Friday, January 30, 2009

A History of Surprising New Charisms in the Church

At Inhabitatio Dei, Halden takes up a reading of Balthsar which sees the Petrine mission in the Church as having priority over the Pauline, Johannine, and Marian traditions. This reading construes the Petrine as normative and the others as exceptions. 

The Petrine certainly has its place, but Christ is the conductor of the symphony, not Peter. Did you catch the critical aside Balthasar makes regarding the Petrine: that is, "a certain absence of New Testament prophecy" (GL 1, p354)?

On the other hand, "the threefold archetypal experience of Christ [Peter, Paul, John], which is conferred by the Apostles on the Church for its use, remains permanently sustained and undergirded by the Marian experience of Christ, which in its depth and simplicity is quite beyond the power of words. But the Marian experience existed prior to the apostolic experience, and it thus wholly conditions it, for Mary, as Mother of the Head, is also Mother of the Body" (GL 1, p362). 

John is also a strong point of unity, as his testimony "constitutes something like a synthesis of the Petrine and Pauline elements" (GL 1, p 357).

What jumps out at me is the form of the Pauline mission in the Church through history: that is, the Holy Spirit's repeated irruption in history of new charisms: Benedict, Francis, Ignatius, etc. The Catholic Church is increasingly reflecting upon her history as profoundly Pauline, and this can be understood by reading the official documents on the laity, religious life, consecrated life, etc.

Cross-posted from the comments at Inhabitatio Dei.
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