus shared with the people of his time the belief in the existence and operation of evil spirits. There are indications that what is at issue in the gospel narratives of exorcism is often not mere sickness. This is suggested by the unnatural signs of violence (Mk. 5:4-5, 9:22, Lk. 4 :25) and the religious knowledge exhibited by the expulsed clemons (Mk. 1 :24, 5 :7). The power of exorcism is then a New Testament theme of some importance. Moreover, if belief in demons was in fact based on religious error, it seems that Jesus had to combat it with all his might. It is true, however, that what is primary in the New Testament teaching is that Jesus breaks the power of evil and gains a definitive victory over it. The material conception of this power, that it manifests itself in the action of personal malignant spirits is secondary yet seems demanded by the texts taken in the background of the total biblical revelation.

'

The discourse of Jesus (Mk. 3 :22-27) given when the Pharisees explain his power as due to a pact with the clemons is one of the most severe in the gospels; refusal to believe that he exhibits the power of God precisely in his power ovet· clemons is the sin against the Holy Spirit which is not forgiven. The disarming of Satau is not just a matter of power; it is a matter of right. The binding of the strong one (Mk. 3 :27) and the fall of Satan (Lk. 10 :17) refer to the same thing and describe symbolically the effect of Cht~st's mission. CATHOLIC TEACHING

In the systematic presentation of the battle between Christ and Satan what is to be kept as actually part of our Lord's teaching? It is difficult to specify with certitude. The evangelists, especially Luke, have no doubt accentuated, emphasized the desct~ption of this struggle but they surely have not inevented everything. There is no serious t•eason to doubt the logion about Satan divided against himself recorded by the Markan tradition (3 :22-27) and by the tradition on which Matthew and Luke depend, even if the passage is actually quite artificially joined to the controversy about Beelzebul. It is also


SATAN

17

a bit unlikely that the primitive community would have invented the saying of Christ comparing Peter to Satan (Mk. 8 :33). The temptation story (Mt. 4 :1-11) is also a strong indication of the belief of the early community even if it is not necessarily grounded on a confidential statement of our Lord to his Apostles. In any case, his statements, especially Mk. 3:2227 and J n. 8 :44, are essentially theological, moral, and religious. And it cannot be doubted that Jesus often spoke of Satan to his disciples as a redoubtable, formidable personage incarnating as it were all the evil in the world. That, by the way, is probably the way we should understand the last petition of the Our Father: "Save us from the evil one" (Mt. 6 :13). The Greek is ambiguous, but on the whole the personal rendering is better, for God uses Satan as the tester: "Do not put us to the test." The petition is then to be saved from the same enemy who is opposed to the coming of the kingdom in the last times (2 Thes. 2 :3-10). The problem of the origin of evil is not solved by the existence of a personal Satan; it is made more mysterious. Neither is the existence of Satan an answer, or a necessary postulate for the problem of original sin. Original sin is essentially a state in us, the mystery of sin, of human liberty. Human history is the history of human liberty, and human liberty "explains" the mystery of evil, sin, and death. Original sin in us, according to St. Paul (Rom. 7 :5) is antecedent evil, disturbing man's relation to God. Human liberty is weighed down, undermined from the interior, by the spontaneous tendencies of the fiesh, the power of evil in us, hostile to God. Baudelaire stated that "the best trick, strategy of the devil is to persuade people that he does not exist." If that is the case Satan is quite successful today. Bultmann, for example, writes: "One cannot use electric light, turn on a radio, or when sick have recourse to medical science and modern clinics and at the same time believe in the spirit world and the miracles of the New Testament." What he is suggesting is that modem science gives an explanation of what the ancient mind and mentality explains by reference to the supernatural. Karl Rahner on the <:ontrary states categorically: "the devil cannot be regarded as a mere personification of evil in the world." Actually, it is a fact that the Bible texts need to be demy-


18

CHICAGO STUDIES

theologized. Yet to give the Bible it's true meaning two extremes must be avoirle;l; on the one hand we cannot admit as reality everything that is stated in the Bible, since many ancient ideas about the world and even religion are not essential to the message and must surely"be discarded: for example, the Old Testament ideas on Sheol and retribution and the cosmic disturbances which even in the New Testament are always part of apocalyptic descriptions. But on the other hand, under the pretext that many phenomena formerly attributed to demons, today have a natural explanation, for example in physical causes (storms) or psychic cause (epilepsy, split-personality) one is not justified in denying categorically the existence of demonic forces. It is clear that there never was a demon of the desert like Azazel (Lev. 16 :8) or a Lilith dwelling in ruins (Is. :14 :14) or a sexy Asmodeus (Tob. 3 :8), any more than our use of the word, nightman suggests a belief in incubi demons. It is also sure that the Jews and until modern times Christians have seen the action of evil spirits in cases when nothing more was involved but net-vous or psychic aberrations. Moreo,¡et¡, when dealing with biblical material, one must evaluate in each

case the litemry type of the book in question; poetic folklore and didactic, theological writing in the book of Job; poetic descriptions of the devastation of a city in Isaiah ; apocalyptic visions and metaphors in the book of Revelation; edifying fiction in the book of Tobias. Yet at the same time one must admire the sobriety of the biblical stories as compared to the non-canonical writings of later Judaism, rabbinical literature and even the Christian material of the first centuries. Many today too easily deny the existence of independent demonic beings different from men. Most Catholic theologians, however, admit the existence of such beings which is surely the onlinaTy teaching of our Church. And it must be pointed out that in this question, as for the doctrine of angels, we will never be able to utilize positively the methods of profane sciences to attest with any kind of certainty the existence of the activity of demonic powe>¡s. By definition, demons can only be known by revelation and here the basic source is Holy Scripture. It must be pointed out also that tradition, patristic and conciliar, scholastic anrl later speculation, is not too easily to be dismiss!'d as obscurantist.


SATAN

19

It is true that none of our symbols of faith, the official creeds ever mention that our salvation wa.s wrought by the defeat of a fallen angel, even when the patristic tradition wa.s always strongly in favor of Satan's existence. But this only shows the secondary and negative a.spect of the belief in Satan in salvation history. The essential revelation focuses on Jesus Christ who brings us back to our Father with the help of the Holy Spirit. Actually, the official teaching of the Church on demons is rather limited. Pope Paul VI recently put it briefly in these words: "Evil is not merely a lack of something, but also an effective agent, a living, spiritual being, pervet1:ed and perverting. A terrible reality, mysterious and frightening." To put the question briefly and clearly: Is the belief in a personal Satan and devils part of divine revelation'/ First it must be said that such a belief is surely not core material, a.s essential pati: of revelation but a secondary feature. Could a theologian hold that the non-existence of a personal Satan is certain? My answer would be that such a person is misinformed and misguided in abandoning the ordinary teaching of the Church. Does that mean that the belief in a personal Satan is beyond the possibility of a practical doubt? My answer again is no, because of the mysterious nature of the question and because so little is known, in fact, practically nothing beyond the ba1¡e fact of the existence of evil spirits. Yet all in all this seems to be the most probable opinion available. And in any case, evil must be conquered and this is not done by speculating on the existence of Satan, but practically by deciding for goodness, a.s determined in each concrete situation; by conquering everything which in our world is in any way related with evil. And no evil of any kind moral, physical, or personal can ever force or constrain our personal libe1i:y and freedom the only source of our accountability and responsibility.


John F. Dedek

Two Moral Cases: Invalid Marriage and Homosexuality A moml theologian looks at two practical pastoral problems. CASE I

Titius and BeTtlw. love one another deeply and have been happily ma1"1-ied for sixteen yea?"S. They have five beautiful childTen, ages 4, 9, 10, 18 and. 1.5. all attending Catholic schools. Both paTents a1·e active in chuTch and school affaiTS and attend Mass every Sunday with thei-r child1·en. But they do not Teceive the sacTaments because they have been married in a civil ceremony. They 1vere not able to be married in church because Titius 1vas ma1-ried befo1·e. Both a1·e very ?VOTried about thei1· situation. In fact, Bertha al1·eady has been hospitalized because of a nervous breakdown. Yet they do not feel that they can sincm·ely promise to live touetheT as b1·other and sister, nor do they think it 1vould be right for the1n to break up theiT fa·mily and live apart. They {}O to their paTish p1·iest and ask his advice. The Code of Canon Law deelm·es that "Marriage which is ratum et consumrnatnm cannot be dissolved by any human power nor by any cause save death." This canon reflects Catholic teaching which has been practically unanimous and goes back to the earliest centuries. Although a few adaptations or compromises seem to have occurred in the history of the Church, in general the Fathers, Roman Pontiffs, Church councils and synods made no compromise with secular law and practice. The rule was ancient, constant, and rigidly enforced: no divorce and remarriage. To defend its strict teaching the Church has always pointecl 20


MORAL

21

to certain Gospel texts in which Jesus is quoted as saying plainly that divorce and remarriage is adultery. Because of the ambiguity in Matthew's report, the question of the possibility of divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery has been argued. But it seems fair to say that in the light of present-day knowledge and contemporary exegesis the best conclusion we can draw is that Jesus' teaching on divorce was truly radical and revolutionary. He rejected all divorce in principle and did not make an exception for adultery or anything else. LAW OR IDEAL?

However, even if we accept this conclusion, it is long step to present-day canon law. Many contemporary exegetes argue that the saying of Jesus about divorce and remarriage is not a legal precept but a normative ideal. Jesus did not replace the divorce law of Deuteronomy with a new more radical law for the New Testament. Jesus' saying about divorce an remarriage must be interpreted in the context in which it appears and not separated from that context. And the context in which it is put is the sermon on the mount, where Jesus was not making law but pointing to goals. For instance, in the same context Jesus is reported as saying, "Do not resist the evil-doer; if a man strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other." Almost all Christians have always interpreted this as a normative ideal, not a legal precept. It is a goal that Christians are bound to pursue. But it is not possible for it to be fully attained until the eschaton. In the meantime, while we are still a pilgrim people in a sinful world, it will be necessary sometimes to defend ourselves against unjust aggressors. The same, Scripture scholars argue, is true about divorce and remarriage. Jesus' norm is the goal toward which we must strive as a Christian people. But on the way we will always have to make adaptations or exceptions in impossible situations. Other contemporary scholars argue that even if Jesus was making law, it is still a considerable distance from this to the doctrine contained in the Code of Canon Law. Even if Jesus is saying that divorce and remarriage is always sinful, it does net necessarily follow that the second marriage is invalid. AceOt¡ding to this interpretation, a man who puts away his wife


22

CHICAGO STUDIES

and marries another acts illegally but not invalidly. He commits a sin, but the sin is not unforgivable, nor does it exclude the possibility of a second valid union. Jesus may have been making law, but he was not making direment impediments. It is canon law not the Gospel that declares the second marriage null. SOME THEOLOGICAL QUESTIONS

Today the Church's traditional teaching that Christian marriage is absolutely indissoluable also is under heavy theological assault. We have never developed a genuine theology of marriage in the Catholic Church. Historically the sacrament of marriage fell almost exclusively into the hands of moralists and canon lawyers. The result has been that our understanding of marriage has been onesidedly juridical. Marriage is essentially defined in legal terms. It is defined as a contract. The principal official decisions that have shaped its understanding have been made by the tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota, not the Biblical Commission or the Holy Office. And dogmatic theologians in their brief treatments of marriage generally have been content to repeat the principal conclusions of the jurists. For their own part, they have never developed a true doctrinal theology of Christian marriage. A few stammerings in this direction are beginning today, but no developed understanding or consensus has yet emerged. The Church's traditional doctrine also is under increasing attack from lay people today. Since so many priests and religious have been released from their vows and allowed to marry, lay people frequently ask why in changing circumstances a priest may be released from his life-long commitment made at ordination, while married people may never be released from theirs no matter what. The customary answer to this objection, of course, is to say that the priest is bound to celibacy by ecclesiastical law, whereas the married couple are bound to their commitment by divine law. The Church can dispense from her own laws but not from the laws of God. Now, of course, it is being argued by Catholic exegetes and theologians whether the absolute indissolubility of Christian marriage really derives from divine law. Besides, there is a greater wisdom in this common lay objection than at first meets


MORAL

23

the eye. It is based on the common sense perception that no human being is able to make an absolute commitment. Only an absolute being can make an absolute commitment. A human being can make a permanent commitment: that is what both priests and married people make. But in both cases it is made humano modo, not absolutely, since no one can forsee that circumstances or persons will not change is such a way as to make the fulfillment of the commitment impossible or immoral. One might argue against this that God who requires absolute indissolubility will in his providence give the grace making fulfillment possible and morally good in all circumstances. But that sort of argument is too aprioristic. The fact that divorce rates among Catholics approximate the general divorce rate suggests that God has a different policy. CHURCH TEACHING-PASTORAL PRACTICE

In any event, interesting as all this speculation may be, the fact is that the official teaching of the Catholic Church remains the same today as always, and there is little reason to believe that this teaching will change in any substantial way in the forseeable future. So what is the parish priest to do in difficult pastoral situations like that of Titius and Be1tha? Must he always unite canonical marital status with sacramental practice? Or can he sometimes counsel a couple whose marriage is not canonically valid to receive the sacraments without thereby confronting head-on ancient Catholic tradition and presentday canon law? In trying to answer this question it will be helpful to distinguish two different cases. The first case is that of a couple whose first marriage was invalid but its invalidity cannot be proven in the ecclesiastical coUits. The ecclesiastical coUits are useful and necessary institutions. They provide the social regulation of marriage that is necessary to prevent the integrity of marriage and the imperative of permanence from being seriously endangered. Therefore one ought to make use of the Church tribunals and follow their decisions in ordinary circumstances. But it is also true that existing man¡iage law is imperfect and tribunal procedures are frequently cumbersome and severely limited. A negative decision (Non constat de nullitate) sim-


24

CHICAGO STUDIES

ply asserts that there is not full proof of the invalidity of the marriage. It does not asse1t that the marriage is certainly valid, and it cannot affirm this in many instances. The presumption in Church law is in favor of the validity of the marriage. But presumptions are not always in accord with the truth. It is quite possible that a person's first marriage was in fact invalid and yet canonically its invalidity can neve1路 be affirmed at law. A "CIVIL" SACRAMENTAL MARRIAGE

Practically this means that when it is morally certain that a person's first marriage was in fact invalid but its invalidity cannot be proven at law, he may be licitly and validly married in a civil ceremony. Some authors draw the same conclusion when there is solid doubt about the validity of the first marriage. The reason for this is that a man has a natural right to marry once and in the circumstances it is impossible for him to get married in the Catholic Church. He is unable to observe the prescribed canonical form for marriage, not because of an~路 fault of his own, but because of the imperfection and limitations of the Church's legal system. In such circumstances the civil marriage would be licit and valid, and if the partners are baptized it would be a tt路uly Christian sacramental mm路riage. The fact that it is not recognized canonically is simply a result of the necessary inadequacies of a human judicial process. It is important to be clear that in these circumstances the ci vi I marriage itself is a sacramental marriage. There is no need to have a second ceremony in Church. If for some reason the couple would like to have a blessing-ceremony or renewal of vows before the priest, there is nothing to prevent this as long as scandal is avoided. But the priest should not perf01m the civil ceremony itself. John Catoir, the presiding judge of the Marriage Tribunal of the Diocese of Paterson, N.J., has wisely warned that "it would not be right for a priest to presume to marry the couple himself, i.e. to eliminate the need for a civil or religious ceremony outside the Church, because when acting as an agent of the sta,te in the matter of marriage, the priest is under oath to obey the laws of the Church judicatory to which he belongs. If the priest knowingly witnesses a union which is jul"idically invalid in the eyes of his Church, he is ex-


MORAL

25

ceeding his rights under state law as well as Church law, and even the civil validity of the marriage could be challenged later in certain states." Finally, it is very important that this conclusion and the theological analysis which leads to it be widely publicized. It would be a mistake for it all to be kept very sect¡et. Rather it can and should be explained to the people in the pulpit. For, as Richard McCormick has pointed, " ... everyone writing on the problem of divorce and remarriage insists on the need of avoiding the scandal generated by misunderstanding. Catholics, therefore, must be educated to the idea that the tribunal system is severely limited in determining precisely what unions are truly binding and hence to the occasional legitimacy of internal-forum solutions. If they are properly educated, they will understand that there is no justification for shock or judgment when they see an acquaintance (divorced and remarried) receiving the sacraments. This education is particularly important for AnglC>-Saxons, whose strong legal tradition accustoms them to view law as an exhaustive measure of what is possible and right. When this legal tradition combines with a highly juridical notion of Church, the result is the remarkable view that Church law provides the answer to all problems, the only answer and a fully adequate answer." THE SECOND CASE

The second case is somewhat different and quite a bit more difficult. It is the case of a couple whose fit-st marriage was certainly valid but is now over, and whose second marriage is now hopelessly broken (or dead, as some authors say) and the second marriage is established and involves children. There is a conflict of duties. One duty is to respect the indissolubility of marriage, and the other is to maintain the present love-community of the present family for the sake of the partners and the children. An increasing number of moralists and canonists today maintain that the spouses should be able to continue to live together as husband and wife and receive the sacraments if scandal can be avoided. But there seem to be as many different reasons or arguments given for this conclusion as there are theologians who support it. This has to give us pause. That


26

CHICAGO STUDIES

a clear consensus is forming on the correct pastoral practice is gooo re:L~on for the parish priest to begin operating accordingly. But the fact that there is no clear agreement on the reasons that lead to the common conclusion indicates how very difficult it will be to explain such a practice to the people if it is adopted. And that of course is crucial if scandal is to be avoided. THREE RECOMMENDATIONS

Practically, therefore, at least at the present moment, I would recommend three things. First, I would not counsel couples in these circumstances to return to the sacraments on a regular basis at the present time. The principal reason for this is that I think it would be practically impossible to exclude serious scandal and harm to the Catholic community if a more relaxed practice developed just now. It would be very difficult for many Catholics to understand how divorce and remarriage is now permitted in one parish or by some priests and not permitted in another parish or by other priests. Many good and loyal Catholics are still reeling after the birth control controversy and its aftermath as well as all the other changes that have occurred since Vatican II. It would be pastorally insensitive to ignore the hurt and confusion that already has been caused them. I think that it would be next to impossible for many of them to assimilate such a drastic change in sacramental practice for divorced and rematTied people unless they are given a very careful and thorough explanation. The problem is that the theological literature on this issue is still very young and groping. Solid and serious reasons have been advanced for a change in our sacramental practice. Almost everyone writing on the subject agrees that there should be a change. But there is as yet no agreement on the theological rationale for a change. The result is that it would be very difficult to formulate any clear and helpful explanation for the entire community at the present time. However, the literature is growing rapidly, and I suspect that a clearer picture will develop soon. lf there is a change in our sacramental practice, it cannot occur abruptly. Nor can it occur easily without official sanction and general guidelines from our bishops. Therefore it is most urgent that a national commission or at least diocesan commis-


MORAL

27

sions be set up to recommend some practical norms which will be universally followed in the local parishes and that a pastoral program of education of the people be inaugurated before any practical changes in policy are adopted. I must admit that this is only my opinion. There are many good and responsible priests who are already operating more leniently, and they have good theologians to support them. All I am saying is that personally I think they are making a mistake and if this mistake suddenly became widespread serious hann would be done to the Church. One must sympathize with the agonizing cases of divorced and remarried couples like Bertha and Titius. But one must also be sensitive to the entire Church. It is not an easy matter to reverse a Church practice which has such a long and ancient history and about which feelings and emotions run very deep. THE EUCHARISTIC COMMUNITY

Secondly, I would be very careful in explaining to people why they should not receive the sacraments on a reg<Jlar basis at the present time. Participation in the Eucharist is an objective sigu of unity with the ecclesial community. The objective condition of a divorced and remarried person is a visible pattern of life at odds with the ecclesial community and its beliefs about marriage. There is therefore an objective conflict between the sigu-dimensions of the sacraments and the social conduct. The fundamental reason therefore why a remarried person should not receive the sacraments is that their reception would be an objective external falsification of the siguificance of the sacrament. The reason is not that he is living in sin. No judgment is made or implied about his personal moral condition. It may well be God's will for him to continue in his present marriage, and he may well be living in God's grace as much as anyone else. It is important for people to understand that the Eucharist is not the only access to God. It is only one of many, which may happen to be. closed to an individual for external reasons. Finally, I would advise people in this difficult situation to come back to see me again in a year or so. I would not want to build up any false hopes. But I do think that in that time


