Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Father Carron's Intervention at the Synod on the Word of God


Rev. Julián CARRÓN, President of Communion and Liberation (from Catholic.net):

Interpretation of the Bible is one of the most worrisome problems in the Church today. The essence of the challenge brought up by the problem of modern interpretation of Sacred Scriptures was identified years ago by the then Cardinal Ratzinger: “How can I come to a comprehension which is not based on the judgement of my suppositions, a comprehension that permits me to understand the text’s message, giving me back something that does not come from my person?”

Regarding this difficulty, today’s Magisterium of the Church offers us elements to avoid any possible reduction.

It was the Second Vatican Council’s merit to have recuperated a concept of revelation as the event of God in history. In effect, Dei Verbum permits understanding the revelation as the auto-communication’s event of the Trinity through the Son “the mediator and the fullness of all Revelation” (DV 2). It is Christ who “perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself: through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth” (DV 4).

This event does not belong only to the past, to a certain moment in time and space, but remains present in history, communicating itself through the totality of the Church’s life that receives it. In fact, “Christ’s contemporaneity to each human being of any time is realized through his body which is the Church” (VS 25; cf. FR 11).

The encyclical letter Fides et Ratio characterizes the impact, that the revealed truth provokes in each person that encounters it, with two folded impulse: a) it widens one’s mind to adapt it to the subject; b) it facilitates the comprehension of its deep sense. Instead of mortifying the person’s intellect and liberty, the revelation leads to developing both the highest level of their original condition.

The experience of the encounter with Christ present in the living tradition of the Church is an event and therefore becomes the determining factor of the interpretation of the biblical text. It is the only way to be in harmony with the experience witnessed by the Scripture’s text. In fact, “the right knowledge of the biblical text is therefore accessible only to whom has a lived affinity with what is stated in the text” (PcB 70). Saint Augustin summarizes it realistically: “In manibus nostris sunt codices, in oculis nostris facta”.

[Original text: Italian]

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Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."