Wednesday 24 February 2016

Keeping spaces open for all

Andrea Bozzolo highlights the new "logic of relation" that is being used to understand the place of consecrated life within the church:

The particularity of the consecrated vocation must not, therefore, be juxtaposed [opposed?] to the universality of grace. This vocation exists precisely to illuminate those aspects [of grace] that the world would not recognize if not through a kind of forcing of its logic. The power of the gospel acts in favour of the world by first challenging it in its vain presumption and its proud self-sufficiency. Only through the denial of that which blinds man and keeps him prisoner of himself, can the light of Christ appear. Since freedom draws from the structures of creation (eros, the necessity of material goods, the legitimate autonomy of freedom) to raise objections against the new life in Christ, the apparent no with which CL relativizes them constitutes the door through which grace can highlight, within the world, the divine logic on which it is based and which carries it to fulfilment. The no to the lie that tries in the name of creation to idolize it, makes evident in an extraordinary way the yes with which God blesses it. The particular vocations have therefore an irreplaceable representative meaning: their task is to occupy a particular place in the life of the church, not for themselves but to keep open that space for all. [326.]

A good example would be the many sisters trying to book places in St Peter's on the concluding day of the Year of Consecrated Life: they were putting handkerchiefs and bags and jackets and all sorts of things, in an effort to reserve places for their co-sisters. They were "trying to keep open a space" - not for themselves, but for their consorelle. The consecrated life "occupies" certain spaces that are meant for all, trying to keep them open to all - and not, of course, only for the consorelle or confreres. Celibacy challenges the idolization of eros, and shows how even eros is meant for eternity, and is an image of eternity. And so on.

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Rupnik, “E se l’evangelizzazione chiedesse una novità nella vita consacrata?” English summary