Archive for the ‘Henri de Lubac’ Category

In The Christian Faith, Henri de Lubac makes this comment regarding the Patristic view of conversion:

“Becoming a Christian did not mean merely giving up erroneous beliefs in order to embrace the true teaching offered by the Church; it meant, essentially, renouncing Satan in order to adhere to Christ, or, as St. Justin put it, turning from idols in order to consecrate oneself through Christ to the unbegotten God. It meant, as Hermas said in his vivid language, apostatizing from the angel of evil in order to follow the angel of justice and to live for God.” (pp. 143-144).

de Lubac goes on to show that to the early Fathers, faith was a whole-person commitment to follow Jesus and live, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God. Faith of course involves believing that which has been revealed, but it is more than this. Faith means entrusting oneself to God; pledging the whole being to the Savior who has given Himself to us first. Thus, de Lubac notes, faith “calls to mind the reciprocal gift of spouses.” The bridegroom offers himself and all that he is to the bride promising never to leave or forsake her and the bride responds by giving herself to him without reservation “til death do us part.” (more…)

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Henri de LuBac (in The Christian Faith) quotes an interesting section of the Explanatio Symboli (an early exposition of the Apostles’ Creed commonly attributed to Ambrose) where converts are exhorted to memorize the creed and never to write it down. Note the reason:

 “But, you will say, how can we remember it if we do not write it down? You will remember it all the better. . . . When you write something down, in fact, certain that you can reread it, you do not take the trouble to go over it every day, meditating on it. But, when you do not write something down, on the contrary, fearing to forget it, you do take the trouble to go over it every day.”

People in the early centuries of the church wrote little down and remembered everything. By contrast, I write everything down and remember nothing (especially what I forget to write down!). I write things down because I don’t want to go to the trouble of remembering them. Now I wonder if the forgetfulness and absent mindedness I see in myself (and that others complain about) is related to our refusal, our unwillingness, to try to remember. Dementia rooted in mental laziness. whoo-boy.

Well, at least I will have forgotten about this by tomorrow.

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