28

CHICAGO STUDIES

a clearer and more coherent theological consensus will have developed and a better practical solution can be given. CASE II HOMOSEXUALI~'Y

Titius is gay. Four year·s ago he rva.• gr·adrurted fr·om a Catholic high school and ha« not been inside a chur·ch since. After high school he got a job a« an office cler·k in the city, lives alone, and frequents the neighborhood gay bars rvhere he makes a contact about once or twice a week. He 11-Sed to be a«hamed and secretive about his homosexual behaviour but now is a gay liberationist, convinced that gay is good. As a boy he wa« a devout Catholic but stopped going to the sacraments because he wa« unable to mend his homosexual ways. He has been deeply troubled about th,is, exrJer·i.ences a great loss in not being able to pmctice his religion, and wonders if the Catholic Church ha« changed its views on homosexuality during the past few years. One day he gets his nerve up, stops at the rectory, and a«ks the pr-iest if one ha« to be straight nowadays in order to be a pmcticing Catholic. The meaning that one attaches to human sexuality will depend to a large extent on one's view of man. A dualistic anthropology, which thinks of man as a spiritual person who has a material body, will be inclined to undervalue man's sexuality. As we use our bodies, so we use our sexuality. Sex can be used for various purposes-for the expression of love and affection, for procreation, or for fun and pleasure. But one who believes that man is his body, that he is the body of his soul as well as the soul of his body, will be more inclined to see the use of sex as expressive of his person. Sex is the way that he, who is his body, does the two most important things in life--love and create other beings like himself. Human sexuality is both love-making and life-giving. That is its full human and Christian meaning, and anything less diminishes it. On the objective level homosexuality is something less. Homosexual acts are not life-giving acts of love. They separate in principle the love-union and procreative aspects of human sexuality. That is why Christians have always condemned them. It is possible for two persons of the same sex to truly love one another in the deepest sense of the ·word. A genuine love


MORAL

29

relationship is more unusual between male homosexuals than between lesbians. It is at least statistically true that most male sexual relationships are casual affairs, and it is rare that they establish any kind of permanent bond rooted in interpersonal love. Female homosexuals, on the other hand, more frequently establish a permanent relationship based on genuine mutual love. SEX: MORE THAN LOVE

Nonetheless, a true permanent loving relationship is not enough to fulfill the meaning of sexual communion. Good as love is, sexual union means more. Homosexuals may use sex to express love, but sex is better than that. Sex is more than an act of love. It is an act of creative love, and act by which we love and create new beings like ourselves. An older theology exaggerated the importance of procreation and undervalued the importance of love. Procreation was seen as the primary end of sex, and any other values stood in a subordinate position. What we have to watch out for today is an overcorrection of this view, one which would dismiss procreation as if it were wholly irrelevant to the meaning of human sexuality. Contemporary theological analysis no longer says that procreation is the principal purpose of sex, nor does it say that each and every act must be procreative or open to the transmission of life. It does not analyze our sexuality as a purely biological function. It sees it as a human function and says that as a human function it still has an essential relation to proereation. Human sexuality is not just for loving. It is for a special kind of loving, the kind that is creative of new beings like ourselves. That is why it will always remain the myste1-ium t>¡emendnm. It represents and actualizes the best that is in us. Homosexual acts necessarily exclude any relation to procreation, even the minimum relation that still exists in contraceptive or sterile heterosexual acts. Homosexual acts exclude in principle any reference to procreation and to that extent diminish the full meaning of human sexuality. On the objective level, therefore, homosexuality will never measure up or adequately reflect the full significance of human


30

CHICAGO STUDIES

sexuality. This is true even of the best homosexual activity, that which is truly expressive of interpersonal love. What is more, on the personal level, homosexuality can and frequently does depreciate the meaning of human sexuality in a further way. Often it is not even an expression of love. Not only is it not life-giving; neither is it love-making. If so, then it is simply the selfish taking of venera! pleasure through the use of another person's body with the concomitant depersonalization of the other. DEPERSONALIZED SEX

Many homosexual acts, especially those among men, are in fact acts of depersonalized sex. They not only nullify in principle the procreative intent of human sexual love; they also regularly presuppose the absence of all emotional contact and responsible pledge. To conclude, homosexual acts necessarily exclude all relation to procreation, and they frequently are no more than mechanical depersonalized acts of self-gratification. Human sexuality is better than that. That is why we cannot simply say that homosexuality is morally neutral, that it makes no difference whether one is homosexual or heterosexual, as if there were no important values or meaning at stake. The preceding analysis is an attempt to isolate what is morally wrong with homosexuality on the level of ethical theory. It does not say that homosexuality is perverse or rotten or that anyone who engages in it is evil. It only says that it devalues the meaning of human sexuality in at least one and frequently two significant ways. This statement is made on the level of normative morality. It is important for one to be clear about it before he asks any other questions on the level of pastoral practice. It is also important to be clear about another fact. Homosexuals are not born ; they are made. And sometimes they can be unmade. Each of us finds his place somewhere on a homosexual-heterosexual continuum. Some people are exclusively heterosexual, some exclusively homosexual, and the rest somewhere in between. On a scale of one to seven, people can be sorted out something like this: those who are 1) exclusively heterosexual, 2) predominantly heterosexual and incidentally


MORAL

31

homosexual, 3) predominantly heterosexual but more than incidentally homosexual, 4) equally heterosexual and homosexual, 5) predominantly homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual, 6) predominantly homosexual but incidentally heterosexual, and 7) exclusively homosexual. People can be located on this scale according to either their psychic response or their actual behaviour. In most cases overt behaviour will follow psychic response. But in some instances one's actual behaviour will differ from his psychic response. For instance, an inmate in a penitentiary or a boy in a military academy may be classified as predominantly heterosexual according to his psychic response but predominantly homosexual according to his actual behaviour. One's psychic response, of course, is the more important factor, and apart from unusual circumstances it will determine one's overt behaviour. One cannot rule out the possibility that even a person who is exclusively homosexual can change sufficiently to live a normal heterosexual life. This is especially true if the homosexual is highly motivated. But there is only a very small likelihood of this happening. In fact there is only a small likelihood of substantial change by anyone who has been in his psychic response either exclusively homosexual or predominantly homosexual and only incidentally heterosexual for a period of five to ten years. This does not imply that therapy has no value, only that it has limited value. Whenever possible it should be tried. Sometimes it will succeed at least in some useful degree. But more frequently it will fail, and nothing more can be done. Lastly it should be noted that while the homosexual frequently is not free in determining his basic psychic response, he is usually free and in control of his actual behaviour. His homosexual acts are not compulsive acts. Normally he has the same degree of personal control over his overt sexual behaviour as a heterosexual person has over his. BACK TO TITIUS

With all the foregoing in mind, let us return to Titius and his parish priest. The priest should try first of all to ascertain what exactly Titius means when he says that he is homosexual. Is he exclu-


32

CHICAGO STUDIES

sively or almost exclusively homosexual in his psychic needs and response? Or is he able to switch? If he is able to behave heterosexually, then he ought to. It is not enough for him simply to say that gay is good and behave as if homosexuality were a morally indifferent matter. To freely chose homosexuality as a way of life when it is possible to do other is a serious depreciation and mock of the full human and Christian meaning of sex. Second, if Titius cannot behave heterosexually then ordinarily he ought to try to get some professional help. Therapy may or may not be useful. But usually it will be worth a try. In normal circumstances therapy would be ordinary means to protect some very important values. Therapy usually will require him to engage in physical intimacies with women, and I think that in the circumstances the priest could counsel this as the Jesser evil. But what if there is no way that Titius can change'? What if he is irreformably homosexual in his psychic response and needs? This is the most difficult question, and it is being addressed in the theological literature is a very halting and exploratory way. One tentative solution is that a confirmed homosexual may in his circumstances choose the Jesser of two evils-namely a permanent homosexual â&#x20AC;˘Âˇelationship built on mutual Jove rather than a life of casual promiscuity. He may do this only because for him heterosexuality is impossible and celibacy is not a truly viable option. Therefore for him the lesser evil is the only possible good in the circumstances. The weakness in this analysis is that it does not provide any solution for the many homosexuals who are unable to establish any permanent homosexual relationship built on mutual Jove and whose only choice therefore is between celibacy and casual promiscuity. Another solution, based on the principle of compromise, asserts that because of the presence of sin and its effects in the world, homosexuality would not be objectively wrong in those circumstances in which it is the only viable alternative for an individual. Homosexual behaviour will never be the ideal but can be reluctantly accepted as the only possible good, since it is the only way an individual can find a satisfying degree of humanity in his life.


MORAL

33

It seems to me that this solution is not too bad as a prac-

tical pastoral norm but there is a certain amount of haziness in the theoretical principle that grounds it. I would suggest a somewhat different rationale which is a bit more precise and comes to the same practical conclusion. It is based on Schuller's preference-principle as refined by Joseph Fuchs. PREMORAL EVIL AND A PROPORTIONATE REASON

The principle states that premoral evil becomes moral evil only when done without a proportionate reason. In themselves homosexual acts represent human disvalues in a premorai sense. They become moral evil in those circumstances in which there is no proportionate reason for doing them. But if there is a proportionate reason for placing such acts, they remain premoral disvalues but not immoral even on the objective level. I would think that very often an individual's inability ever to engage in normal heterosexual acts would count as such a proportionate reason. One might argue against all of these solutions that they too readily dismiss the possibility of celibacy and the power of God's grace. Maybe so. In any event the theological analysis of this question is far from complete, and as far as I can tell no significant consensus has been reached. Even if a pastor is unable to accept any of the theoretical solutions outlined above, he still can handle the case on subjective grounds in the following way. If Titius can switch to heterosexual behaviour but does not, he is freely chosing homosexuality as a way of life and so chosing to depreciate and trivialize the meaning of human sexuality in a significant way. Such a decision, I think, would be seriously wrong and would make him undisposed to receive the sacraments fruitfully. But if Titius is irreformably homosexual and tries with ordinary diligence to abstain from homosexual behaviour, he can be treated pastorally in much the same way as an adolescent masturbator. For if he has not freely chosen homosexuality as a way of life and yet periodically fails because of his limited options, these single acts of homosexuality probably would not be gravely sinful. And even if they were, his effort to resist them would evidence sufficient disposition for sacramental absolution.


Hilary Smith

The Priest as Shaman Are priests m,agic men, shantans, 1Vith a S]Jecia,l 1¡itua./istic place in society?

The years following the Second Vatican Council have seen priests develop an almost phobic fear of magic. Where before, the ex opere opemto effects of the sacraments were sometimes described almost as if they happened by magic, today there is greater emphasis on the personal interaction in the sacraments between the recipient and Christ. This reluctance to avoid the vocabulary of magic has affected the theology of the priesthood and the image that priests have of themselves. Certainly few American priests saw themselves as magic men bringing health and happiness to believers or enjoying privileged lines of communication with the heavenly powers. But at the sick-bed, in the presence of a family suffering from strained relationships, listening to a laborer mistreated by his employer, the priest saw himself less as a professional member of the medical staff, a trained counselor or a political activist, and more as a special emissary of God empowered at least to retail platitudes that had a special healing power precisely because they came from a source more powerful than the lady next door or an understanding uncle. This reluctance of the priest to see himself as a figure enjoying magical powers occurred precisely at the time when young Americans were developing a strange interest in magic 34


SHAMAN

35

and the occult. No one in the staid years following World War II could have predicted that one of the heroes of the next decade would be not the soldier, statesman, scientist or educator, but the shaman, the witch-doctor or magician, a vanishing species even in primitive societies. Theodore Roszak, in his analysis of the sixties, The Making of a Counter Culture, concludes that not only was the interest in magic a healthy reaction to the technological society, but that the shaman may be the savior the industrial world needs to avoid farther dehumanization of society. By the end of the sixties Don Juan, a brujo or witch doctor observed by or perhaps partly invented by Carlos Castaneda in his book, The Teachings of Don Juan, had become an important figure on college campuses and off-campus hippie havens. As early as October 21, 1967, the possibility of a shamanic incursion into national politics became a reality when, according to The East Villaoe Other, New York's leading "underground" paper, large body of protesters marching on the Pentagon were joined by groups of "witches, warlocks, holymen, seers, prophets, mystics, saints, sorcers, shamans, troubadours, ministrels, bards, roadmen and madmen." In addition to the usual speaches and sign carrying, the magic men added a new element to the art of protest as they exorcised the Pentagon and "cast mighty wot¡ds of white light against the demon-controlled structure," hoping, in the process, to levitate the building off the ground. SHAMAN: THE HERO OF THE SIXTIES

Rather than simply dismissing the entire episode as a wierd fad, an intellectual hoola hoop, we might profitably try to understand why the shaman became a hero of the sixties, just what kind of position he occupied in so many communities throughout the world, and how priests today might provide society with some of the valuable services once provided by the shaman. A number of explanations have been given for the rising interest in the occult during the sixties. Perhaps most important for our purposes is the fact that the hallucinogenic experience, bursting on the scene as LSD became readily available, provided such new ways of perceiving reality that people began question-


36

CHICAGO STUDIES

ing whether the prosaic perceptions of science and technology were only limiting men instead of providing them with wider horizons. Some of the more bizarre approaches to controlling reality through spells and incantations might offer, it was hoped, the same unexpeded results they had obtained by taking a small tab of LSD or mescaline. A whole generation had been subjected to the radical revelation that there were other ways of viewing reality besides the one currently accepted in the western world. This revelation came at a time when the western view which sees the world as governed by laws that man could learn and manipulate, was being called into question as man saw himself losing control of his physicial and political environment. It is not surprising, then, that young people began to suspect that other views of the world, other ways of exercising control over it, might be more effective than those which were causing pollution and wars that no one wanted. Nor is it that surprising that the heroes of these people should not be the scientists or politicians who were blamed for setting the forces of evil in motion, but men such as Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Richard Alpert and Castaneda's Don Juan, who were proposing new approaches to seeing and controlling reality. After we learn a little more about the traditional role of the Shaman, and reflect that no one was left in our society to perform his work, we will not be surprised that many people sought to restore the shaman to his rightful place. Let us see first if we can understand some of the roles the shaman performed in his society. Mircea Eliade has suggested that the shaman's most important function is to provide a relationship between heaven and earth, between the real world and paradise. Shamanism, then, represents an archetypal " 'yearning for Paradise,' the wish to return to a state of blessedness and liberty such as existed before the 'fa!,' to restore contact between Heaven and Earth." ("The Yearning for Paradise in Primitive Tradition," in Myth and Mythology, ed. Henry A. Murray (New York, 1960), p. 68). Concretely, the shaman enjoys his key position in the community because of his ability to achieve ecstasy, or, to take the word "ecstasy" in its most literal sense, his ability to step


SHAMAN

37

out of himself and communicate with the spirit world. This power enables the shaman to perform several important jobs in the community, one of which has recently been recognized as valuable by the N a tiona! Institute of Mental Health. (See E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., The Mind Game: Witchdoctors and Psychiatrists (New Yo1¡k, 1972). Primitive peoples felt that mental illness meant very literally losing one's mind, losing one's spirit. The Shaman had the ability to free his own spirit so that it could go off in search of the sick man's spirit and bring it back into the body. There is another important function the shaman provides because of his ability to send his soul on to the other world. At the moment of death he can go into ecstasy and lead the spirit of the deceased into the other world. Besides being a master of things related to the spirit world, the shaman was also a tribe's chief poet and master of language. Among the Kazak Kirgiz peoples, for example, "the l'aqcaJ singer, poet, musician, diviner, priest, and doctor, appears to be a guardian of religious and popular traditions, preserver of legends several centuries old." (Mircea Eliade, Shamanism (New York, 1964), p. 30). THE MYTHIC IMAGINATION

Before considering how today's priest could seriously pretend to serve society as a shaman, we must look at the way the mythic imagination or the primitive religious imagination really works. The mythic mode of thought involves placing problems and relationships in a narrative, symbolic or ritualistic framework where they can be more easily worked out. Primitive people, of course, did not consider their mythic framework to be different from other forms of reality. With our more sophisticated point of view we tend to think of myth at worst as an unscientific approach to reality with no basis in fact. At best we see myth and religious ritual as a poetic and hence less real approach to life than science. Ernst Cassirer, however, wamed as far back as 1925 in his The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms that "If we attempt to isolate and remove the basic mythic components of religious belief, we no longer have religion in its real, objectively historical mani-


38

CHICAGO STUDIES

festation; all that remains is a shadow of it, an empty abstraction." More recently Bernard Lonergan, defending the need for either mysteries or myths, declared that "intelligent and reasonabl control of human living can be effective only in the measure that it has at its disposal the symbols and signs by which it translates its directives to human sensibility." (Insight, (New York, 1958), p. 562). The living symbol of the shaman, and for centuries in many societies, the priest, had for centuries provided believers with a ritualistic aid to the "reasonable control of human living" especially in those aspects of life that concern the non-terrestrial. Lonergan, unfortunately, would probably brand the shaman a "practical magician" and grant his work validity only as a step "in the dialectical development of human intelligence." (Ibid., p. 542). But he would, I presume, accept the priest as a special mediator of "the image that symbolizes man's orientation into the known unknown." (Ibid., p. 723). The priest, like the shaman, in his very person symbolizes man's openness to the other world. What I am suggesting, then, is that it is not all that impossible for someone in our time to assume the role of shaman, a SP£Cialist in matters of the spil¡it. Because of the increased self-consciousness conferred upon us by civilization, our historicrul awareness and the scientific mentality, a well educated priest will not be able to don an elaborate outfit, go into a frenzied dance or indulge in some of the other externals that religious leaders at other times have used to heighten the religious experience they were trying to foster. But the Christian tradition will allow priests more subtle ways of exercising the shamanic role and expressing their priesthood in forms that acknowledge the validity of the mythic mode of thought. THE BIBLE AND THE SHAMAN

Some of the earliest traditions in the Old Testament describe something very much like the primitive shaman. The frenetic prophets of the Old Testament are significant, partly because their behavior is more exotic than the usually sober demeanor of Israel's leaders, but also because their activities reflect the behavior of others all the way into the New Testament who


SHAMAN

39

have been touched in a special way by the Spirit. For example, in 1 Samuel 19:18-24, the frenzied activities of the prophets seem almost contagious. Saul has heard that David is hiding with Samuel at Ramah and he sends messengers to take David; "when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied." Saul tried sending messengers two more times, but in each case, instead of capturing David, they too began prophesying. Finally Saul went himself, and we get a picture of what frenetic prophecy was like. "The Spirit of God came upon him also, and as he went he prophesied, until he came to N aioth in Ramah. And he too stripped off his clothes, and he too prophesied before Samuel and lay naked all that day and all that night." We see almost nothing quite this dramatic until the Acts of the Apostles when the coming of the spirit produces such results as the original Pentecostal experience, when people thought the Apostles were drunk, or the shaking of a house where Peter and John were p1¡aying after getting in trouble with the authorities in Jerusalem (Acts 4 :31). But although the work of the Spirit is not always this dramatic, the Scriptures are full of people who are called by God in a special way: Amos, Ezekiel, Mary, Elizabeth and John the Baptist to name only a few. In each case, the man or woman called by God begins his or her work for God with a remarkable vigor. Perhaps we need to emphasize once more the idea that priests, though they may be criticized by parish councils, appointed through personnel boards, loved as fully human men, are still, in a special way men called by the Spirit to be specialists in matters of the Spirit. Even though the Church may need administratoJ¡s, social workers, educators, or fund raisers, we must recognize once again that She also needs men with a special call from the Spirit to help their fellow men ritualistically m matters of the Spirit as the ancient shaman did. SPECIALIST IN THE SPIRIT

The concrete possibilities for such activity are numerous enough. The old shamans have aready suggested some of the occasions in everyone's life when a specialist in the spirit


40

CHICAGO STUDIES

ought to be present: birth and death; times of physical and mental illness; transition times such as pubetty, marriage, divorce, losing a job or moving into a new city. The shaman is present on these occasions not to provide platitudinous words of advice, but to provide, through the simple fact of his presence as an emissary from the world of the spirits, the kind of support not provided by anyone else in the community. The psychiatrist R. D. Laing has suggested too much of what we diagnose as schizophrenia is really a necessary voyage out of the everyday world into a mental state where a patient is afforded insights into life that he could not obtain elsewhere. He dedicates an entire chapter in The Politics of Experience to the story of a friend, Jesse Watkins, who had a ten day schizophrenic episode which he describes in terms of a voyage. It is a trip, he thinks everyone should take. Laing notes that "In other times people intentionally embarked upon this voyage. Or if they found themselves already embarked, willy-nilly, they gave thanks, as for a special grace." Earlier in the book he had observed that "Among physicians and pdests there should be some who are guides, who can educt the person from this world and induct him to the other. To guide him in it and to lead him back again." Perhaps pastoral counselling, instead of being a watered-clown version of psychoanalysis should take a direction of its own, drawing more on the insights of the shaman than on the idea of Freud. There are times, of course, when a priest must perform a very earthly service such as recommending atttendance at a neighborhood Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, group therapy at a local Community Guidance Center or application for Old Age Assistance. But isn't there a danget¡ in our time that we will see priests more as social workers than as emissaries of the ¡Spirit? Perhaps young people in the last decade have spotted an important need to which we can respond by offering, in these moments of crisis, to lead a group in prayer, to perform a well thought out ritual or at least to allow ourselves to be led silently to prayer and communion with God. And to be effective in this role shouldn't we learn from the shaman that the man of God must be a person set apa.t, not necessarily through a special garb or initiation rite, but through the special union with God that should be reflected in our lives and attitudes?


