Not in the bare spirit Print
By Romano Guardini   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Revelation shows that the merely unitarian God found in post-Christian Judaism, in Islam, and throughout the modern consciousness does not exist. At the heart of that mystery which the Church expresses in her teaching of the trinity of persons in the unity of life stands the God of Revelation. Here John seeks the root of Christ’s existence: in the second of the Most Holy Persons; the
Word (Logos), in whom God the Speaker, reveals the fullness of his being. Speaker and Spoken, however, incline towards each other and are one in the love of the Holy Spirit. The Second ‘Countenance’ of God, here called Word, is also named Son, since he who speaks the Word is known as Father. In the Lord’s farewell address, the Holy Spirit is given the promising names of Consoler, Sustainer, for he will see to it that the brothers and sisters in Christ are not left orphans by his death. Through the Holy Spirit the Redeemer came to us, straight from the heart of the Heavenly Father. Son of God become man—not only descended to inhabit a human frame, but ‘become’ man—literally; and in order that no possible doubt arise, (that, for example, it might never be asserted that Christ, despising the lowliness of the body, had united himself only with the essence of a holy soul or with an exalted spirit,) John specifies sharply: Christ “was made flesh.”

Only in the flesh, not in the bare spirit, can destiny and history come into being; this is a fact to which we shall often return. God descended to us in the person of the Savior, Redeemer, in order to have a destiny, to become history. Through the Incarnation, the founder of the new history stepped into our midst.


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