Posts Tagged 'Pope Benedict XVI'

Pope Benedict on God as Creator and Redeemer

“The truth is that the rejection of Creator and creation, which Marcion shares with the wide stream of so-called gnosis, generated not only an ascetical contempt for the body, but also a cynical libertinism, for this too displays in reality a hatred of the body, of man, and of the world…In the false ascetism that is hostile to creation, the body becomes a dirty bag of maggots that deserves only disdain or, indeed, ill treatment. Similarly, the basic principle underlying libertinism is the degradation of the body to a mere thing. Its exclusion from the realm of ethics and of the mind’s responsibility means its exclusion from that which makes man human, its exclusion from the dignity of the spirit. It becomes a mere object, a thing, and thus the life of man, too becomes cheap and common…Where man despises his body–whether as an ascetic or as a libertine–he also despises his own self. Both an asceticism hostile to the creation and libertinism lead man by an inherent necessity to hate this life of his, to hate himself, indeed to hate reality as a whole, and herein lies the explosive political power of both these basic attitudes. A man who feels himself disgraced in this way would like to tear apart this prison of shame, that is, his body and the world, in order to escape from such humiliation. He cries out for another world because he hates the creation and the God who bears responsibility for all of this”
(Joseph Ratzinger, The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God (San Fransisco:Ignatius Press, 2008 ) pg 43-43)


Pope Benedict XVI on the name of God

“What, then, does “the name of God” mean? Perhaps it is easiest to grasp what this entails if we look at its opposite. The Revelation of John speaks of the adversary of God, the “beast”. This beast, the power opposed to God, has no name, but a number. The seer tells us: “Its number is six hundred and sixty-six” (13:18). It is a number, and it makes men numbers. We who lived through the world of the concentration camps know what that means. The terror of that world is rooted in the fact that it obliterates men’s faces. It obliterates their history. It makes man a number, an exchangeable cog in one big machine. He is his function – nothing more. Today, we must fear that the concentration camp was only a prelude and that the universal law of the machine may impose the structure of the concentration camp on the world as a whole. For when functions are all that exist, man, too, is nothing more than a function. The machines that he himself has constructed now impose their own law on him: he must be made readable for the computer, and this can be achieved only when he is translated into numbers. Everything else in man becomes irrelevant. Whatever is not a function is–nothing…But God has a name, and calls us by our name. He is a person, and seeks the person. He has a face, and he seeks our face. He has a heart, and he seeks our heart. For him, we are not some function in a “world machinery”. On the contrary, it is precisely those who have no function that are his own. A name allows me to be addressed. A name denotes community. This is why Christ is the true Moses, the fulfillment of the revelation of God’s name. He does not bring some new word as God’s name; he does more than this, since he himself is the face of God. He himself is the name of God. In him, we can address God as “you”, as person, as heart” (Ratzinger, Joseph. The God of Jesus Christ: Meditations on the Triune God (San Fransisco: Ignatius Press, 2008) p. 23-24)