50. Jahrgang Nr. 6 / Juni 2020
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1. Les erreurs de Vatican II
2. Jésus-Christ est-il le Fils de Dieu?
3. Comment le Christ peut être reconnu comme le Fils de Dieu
4. Commentaires sur l´idée de l´expiation
5. La question demeure: Jésus-Christ est-il le Fils de Dieu?
6. Heureux les coeurs purs, car ils verront Dieu (Mt. 5, 8)
7. Remarques sur le traité: „Heureux les coeurs purs, car ils verront Dieu“ (Mt. 5,8)
8. Mais nous tous qui reflètons la gloire du Seigneur
9. Annexe: „Avoir Dieu en nous“
10. L´importance de l´art dans le domaine religieux
11. Informations de la rédaction
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God (Mt. 5, 8)
 
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5, 8)

At the end of my essay: “The question remains: Is Jesus Christ the Son of God?” (EINSICHT 3/44, p. 69 ff) I stated how I would proceed further: “So we still need to answer the question which act of Christ satisfies this absolute claim.” What is meant by this is, which act of Jesus Christ as Son of God proves Him to be God.

We can take an approach on a religious level for an answer if we start by looking at the First Epistle of St. John: “Carissimi, diligamus nos invicem: quia caritas ex Deo est. Et omnis, qui diligit, ex Deo natus est, et cognoscit Deum. Qui non diligit, non novit Deum: quoniam Deus caritas est." "Dearly beloved, let us love one another, for charity is of God. And every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God: for God is charity.” (1 John 4, 7-8) If I want to have – believeably! – an access to God, then the possession [of God], is better: the constant actualization, the indwelling of love, is the condition of each perception of God, of every access to Him. If, therefore, love was missing, so would access to God.

To the question of where this love comes from, who gave us this love, John answers: “Deus caritas est” – “God is love.” So God must give it to us, so that it is in us. St. Bernard requires the same in his mystical vision: The love of God gives birth to the souls love. God is the first to direct his thought to the soul, and that is how it comes to think of Him. He cares for it, and thus it begins to care for Him.” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091-1153)

If, then, love is the criterion for a knowledge of God, the experience of a moral unconditionality, that was incarnated in the Person of Christ, the question arises from this:  What must this love be and why could Peter answer to Christ, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God?” (Mt. 16, 16) Under the premise that I accept this statement as part of faith (“Deus caritas est”), one can discover what follows: For the contemporaries of Jesus who visited Him, especially the apostles and disciples who always were around Him, the experience of His love was constantly there, through the direct acts of Christ with and in His surroundings and the continuous requests to follow Him in that love. But – and here the first question gives rise to the answer to which we are looking for – what must a communication of love that proceeds from Christ be like? what must such a communication be like towards other persons who are not his contemporaries, i.e. those persons who did not have the advantage of His constant interaction, who thus could not and never did enjoy His (divine) love directly?

On the other hand one must ask where can one discover the criteria needed for an absolute and unconditioned act which proves itself to be divine. To do so one must return to the religious view of the question of mediating the communication, i.e. experiencing Christs intentional will for persons who had no immediate encounter with him. The Cistercian mystics had always referred to love as a gift of the Holy Spirit; that is why the Holy Spirit represents the relationship that “unites the soul (the ego) with God and makes the spiritual life become a partaking in the divine life.” (Cf. Stefan Gilson: „Die Mystik des heiligen Bernhard von Clairvaux“, Wittlich 1936, p. 50) St. John formulates this part of the communication of the Holy Ghost as follows: “In this we know that we abide in him, and he in us: because he hath given us of his spirit.” (1 John 4, 13) This life of love in us which is a gift of the Holy Spirit and which enables us to grasp God as He is takes the place for us who have not seen “the vision of God which we still lack. No one has seen God; but if love is in us, God remains in us – for it is indeed the gift of God – and so our love for Him is perfected.” (Gilson, ibid., p. 51) In the words of St. John: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abideth in us, and his charity is perfected in us.” (1 John 4, 12) “God is charity: and He that abideth in charity, abideth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4, 16) The experience of pure love is, according to Bernard, essentially a mystical experience, an “excessus”, an ecstasy of short duration. “The soul of the mystic remains in this rapture only as long as God unites Himself through an extraordinary grace.” (Gilson, ibid., p. 194)

So much for the considerations showing us the access to God from the aspect of religious faith. From the philosophical aspect we have to now clarify how this communication of love, which is here defined as a gift of the Holy Ghost, is on the one hand to be understood in an epistemological sense and on the other hand how this love must enlighten the intellect so that the psyche (“I”) can recognize in love the divinity of its Author.

We have said: In all of tradition concerning the will and the teaching of Christ there must be a moment  which exceeds the mere handing down by tradition and immediately shows itself to be Him as Himself and testifies for Himself as such, as He wants Himself to be shown: the identification of appearance and being (being as an absolute, unconditioned will.) By this that which Bernard states about the mystical experience of God which the latter grants by extraordinary graces is revealed here as a philosophical condition of the perception of God. We have revealed this will of Christ, who has revealed Himself to us in His absolute character as Love. God is the loving One who desires a covenant of love with me.

Christ as God and man has established a covenant of love with mankind which according to His will is to incorporate everyone, but in which only those are included who want to be incorporated. Those who spurn this covenant of love have no part in it either. How is this communication of His love, His intention, fulfilled? It takes place in the interpersonal mediation of love, which calls one to correspond with it, in order to then pass it on to other people whom one is called to knit into this bond of love that has started, and by passing on its “Word” (doctrine) in the Scripture (Bible) which testifies for and describes His actions. By this one develops, throughout the time, throughout the centuries, a chain of love and the transfer of the “Word” through the Church, i. e., the institution of salvation founded by Him to transfer His means of grace (Sacraments), which give us immediate partaking in His divine life and which He has intended to  be the guardian of His “Word”. In and by this chain of love we must experience that its Author, Christ, also directly enlightens the mind … in the sense that showing Himself as the Christ is an established proof of His divinity.

By this I obtain certainty of His divinity when I experience Christ revealing Himself to me – through an act of divine grace – and, from my part through “pure heart” which without skepticism and reservation directs the eye towards God, without my own doing!, that his love absolutely wants to embrace me, accept me in my whole existence, and even gives me the possibility to “cleanse myself” if I was soiled (by sin), through His atoning for me (on the cross); and He asks me only to change it in accordance with His will.

This transformation or proposal is not presented as an external thrust but as a task in which I can once more find myself – which, according to Bernard, is like a “lift upwards”. In light of this total desire to love which moves from Christ towards me with the appeal to include myself in establishing a union of the divine Will with the human will, so that I can also share in the fruit of this communication of love. This absoluteness of love which sacrifices itself and says to me that Christ is God.

The union in and with Christ, which St. Bernard received in a mystical vision, reveals itself as the goal of an epistemological endeavor to experience Christ as God; therefore, the significant understanding we can obtain is that this will only happen when our epistemological endeavor on our part will reveal the “face of Christ” on His part, definitely!

So this is also how the Word in the Gospel of Matthew ought to be understood, which Christ in the Sermon of  the Mount promises to those who love Him without reserve: “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God.” (Mt. 5, 8)

(EINSICHT of Dec. 2014, no. 4, p. 106-108)
 
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