Root Problem: A Failure to Understand What it Means to be Human
matters of life and death. Why? Simply because man father's his own being (CSDC 135) through his choices of free will. If we choose to live as if there is no God, intentionally failing to live in accordance with the truth and in acknowledgment of God's love, we have at that moment attempted to exceed the limits of who we are in an impossible quest to operate outside of the realm of our human existence.
In doing so, we actively refuse the call to communion with God. Through such an action we have, then, fathered a being who is opposed to the Origin and Source of its own life. An analogy can be drawn this way: if we choose to deny the reality of who and what we are, of our limitations and our needs, and step off a cliff, disaster can be the only result. The human person is free, yes. But human freedom is not without limits nor is it without consequences.
If we grasp the reality of the human person for who and what it is, as a created material and spiritual being whose existence is intimately bound to the Creator who both gives life and sustains it, we begin to see the insanity behind a thrust toward self-assertion over and above God, as if it were possible for man to recreate the very fabric of reality.
The urge to separate ourselves from God, which manifests itself in sin, is in fact an urge toward self-annihilation. For man cannot exist without God. However, with patience and love, God continues to sustain us even though we might actively pursue a disordered inner desire to become gods apart from him. God gives to us the energy of life, which we then often use in prideful, insolent disobedience in opposition to and rejection of Love. Yet Love continues to reach out in hope.
In the end, in an infinite and incomparable act of love, Christ is crucified.
There, on the cross, is the fullest expression of the human person. It cannot be outdone. It cannot be replaced. It cannot be ignored. The problem with America, is that some Americans have stopped gazing upon the crucified Lord and thus have lost their understanding of the human person.
F. K. Bartels is a Catholic writer who knows his Catholic Faith is one of the greatest gifts a man could ever receive. He is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit him also at catholicpathways.com
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: secularism, human person, man, human being, the origin of man, F. K. Bartels
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