SHAMAN

41

The second function of the shaman that we have alluded to, in addition to his standing beside his people in time of spiritual crisis, is his work of preserving the historical and literary tradition of his tribe. In recent years we have worked hard to convince people that the Church should be an agent of social change. In the process we may have lost sight of the fact that however active the Church may be in working for a better future, she must always operate with a sense of history since God's entrance into human history was not a one time event, but a formative and continuing experience for the Church. AN AWARENESS OF THE PAST

Every institution ought to remain aware of its past, but for the Church recalling the past and the activities of its founder is no idle exercise in nostalgia, since Christ's activities for two and a half years, and his Father's preparations for some two thousand years, were only the beginning of a continuing presence. The more the Church understands God's work in the past, the more she can spot his presence in the world today. But an awareness of history is not a sort of private knowledge the Church cultivates for her own good. Like the ancient shaman, the Church must impart a living sense of history to the community at large so that the past does not become the property of sterile history classes or museum exhibits nor a product to be exploited by popular purveyors of nostalgia. One of the great revelations of the Watergate hearings was the total lack of a sense of history on the part of the seemingly well educated participants in the drama. When Senator Herman Talmadge tried to remind John Ehrlichman of the Anglo-Saxon tradition which would forbid even the king from entering the most humble cottage, Ehrlichman smiled condescendlingly and remarked, "I am afraid that has been considerably eroded over the years, has it not?" Later Senator Sam Ervin assumed his role of fatherly preserver of tradition and lectured Ehrlichman and the rest of the nation from the words of Sir WilHam Pitt that Senator Talmadge had alluded to. Ervin made it clear that all this talk about kings and cottages was not something out of the quaint past but represented a formative influence in America's understanding of


42

CHICAGO STUDIES

the privacy supposedly guaranteed by the fourth amendment to the Constitution. Priests must be prepared to give such fatherly lectures on history to government and industry chieftans, labor leaders, educators and other pmfessionals who might easily forget the traditions that should help shape their own values. However progressive the Church might want to be in shaping her message and designing new rituals, she must never allow Christians to forget their past. This does not mean, of course, clinging to attitudes and rites of the nineteenth century. In fact, a better sense of history should help Christians see that the devotion to the past that many church-goers claim to have is really only an attraction to one very narrow period of the Church's history. We have cited only two ways in which priests can learn to accept their roles as magic men, shamans, men of the Spirit helping their fellow men to understand their past and to solve problems of the spirit in the present. The priest who acknowledges the mythic mode of expression will not be embarrassed to occupy a special ritualistic place in society, so that his mere presence in times of crisis \\ill be a source of comfort to believers.


John J. Shea

The Spirituality of the Pastoral Minister The author expl01¡es the dynamic inte1¡change bet1veen spirituality and ministry.

Certain questions put to certain people trigger instant guilt. Ask a father busy at work all day and tired at night, "Spending much time with kids, Frank?" He will look sheepish, shake his head, and offer a poor defense which he himself does not even believ~"I just can't seem to find the time." He will then make a firm purpose of amendment. He will take the kids to the zoo or a movie or a baseball game. But deep down he knows that nothing is as shakey as a firm purpose. Ask the Catholic pastoral minister, "How is your spiritual life coming? Praying much, Father?" He too will stammer, say he cannot find the time, and resolve to dust off his breviary and begin again. But given time dust will once again cover the breviary and knee-jerk guilt will be only a question away. In fact for many priests this is exactly what does happen at the annual retreat. The retreat master and the entire group will agree that the priest should be a man of prayer. No one is quite sure what a "man of prayer" is but everyone repents for not having been one. Resolutions are made but the only certainty is that next year they will have to be made again. This cycle of guilt, 43


44

CHICAGO STUDIES

resolution, and reguilt is often masked as the process of gradual conversion. Its real name is continual frustration. The difficulty of integrating pastoral ministry and priestly spirituality stems from seminary training. In seminary days the spiritual life was closely identified with a highly structured . prayer life. Morning prayers, meditation, noon prayers, evening prayers, the rosary, the breviary said at precise hours were the guideposts of the spiritual life. In performing these exercises the seminarian had a tangible sign that he was progressing. This monastic model which offered security, discipline, and support worked extremely well in a controlled environment. The problem comes when such a compact, regimented prayer life meets the frenetic pace of urban ministry. Schedules may be juggled, prayer times set aside, but the experience of many priests is that eventually ministry with its pressing demands usurps spirituality. It seems ministry and spirituality do not complement each other but compete for the priest's time and energy. When ministry and spirituality become vying alternatives, dangers lie on both sides. The lesson of Catholic involvement in social action in the last ten years is that ministry without spirtuality will not endure. Enthusiasm which is not grounded in inner vision and commitment is soon exhausted. On the other hand a spirituality which does not fund ministerial action is prone to all sorts of narcissistic aberrations. Many contemporary spiritualities which concentrate almost exclusively on personal highs come dangerously close to gnosticism. In this situation nothing is solved by badly announcing, "A priest's ministry is his spirituality." What is needed is an in-depth understanding of why and to what extent this is so and how it can be cultivated. This article attempts to explore the dynamic interchange between spirituality and ministry, to examine the formal structure of a spirituality for the pastoral minister. THE STRUCTURE OF SPIRITUALITY

In the process of acquiring a personal spirituality three elements can be discerned. First, there is an initial funding experience. Secondly, this experience is pursued. Thirdly, the experience is transforrned into a "structure of consciousneess."


SPIRITUALITY

45

"Expel;ence" like "spirit" and "community" has been used so glibly that it is in danger of becoming a dead word. It has been dragged in as a deus ex machina to bolster sagging logic or to reinvigorate excessively heady concepts. In the context of spirituality experience can range from a single incident or encounter, a "graced moment" to the gradual growth of conviction, a "life-insight," the cumulative product of years. But whether a single happening or slow acquisition the experience must be one of overarching personal significance. An experience capable of funding a spirituality often generates two intuitive feelings. (Feelings are not used here as mere emotional states but felt-knowledge about the "whole state of things and me.") The first is the truth feeling. This experience rings true, not only comes close to home but is home. This experience has focused what I am about and what I hope to be. It should be trusted and followed for it has revealed personal meaning in a powerful way. Response to it is of utmost importance. The second is the "good feeling." Even though the experience may be painful, confronting, or demanding it is recognized as one of well being. It is Peter saying, "Lord, it is good for us to be here." In scholastic terms a funding experience involves the total person, illuminating the mind (truth) and inspiring the will (good). Although a funding experience has to have personal significance, it does not have cosmic proportions. Road to Damascus occurrences are rare. Most lives take shape in less dramatic ways. Too often people look to the sky for their religious experiences. In searching for pillars of fire and protective clouds ( Shekinah) they miss the revelatory moments of hope and love in their midst. Gregory Baum in Faith and DoctTine (Newman Press, N.Y., 1969, pp. 59-68) gives a description of a depth experience which puts it within the reach of all. A depth experience is one which is memorable, the source of many decisions, and unifies human life. The initial funding experience of a spiritualty will have these characteristics. The second element of sprituality is the pursuit of the funding experience. The initial experience, because of its strength and significance is recalled, but not in a nostalgic way, whenever possible. It is brought into the present to be reexplored


46

CHICAGO STUDIES

and to that extent reexpedenced. The richness of the experience has still to be mined, its influence still gauged. It is unfolding in ever new and fascinating ways, suggesting itself into every event, making possible new and complementary experiences. The initial experience becomes many experiences and influences life more and more. Pursuing the experience has traditionally involved disciplines and exercises. These practices (fasting, rosary, the way of the cross, etc.) in the popular mind have become identified with the whole of spirituality. Often they hardened into ends in themselves, duties to be performed, obligations which proved loyalty. What was forgotten is that they are means, ways of pursuing the initial experience into the permanency of consciousness. The third element of spirituality is the transformation of the experience into a "structure of consciousness." The experience is no longer one influential factor in a personal history but an always present perspective and consultation. It is no longer something that has happened to a person but something he is. He has appropriated the experience to the point that it enters into and gives shape to his awareness of reality. In short it has so flooded his consciousness that it has become a "way of experiencing." In this life this goal of the spiritual process--total transformation of consciousness--can be relatively but never absolutely attained. It is an ideal which, as ideal, energizes the entire process and gives it a dynamic rather than static quality. In this case an always transcendent goal is not a frustration but a recognition that to be humanly alive is to be always capable of growth. This movement from the impact of the initial experience to the alteration of consciousness is one mapping of the metanoia process. Ultimately any spirituality is about conversion. Two examples will concretize this abstract outline of the dynamics of spirituality. The first which concerns the spirituality of an entire people is the Exodus event of ancient Israel. Exodus is the decisive experience in the history of Israel and the continuing source of their identity. In this event God delivered his people from oppression, made a covenant with them, established their nationhood, and through a series of miracles sustained them in the forty year desert march. Every Jew looked on this period as a special moment of religious fervor.


SPIRITUALITY

47

For Amos it was the ideal of Yahwism when God was in close communion with his people. For Osee it was the rapture of first love when Israel responded to the advances of Yahweh. The Exodus event is the initial funding experience of Israel a& a people. The Exodus event did not remain in the dead past, an isolated historical happemng. Every aspect of it was pursued, celebrated in song, poetry, and story. The Exodus commandments, especially those involving worship of false gods, exercised constant control on Israel's behavior. But the chief way the Exodus was kept alive was through liturgy. The three agrarian feasts of the Hebrews--spring with barley planting, summer with wheat planting, and autumn with the grape picking-are transformed by the Exodus memory. (Jacques Guillet, Themes of the Bible. Fides Publishers Inc., Notre Dame, Ind., 1964, pp. 1-20) They no longer only celebrate the seasonal God of nature but are anniversaries of Yahweh's historical deliverance of Israel. They become Pentecost, the feast of the Law given on Sinai; the feast of Tabernacles symbolizing the small leafy huts of the desert years; Passover, the feast of the unleavened bread and the deliverance from Egypt. The power of ritualistic liturgy is that it can symbolically reenact an event and in that reenactment people discover identity and meaning. In this way the Exodus experience was pursued and appropriated by the Hebrews. Through liturgical pursuit the Exodus broke with the past and became a present reality interpreting and guiding the life of Israel. It entered into and shaped their religious consciousness. They saw life with Exodus eyes and understood themselves as Exodus people. For Isaiah the hostility of Assyria is likened to the tyranny of Egypt. And as then so now Yahweh will deliver his people. Some of the earliest understandings of Jesus are in Exodus terms. His baptism and being led by the Spirit into the desert to be tested for forty days are reminiscent of Israel passing through the waters and being led by a pillar of fire into the desert for forty years. Jesus is the new Israel. His crucifixion and resurrection are the deliverance from the slavery of death into the freedom of a new creation. Paul sees the Exodus experience as a type of the two foundational Chris-


48

CHICAGO STUDIES

tian sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. In crossing the Red Sea the Hebrews underwent a baptism and the manna and water from the rock were symbols of the Eucharist. The imagery and understanding of the Exodus event became the Hebrew religious perspective which interpreted history and guided behavior. Western mysticism provides a second example of the dynamics of spirituality. The initial funding experience of many mystics is a single happening in which the individual ego breaks its bonds and merges into a larger environment. (Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism, The World Publishing Company, N.Y., 1970, pp. 176-198) Within the Christian framework this is immediately recognized as the communion of the soul with God. The literature of mysticism is a recital of these peak religious experiences. They are talked about in images of fire and light; are accompanied by feelings of peace and exhilaration; occur on hilltops, in gardens, chapels, anywhere at all. They are experiences of the individual self merging with the immensity of God. This first intoxicating experience of communion funds mystical spirituality. The traditional methods of pursuing communion with God have been meditation and renunciation. Meditation attempts to unclutter the soul, bring the divine presence to mind, and focus all energies on a religious subject. Ideally meditation ¡unfolds into contemplation, a non-analytic being-with God. In this process a great deal of emphasis is placed on the purity of concentration. Eliminating distraction is essential to pursuing the God experience. Renunciation, whether in poverty, chastity, isolation, or silence, attempts the same process. The thrust of these disciplines is to free the soul from all activities which would interfere with the perception of higher reality. Using the methods of meditation and asceticism communion with God has always carried the connotation of non-communion with the world. Meister Eckhart summarizes the method: "If we keep ourselves free from the things that are outside us God will give us in exchange everything that is in heaven." The goal of meditation and renunciation is to make the initial experience of God more or less a constant in the consciousness of the mystic. Awareness of the universal divine


SPIRITUALITY

49

presence floods the mystic and he speaks and acts from that perspective. He now sees all things "sub specie aeternitatis." In the finest of the mystical writings those worldly things which were renounced as distractions return to the mystic as hierophanies. Once God-consciousness is achieved all the world reflects his grandeur. The dual goal of mystic spirituality is the union with God and the consequent and purified communion with self, others, and nature. THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE PASTORAL MINISTRY

The initial funding experience of the pastoral minister must be the power of the Gospel. This is not a righteous attempt to dictate religious experience or even to delimit what is possible for the pastoral minister to experience. It is an attempt to specify what type of funding experience best energizes pastoral ministry. The church has always recognized va1¡ious vocations-from celibate religious contemplative to married layperson. The existential basis for this variety of spiritualities is the type of funding experience. If the priest has not encountered the power of the Gospel, his ministerial activity is severed from its incarnational roots. He may engage in various and necessary services to men but this service is not motivated and interpreted through the Gospel. His identity becomes a question: his religious focus on life blurs. As important as it is for the pastoral minister to have experienced the power of the Gospel, it is equally important that it is h:is experience. He cannot only have heard about it or have been impressed by what it has done for others. He must have undergone the experience. To some extent the Gospel must have had its way with him. Without personal testimony to the power of the Gospel, ministry always has an uninspired, second-hand quality about it. The power of the Gospel is a deliberately vague umbrella phrase which hopefully covers the myriad impacts which the good news is capable of. The person may experience the power of the Gospel in terms of healing. Through the Jesus revelation that the last power of human life is gracious love a fragmented life may be pulled together. The self-hatred, doubts, recurrent sins may be transcended, installed in the movement of hope which the Gospel proclaims. A person may experience the power of the Gospel in terms of meaning. It has been cynically


50

CHICAGO STUDIES

commented that we are Antonioni people, stumbling through barren landscapes in search of an overwhelming purpose but settling for bizarre, introverted moments. A meaninglessness which produces paralysis is in the air. We breathe in it and, as the model goes, Europeans feel angst and Americans become bored. In this situation the power of the Gospel is a jolt into purpose, a girding of the psyche for battle, the security needed to risk life. A person may experience the power of the Gospel in terms of celebration. lt was Jesus' proclamation that the good news makes cripples dance and empowers all men to affirm fragile and ambiguous lives. The Gospel manages so heartfelt a yes to life that there is peace at the center of pain and struggle. This affirmation is not a gesture of heroic defeat, a teeth gritting moment of bravado before the enduring ax of death. The joy which the Gospel brings is not a contradiction to the thrust of the universe but its resonance. A person may experience the power of the Gospel in terms of commitment to the transformation of the social structure. The Gospel message attracts the latent Kingdom impulse in men. It grounds the struggle for a better world in the already present and struggling God. The Gospel for many is the power to perdure in doing justice. Healing, meaning, celebration, and commitment are only a few of the shapes the protean Gospel takes. But the constant in all forms of Gospel power is that the sacred revealed and mediated through Jesus tr,;nsforms human life. To learn how to pursue a personal experience of the power of the Gospel one must look to the person who incarnates the good news-Jesus. The life and preaching of Jesus centers on and always remains within the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is the all-important activity of God which in the words and dL>eds of Jesus enters into individual human existence and communal history with unprecedented power. The hallmark of the Kingdom is the J¡adical forgiveness of sins. No one is beyond redemption. The only imperative is to respond to the forgiving love of God made present in Jesus. This Kingdom is already at work in the world but only embryonically. Its full birth will mean the transfo1mation of man and society. All men are interim people, living between the already and the not yet of the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught his disciples the prayer of the Kingdom--the


SPIRITUALITY

51

Our Father. In the first phrase God is addressed as Abba which is a word for Father which connotes special intimacy. The disciples, because they had experienced GOO's radical forgiveness, can address him in this knowing and confident way. Abba is the word for God only the Kingdom people use. Although they have experienced the Kingdom, they pray "your kingdom come." This is a plea that God's kingly activity which they initially and partially expe1;enced may fully overtake and transform their lives. This places the disciple between his initial experience and his goal of converted consciousness. The implicit question of this position is how can this experience be pursued to its completion. The answer is contained in the phrase: Forgive us our sins as we ourselves forgive those who have sinned against us. In order that the disciple continue to experience God's forgiveness he must forgive his fellow man who has sinned against him. This is saying more than we buy God's forgiveness by forgiving others. Man's relationship with God is more than a shrewd business transaction. Also it means something deeper than human forgiveness mirrors divine forgiveness. When we forgive our brothers we reAect the fact that God forgives us. The fullest meaning of the petition is what Norman Perrin calls, "contemporaneity of action." (Norman Perrin, Rediscove,-ing the Teaching of Jesus. Harper & Row, N.Y., 1967, pp. 152-153) Situated in the initial experience of God's forgiveness men move out in forgiveness to each other and in the very act enter more deeply into the experience of divine forgiveness. This dynamic is the key to the spirituality of Jesus and the way the pastoral minister pursues his initial funding experience. The power of the Gospel is pamdoxically pursued by giving it away. For example, when the power of the Gospel is experienced in terms of God's unconditional love, many responses are possible. Some horde the experience by building walls so others cannot steal it. Some hesitate to follow the experience because it is inconvenient or painful. They store it in their memory against the day when their sins will be counted. Others respond to the love of God by moving outward in love to others and so follow the path of Jesus. When this is done, the Lord's Prayer assures us that in and through loving others divine love is reexperienced. The pastoral minister by bringing lives within the


52

CHICAGO STUDIES

ambit of the power of the Gospel reexperiences this power in his own life. When through his ministry someone finds healing, meaning, celebration, or commitment, he enters more deeply into the healing, meaning, celebration, or commitment which the Gospel proclaims and which he has previously experienced. The pastoral minister pursues his experience in liturgy, homily, teaching, hospital visiting, community organizing, etc. Every ministerial action which facilitates the power of the Gospel in human events is simultsneously the source of spiritual growth for the minister. For the pastoral minister the power of the Gospel is not only his task but his self-understanding not only his ministry but his spirituality. The experience of the power of the Gospel is pursued by refracting it outward, casting it upon the earth, bringing it to other men. Through this pursuit the consciousness of the pastoral minister is changed. Mot¡e and more he sees with Gospel eyes, realizing the transforming promise of the sacred hidden in ordinary events. He is in the process of conversion. His initial expereince of the power of the Gospel is becoming an established perspective. The goal of pastoral spirituality-a consciousness converted to the power of the Gospel-is being approached. Two clarifications must be attached to this explanation of the form&! structure of pastoral spirituality. This understanding of "ministry is spirituality" is not merely a revisiting of the much battled "work is prayer" debate. Nothing has been swept aside. Private prayer, breviary, rosary, devotions, meditation are helpful practises of the spiritualities of many pastoral ministers. But they are not the whole story of pastoral spirituality. They are ancillary to the prime source of spiritual growth which is ministry itself. The Gospel insight into how to pursue our relationship with God must be honored. We experience and enter more deeply into the love and mercy of God when we love and forgive other men. A second clarification concerns guilt. This understanding of spirituality does not get the pastoral minister off the hook, relieve his guilt at not personally praying. It is an attempt to focus on the real area of guilt. If a pastoral minister does not pray privately, he is running the risk of losing himself. But if he is not struggling to


SPIRITUALITY

53

bring about the power of the Gospel in his situation, he has struck at the heart of who he is and what he is about. If guilt there must be, the guilt of the pastoral minister is not his lack of private prayer but a parish where the Gospel is not preached. A recent thrust of Catholic theology has been to explore the intimate relationship between what before Vatican II often passed as opposites-Goo-Man, Church-World, Body-Soul. This type of theological reflection must be applied to the relationship of spirituality and ministry. Ministry is not isolated Christian behavior nor is it only the outward imperative of the experience of the Gospel. Using the dynamics of the spii¡ituality of Jesus it is the way back into the depths of that Gospel experience. But the laws of human awareness are at work. If the mind and the imagination of the pastoral minister is not attuned to this reality, it does not benefit him. Ironically ministry is seen as draining his spiritual life, not funding it. Hopefully an understanding of the structure of the spirituality of the pastoral minister will reverse this process. Ministry to men will be the path leading ever deeper into the mystery of God.


