Saturday, July 19, 2008

Unity as communion

A certain Manichaeism pervades our culture's understanding of sexuality--as you can see by reading the articles on Humanae Vitae posted below. The radical separation of "me" from "my body" does almost irreparable destruction to both.

Benedict XVI's address to young people at World Youth Day, then, provides a timely and healing brew: Augustine found particular healing of his own Manichean past not only in the mystery of the Incarnation, but also in a deepened understanding of the Holy Spirit. Read the whole thing here (Whispers in the Loggia also provides excellent coverage of WYD in general).

Here's the teaser:

"Augustine’s understanding of the Holy Spirit evolved gradually; it was a struggle. As a young man he had followed Manichaeism - one of those attempts I mentioned earlier, to create a spiritual utopia by radically separating the things of the spirit from the things of the flesh. Hence he was at first suspicious of the Christian teaching that God had become man. Yet his experience of the love of God present in the Church led him to investigate its source in the life of the Triune God. This led him to three particular insights about the Holy Spirit as the bond of unity within the Blessed Trinity: unity as communion, unity as abiding love, and unity as giving and gift. These three insights are not just theoretical. They help explain how the Spirit works. In a world where both individuals and communities often suffer from an absence of unity or cohesion, these insights help us remain attuned to the Spirit and to extend and clarify the scope of our witness."

No comments: