Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Clairity's Place on "Five Denials of the Incarnation"

Clairity explores Fr. Giussani's "Five withouts":
1. God Without Christ - Because we are scandalized by the incomprehensible, we refuse to accept Christ as man and prefer to think of God in abstract, "spiritual" terms.

2. Christ Without the Church - The company established by Christ with its human aspect seems inconvenient and even an obstacle. Faith becomes an abstraction which we can control.

3. Church Without the World - Clericalism is the temptation of believers: to wait for the promise of Christ to happen in the next world instead of in this. In that case, there was no need for Christ to come in the flesh

4. World Without an "I" - If we are consigned to wait for our salvation, instead of expecting and asking for it in our present human circumstances, then our life, our "I", is unimportant. We also have nothing to say about the world and human affairs.

5. "I" Without God - Because of this alienation, we feel our lives have little meaning or we give in to despair.
God without Christ is an abstraction. We don't have to take abstractions seriously. Christ is God and man; we can relate to his person, and thus to God through him.

Christ without the Church frees us to "relate" to Christ as we see fit. We're not accountable for how we live this relationship--or even if we live it. But Christ lives on through his Holy Spirit in communion with those that have said yes to him. We can't live in relationship to him without being a part of his Church.

Church without the world is elitism at its worst. Fortress Catholicism has been one of its more unfortunate incarnations. Christ, however, loved the poor and marginalized, and lived among them all his earthly life. He reminds us that when we love those least among us, we love him.

World without an "I" is the abtraction of ourselves out of reality. None of us matters if all that matters is "the world"--whatever that means. None of us is responsible then, either.

"I" without God is the illusion we often choose, whether we want to or not. But God created the universe, and Christ redeemed it, for each and every one of us. He has chosen us by name to bear his presence to his sons and daughters. We're only as apart from God as we've chosen to be. We can choose another way to live.

The enshadowed world will always find ways to diminish the Incarnation. Fools that we are, we will find ways to affirm that mystery. The world needs an honest testimony to Reality, however little it deserves it.