John T. Finnegan

Spiritual Direction (or the Catholic Divorced and Remarried The gap bet1veen canonicaltheological studies and pastoml expertise in caring for the invalidly nw1¡ried is nothing short of mammoth. For many years the canonists have said fine things in regard to the pasto1¡al care of the invalidly married. Beginning with The Bond of Ma?Tiage Symposium at Notre Dame in October 1967, and right up to the present, the Canon Law Society of America has worked on two fronts to renew and reform the pastoral care of marriage : firstly, the revitalization of the external forum, the Marriage Tribunal, to insure that law incorporates all the modern advances of the behavioral sciences, theology and the renewed interest in history. All this is done to insure that the Church "as a society ... as a visible assembly and spiritual community ... forming one interlocked reality ... comprising divine and human elements" (Lumen GenNu.m, art. 8) will be a sign of human dignity, conjugal fidelity and permanence of commitment freely made in Christian marriage. A second approach of the Canon Law Society, and canonists, during the past decade, has been to look at the pastoral care of the invalidly married, and the possibility of ecclesial reconciliation when the external forum procedures are unavailable or to no avail and when personal conscience permits. This is the <lelicate area of the "internal forum solution," and a point on which the Canon Law Society made an extensive study in 1969; it concerns a point that has received widespread concern by the magisterium and the religious press during the past year. At the present time the entire Church seems to be involved in this issue; the magisterium, the Catholic Theological Society 54


DIVORCE

55

of America, renowned moral theologians, and canon lawyers who continue to research this issue. The national press has also shown great interest here, as well as television. It is quite legitimate to expect that research will continue in both of these areas for some time to come. But what about the parish priest in the service of his people? Should there be a new genre of literature directed to him and his pastoral and spiritual formation, so that he addresses himself to his people as a "specialist of the life within," and not a mere functionary of an external discipline? After a decade of dealing with Catholic divorce and remarriage on the level of the Marriage Tribunal and the obtaining of official Church annulments, and of offering pastoral counsel to scores of people who were unable to obtain such annulments, I would offer four preliminary remarks: 1. The professional societies ( CLSAjCTSA) for all the good they do on the theoretical level by their scholarly studies may well do pastoral harm on the practical level if theit¡ studies do not include some reflection on the pastoral skills necessary to cope with, and implement their reflections. The gap between the canonical-theological studies and pastoral expertise at the local level is nothing short of mammoth. 2. There is insufficient understanding and attention among Catholics in general, and priests in particular, concerning the specific features and genius of the Catholic tradition and commitment. Advice that fails to take this into consideration can deaden faith and weaken the coherence and plausability of life in Christ as a Catholic Ch1~stian. 3. Certainly conscience and personal identification with Christ are operative principles in our tradition for Christian behavior, but they run counter to a communitarian emphasis built on an ecclesiology of the Body of Christ that has a remarkable grip on the faith commitment of our people. It does little good in some cases to counsel conscience, and personal identification with Clu~st if in the process the framework supporting this commitment collapses. As a matter of empirical fact few Catholics over 30 are able to act against the community's evaluation of their marital status. We are reluctant non-conformists, and at this point magisterial pronouncements and the Catholic conscience resonate as one.


56

CHICAGO STUDIES

4. The local priest is still the pivotal person in the care and upbuilding of the community. His role demands an increased sensitivity to conscience problems, the understanding of marital hurt and pain, and an appreciation of the peculiar personal and psychological problems of the Catholic divorced. The priest must see himself as a spiritual director; one who discerns and tests the spirits; one who insures that every act of his people is Christian and Catholic and represents growth in Christ ... even if that act does not conform to community, canonical, and magisterial expectations. If a priest does not have such skill to deal with the "imperfect response," he should not do so. Certainly priests who are themselves experiencing confusion and pain in ministry should not counsel at this level. It has been my experience that the "ex opere operata" ·mentality is still in possession concerning our pastoral approach to the divorced Catholic. Leaving aside the theological issues, the practice of telling people to return to the sacraments (in the ca~e of the invalidly remarried Catholic) without a great investment of time and energy and pastoral expertise is counterproductive, and may lead to a deadening of faith. The priest must remember that what the canonical judgement/decision is in the external forum, discernment is in the internal forum. In an age of interiorism this is of great pastoral importance. Our Canon Law Conventions generally offer us food for thought. How is this thought working out in practice? THE PECULIAR PROBLEM OF THE CATHOLIC DIVORCED

In his review of Garry Wills', Bare Ruined Choi1·s, the distinguished American Churchman, John Tracy Ellis, criticizes the author for his failure to manifest "the instinct of Catholic faith." This instinctual reponse of Catholic faith apparently has something to do with elements of the tradition; certain ways in which the community experiences itself as being together in Christ; certain ways of ecclesial relationships that leads a person to affirm, "I love the Church." This can only mean a person loves the relationships, experiences, symbolizations, and institutions that mediate to·him the life.and vitality of Christ. The Catholic experience of the faith does bring to its people a special combination of intellectual and emotional imputs that can possibly not only change its adherents' world


DIVORCE

57

view, but also profoundly touches the soul of man. What I am speaking of here is best summed up in a remark to me by an elderly Episcopal priest: "What is there about you Catholics? After 45 years of parish work; and after involving many divorced and remarried ex-Catholics in the work of my parish ... I have never once been able to convince them to join the Episcopal Church. Why is it they would rather die a bad Catholic than a good Episcopalian?" That this remark draws chiefly from past Catholic experience is indicated by the recent decision of John Cogley. However, at the level of feeling most of us understand what this gentleman was saying. The "instinct of Catholic faith" needs some reflection as a preliminary to our woâ&#x20AC;˘Âˇk with the Catholic divorced and remarried. This instinct of faith can cause great harm and pain to the Catholic divorced, and especially the innocent party. There is a feeling of rejection; loss of self esteem, and a great sense of failure and unworthiness. In the era of the "physically battered-child" we have its counterpart in the "spiritually battered adult" ... the invalidly married Catholic. While much of this alienation is closely associated with the human problem of divorce, the Catholic commitment can intensify it as the weight of religion is brought to this pain. As a community we Catholics cope with failure of this nature poorly, and we have a few coping mechanisms and pastoral aids to offer. So, our people drift away by the scores never receiving the consolation of the Church ... its sacraments, or its forgiveness. And we the Church are less for their absence. What a tragedy it is to have so little to offer people in these situations. If the Matrimonial Tribunal cannot meet the needs of the Church, if it cannot render justice in a reasonable time ... then our people have no where to go. The unexplored regions of conscience and the "intemal forum solution" is small consolation to one who has obeyed the Church, at least in these matters, faithfully. Our people ask for the bread of mercy and forgiveness, and we give them a stony silence. As priests our problem is acute also. We wish to be faithful ministers of the Church; the pain of any fmm:of disobedience-is burdensome for us; we adhere fully to the values, of marital fidelity and generosity, and proclaim in season and out of season the prayer of the Eucharistic Liturgy ... "Keep me faithful to your teachings Lord, and never let me


58

CHICAGO STUDIES

be separated from you." Why is it that mercy and consolation frequently can only be given in the hushed silence of the rectory parlor? It is in an odd experience to have tender consciences enjoying in the Lord your every word, but totally unable to act upon them. STEPS IN CONSCIENCE FORMATION

Is it possible to use tlte resurgence of interest in prayer, the spiritual life, and the directed retreat, as a means of helping members of our community who have failed in marriage? Do these offer some skills and tools in conscience formation that might be pastorally beneficial, and offer Religious communities some hard, real life situations to test their principles"? Perhaps the privatized atmosphere of Religious living is not the best locale to test these principles in. the first place. We might even be made whole again if spiritual direction focused on failure rather than perfection. What follows is a tentative program of pastoral care for the divorced Catholic. It is based on the conviction that the Church does have the motivation and zeal to care and serve in this manner where conflicting principles vie for our allegiance. Furthermore, it is based on the conviction that no mmeber of the Church should ever feel outside the pale of our pastoral efforts. It is also based on the conviction that questions concerning readmittance to the Euchat路ist, civil t路e-marriage in good faith, or even the respected petition for a marriage annulment, should not be resolved until the parties are deeply involved in a spiritual renewal program. It is understood that it is the obligation of the priest to seek out such people, to gain the support of the parish community, and to insure that such parish interest enhances the concem for family life while at the same time nurtures the values of mercy, healing and reconciliation so mysteriously restorative to Christian idealism. The first step in the spiritual renewal of the divorced Catholic is what the charismatic movement calls, "the healing of memories." The divorced person has been through a harrowing, possibly dehumanizing experience. The memory is cluttered with fears and anxieties, and there is little spi1路itual fi路eedom. Growth in spirituality is growth in memory; it is an increased awareness of where we come from ... of all God's ac-


DIVORCE

59

tions in our past ... and our personal salvation history. Great pastoral skill is needed to comfort and create a new thirst for God. Remembering what God has done for us, and how He has been present in the past can be a source of personal renewal. The memory tends to protect itself from its wounds; the "black-and-blue" marks of the psyche are especially damaging. The use of Scripture and private prayer can be very effective here. It means of course that the priest is able to move comfortably in this direction. In this stage the priest tries to rehabilitate, establish personal worth, and the turning of vulnerability into wholeness. A good prudential and pastoral rule here is: no mention is to be made or discussed in this phase of doing anything canonically that is not permitted. The next step in the process is the realization of God's forgiveness. Our God is the God of the nevertheless, and not the God of the therefore" says Karl Barth. Our God does not tally up our failings and misadventures, and cry out, "therefore, I hate you!" Rather, the Lord utters after such a tally, if indeed He would make one, "nevertheless. I love you." A prayerful reading of the parable of the Prodigal Son is helpful here. The divorced Catholic frequently confronts co-religionists, members of their families, friends, and even their Church, who have a "therefore" mentality. The bruised reed is nearly broken and bent out of shape; the smoking flax is nearly extinguished, and the temptation of the divorced is to return hatred for hatred. After experiencing God's love and mercy in the kindness of the priest, the divorced person is brought slowly to the maturity of the "nevertheless." In spite of the hmt that brought the marriage to its breakup; in spite of misunderstandings at home and in the Church, they gradually can be led to pray, "nevertheless, I love you." The meaning of the Lord's Prayer may now be understood for the first time. If we are dealing here with a couple who are in a canonically invalid marriage with no possibility of annulment, nor of terminating the relationship, the work at this point focuses on the quality of their relationship, and the integrity of Chl'istian witness they offer the community ... the Catholic po1tion of which does not recognize their marital status. Even at this point¡ it is still premature to speak of reception of the Eucharist if that is their hope. While some


60

CHICAGO STUDIES

may be able to attempt the "brother-sister" relationship, and a1¡e capable of great heroism, pastoral experience proves that in these times of personalism, and need for intimacy such discussion cannot be borne by most. The priest should not feel constrained to mention it if he judges it unwise and impossible of fulfillment. For those not so able they should be willing at this point to abide by the principle that the sacraments are too communitarian and public by nature to be received by those whose state in life is not recognized by the Church. The emphasis remains on the healing power of God's forgiveness, and the quality of life in Christ which bespeaks His presence to the community and challenges the community's assessment of their life in Christ. For some, perhaps even most, this is as far as pastoral care will permit. If at this juncture the priest feels that the research and the statements of responsible theologians and canonists are so suasive that he will continue his pastoral care, then he must do so responsibly. He should 1¡espect the parties rights in the external forum, and always seek an annulment there first if that is possible. The more one deals with our people the more one realizes how important is the Matrimonial Tribunal. To neglect the adequate staffing and financing of the Tribunal is to be pastorally irresponsible. If a priest or bishop defends vigorously the extemal forum, as one should, and fails to see that the Tribunal is rendering wise decisions based on the new law, and advances in the theological and behavioral sciences, then they will not be taken seriously. There is too much rhetoric in support of the external forum. The priests and the laity will not take seriously magisterial pronouncements if it is not supported by action that will engender confidence that it is he1¡e where justice and mercy meet. Inefficeint and laboriously canonical Tribunals do much to undermine the value that the external fomm represents, and the fact that the Catholic magisterium should be seen as a gift to the community. The "good faith" or "good conscience" solutions so much in the news during the past year is another indication of how important an external judgment is to the practicing Catholic. GUIDELINES FOR THE PRIEST

There are some guidelines for the priest if he counsels people


DIVORCE

61

in the direction of "internal fomm decisions." He should be familiar with the current writings of moralists concerning the "imperfect response," and the "theology of compromise." He should inculcate a reverence for the teaching authority of the Church, and be certain that personal decisions of conscience respect the Christian value of permanence in marriage. The priest can never ask his people to make a moral decision that they are unable to make and one which he does not support nor fully believe. The priest never counsels his people in disobedience. He presides over a process ... he tests it, directs it, seasons it with gospel values, and insures that what is taking place is growth in maturity and love of Christ and His Church. This is a legitimate priestly endeavor, and our people have a right to expect it from us. They should not suffer because of our pastoral unpreparedness. A third step in the spiritual renewal of the divorced Catholic is community affirmation and support that comes from their peers in pain. The communities of "divorced Catholics" that have received notoriety are a significant and worthy development. The priest has a role of presence in this setting, and he should bring to these communities resource personnel and encouragement. This is the atmosphere for the priest to help people to confront failure and interpret it in the light of the theology of the Cross. The mutual interaction of failure with failure presided over by the priestly witness is restorative for all and especially for the priest. Many Catholic divorced will become reconciled to their new celibate state if they are canonically unable to remarry. The amazing feature here is that they will do so with great love for the Church, and if there are children, they become the spiritual beneficiaries. Admittedly, some grow and heal to a point of seeking remarriage, even if not canonically recognized. The priest is always diminished when the idealism of the gospel is impossible of fulfillment, and he anguishes and suffers as he supports the rights of the community, the magisterium, and personal conscience. Religious congregations can have special effectiveness here by creating situations where such communities of divorced may gather and where healing, growth in Christ, and responsible Catholic maturity of conscience may develop. Even within the prescribed limits of canon law and liturgical discipline there are many


62

CHICAGO STUDIES

forms orf worship that ma.y be celebrated. These communities of divorced should not become known as a new avant-garde, or a reverse elitism, or people removed from the larger community so that the latter will be antiseptic enough to be called God's People. Each diocese should support a center of this nature as syml;>olic of its collective concern for those who have failed. The fear of the official Church of supporting an apostolate of this nature is understandable. Such fear may be based on the sound insight that our people would misinterpret such support. The Catholic community must be catechized regarding our tradition and the values of conjugal fidelity, indissolubility and marital holiness, and at the same time they must be brought to an awareness that this tradition is not compromised by gentle overtures and compassion to those who have failed, but rather blessed and enriched. PRIEST AND PEOPLE

Ideally, and at the present time it is rarely the case, this is the situation where people are best able to handle tensions in conscience arising from disobedience of Church law. Such a situation is much more strict than some contemporary pastoral practices that welcome people in canonically invalid marriages back to the sacraments without a year to three years of pastoral contact. In such a situation as described the priest can insure that the communita.rian nature of the sacraments are fully appreciated ; he can watch over the development of responsible Christian maturity; failure will be seen as an..opportunity for growth in Christ, and not in disgrace; forgiveness and acceptance will be placed in a Christian perspective; the role of magisterium respected a;nd understood so that the "instinct of Catholic faith" is nourished. It is my contention that it is never the role of the priest to encourage people to disobey the discipline and teaching of the Church. Traditionally this dictum has shut us off from the fragile, the frail and the wounded lest they embarrass and tempt us. The role of. the priest in Christian marriage is more directly associated with the public, the external forum features of marriage and its witness to the larger community. However, he has the pastoral obligation to create situations whereby people can grow in responsible conscience formation. We should not fear involvement at this level.


DIVORCE

63

The priest is always tempted to be dogmatic or anti-nomian; to be a. "good guy" art the expense of discernment, spiritual leadership and personal investment of time and energy. The priest finds himself burdened with family care in a. child-centered Church; he finds himself living in the two worlds of theory and reality; he is. unprepared to handle the moral problems and spiritual direction that his people place before him and expect of him. At this point the pain of ministry begins. to comprehend the pain of his people. Divorced from his roots and training, and frequently misunderstood in his ministry, the priest begins to hear with his heart the agony of marital disruption. In meeting this need bravely and spiritually, and in finding a home in the Church for all the sinful and repentent the priest finds himself as pastor and "good shepherd." THE ROLE OF DISCERNMENT IN CONSCIENCE FORMATION

The priest who engages in the work of seeking out and counselling the divorced and remarried Catholic will be greatly assisted if he acquaints himself with recognized and approved techniques of spiritual direction. The priest is being forced by the pressures of contemporary living to consider himself as a spiritual director. Indeed, the sacrament of Penance will only be approached by some today if accompanied by such direction. Our people are gently nudging us towards expectations of genuine holiness, personal inte¡grity and competence in the discernment of spirits. Of all the systems of spirituality in our Catholic tradition that are being revitalized today, the Spiritual Exercises take first place. Not all are suited tempermenta.Ily or spiritually to give or receive spiritual direction in the Ignatia.n method. However, the Exercises, and the current literature surrounding their renascence, offer us a sound model to grapple with the conflicts of the individual conscience and the community consensus as formed by the superior. The Exercises place great emphasis on "sentire cum ecclesia" with docile, filial obedience to God's leaders who direct the community of faith. At the same time, and counterpointed to this, the Exercises in their modern interpretation stress the individual, his needs, talents, and personal wishes. Models of dialogue, prayer and discernment emerge as the individual under the guidan.ce of a.

director


64

CHICAGO STUDIES

grapple with these polarities. "Spiritual discernment" is the term that characterizes this process. One of the most important conditions for the discernment process is consistent and dynamic contact with the total mystery of Christ; His life, death and resurrection. The divorced with their emotional depletion are frequently excited candidates for spiritual growth as the Paschal Mystery is such a distinctive feature of their lives. The divorced person whose heart is not bitter is often on the verge of great sanctity. My most treasured correspondence is of the kind which states: "Father, you have made me proud to be a Catholic again." In most of these instances all that is done is common prayer, an outreach of understanding, and an offering of a systematized approach to growth in Christ. A most important element here is prayer. Even if I am certain that parties are going to move in a direction contrary to canonical discipline, I insist that if our relationship is to continue it must be on the basis of prayer and testing of their decision-making process. If people cannot "disobey" the law in good faith then they should never do it. This is the most difficult juncture in direction of the divorced, and the about-to-beinvalidly-remarried Catholic. To assist a person to grow in spiritual freedom so that they can make a decision free of selfdeception is in itself a pastoral skill gained only by personal prayer and priestly fidelity. The Holy Spirit always leads us back to community and so personal decisions are never made at the expense of our sense of churchmanship. Here is where subcommunities can be supporta.tive. In discovering the Spirit we must be aware that He does not contradict Himself. If we discern properly according to the Spirit's lead, then both the individual and the community will be enriched. The scandal of Christianity is that it is the home of forgiveness and repentance. We have taken the scandal out of it, and have refused to give failure its privileged status. Our ministry as canon lawyers has brought us as professional men of the Church into contact with the broken-hearted and with the remnants of the intolerable marriage. As we have endeavored to reform our institutions; and as we have investigated rights of conscience; and the ref01m of Canon Law, let us lead the way in developing a wholesome, refreshing pastoral program of spiritual care for the divorced Catholic.


