Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ethical Choice? Lofty Idea?

A brief reflection inspired by Benedict XVI to end the week:

Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction (Benedict XVI, God is Love 1:2).
..."not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea"...But many people think that is exactly what Christianity is!

What did Jesus had in mind when He taught us to pray, "Our Father...?" The whole prayer of the Our Father is about the relationship at the heart of Christianity, a relationship of dependence and intimacy with the Infinite One who has drawn close to us.

As for ethics, even a very specific and rigorous system of ethical imperatives is not Christianity. For Christians, "the law" is always inside of a relationship with God our Father, who gives us--through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ--the grace that really empowers us to make decisions that are right, and to go beyond the letter of the law (not away from, but "beyond") in living a relationship of love.

And it is God who initiates this relationship of love: "Thy kingdom come" "Give us this day" "Forgive us" "Deliver us".