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The Truth Of The Cross Pdf 15


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The Truth Of The Cross Pdf 15


This eternal truth about the human being, man and woman - a truth which is immutably fixed in human experience - at the same time constitutes the mystery which only in "the Incarnate Word takes on light... (since) Christ fully reveals man to himself and makes his supreme calling clear", as the Council teaches. [12] In this "revealing of man to himself", do we not need to find a special place for that "woman" who was the Mother of Christ Cannot the "message" of Christ, contained in the Gospel, which has as its background the whole of Scripture, both the Old and the New Testament, say much to the Church and to humanity about the dignity of women and their vocation


Thus there begins the central event, the key event in the history of salvation: the Lord's Paschal Mystery. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to reconsider it from the point of view of man's spiritual history, understood in the widest possible sense, and as this history is expressed through the different world religions. Let us recall at this point the words of the Second Vatican Council: "People look to the various religions for answers to those profound mysteries of the human condition which, today, even as in olden times, deeply stir the human heart: What is a human being What is the meaning and purpose of our life What is goodness and what is sin What gives rise to our sorrows, and to what intent Where lies the path to true happiness What is the truth about death, judgment and retribution beyond the grave What, finally, is that ultimate and unutterable mystery which engulfs our being, and from which we take our origin and towards which we move"[13] "From ancient times down to the present, there has existed among different peoples a certain perception of that hidden power which is present in the course of things and in the events of human life; at times, indeed, recognition can be found of a Supreme Divinity or even a Supreme Father". [14]


This truth, which Christian faith has accepted from the beginning, was solemnly defined at the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.).[18] In opposition to the opinion of Nestorius, who held that Mary was only the mother of the man Jesus, this Council emphasized the essential meaning of the motherhood of the Virgin Mary. At the moment of the Annunciation, by responding with her "fiat", Mary conceived a man who was the Son of God, of one substance with the Father. Therefore she is truly the Mother of God, because motherhood concerns the whole person, not just the body, nor even just human "nature". In this way the name "Theotókos" - Mother of God - became the name proper to the union with God granted to the Virgin Mary.


When Mary responds to the words of the heavenly messenger with her "fiat", she who is "full of grace" feels the need to express her personal relationship to the gift that has been revealed to her, saying: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord" (Lk 1:38). This statement should not be deprived of its profound meaning, nor should it be diminished by artificially removing it from the overall context of the event and from the full content of the truth revealed about God and man. In the expression "handmaid of the Lord", one senses Mary's complete awareness of being a creature of God. The word "handmaid", near the end of the Annunciation dialogue, is inscribed throughout the whole history of the Mother and the Son. In fact, this Son, who is the true and consubstantial "Son of the Most High", will often say of himself, especially at the culminating moment of his mission: "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve" (Mk 10:45).


6. Let us enter into the setting of the biblical "beginning". In it the revealed truth concerning man as "the image and likeness" of God constitutes the immutable basis of all Christian anthropology.[22]"God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Gen 1:27). This concise passage contains the fundame




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