Daniel J. Ha,-rington, S.J.

New Testament Perspectives on the Ministry of the Word "MinistTy of the Wm¡d is a phmse whose meaning and importance may escape most Catholics. The author explores the biblical dimensions of the idea. The General Catechetical Di,¡ectoTy places the task of the catechist within the framework of the ministry of the word. The ministry of the word is described as the communication of the message of salvation, as bringing the gospel to men ( #16). It not only recalls the revelation of God's wonders in the past but also interprets human life in our own age in the light of this revelation ( # 11). Finding its nourishment and norm in Sacred Scdpture ( #14), the minis tty of the word seeks "to stir up a lively faith which turns the mind to God, impels conformance with his action, leads to a living knowledge of the expressions of tradition, and spe:JJks and manifests the true significance of the world and human existence ( #16) ." The missionaty preacher, the catechist, the homilist and the theologian today share in the ministry of the word. The catechist must make men's faith become living, conscious and active through the light of instruction ( #17) ; he must lead communities and individuals to maturity in faith ( #21). His duty is to introduce Christians to Scripture, church tradition, liturgy, private prayer, moral decision-making and dialogue with other faiths and cultures ( # #24-28). This ambitious agenda is summarized as conveying "the word of God, as it is presented by the Church, in the language of the men to whom it is directed ( #32) ." In short, the catechist is called "the interpreter of the church among those who are to be instructed ( #35) ." I find the emphasis on catechesis as a ministry of the word to be one of the soundest and richest elements in the entire 65


66

CHICAGO STUDIES

directory. The authors have seen that the catechist is not merely an ordinary teacher but also participates in the church's ministry of teaching. Since I agree with almost eve11'iliing said in the document about the ministry of the word and about catechesis as one of its several forms, this paper will not have to be negative or criticaL Yet I feel there does remain a very important need to be fulfilled in regard to this topic. The term "ministry of the word" is unfamiliar to most Catholics and may leave many readers puzzled and baffled as to its meaning and importance. Many Christians may not be aware that the ministry of the word has a biblical basis which is among the most vital and significant concepts found in all of Scripture. The aim of this paper is to consider the ministry of the word in the church from a biblical perspective. In this way I hope to provide theological foundations and increased understanding for those whose privilege it is to engage in this kind of ministry. THE NEW TESTAMENT

Having stated this aim, I also feel compelled at the start to introduce some clear limits to my study lest I say nothing for having attempted to say too much. While there is much in the Old Testament of great relevance to the theme (the dynamic character of the word, the call of the prophet, etc.) I have decided to confine myself to the New Testament. Also, while several modem New Testament scholars have provided synthetic discussions of the topic, we will consign bibliographical considerations to the selected list printed at the paper's conclusion. Instead, I am inviting the reader to study along with me cEcrtain carefully chosen New Testament texts in an effort to formulate some significant biblical perspectives on (I) charism as the basis of all Christian ministry, (II) ministers of the word, (III) the content of the word and (IV) the dynamic which empowers the ministry of the word. Another precision must be introduced here. The New Testament has little to say specifically about the ministry of catechesis, but it has a great deal to say about other ministries of the word such as apostleship and evangelization. This paper builds on the certainly justifiable assumption made in the directory that all of these are variant forms of the one ministry of the word. But there will be some obvious differences between


WORD

67

the apostle's exercise of that ministry in the 1st century and the catechist's today. Surely catechists today have no obligation to repeat Paul's experience or imitate to the letter his fonn of ministry. The point here is a simple one: while we cannot and should not imitate all the particulars of Paul's ministry, we can still learn from it because apostleship and catechesis are both ministries of the word. CHARISM AS THE BASIS FOR ALL CHRISTIAN MINISTRY

Those who usually identify ministry in the church with ecclesiastical ordination will be surprised at the document's insistence on ca,techesis as a ministry of the word. Catechesis is being understood as a teaching-preaching ministry, and that teaching-preaching ministry is apparently being grounded in Paul's teaching on charism as the basis of ministry. For Paul, charism is the concretion and individuation of God's grace and of the Holy Spirit; it is the unique way in which each member of the body of Christ is called to express himself for the upbuilding and service of the church. In the various lists of charisms in the Pauline writings ( 1 Cor 12 :28; Rom 12 :6-8; Eph 4:11) teaching is cited along with apostleship, prophecy, miracle-working, healing, and administration as an example of a sphere in which the Cht¡istian can build up the body of Christ. Since the catechist shares in the teaching-preaching charism, we cannot place his ministry of the word in proper perspective without first discussing briefly the importance of all charisms (gifts) in the life of the church. The basis for any charism must be traced back to Jesus himself. His teaching and healing activity as well as his free attitude toward the Old Testament Law and the Temple were seen by his contemporaries and the Evangelists as indications of an extraordinary power. Above all, this power was manifested in his resurrection from the dead. God's saving action in Jesus of Nazareth had replaced the Law as the locus of power and authority, and so life in the Spirit (the power of .Christ's presence) became the life-force of the church. One who confesses Jesus as Lord and Christ (1 Cor 12 :3) belongs to the body of Christ, the realm of the Holy Spirit in which each member achieves salvation and is empowered to serve others. CharL~m. then, is the unfolding of Christ's power in the many


68

CHICAGO STUDIES

members of his body, It is not some unexplained spiritual force, nor is it confined to extraordinary displays. Rather it is directly related to Jesus and permeates the everyday life of the Christian community. Since grace ( charis) is the new sphere which man enters through God's saving action, the various charisms become the manifestation and individuation of that grace. Thus every structure or office which arises out of the concrete needs of the church can only be seen as auxiliary or secondary to that charismatic structure which is the very foundation of the church. Charisms do not exist for the individual's glorification but are directed to the service of others. The catechist of our time is charged with understanding and explaining Christian faith -something to which he is already existentially committed. The catechist's service arises from his charism for the building up of the Christian community and must be viewed as a unique instance of that ministry of the word which was exercised in the eat'liest church by apostles, prophets, teachers and evan:gelists. We will only understand catechesis in the 20th century if we have grasped the biblical notion of the ministry of the word as first of all and fundamentally a charism flowing from the power of Christ. MINISTERS OF THE WORD

Of all the figures responsible for the books of the New Testament the only one about whom we have more than a smattering of autobiographical information is the apostle Paul. Something of a storm-center in the early church, Paul was forced on several occasions to present defenses of his apostleship in reply to attacks from those within and those outside the church. What is especially significant for our theme is that Paul conceived his own ministry as fundamentally a ministry of the word, and so we can glimpse how an individual in the decisive years of the church's spread through the Mediterranean world understood and explained this kind of ministry. While he presents striking apologies for his activity in Gal 1-2 and 2 Cor 10-13, I have chosen to analyze Paul's statement in 1 Thes 2 :1-16 because it is his earliest (written in the early 50's of the 1st century) and perhaps moot compact reflection on the ministry of the word.


WORD

69

First of all, it is clear that Paul sees himself as an instrument of God's power. He maintains that he has been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel and that his only aim is to please God (1 Thes 2 :4). His relationship is such with his people that he is ready to share with them not only the gospel of God but also his very own self (2 :8). He pictures himself as a gentle nurse talting care of her children (2 :7) and as a father exhm-ting his own ( 2:11). All this is in the service, not of the word of men, but of "what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers (2 :13) ." This last statement is pa1-ticularly important, for it shows that for Paul the word of God is an active force having ita own power. Paul as an apostle is privileged to be the active beat¡er of that power. Paul's labor as a minister of the word is not undertaken for personal gain or comfort. He does not seek glory from men, and he even foregoes the privileges which being an apostle might bring (2 :6). In order not to be a burden to anyone when engaged in his preaching activity he worked night and day, presumably at some kind of manual labor, to pay his own way. (2 :9) His behavior toward other members of the community could only be assessed as "holy and righteous and blameless (2 :10) ."

Yoet this innocent and highly commendable effort aroused considerable opposition. Paul had been accused of preaching error and immorality (2 :3) and had been slandered as a flatterer and a greedy person (2 :5). More concretely, he had alr~ady experienced suffering and shameful treatment at Philippi (2 :2 see Acts 16:19-40) and had been expelled from Palestine by his Jewish kinsmen (2 :15). In his own sufferings and in those of the church at Thessalonica Paul urges himself and others to recall that Christ Jesus underwent similar treatment (2:15). The allusion to sharing in the same fate as Jesus did leads us finally to consider what it was that Paul was preaching. He describes it as the "gospel of God (2 :2, 8, 9) ," the "gospel (2:4)" and as the "word of God (2:13)." Paul's message was the good news about what God had done in the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. As such, it was the extension of Jesus' own preaching of the kingdom of God, for in Jesus the kingdom was inaugurated.


70

CHICAGO STUDIES

From this analysis several aspects of the ministry of the word emerge. Paul understands himself as the instrument of divine power. Personal gain or comfort are not even considered significant. Opposition and persecution along with charges stemming from jealousy and ignorance are his lot. Yet he bears with these slights and pains because he is consumed with zeal to preach the gospel of God, the good news about Jesus Christ. THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

Because it is directed to the Twelve as a group (and, by extension, to all ministers of the word) rather than to an individual, the so-called "mission charge" in Mt 10 may offer us a slightly diffe1·ent app1·oach to the ministry of the word. After the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5-7) Matthew presents three triads of miracle stories interrupted by sayings of discipleship (Mt. 8:1-9 :34) intended to illustrate the power and authority of Jesus. Although his ministry of teaching, preaching and healing is producing remarkable results, he recognizes the need for disciples to continue his ministry to the "sheep without a shepherd (Mt 9 :35-36) ." At the beginning of the speech Jesus is said to have transferred his power and authority to the Twelve ( 10 :1). In other words, those who continue his mission share in his power, for he is acting through them. At the time of Jesus there were many itinerant teachers of Greek philosophies and other wisdoms wandering about the Meditert·anean world. With the development of Christianity as a historical force and the rise of Christian missionary activity the real problem for the members of the church was to distinguish between true and false prophets. So the "mission charge" in Mt 10 served both as a handbook for Christian ministers of the word and as a checklist for the people to whom they ministered. In this framework we can now see what dimensions the text offers for our understanding of the ministry of the word. The Twelve are told to preach that the kingdom of heaven is at hand (10 :7)-the same message which was central to the preaching of Jesus himself. They are told to expect to be able to do the wonderful things done first by their Lord through whose power they act. They are not to make the preaching of the gospel a financial proposition; what they received without


WORD

71

pay (the gospel), they should give without pay (10 :8). They are not to store up money or supplies for their journeys or concem themselves with social climbing and bettering their situation (10 :9-13). If the disciple is not heard, then he must move on and consign those who refuse to listen to God's judgment (10:14-15). In spite of their wisdom and innocence the disciples will meet serious opposition from both Jews and Roman officials. When forced to appear in court, they should not be afraid because the Spirit is speaking through them. For the lower and lower-middle-class people who formed the bulk of the first Christian communities the prospect of articulating a public defense of their faith in a court would have been terrifying. Only the conviction that they were instruments of the Spirit sustained them ( 10:16-20). The disciples also have to expect opposition even from their closest relatives (10 :21-22, 34-39) because of their convictions. In fact, they should expect opposition precisely because their Lord and Master received the same treatment (10 :24-25). Yet rejection, persecution and opposition cannot stop the spread of the word, and so the disciples should not be afraid (1 0 :26, 28, 31). Their task is to acknowledge Christ before men (10:32-33). The "mission charge" ends with a saying that summarizes the whole and makes explicit the foundation of all Christian ministry: "He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me (10 :40) ." Just as the Father had sent Jesus into the world, now Jesus sends the disciples. Such a careful study of Mt 10 allows us again to list several important characteristics of the minister of the word. He perceives himself as an instrument of God's power. His activity is not undertaken for financial gain or physical comfort. In spite of rejection he is compelled to continue preaching the word, his ministry is an extension of the ministry of Jesus. I consider the correspondences between this text and 1 Thes 2:1-16 to be remarkable proof that we are dealing with a notion familiar and acceptable to most members of the early church. CONTENT OF THE WORD--1 COR. 15 :3B-5; ACTS 2 :14-42 We have seen that the Twelve are sent forth to proclaim the word about the kingdom of heaven and that Paul preaches the "gospel of God," and we suggested that both expressions de-


72

CHICAGO STUDIES

cribe the good news about what God has done in Jesus of Nazareth. To explore the content of this "word" in more detail and to explain what it is to which the minister of the word bears witness, we have chosen to examine 1 Cor 15 :3b-5 and Acts 2:14-42. In I Cor 15 :3b-5 Paul cites what he himself introduces as the gospel which he received and transmitted to the people of Corinth. Writing in the mid-50's of the 1st century, Paul claims that his preaching is not some private fantasy or personal creation: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what 1 also received ... " Some have speculated that Paul received this summary of the gospel from Peter at Jerusalem in A.D. 36 (Gal. 1 :18) while others have seen it as a fragment of a Palestinian church hymn. At least, this profession of faith, cited as an already traditional piece, is obviously older than the document in which it ap]l('ars and does pUt'J)ort to reflect the beliefs of the early Christian community at large. This means that in 1 Cor 15 :3b-5 we have a very early and very significant capsule statement of the church's faith. As such, it tells us much about the content both of Paul's preaching and of the common belief of Christians. According to this confession Jesus is described as the Christ -the Messiah, the Son of David-of Jewish expectation and is said to have "died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;" that is, he fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament in his life and death (1 Cor 15 :3b). He was buried (he was dead and buried; he was really dead), but he was raised from the dead on the third day. By implying that the Father raised np Jesus the confession suggests that he has been exalted. Again, all this was in accordance with the Olrl Testament Scriptlu¡es ( 15 :4). The risen Lord appeared to Peter (called by his Aramaic name "Cephas"-a sign of the confession's origin in the Semitic-speaking community) and then to the Twelve (15:

5).

So Paul's ministry of the word was not founded upon a vague sentiment or a good feeling, but on an objective corpus of beliefs. His advice to the communities which he founded flowed from a gospel with real content. In fact, C. H. Dodd has noted long ago that comparison of the traditional formulas cited by Paul (such as 1 Cor 15:3b-5), Paul's own summaries of the


WORD

73

gospel and the speeches attributed to the various apostles in Acts reveals a fundamental pattern of early Christian preaching: the Davidic descent of Jesus as guarantee of his Messiahship, his death and resurrection according to the Scriptures, his consequent exaltation to the right hand of God as Lord and Christ, his deliverance of men from sin and into new life, and his return. All these items but the last are present in two-andone-half verses of 1 Cor 15 :3b-5-a remarkably compact statement of the early church's understanding of the content of the word. We mentioned that the same pattern can be discerned in the speeches given by the apostles in Acts 2:14-42; 3 :12-26; 4:2430; 5:30-42; 10 :34-43 and 13:16-41. C. H. Dodd maintained that these discourses represented the preaching of the earliest Palestinian churches, but more recent studies have cast doubt on this assertion. At any rate, what is striking about the passages is that, no matter who the speaker may be, the pattern of the speech is basically the same. When Luke composed Acts between A.D. 80 and 100 (according to the scholarly consensus), his aim in including these discourses was not so much to provide interesting historical information about the past as it was to present examples of his own ideals of missionary preaching. Whatever the origin of the speeches, the fact that Luke offers them as exemplars for his own time is beyond doubt. What is even more extraordinary is that these models for late 1st century ministers of the word correspond very closely in structure, phraseology and tone to what is probably the earliest example of Christian preaching which we have (1 Cor 15 :3b-5). In Acts 2:14-42 we are told that Jesus of Nazareth who was God's agent was delivered up according to the divine foreknowledge and plan and was crucified and killed. But God raised him up (2 :22-24). All this was in accordance with Ps 16: "He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption (2: :n) ." In the light of several Old Testament texts it is fair to conclude that "God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified (2 :36) ." This action of God in Jesus brings about the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (2 :38). In Christ the new age, the "last days" of Joel 2 :28, has already begun. A listing of essential elements in the speech reveals a striking similarity with the confession in J Cor


74

CHICAGO STUDIES

15 :3b-5: fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures in Jesus' Davidic descent and especially in his death and resurrection, his exaltation to the Father's right hand, deliverance from sin and bestowal of new life, and the inauguration of the new age in Christ. From these two studies (and their results could be duplicated in many New Testament texts) we are led to conclude that the "word" in the New Testament has a fixed, though somewhat limited, content. Therefore, it is clear that the ministry of the word then and today is not the result of personal whim but, at its root, consists in transmitting and interpreting the basic gospel message. The practice of the four Evangelists illustrates our point beautifully. Their aim was both to remain faithful to the tradition about Jesus (transmission) and also to apply that tradition to the issues facing the church some 40 or 50 years after Jesus' death and resurrection (interpretation). Just as Paul also did, so must every Christian minister of the word bring the gospel to men in his own day and articulate its true significance for human existence in the categories of his time. THE DYNAMIC POWER BEHIND THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD

-Jn 1:1-18

Having explored some New Testament perspectives on those who exercise the ministry of the word and on the content of that ministry, we must now examine why people in the early church conceive their activity in terms of the "word" at all. While we could easily and correctly point to the influence of Old Testament prophetic terminology and to the predominance of oral communication in Jesus' time, a more theological and probably more fundamental reason lies in the identification of Jesus with the word (logos) as seen in Jn 1:1-18. Most critics see Jn 1 :1-18 as an early Christian hymn to which parenthetical material has been added in vv. 6-8, 13 and 15. Whatever the origin of the logos terminology (the Old Testament word of the Lord, personified Wisdom, the Law, the Memra of the Targums, etc.), the point of the identification is that Jesus as the embodiment of divine revelation communicates this revelation to mankind. The equation of Jesus and the logos is made explicit only in the Johannine corpus (see also 1 Jn 1 :1-4), but the belief it attempts to articulate was shared by other


WORD

75

biblical writers. Jesus' task as the communicator of divine revelation is described in Jn 1:1-18 by sketching the function of the word in the history of salvation. Attempting to echo the cadences of Gen 1 :1 ("In the beginning ... "), the hymn first depicts the word as eternal, as accompanying God and as divine (,In 1 :12). By stating that all creation was made through the logos the text implies that creation itself is a revelation of God. Again, the light-darkness imagery must be a reminiscence of the Old Testament creation narrative in Gen. 1. In the act of creation the logos communicates his own life (eternal life?) which becomes the light of men. So the opening section of this early church hymn which now introduces the Fourth Gospel tells of the word whose activity in creation revealed something about who and what God is (Jn. 1:1-5). The next major section (Jn 1 :9-12) concerns the word's role in the world and in Israel before the incarnation. Although many scholars view this section as a description of Jesus' eatihly ministry primarily because of the parenthesis about John the Baptist in 1 :6-8, to me and to many others the passage makes better sense when understood in the light of the word's activity in Old Testament times prior to his becoming flesh (1 :14). That true light was in the world (kosmos in a neutral sense) made through his agency, but was rejected by the world (kosmos in a negative sense as antagonistic to God) and even by his own people Israel. Yet those who received the word became children of God (in Jn only Jesus is the "Son" of God). So in this section of the Prologue the word is viewed as the inspiring and guiding force expressed in the Old Testament itself by the "word of Lord" and as the figure of Wisdom. The final tableau (1 :14-18) shows how the word who was in the beginning with God and was himself God (1 :1-2) became flesh in human history and dwelt among us men (1 :14). His glory is the glory of the only Son from the Father ( 1 :14). The grace and truth which he has brought have been given to us; Jesus is thus greater than Moses who was merely the beat¡er of the Law (1 :16-17). The word, the only Son who is in complete communion with the Father, has made the Father known (1 :18). According to the Prologue, God has revealed himself. He


76

CHICAGO STUDIES

has spoken through his logos in creation, in the period of the Old Testament, and, most emphatically and abundantly, in Jesus Christ. God communicates himself and reveals himself. In our discussion of the charismatic basis of Christian ministry we observed that all ministry flows from the authority of Jesus as the unique revealer of the Father. Our analysis of Jn 1:1-18 shows, in particular, how all ministries of the word flow from the word himself-Jesus Christ-and that we ministers of the word in the church today share in, and continue on, his ministry. In short, the dynamic power behind all ministry of the word is the word himself. CONCLUDING REMARKS

At the start of our study on the ministry of the word we defined as our goal the presentation of some New Testament perspectives on this topic. The texts we have chosen for analysis are considered important ones by New Testament specialists and provide, in my opinion, a solid biblical foundation for the general theology of the ministry of the word of which catechesis, according to the directory, is but one manifestation. We cautioned against assuming that one could or should transfer the structures and functions of the earliest church to the church of our time, but we also observed that there is theological wisdom in these texts which spans the ages. We warned against confusing catechesis with preaching, but we also remarked that both ultimately depend upon a common theology. Catechesis, then, is a unique ministry of the word, an example of a sphere in which the Christian of today can build up the body of Christ (1 Cor 12:27-31; Rom 12:1-8; Eph 4:1116). The catechist with his zeal to communicate the good news can be an instrument of divine power. At any rate, he takes up the task out of a sincere desire to share with others something he believes in rather than out of a desire for personal gain or comfort (1 Thes 2 :1-16; Mt 10). His task is to hand on the gospel (that Jesus who died and was buried and was raised from the dead and, exalted to God's right hand, delivers man from sin and gives new life) in ways which are intelligible to people of his own age (1 Cor 15 :3b-5; Acts 2 :14-42). He is empowered for the task by his Lord who himself is aptly called the wot¡d and who has made known the Father (Jn 1 :1-18).


Gary J. Quinn

On Christian Life in the Future: The Need for Contemplation Zen and Yoga can supply a correcit''ve to ou'r western wot¡ldvie1v.

One way to envision the characteristics of Christian life in the future is in terms of the way contemporary theological movements affect change in the life of the church. By observing the leading trends of today's theology, future Christian attitudes and behavior can be foreseen, to a certain extent. The problem with this approach is that it immediately becomes necessary to demonstrate that theology actually has a significant influence on religious belief and practice. Most Christians, after all, give little evidence of knowing much sound theology, and what they do know is difficult to measure in terms of its effect on their lives. Yet it seems equally hard to demonstrate the contrary: that theology has little or no influence on Christian life. Theologians in the past have made important contributions to the life-experience of the church, and even though theology is no longer the "Queen of the Sciences," it retains the capacity to influence religious life. Much is said about the irrelevance of theology, but this charge, in my opinion, is valid only in reference to that theology which fails to address fundamental human needs as perceived today. The human need for religion is certainly not dying, whatever may be. said of religious 77


78

CHICAGO STUDIES

institutions, and wherever theology meets various aspects of this need, it is surely meaningful and effective. It is from this perspective that the role of theology in the future of Christian religion may be considered. There is reason to believe that current theological developments in the area of non-rational theology will become increasingly significant. (By non-rational theology, I mean especially the meditative and contemplative arts, sometimes thought of as certain forms of private prayer, or simply as exercises of awareness). This is so because some of our deepest needs today can be met more adequately on the non-rational, rather than the rational level. Our society suffers from the problem of fragmentation, the disintegration of modern life into many separate compartments, unrelated to each other. The accompanying loss of orientation adversely affects both our capacity for creative activity and our inner feeling of wholeness or relatedness to the world. Rational theology can be of service here, but is hindered because it, too, is often fragmented, and even when fully integrated cannot reach certain levels of human experience that can be touched by contemplation and meditation. What follows is a review of the process wherein modern culture, and especially rational theology, became fragmented, together with an approach to this problem that focuses on the advantages of nonrational theology. THE FRAGMENTARY NATURE OF MODERN RATIONAL THEOLOGIES

It has become a truism that one of the most powerful influences on modem theology is scientific knowledge. Langdon Gilkey sa,ys that science has caused a more important change in the understanding of religious truth in the last centuries than has anything else. Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Lyell, Darwin and others gave us a new picture of the world, one that threatened, and in fact, destroyed the biblical picture. Since theology was not able to respond adequately to scientific assertions about the natural world, it faced a crisis concerning its own understanding of truth. The result was a theological retreat from nature as an area of inquiry. Theology (especially nco-orthodoxy) was driven inward toward personal, existential experience and concern for the salvation of the individual soul. Thus it became fragmented in its field of vision. This unhappy situa-


CONTEMPLATION

79

tion was cynically assessed by Feuerbach: "Nature, the world, has no value, no interest for Christians. The Christian thinks only of himself and the salvation of his soul." Science also became fragmented, in that it studied the objective world unrelated to the experience of the knowing subject. A major gulf therefore developed between science and theology in te1ms of their fields of study. Jurgen Moltmann characterizes the distinction in this way: theology and other humanities study man as subject (res coyitans), and science studies world as object (res extensa). The fact that both disciplines settled into these categories helps explain the present disorientation of society. "This gulf between subject and object, 1·es CO!Iitans and 1·es extensa, humanities and natural sciences, became the cause of the internal and external disorganization of the modern world." A very strong statement, indeed, but it is undoubtedly true that the fragmentation of western culture can be traced in large part to the subject-object split in the vision of weste111 man. In the case of theology, this was fostered not only by a retreat from the study of the extemal world, but by a corresponding acceptance of the division of knowledge into objective and subjective categories. Since World War II, theology has broadened its horizons somewhat. It has gone beyond its earlier narrowness to secular theology, characterized by an interest in society, and in the political and economic dynamics of social justice. The individual Clu·istian is required by this theology to be concerned with more than his individual salvation: he must see his salvation integrally related to that of his fellow-man in society. In addition, theology has developed an interest in ecology, which takes theological inquiry back into the field of nature. It sees man in his total social and natural environment, and endeavors to help Christians live with nature rather than against it with the exploitative attitude so common in the West. RATIONAL THEOLOGY AND BEHAVIOR

These and other developments suggest that theology has grown considerably since the days of Ludwig Feuerbach. A basic problem, however, remains. It is manifested, among other ways, in the lack of correlation that usually exists between teaching (and believing) and practice in religion (as well as in


80

CHICAGO STUDIES

other fields relating to human behavior). It is argued that this inconsistency is due to man's weak and sinful nature, to social conditioning, to psychological factors, etc. But the problem can also be seen in terms of the above-mentioned dichotomy between subject and object. Inasmuch as we separate the knower from what is known, we dissociate knowing the truth from doing the truth. There are innumerable illustrations of this within the field of religion alone. Consider the Cnristian teaching on love. It is impossible to reconcile love of fellow-man with the plentitude of hateful acts of aggression performed by '"Christians" throughout history. Not that Christians have been worse than others, but an embarrassing number simply have not followed the precept on love. Marriage, celibacy, pacifism, the just war doctrine, and in fact all moral teachings are based on the principle of love, yet are often distorted by man's failure to make this principle operational. The problem is graphically illustrated by the way theological norms are accepted speculatively, but not practically. Theologian James Cone, for example, teaches us that the church must identify with the poor. This truth is denied by practically no one, since it is abundantly clear that Jesus identified with the poor, as did the early church. But while knowing this fact of Christianity, many churches today identify much more with the rich than with the poor. In some churches, the poor seem to find no place at all. It is one thing to recognize the truth of Cone's statement, but quite another to translate it into practice. This is also illustJ"ated in ecological theology. If I accept the truth that men must respect nature and not excessively exploit it, I must live accordingly. If I fail to change my lifestyle, and continue to consume more than I need, I have separated knowing the truth from doing the truth. The point is that, for most men, knowing truth rationally is not enough to change acquired habits of living. Rational theologies are interested in teaching men how to think. They feed and stimulate the intellect, but do not usually have the power to change our behavior. The reason is that the intellect can have a life of its own, wherein intellectual activity an¡d knowledge may be unrelated to other dimensions of the personality. And even when the intellect is fully integrated with the personality, behavior is not determined solely by the commands of


CONTEMPLATION

81

the intellect. There are other forces at work in man that are non-rational and intuitive, forces that have significant influence on what we do, and which must be given attention. In saying this, I do not intend to deny the importance of rational theologies. They are indispensible, but not the only way theology may be or has been done. Theology must attend to the nonrational dimensions of human life, as well as the rational. RATlONAL THEOLOGY AND CONTEMPLATlON

Richard Underwood has demonstrated certain important aspects of the problem raised here in his argument that rational theologies like ecological theology, while valuable, cannot create a metanoia experience in the knower. Such an intuitive, subjective and all-embracing experience is necessary if the full truths of ecological theology, or any other rational theology. are to be perceived and lived. Underwood's solution is found in psychedelic experience, which expands awareness beyond the limits of intellectual knowledge, and provides the total vision necessary for a change of mind, heart and behavior. Ecology is seen by him as the new revealed theology. This is an interesting thesis, but, as far as theology is concerned, should not be considered the only approach toward the new consciousness Underwood seeks in psychedelic experience. Much closer to the theological traditions of the West are the meditative arts. I think a good case can be made for the position that not only are meditation and contemplation more a part of our religious heritage, but that they are better ways to achieve expanded consciousness than are drug experienecs. Andrew Wei!, who has a positive attitude toward drug use under proper conditions, believes that meditation offers more advanced stages of consciousness. His studies on the effects of drugs on numerous subjects (including himself) convince him that meditation gives better spiritual "highs." The ultimate proof is that many users of drugs eventually give them up in favor of meditation, but experienced meditators are not found turning to drug use. Meditation requires persistence and effort, but the results are apparently worth it. The recent theological literature on meditation and contemplation does not appear to be a new mode of the 19th century theology of inwardness, characterized by withdrawal from in-


82

CHICAGO STUDIES

terest in the world. Contemplation today can be seen, not as navel-staring, but heightened awareness and response to reality. It fosters the freedom to act on what one knows, immediately and totally. Contemplation means responding to the present, as Teresa of Avila did when gorging herself on roast partridge. When she saw the nuns were scandalized, she laughed and said, "At prayer time, pray! At partridge time, partridge!" Whatever you are doing, do it, get into it completely. The trick, of course, is to do it. Our education teaches us to abstract, to separate subject ft¡om object and to be uninvolved. John Carmody is one who believes we need a contemplative dimension in our lives, and we are not getting it either through the church or the university, the two institutions of society that could offer it to us. The church seems to only reflect the subjectobject split of modern culture. It talks about God, love, justice, etc., but offers no experience of them. The university has the same fault. Much study, writing and teaching remains factual. The involvement of the learner in the wonder of growth of knowledge is downplayed or ignored. "I fear," says Carmody, "the University no longer believes in wisdom. I fear it despairs of growing ripe men who know the Tao. . . . I could be exaggerating (but) I feel the same sadness about the University that I feel about the Church. They both seem to have lost their souls." (John Carmody, "Confession of the Contemporary Contemplative," America, July 22, 1972, p. 37). This is no doubt over-stated, but it reveals in stark terms how cultural fragmentation has affected these institutions that exist to serve the human spirit in especially important ways. THE PRACTICAL QUESTION

The practical question is: how can meditative arts be introduced into our culture, which neither understands nor respects them? As yet relatively little progress has been made toward the popularization of meditative practices. One reason is that these forms have not been too well adapted to the modern western style of life. Traditional contemplative arts developed for monks of alien cultures, both East and West, need to be reworked if they are to be of any value to people living active lives today. Where modernized and simplified forms of contemplation do exist, as in some types of basic yoga, transcen-


CONTEMPLATION

83

dental meditation, psycho-cybernetics, hypnosis, etc., they are often techniques only, having been abstracted from their religious and cultural roots, and therefore of limited value. They could be made more useful and would appeal to a much wider audience if they were integrated into the existing cultural and religious milieu. What is required, in addition to a sound theology of contemplation, is an appropriate education into the meaning and value of contemplative a1ts. It seems to me that such education is almost as important as contemplation itself, since it lays the foundation for proper understanding, and also provides motivation to become involved with meditative practices. The university and the church (at least in its theology) are now interested in Asian thought and practice, and would be able to offer contemplative education to large numbers if that interest were developed. Both seâ&#x201A;Źm hesitant as yet to involve themselves deeply. There are probably many reasons for tllis, among them the university's 19th century philosophy of objectivity, which excludes subjective experience from the field of study, and the church's fear of non-western influences on orthodox faith and worship. No doubt the future will see greater flexibility and openness toward alien views on the part of both institutions. We can't, after all, remain wedded indefinitely to attitudes and concepts developed generations ago for other cultural and religious conditions. The counter-culture has, in my opinion, already begun speaking to the conditions of our time by attempting to bring oriental vision to the study of western problems. These attempts are as yet rather superficial, as are the involvements of the university and church, but the indications are that the depths of oriental wisdom will continue to be probed on several fronts. There are many commentators saying that western interest in the East is going to grow. Philosopher Ruth N anda Anshen sees a spiritual awakening becoming evident all over the world. It is reflected in the West by the current interest in eastern thought and religion. William Cenkner of Catholic University believes the meeting of eastem and western religions in America will have profound and lasting influence on our society. Alex Wayman of Columbia University finds a great spiritual hunger in the United States, and a desire for relief from the spiritual


84

CHICAGO STUDIES

desert America has become. The "amazing interest" in eastern religions is part of this search. Such comments represent the thought of many observers who are convinced of the significance of eastern influences on the future of the West. ZEN AND YOGA

One reason Asian thought is important to westerners is that it helps us better understand our own world-view. Our thinking tends to be predominately Cartesian, in that we view the self as an isolated entity existing apart from the world. This can create a solipsistic bubble of awareness that is excessively individualistic and un-Christian, but which unfortunately has often been reflected in Christian theology. Zen can teach us another way of thinking, wherein the self is understood as participating in and with all reality. Within this metaphysical consciousness, there is no subject-object split: the self is a part of all being. Rather than an individualistic self-concept, one has a relational attitude toward existence. Although the relational perspective was found in eal"ly Christian theology, its early formulations are no longer comprehensible in our culture. Zen offers a fresh, new approach toward discovery of the ancient metaphysical consciousness of Christianity. Zen teaches meditation, not to explain things, but to help the person become aware and respond to life. The Roshi does not want a correct verbal answer to the koan, but a di1¡ect, living response to it. The idea is that if the student can do this with the koan, he can do it with life itself. Living response is important in Christian theology, too, but this is often forgotten in the search for rational truth, and in academic circles, it is consciously excluded for the sake of objectivity. This unfortunately has the effect of increasing the distance between theology and life. Theological education, and all education, for that matter, could benefit from the attempt to better integrate knowledge with the experience of the knower. We could do more to foster in education, especially the humanities, a dimension of wisdom, oriented both toward contemplation and toward external action. Zen could be of assistance in this endeavor to incorporate active wisdom into education. Another Asian product that can be useful for developing western forms of contemplation is Yoga. It seems to me that


CONTEMPLATION

85

Hatha Yoga has the potential of becoming quite popular in the West, in that it is not necessarily time-consuming and is concerned with physical health and emotional stability, two of our most cherished values. Yoga is known as a "state of health," and "contentedness" is an apt word for its effect. It need not become exclusively self-centered, as is feared oftentimes, and in its Christian form, does not lead to withdrawal and isolation. Hatha Yoga can free one to become more active, generous and productive as it increases one's sense of relatedness to the world. With Yoga, as with Zen, there are relationships to early Christian theology. The early Christian Fathers had a concept of man that is helpful in understanding the use of Yoga in a Christian context. The early Fathers spoke of man in terms of anima, the animal nature, animus, the conscious part of man, and spiritus, manifested in spontaneity, intuition and love. In our culture, we have for centuries overemphasized animus, at the expense of the other two. When we say "man is a rational anima]/' we usually mean "man is an -intellectual animal," ignOI·ing the importance not only of the body but also of the intuitive faculties. When the intellectual powers dominate anima and spi>·itus to this extent, disharmony is created within the personality. The person feels isolated, since the aggressive and ego-centered nature of animus makes it difficult to have a relational view of reality. The result is anxiety, disorientation and loss of creative energy. The function of Yoga is to integrate or yoke the three elements in harmony. Hatha Yoga does this by concentrating first of all on the body. The saying is that the redemption of the body is redemption of the world. (Dechanet, Ch>·istian Yoga, N.Y., Harper & Row, 1960, p. 100). Eating, drinking, sleep, sex, erercise, physical work, etc., can all be redemptive, healing acts. Within the contemplative perspective of Yoga, they free the person from the tyranny of animus and make possible the normal functioning of the body as well as the manifestations of Bpirit?~•· The aim of Yoga, through physical postures, breathing and meditative exercises is to bring calm to the whole being, to free fmm anxiety in order to arouse the spirit. Yoga integrates the self, freeing one to respond not only intellectually and volitionally to the world, but also bodily and intuitively. The fully


86

CHICAGO STUDIES

integrated person manifests his inner unity through his ability to commune with reality in a vital, creative manner. THE THRUST OF CONTEMPLATIVE THEOLOGY

The suggestion made here is that the future of Christian life is related to the future of Christian theology, and that Christian theology, as well as all of westem education, will be advanced by further exploration of oriental thought patterns. To date, Christian theology has remained largely rational, with relatively little attention given the contemplative ot¡ non-rational dimension. We will, of course, continue to need rational theology to formulate ethical norms, integrate intellectual concepts and symbols, and do other things relating to the life of the mind, but we will also need contemplative theologies that are able to expand consciousness in areas not subject to intellectual vision and control. Where the two forms of theology work together, the person is freed by contemplation to act on the rational theological truths that he knows. It is important that rational theology not be seen as the only approach to theological truth, since our cultural background is predominantly Cartesian. The danger is that whatever we know intellectually may be known only from an isolated viewpoint. Thus the truths of rational theology may be known ft-om the standpoint of the individual self existing separately in the world. Regardless of the goodwill involved, one will not be able to make a living response to rational truth that changes his lifestyle until he sees himself as an integral part of the environment. Meditative and contemplative theologies are therefore important, because they open the door to the aU-pervading metanoia experience that integrates mind, body and spirit.

Contemplative theology has the traditional danger of becoming isolationist, but it need not, if one realizes that his goal is relationship with the world through awareness and action. It seems very important that one realize what he wants from contemplation. If he is vague on his purposes, the experience may cause him to withdraw rather than to actively respond to his world. Here, rational theology is essential, since it gives the intellectual vision necessary to formulate proper goals. Without the intellectual structure provided by such theology, the


CONTEMPLATION

87

meditative arts could become only vehicles of escape from the world. The kind of integrative theology being described here can contribute to Christian life by fostering balance, harmony, and creativity, both within and between men. The rational dimension focuses on the images and powers of animus and the nonrational dimension concerns the activities of anima and spiritus, and their relationship to animus. Unless the body and the intuitive natures of the person are fully functioning in relation to the intellect and will, the self cannot be integrated, nor can the person be fully integrated into nature or society. The forms of contemplative theology that may be useful in our culture cannot be excessively burdensome and time-consuming if they are to appeal to any significant number. We need to be taught that contemplation is something other than sitting in a quiet place for a long time, thinking about one's problems or how to improve one's personality. Contemplation can be non-verbal, non-conceptual, and relatively simple to practice. There is an exercise, for example, called the "practice of awareness," which requires only fifteen minutes, twice a day. One sits in a comfortable place, closes his eyes, and pays attention only to the breath passing in and out of one nostril or to the rising and falling of his abdomen as he breathes. Practitioners of longstanding testify to its manifold benefits. It is an ancient exercise, known in India and China before the time of Christ, and also in medieval Christianity. It fell into disfavor after Quietism, however, and has been revived only recently in the West. This simple practice, which is already part of the Christian tradition, ought to be considered a true form of contemplative prayer. It is not necessary that prayer always consists of thoughts, words and songs. Non-verbal and imageless exercises can also be genuine religious acts. This is not to suggest that words have no place in prayer, but that the emphasis needed today must go beyond verbal conceptualizations of deeper integrative experiences. Non-rational theology can be especially valuable here, offering much of what is needed for the vitality of Christianity both now and in the future.


Norbert J. Rigali, S.J.

Human ..Experience and ... .. Moral Meaning .â&#x20AC;˘.

To experience love is to know moral meaning in its fullest form, fo1¡ the "human act" is identical1vith the act of charity.

Pioneering a new epistemology in the Church, Bernard Lonergan noted the erroneous tendency of traditional theories of knowledge to mistake extroversion for objectivity. Men fancy that what they in fact know only through experience, understanding and judgment was attained simply by "taking a good look at the 'real' that is 'already out there now'" (Insight: A Study of Human Uuderstanding. New York, 1958, 412). If Lonergan's criticism is relevant to all areas of knowledge, it is especially so when applied to moral and ethical thought.

For here the assumption that knowing is looking includes the additional fallacy that moral meanings are "out there" and visible in the same way as the meanings of things. But, astraditional theology knew when it distinguished between actus hominis and actus humamts, the human or moral meaning of an act is constituted primarily thmugh interiority.. For St. Thomas Aquinas, the interiority that is constitutive of the human act, which is identical with the moral act, is a matter of mind and will (ratio et voluntas). of free decision (liberum arbitrium) ; the human act is one that originates in 88


LOVE

89

a man's own delibemte willing (voluntas delibemta) (ST I-II, 1.1 ; 1.3). The wa~¡ in which St. TholTUlS understands the human act follows naturaJly from his conception of man. It is rationality that distinguishes man's nature from the natures of other creatures, and the specific activity of man consists in acts of reason and rational appetite or will. Behavior is human or moral inasmuch as it derives from these acts. THREE DICHOTOMIES

But the Thomistic way of understanding the human act has cel1:ain limitations. First, since deliberation and voluntas deliberata are centered on means to ends, man's final end (as activity, i.e. as finis quo) -not to speak to proximate endsappears to be outside the sphere of properly human activity. Man's end, even before any consideration of its supernatural character is introduced, appears as transhuman and supermoral simply because it is an end. And, since man's end is not human activity as such, it cannot be explained as the most perfect human or moral activity. The need for another criterion to explain it sets the stage for the medieval debates about it betwL>en intellectualist and voluntarist schools of thought. If the dichotomy between the human act and activity centered on ends were overcome, and if the human act were thus to be seen as activity centered on ends and, only in a secondary, derivative sense, also activity oriented to means, man's end could be understood as most perfect human activity, and no other criterion of explanation would have to be sought. There is a second limitation of the Thomistic notion of the human act. The fact that man's end lies beyond human activity derives from Aristotle's view of man, in which intellectual virtues are distinguished from moral virtues and the former are considered higher than the latter. For Aristotle, man's end consists primarily in contemplation, which is the act of the highest intellectual virtue, theoretical wisdom. To the Aristotelian twofold division of virtues, St. Thomas adds a third and highest stratum: theological virtues, which are directed to man's supernatural end, the attainment of God as he is in himself. The theological virtue of charity is thus placed in a realm higher than that of the moral virtues, and


90

CHICAGO STUDIES

it is said to be the form of these other virtues in the sense that it effectively orders theit¡ acts to man's supematural end (II-H, 23.8 ad 1). Regarded in another way, however, charity is seen as a particular moral virtue, with its own specific obligations (23.3 ad 1). Both aspects of charity are to be found in traditional moral theology, and each of them is conducive to maintaining the traditional dichotomy between a natural morality, based on Aristotelian moral virtues, and a supernatural morality, in which naturally virtuous activity is elevated through the supernatural character of charity as a theological virtue and is added to by charity as a moral virtue. Since contemporary theology has generally given up this dichotomy between natural and supe.¡natut¡al morality in favor of the unity of morality, it must also re-examine the nature of charity and its relation to other virtues. Here the second limitation of the traditional conception of the human act appears: the human act has a certain independence from the act of charity. However, to maintain its position on the unity of morality, contemporary moral theology must show that the interiority that constitutes the authentically human act and the interiority of charity are identical. The human or moral act and the act of charity must be one reality. A thirrl limitation of the traditional view of the human act stems fl-om the individualistic bias of the Thomistic world view. Theologians today commonly recognize the inadequacy of the past understanding of relations. The older philosophical perspective disclosed reality as a collection of substances, each essentially constituted within itself and related only accidentally to others. A contemporary view of reality, however, sees beings essentially constituted by their interrelations. Especially the person is constituted through relations to other beings, particularly to other persons. The traditional concept of the human act reflects the classical individualistic bias. It seems the humanness of the act constituted by its link with the indiwlual's own faculties of mind and will. But the contemporary view requires that the humanness of the act consist primarily in a man's relation to another person. "The fundamental fact of human existence is man with man" (Buber).


LOVE

91 A NEW VIEW OF A HUMAN ACT

It seems, then, that a new understanding of the human act is needed to do away with three dichotomies: the dichotomy between the human act and the act of charity, and the dichotomy between the human act and the act of being in relation to another person. The consideration of moral meaning thus raises anew for the theologian the metaphysical question of the nature of the human act. And the reverse side of this question is, of course, an epistemological question. If the interiority of the human. act is the primary locus of moral meaning, to redefine this interiority is to relocate moral meaning. And to relocate moral meaning is to say that it is known in a different way. On the Thomistic view, moral meaning is known through a rational process of understanding and judging that a certain act is or is not in accord with right reason. It is known also through judgments of "connaturality," in which a person knows affectively, through his virtues, what is right or wrong for him (11-ll, 1.4 ad 3; 45.2). While an effective mode of knowing moral meaning appears to be central in Aristotle's thought, St. Thomas emphasises the discursive mode by developing his natural law theory. It is certainly the latter mode that dominates the manuals of moral theology in their discussions of formation of conscience; in fact, the affective mode viti:ually disappears. The Thomistic ways of knowing mot¡al meaning are, of course, correlative to St. Thomas' conception of the human act; his epistemology of morality corresponds to this metaphysics of morality. To propose, then, a more adequate view of the human act, which will overcome the three dichotomies entailed in the older conception, is to propose also a way of knowing moral meaning that is more fundamental than the rational and affective modes of St. Thomas and transcends the dichotomy of these modes. The epistemological proposal can be formulated: the person as person (and not the person as mind or as mind and viti:ues) knows moral meaning in its essential, basic, original reality. In other words, man knows moral meaning primarily in and through a personal act, a moral act. On a contemporary view, it is only "the fact that my presence and actions make a difference to you that allows me to be


92

CHICAGO STUDIES

real in my own eyes"; "even on a desert island, I can be and function as man, only through what I have acquired in communication with you" (Robert 0. Johann). An act is truly human, in this view, inasmuch as it originates in a person who through interaction with another person shapes and becomes aware of his own unique identity and that of the other. With this consiousness of identities comes the awareness that this shared existence of interaction, in which the meaningfulness of personal identity comes into existence, is dependent for better or worse upon oneself. Thus, Marcel can define personhood as the assuming of "responsibility for what I do and what I say," understanding responsibility as responsibility "both to myself and to everyone else." RELIGIOUS AND THEOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE

To clarify how a personal act can be the basic act of knowing moral meaning, it is helpful to recall Newman's classic distinction between real and notional assent. "A dogma is a proposition; it stands for a notion or for a thing; and to believe it is to give the assent of the mind to it, as it stands for the one or for the other. To give a real assent to it is an act of religion; to give a notional, is a theological act. It is discerned, 1-ested in, and appropriated as a reality, by the religious imagination; it is held as a truth, by the theological intellect." There is a correlation between the intentional act and its object. A theological act attains a theological notion; an act of religion or religious imagination attains religious reality. The intentionality of the latter act involves not only discernment but also a resting in and an appropriating of the religious reality. Although Newman explains this intentionality at length, suffice it to say summarily that it involves a person's interiority, selfdetermination and relatedness. God as religious reality is known only in a religious act. This is an act in which a person appropriates the reality of God, i.e. enters into a personal relation with God. The act of knowing religious reality, then, is not an intellectual act as such but a personal act, a free, creative, self-disposing act in which the reality of I-Thou comes into being and is sustained. As religious reality is known only in a personal, religious act, so moral reality-this essay hopes to show-is known only in


LOVE

93

a personal, moral act. However, it should be noted that, as theological notions derive from the knowledge of religious reality although a given individual can know the notions without knowing the reality, so ethical notions derive from the knowledge of moral reality even though some individual has ethical knowledge without having known moral reality. When the distinction between religious and theological knowledge is kept in sight, it is clear that the locus of religious meaning is quite different from that of theological meaning. The distinction between the locus of moral meaning and that of ethical meaning should likewise be kept in view. Neo-Scholasticism frequently replied to Descattes that "man knows there are things because he senses them" (Frederick D. Wilhelmsen). This epistemological approach has been branded "naive realism" by Lonergan, who confronts it with his own "critical realism." For him the t¡eal is not sensed; "the real is the verified" (Insight, 206). Accordingly, "being is known only in judging" (353), the proper content of which is simply "the 'Yes' or 'No'" that is reached through critical reflection upon what has been previously understood and formulated (276). Therefore, being is defined a& "Whatever is to be grasped intelligently and affirmed reasonably" or as "all that is known, and ... all that remains to be known" ( 596, 350). The difference that Lonergan sees between his own theory of knowledge and that of naive realism is that knowledge in the latter "is grasping, not intelligent procedure, but a merely biological and non-intelligent response to stimulus." Although this biological response is knowledge "in the elementary sense in which kittens knew the 'reality' of milk," it is not "fully human knowing," in which "expet¡ience supplies no more than the materials for questions" (251f.). For Lonergan, truly human knowing remains a Thomistic intellectual judgment, but it is this as having the characteristics of contemporary scientific method. If naive reali&m regards reality as the object of a kitten's knowledge, Lonergan transforms it into the object of scientific knowledge .. He makes knowledge more human not "fully human." EXPERIENCFr--THE LOCUS OF MEANING

Because he sees knowledge in general according to the mode


94

CHICAGO STUDIES

of scientific knowledge, Lonergan views experience as what it is for a person as scientist, namely, as nothing more than a supplier of materials for questions. Here the opposite will be maintained: in fact, it provides the ultimate meaning of existence. Opposition to the notion that, in fully human knowing, experience supplies no more than matet¡ials for questions is given unintended suppo>i by Lonergan's recent Method in Theology (New York, 1972): "Being in love with God, as experienced, is being in love in an unrestricted fashion (105). Though not the product of our knowing and choosing, it (being in love with God) is a conscious dynamic state of love, joy, peace, that manifests itself in acts of kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5, 22). To say that this dynamic state is conscious is not to say that it is known. For consciousness is just experience, but knowledge is a compound of experience, understanding, and judging. Because the dynamic state is conscious without being known, it is an experience of mystery. Because it is being in love, the mystery is not merely attractive but fascinating; to it one belongs; by it one is possessed (106)."

The words "just experience" in the second text highlight the inadequacy of Lonergan's notion of experience. Being in love with Gofl, which is experienced as being in love unrestrictedly and as a state of love, peace and joy directing a person's life into the paths of goodness, and which is, moreover, an experience of the mystery whom we call God and the experience of being possessed by him-all this Lonergan characterises indirectly as "just experience," i.e. as merely one of the components of knowlerlge without the other two. It is odd that being in love with God (or being in love with anyone) should be designated as just experience or just anything else. For Lonergan knows, of course, that being in love with God is the ultimate for a human being. Neve>iheless he is in the position of designating man's ultimate in this inappropriate way because he has yet to revise the inadequate conception of experience seen above. When he thinks of experience, he still can see it only as the lowest phase in the process of coming to an intellectual judgment. However, Lonergan's sublime description of being in love with God leaves a readet¡ with no doubt that experience is much


LOVE

95

more than a mere supplier of materials for questions. Being in love with God is revealed as the experience of ultimate meaning, the experience of the existential, lived answer to the fundamental question of life. Because being in love with God is the experience of ultimate meaning, it is also joy and peace in the depths of the soul, radiating outward in acts of kindness, goodness, etc. The epistemology of Insight, unquestionably a work of genius, is a modernized Thomism and, as such, is limited by the horizon of its model. St. Thomas sees the human knower primarily as a â&#x20AC;˘Âˇational-animal-sub.iect of acts (sensation, apprehension and judgment), and so does Lonergan, who updates the acts to experience, understanrling anrl judgment. But contemporary philosophical anthropology leads to the conclusion that the horizon of such epistemology is too restricted. The human knower must be understood fundamentally as a person in relation to other persons and only secondarily as a rational subject of acts. The fact that Lonergan sees man mainly as a rational subject accounts for his ranking human expel'ience as the lowest level of intentional consciousness. It explains also why the experience of being in love with God is categorized as "just experience." Besides the three ascending levels of intentional consciousness just seen, there is, for Lonergan, a fourth and highest, "responsible level" (Method, 8f.), which corresponds, of course. to St. Thomas' liber"'m arbit¡rimn. Now, Lonergan does not leave being in love with God where it seems to have been placed, namely, on the lowest level of intentional consciousness. He immediately adds that it is on the fourth level, noting that it "is the type of consciousness that deliberates, makes judgments of value, decides, acts responsibly and freely," and it is this kind of consciousness "brought to a fulfillment" (l06f.). Thus, being in love with God is indeed fulfillment of the highest level of intentional consciousness. Attention, however, should be drawn to the way in which being in love with God moves from being apparently on the lowest level to being on the highest level. As long as the experience of being in love with God was viewed as such, i.e. as the transcendental consciousness of intimate relation to God, this awareness of God, of loving him and of being possesse<l by him appears to be "just experience." But when this transcendental


96

CHICAGO STUDIES

consciousness is seen to include also categorical activity, i.e. to be "a consciousness that deliberates," etc. (fibe11tm aTbitn:mn), then this consciousness can be asserted to be on the highest level-this level having been defined at the outset as libemrn arbitrimn. The movement of Lonergan's thought does not leave the transcendental experience completely behind. Rather, relegating this experience to the background, it brings forward the categorical activity and uses this and not the experience of God to establish "being in love with God" on the highest level. FALLING IN LOVE

It was mentioned earlier that one of the limitations entailed in defining the human act around 1:oluntas delibcmta is the dichotomy created between the human act and man's end. When the human act is seen as centered on means, man's achievement of the end seems removed from the fullness of human activity. It seem..~ to be less than this fulness. Lonergan's thought exemplifies this limitation. "Being in love with God" is not seen as the highest level of intentional consciousness as long as it is seen as just being consciously in personal relation to God, one's end. It is seen as the highest level only when it is seen to be concerned \vith less, with means, i.e. when it is seen as "a consciousness that deliberates," etc. Lonergan's view of the highest level of intentional consciousness is a restatement of the traditional doctrine of the interiority of the human act. Traditional theology saw the human act as the rational act because it saw man as the rational animal. lf man, ho,vever, is viewed primarily as a person, being in love with God is on the highest level of consciousness because it is being in love, and it is the fulfillment of this level because it is being in love 1vith God. The categorical consciousness that is libcmm aTbitriu1n is not the highest; it is a secondary level, deriving from the serving the highest, which is the experience of being in love. Two related criticisms of Lonergan's Method should be noted here. (1) In his discussion of falling in love (122), he takes as point of departure the dictum, nihil amatum nisi pmecognitum. which he translates: "Knowledge precedes love." That people fall in love is seen as "a minor exception to this rule" of human nature, and the "major exception" to it is "God's gift

\1


LOVE

97

of his love flooding our hearts." Again one is struck by odd phraseology. It is strange to characterize that basic human reality of falling in love as an exception, indeed a -minor exception, to a rule of human nature. Similarly, it seems unfitting to designate God's gift of love as an exception to a human rule, and this unfittingness seems to be compounded by speaking of it as any kind of exception at a time when Karl Rahner's doctrine of anonymous Christianity has become axiomatic in theology. Lonergan's unfortunate expressions are due, again, to his view of man as the rational subject of acts. In the present context he presupposes an old conception of love, in which love is seen as an act of the will, the rational appetite. It is a view that made it possible in the past to call both a mother's devotion and a miser's greed by the name "love." Contemporary theology, understanding love as the giving of oneself to and the accepting of anothet¡ person, must see falling in love, not as an exception to a rule of human nature, but as a basic rule of human nature. (2) In his chapter on meaning Lonergan does speak briefly

of intersubjective meaning (59ff.). Significantly, love is men-

tioned only once and incidentally. For Lonergan does not see love as the basis of intersubjective meaning. He means by the term primarily the physica,l ways, such as smiles, bodily movements, etc., by which our feelings are revealed or betrayed. But a theology which sees man primarily, not as rational subject, but as person understands intersubjective meaning as primarily the meanings of I, Thou and the relation between them, love--the fundamental meanings brought into being through intersubj ectivity. In the same chapter there is a very short section with the heading "Incarnate Meaning," which the author understands as "the meaning of a person, of his way of life, of his words, or of his deeds" (73). This section is the shortest in the bookless than half a page. Needless to say, the meaning of a person is not explored. This is very unfortunate because it is precisely this meaning that is missing from so much of Lonergan's thought. A RETURN TO EXPERIENCE

Although there are great differences between Lonergan's


98

CHICAGO STUDIES

epistemology and that which is presupposed by traditional moral theology, they are alike in a fundamental respect. Like most of Western philosophical thought until the present age, they are both based on the premise, being is intelligible. This notion, which says something about being and something about man, has set the limits for traditional metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical anthropology-and, indirectly, for ethics and moral theology. Within these limits man has remained pt¡imarily the rational animal, and being has remained primarily the object of the mind. Johann has challenged the "false intellectualism" of the West ("The Return to Experience," Review of Metaphysics 17 (1963-64), 319-39), which maintains that: thinking somehow or other provides access to a region that is higher and more real than that of ever-changing expet¡ience. Instead of seeing thought as the s;~nbolic fonnulation of structures present in experience and therefore as det¡ivative from experience, the intellectualist views experience as itself secondary to this "higher region" ... The experience of people and things is meant to set-ve as a springboard for the mind." But "a person can fulfill himself-indeed a person can really be himself-<mly in dialogue and communion with other persons," who "are available, not in the realm of thought, but only in the realm of action and direct experience." Since it is experience that delivers "other people in person," reflective knowledge is only "instrumental in its nature," looking beyond itself to experience. On this view, the primary locus of human or moral meaning is experience, the experience of communion with other persons. Only after the meaning of personal reality has been experienced, can it be reflectively f01~ulated and affinned-in a derivative, intellectual act, which is, in Ne\\~an's terminology, a notional assent. Johann's return to experience, like the thought of Buber and many other contemporary scholars, challenges the notion, being is intelligible, a notion which has limited the real to being correlative to an individual's mind and, conversely, has absolutized the mind as the narrow gate to the real. Contemporary thought has elevated the real to personal communion


99

LOVE

and transformed its entrance into persons' mutual giving of themselves. MORAL ABSOLUTES

For classical moral theology, absolute moral laws seemed to be an essential, and the notion was taken for granted. As reality in general is known by man's intellect, so it is with moral reality in particular. As object of the intellect, moral reality is apprehended as intelligible forms, abstract and universal. One apprehends, for example, the nature of lying, locatio cont,¡a mentem, and the incongruity between this and the nature of man. Thus one comes to the judgment and the absolute law that lying is immoral and prohibited. The absolute prohibition then makes it necessary for the casuist to demonstrate that the extreme cases in which lying" is permissible are not cases of lying at all, but cases of something else, mental reservation. The "exception" is not really an exception since an exception to an absolute law is a contradiction in terms. 11

The emergence of situation ethics in recent decades has created strong opposition to the notion of absolute moral laws. In contemporary moral theology much discussion of the notion has taken place; but, unfortunately, most of the discussion seems to be--to borrow a term from Gustafson-misplaced debate. Misplaced, not only because the way in which discussion is carried out often tends to make the exception into the new rule. But misplaced, more importantly, because the discussion seldom comes to the heart of the matter. If moral meaning is known in an original, non-derivative way in an intellectual judgment, as traditional moral theology assumed it is known, then there is an a priori case for absolute moral laws, such as the absolute prohibition of lying seen above. But if moral meaning is not known thus, there is no a priori case for absolute laws, and the only legitimate way to carry on the discussion is to inquire whether this or that particular moral law can be absolute or not. Remaining within the traditional frame of reference, some contemporary moral theologians argue that the evil of lying consists not in its being speech cont¡ra mentem but in its "violation of my neighbor's right to truth." A distinction between a


100

CHICAGO STUDIES

falsehood and a lie is made; only the latter is morally evil and pl'ohibited. The advantage of this way of arguing is that it pl'eserves the traditional absolute prohibition against lying while purifying it of a weakness by distinguishing lying from falsehood in a far less contrived manner than that in which older theology distinguished lying from mental reservation. So, in a sense this argument does confront the challenge created by situation ethics. The disadvantage, however, of this way of arguing is that it preserves the traditional absolute prohibition by transforming it into what is essentially a tautology or definition. The "prohibition" now says in effect that, not all speech cont?路a mcntem, but only that which is a violation of my neighbor's right to truth is路 immoral and prohibited. Since a "right" is a moral reality and "U1e violation of someone's t路ight" is just anothet路 term for immorality, the "prohibition" is now tantamount to the assertion that immoral speech contTa mentent is indeed immoral. Thus, this way of arguing appears to be, in the last analysis, misplaced debate. The debate should first decide whether moral meaning is known originally in an intellectual act of judgment-an assumption that leads traditional moral theology into the needs for corl'ection and leads the correction into tautology. If moral meaning, however, is known originally in experience, the state of the question changes and the burden of proof is on him who asserts that there are absolute laws (other than the tautologies), and the proof must consist in showing that this or that is an absolute law and not in any discussion of absolute laws as such. Experience presents values and disvalues, and it presents them in a particular situation. An individual knows, for example, with real and not merely notional knowledge, the value of truthfulness and the disvalue of lying through an !-Thou experience, in which, of course, the value and the disvalue are in relation to a particular, unique situation. Both the value and the moral imperative to realize the value (and to avoid the disvalue) in this situation are known with real, not notional knowledge. What experience cannot present is the knowledge that this value should be realized in every situation in which it is at stake, regardless of whatevel' othel' values may conflict with it. Such knowledge of an abso-


LOVE

101

lute law would be an intellectual judgment and notional knowledge. It requires proof, and in the case of the value of truthfulness, such proof is hardly possible. However, reflective ethical knowledge can certainly reveal that the value of truthfulness should be realized in all the ordinary situations of life, in which this value is not in competition with a higher value. If human experience is seen as the matrix of moral meaning, this view does not give one an a priori case against moral laws that are absolute; it only takes away an a priori case jo1¡ such laws. Moreover, it follows from this view that human activity is not moral inasmuch as it is in conformity with intelligible laws; rather, these laws have validity inasmuch as they are in conformity with truly human experience. THE HUMAN ACT IN ESSENCE

It is commonly acknowledged by contemporary theologians that traditional theology did not recognize sufficiently the positive meaning of human individuality. To challenge, then, the principle, being is intelligible, is not necessarily to be an apostle of irrationality. It can be a matter of affirming the uniqueness of the human person and of asserting the primacy of the interpersonal relation over intellectual knowledge. As Newman knew, religious reality is more real than what the theologian as theologian knows, and religious reality is known only through a persorw.l. act, an act of entering into personal relation to God. Theological knowledge is subordinate to and in the service of religious knowledge. Similarly, human interpersonal reality is more reality than what any scientist as scientist knows and what any man knows by merely intellectual knowledge. Intellectual knowledge is subordinate to and in the set-vice of personal knowledge. And as God is known as reality through an individual's being in persona,] relation to him, so the human Thou is known by someone's being in personal relation to him. Being and knowing, in their highest regions, come together and become one. The individuality of the human person, the Thou, is too real to be attained in a disinterested, intellectual act; the Thou is revealed only to him who gives himself over to and relates himself to the other person. What is most real is not available to the detached observer. If man, then, is understood primarily as a person, whose


102

CHICAGO STUDIES

essential fulfillment is achieved in relations with other persons, the human act is, in its primordial form, the act of being in personal relation. There is no dichotomy between the human act and the act of relating to the other person. All other acts are human to the extent they arise out of, derive meaning from, and are in the service of the relations among persons. There is also no dichotomy between the human act and the act of charity. Charity, understood on the basis of an anthropology of man as person before all else, is a virtue by which a person is disposed, first of all, not simply to wish well to all men, but to accept, to identify with, to enter into personal relation to, to love the other person. The act of charity is primarily the act of entering into relation with the other person; it is essentially the giving of oneself. All other charitable activity derives its meaning from this basis. When charity was defined in the past in terms of the willas benevolence, wishing well to all men, it was often said that charity obliges a person to love all men but not necessarily to like them. The dichotomy between loving and liking someone was established too facilely, and charity was diluted. Authentic charity should be understood as, first of all, God himself. For him alone perfect charity is possible; only he can and does love all men personally. To understand charity in man, however, one must start with the realization that perfect charity is impossible. For the human being, existing in time and space, loving all men is, first, a physical impossibility. And even within a person's physical limits, perfect charity is a moral impossibility since the power of anti-charity, sin, is operative in everyone. But the Christian believes that the physical and moral barriers will eventually be destroyed through the mysterious power of God. It is one thing to say that perfect charity is impossible as long as men must pray, "Thy kingdom come"; it is something else to speak in such a way that charity appears to be not truly unitive but only a detached benevolence and assistance. THE LOVE OF GOD--AND MAN

Rahner has shown that the primary, although unthematic and indeed supernatural, act of love for God is love for a human Thou. This love for a human Thou, moreover, is "the compre-


LOVE

103

hensive act of man that gives meaning, direction and value to all others"; it is "man himself in his total actuality"; it is "the basis and quintessence of morality." The human or moral act and the act of charity are one: the act of love for a human Thou, which reaches also the Absolute Thou. Rahner's view of love for a human Thou requires a change in the traditional understanding of chadty. Charity must be understood as a moral virtue before it can be seen to be a theological virtue. For it is in and through the act of love for a human Thou that the primary act of love for God comes into 路 being. The basis of morality is charity as a moral virtue: the essential human or moral act is the act of charity, and other activity is human or moral to the extent that it serves the act of chariy. Traditional moral theology, as mentioned earlier, showed two aspects of charity: theological and moral. To the extent that charity was theological, it seemed to transcend the realm of moral virtues (the realm of the human act) and to order effectively the activity of that realm to its own transcendent, supe1路natural encl. Within this perspective, cha1路ity seems 路to be separate from and to transcend the moral order, and one has good reason to conceive of two moralities: a natural one, lacking the ordering of moral activity by charity, and a supernatural one, having this ordering. But inasmuch as charity was conceived of as a moral virtue it entailed its own specific moral duties alongside those of other moral virtues. For instance, J one notes that charity requires that a person help the poor in general in their ordinary need fmm his own superfluous possessions. Again, one has good reason to conceive of two moralities: a natural one and a supernatuml one, which has added moral duties. If the first aspect of charity seems to place it outside the human or moral order, the second aspect seems to make charity too much like any other vit-tue of the moral order. Both these limitations, however, are overcome in a moral theology that recognizes that the human act and the act of charity are identical. Charity is seen, first, as a moral virtue, but it is seen as a nniqne moral vit-tue. For it is the virtue by which a person is disposed toward the essential human act. Since all other activity is truly human to the extent that it serves and derives


104

CHICAGO STUDIES

meaning from the act of charity, all other moral virtues are viTtues only tlu¡ough their bond to the virtue of charity. Charity is seen as being the form of all other moral virtues by being 1vithin the moral order not outside it, i.e. by its unique specific duties analogous to those of other moral virtues. Since all other virtues are virtues only through charity, their specific duties are the duties of charity. Thus, the whole law can rightly be summed up in the commandment to love. Maintaining that the human act and the act of charity are identical does not lead to a denial of the supernaturalness of charity. One could clarify this point by relating the position to the commonly accepted theological doctrines of the supernatural existential and anonymous Christianity. But this matter cannot be pursued here. If man is understood as a person, the dichotomy between the

human act and man's end disappears, along with the other two dichotomies. Man's end is no longer seen in terms of the fulfillment of his highest power, i.e. in terms of the beatific vision. Since the human act is the act of personal relation to the other, man's end is the perfection or fulfillment of these relations: all men fully interrelated in God. The biblical symbol of God's kingdom of justice and love is the way in which man's end is conceived. And here once more the individualistic bias in traditional theology is overcome. Finally, if the human act and the act of charity are one and if the primary locus of moral meaning is therefore the interiority of charity itself, then love is meaning-the meaning par excellence. To know love is the only way in which love can be known as a reality, that is, to experience love, is to know human or personal reality, to know the moral order as a reality and not merely as a notion. To experience love is to know moral meaning in its primordial and fullest form, from which are derived mediately, through a discursive process and the natural affectivity of habits respectivity, the moral meanings known in intellectual judgments and in judgments of connaturality.


Edmund J. Siedlecki

Making the New Liturgy Work More than hvo thousand 7Jeople at Chicago's First Liturgical Conference concluded that the liturgy is alive, well and maturing.

"After Ten Years, Liturgical Decadence" concludes Leo J. Hines (Commonweal, October 26, 1973). He prefaces his article with these observations: "In the ten years since the liturgical reforms proposed by Vatican II have been effectuated a variety of consequences have ensued. One, the joyous celebration in the vernacular so long advocated by liturgists such as Gerald Ellard, S.J ., who led the way to the reforms, had become a reality. Two, that joyous celebration is often vulgarized by meretricious hymns of the most offensively pietistic and reactionary kind and songs of love and affection that are totally devoid of religious allusion, never mind significance. Three. there has been a headlong flight of intellectuals from the liturgy if not from the Church entirely, and much of this is due in part to an unwillingness to participate in a Rotarian (Michael Novak's recent word) enthusiasm. Four, the revival of plain chant, so conspicuous a feature of the early days of liturgical reform in the '30s and '40s, is now a dead issue, except for a rare church like St. Paul's in Harvard Square where a highly cultured congregation joins with an accomplished liturgical director, Theodore Marier, in keeping alive many of the musical treasures of the Catholic past .. Five, not uncommonly, amateur guitarists have replaced professional musicians as the leaders 105


-

106

CHICAGO STUDIES

of song at Mass. It is this, it seems to me, which is the most unfortunate consequence of the way things have gone. Sixth, a new liturgical music has not developed. True, there are the Gelineau psalms, but they are likely to be sung only in big city parishes where the pastor has a less parochial sense of culture than the suburban or rural pastor. These comments are perhaps calculated to hurt the sensibilities of liturgists who are old enough to have seen their revolutionary dreams at least partially realized, but hard sayings must sometimes be believed." James Hitchock presented a similar critique of liturgical changes in a major address att he 1973 annual convention of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. These pessimistic evaluations of the liturgical practice of the last ten years were not shared by the more than two thousand people who attended the first Liturgical Conference of the Archdiocse of Chicago. After three days of listening, praying and discussing most of the participants concluded that the new liturgy is alive, well and maturing. An assessment of the new liturgy, however, was not the main purpose of the Conference. The Conference was convened to inspire a more prayerful worship throughout the archdiocese, to deepen the education of the participants on some aspects of liturgy and to extend the services of the Archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship to a wider circle of the clergy and laity. These general purposes were realized through the development of the theme of the Conference: "One in Christ, We Face the Dimensions of Diversity." Rev. Aidan Kavanagh, Director of Graduate Studies at the School of Liturgy of the University of Notre Dame, in the keynote address, stressed that our life in Christ does not homogenize our diversities. Living in Christ, in fact, requires that we respect and foster the diversities that exist or will exist in Christ. He noted how Saint Augustine commented on Psalm 44: "In explaining the Psalm to his congregation, St. Augustine compared Christ and the churches to a harem led by a king. Christ was the king and the harem were the churches. At a certain point Christ picked a queen and the queen wore a garment of faith, woven with the tongues of many languages and cultures. Although the gold garment of faith was comprised of many facets of faith, the gold was one and differed only in its shimmering." "Such imagery and


LOVE

107

imagination," said Father Kavanagh, "brought life back into the liturgy. St. Augustine made the Gospel sing and he taught the people to dance to the beat." Speaking of the cultural differences in the Church, he said: "Church is not black or white, young or old. The Church is Catholic. Catholics are black and white, young and old. Diversity in culture is not ever a threat to unity in Christ. Tidiness has never become a mark of the Church and diversity is the air that Catholic unity must have to breath. Diversity is a power given to us by God to be used." He concluded his talk by saying that the mysteries of the Church should be as exciting as "the mysteries of woman pregnant in a cosmos of fertility, instead of a studious man in a barren world." ATTITUDES OF DIVERSITY

Gerard Broccolo, Archdiocesan Consultant for Liturgy and professor of Liturgical Theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, stressed the importance of recognizing and respecting attitudes of diversity instead of shutting them down as something unwanted. He said that we must encounter one another in faith with mutual respect, trust and love. RefeiTing to the Holy Year theme of "reconciliation," he said "we must mend our ways and change our hearts. The year of reconciliation must begin within the individual heart. In coping with the diversities of life we must change our own personal attitudes. Salvation comes through a shared expet"ience of Jesus among us.''

¡ Joseph Champlin, former secretary of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, developed the theme by talking about the plurality of roles in the new liturgy. More important than their interaction in the celebration of the liturgy was their role in the process of planning the liturgy. The process is sometimes more important than the product. "Careful planning is crucial," he stated, "because the new liturgy provides options; and options mean careful, meaningful planning." His most impOitant point was that the liturgy is not a show, but a gathering for prayer and called for careful use of liturgical materials and common sense to dictate the process of planning a liturgical celebration. Andrew Greeley spoke to the conference on "Plurality in the


108

CHICAGO STUDIES

Community." "Why did God create us so differently?" he asked. "Was it the result of sin as the Tower of Babel suggests, or is it a necessary evil that will lead to something good?" "Most of the horror worked on one another is the result of diversity. Twenty million people have died in ethnic conflict and that is not what God intended. He didn't want us to kill diversity to get unity. Jesus came to create unity." "Through our sinfulness," he said, "we have perverted what God intended us to have when we receive such diversity cultures." "When we cannot accept the differences in cultures, we are, in effect, saying that we cannot accept the work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit which is responsible for variety and creativity. Goo's Holy Spirit is a whirling, twirling, diving, dancing spirit who tosses out sparks of faith as He goes along His merry way."

The final general session of the conference dealt with the plurality of styles in liturgical celebrations. Clarence Rivers, musical composer, liturgist and author, talked of bringing new life into stale forms of worship. The question "Can these dry bones live?" was the center of his lecture. "We don't breathe the breath of life into one another," said Father Rivers, "we bore one another to death inside the church. Right now, God may be knocking on all the graves of the churches waiting to breathe new life into our souls. We had better hope it's not too late. Black soul is everywhere in America, except in the Catholic churches. We need the sacrament of soul to bring movement to the spirit." In attempting to bring cultural diversity to a parish liturgy Father Rivers stressed that "leaders of that kind of liturgy have to be well trained to give quality. Poor performance will always hinder cultural integration. Effective artistry is the key to success." He urged the participants to remember that "new wine in old skins" will not work when preparing different attempts at worship. The bulk of the work of the Conference was accomplished in 58 workshops spread out over three days. The Workshops fell into three categories: A) Workshops to improve the quality of liturgical celebration and the performance of its major participants, e.g. Presidential Style, Holy Year Celebrations, Liturgy and the Charismatic Community, Sacrament of Reconcil-


LOVE

109

iation and Penance Services, Liturgical Homily, Total Parish Music Program, Improving Yourself as a Lector, The Deacon's Liturgical Ministry, Workshops for beginning and established Liturgy Teams, Creative Writing for the Liturgy, Workshops for Organists, Guitarists, and Leaders of Song, Signs and Symbols in the Liturgy. B) Workshops of a catechetical and Liturgical nature, e.g. Parish Programs in Preparation for the Sacrament of Infant Baptism, First Communion, First Confession and Confirmation, The Adult Catechumenate, Teaching, Planning and Preparation of the Liturgy for Pre-school children, Children in Primary Grades, Pre-adolescents, Adolescents, College Students, Senior Citizens, the Mentally-Handicapped. C) Workshops for various ethnic or cultural groups, e.g. Planning Liturgies in the Black Community, for the Spanish, Italian, Polish, Lithuanian speaking people. The Workshops proved to be the main attraction of the Conference. Both the Workshop Leaders and the patticipants came with the conviction that the liturgy is to be celebrated only after proper planning and preparation. The programs, suggestions, past experiences and techniques discussed at the Workshops continue to be tried and tested in hundreds of parishes of the Archdiocese of Chicago. CAREFUL PLANNING

What careful planning and preparation can accomplish was exemplified in the four liturgical and paraliturgical services of the Conference: Evensong, "We Belong to the Lord" (a dramatized meditation of St. Paul), "A Call to Reconversion," and the Eucharist which closed the Conference. How can one describe these services? One could list all the hymns and music, e.g. works of Proul, Deiss, Peloquin. One could set down the references of the Scripture passages that were read or sung. One could name the parish choirs and the main ministers of these services. One could note that salt was passed around at the reconciliation service. One could catalogue the slides used at that service. But in none of these elements would one find anything extraordinary. The same would be true of the other elements of these services. Dissected and analyzed these services would not yield their secret, or their mystery (in the Pauline use of this term) .


1 10

CHICAGO STUDIES

What was the reaction of the participants to these services? Applause! (Can you imagine anyone in the old days applauding Vespers?) Tears! "Wonderful!" "I prayed!" "Wasn't that great!" The faith of the participants met the faith of the ministers in the mix of well-planned, rehearsed and well-performed worship services and it worked. The liturgy discharged its power. People were moved! God was praised! These services also uniquely exemplified the theme of the Conference. The plurality of cultures, of ethnic and racial groups, the various ministries and talents, the different liturgical styles that are spread across the length and breath of the Archdiocese of Chicago were brought together in harmonious tension by the participants who prayed as one people. Ten years ago the Council Fathers wrote: "In order that the sacred liturgy may produce its full effect, it is necessary that the faithful come to it with proper dispositions, that their thoughts match their words, and that they cooperate with divine grace lest they receive it in vain. Pastors of souls must therefore realize that, when the liturgy is celebrated, more is required than the mere observance of the laws governing valid and licit celebration. It is their duty also to ensure that the faithful take part knowingly, actively, and fruitfully." The First Liturgical Conference of the Archdiocese of Chicago vividly witnessed these words. The Conference fittingly and gloriously celebrated the tenth anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.


AUTHORS IN THIS ISSUE John F. Dedek is a professor of moral theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois and associate editor of Chicago Stndies. This article is taken from his book Titins arul Bertha Ride Again, published by Sheed & Ward, New York, 1974. John T. Finnegan is Academic Dean, and professor of Canon Law at Pope John XXIII National Seminary, Weston, Mass. He is a visiting professor of pastoral theology at Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass. Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., is the editor of New Testament Abstracts and professor of Sacred Scripture at Weston College, Cambridge, Mass. Ernest Lussier, S.S.S., is a professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois and associate editor of Emmanuel. Gary J. Quinn is a visiting assistant professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Norbert J. Rigali, S.J., a frequent contributor to Chicago Studies, teaches at the University of San Diego. John J. Shea, author of numerous articles and books, is an instructor in Systematic Theology at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois. Edmund J. Siedlecki is the Chairman of Chicago's First Liturgical Conference and a frequent contributor to Chicago Studies. He is pastor of St. Susanna's Parish in Harvey, Illinois. Hilary Smith is the author of Realism and Renmval and many articles in America, Worship, Review for Religious and other publications.

111

Spring 1974  

Volume 13:1