Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Spe Salve

The Pope's new encyclical on hope is out. I was just reading it (instead of the contract cases I should be reading). I would be interested in hearing what you guys think of it.

http://www.americanpapist.com/spe%20salvi.doc

4 comments:

Andy Bodoh said...

Paragraph 40: "I am convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of faith in eternal life. The purely individual need for a fulfilment that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing that man was made for eternity; but only in connection with the impossibility that the injustice of history should be the final word does the necessity for Christ's return and for new life become fully convincing."

Interesting...

yankee angel said...

I read the letter also, and found it very interesting. It seems that Benedict concentrates more on social issues, than on the purely spiritual aspect of hope in Christ's coming. I also thought the paragraph Andy quotes was interesting. Doesn't he mean justice is the strongest secular/historical argument for eternal life? Because that isn't the best theological reason.

Andy Bodoh said...

Strange, I was more impressed the theological sections than with the social sections. Granted, his theology was an interesting combination of "high theology", like an exegesis of Scripture, and "low theology", like his arguments to from basic experiences.

Concerning the quoted passage, Benedict says that this is the best argument "in favour of faith in eternal life", not necessarily "in favour of eternal life." The document seems to suggest that "faith in eternal life" is the essence of Christian Hope. I read this argument as similar to the argument for the existance of heaven. Because we want it at a basic human level, that want corresponds to something that exists. In other words, the fact that justice does not exist perfectly in this world and the fact that we want perfect justice indicates that perfect justice must exist in some way. It cannot exist without a final judgment of the living and the dead, so a final judgment with final justice must exist.

What do you think?

healthily sanguine said...

I agree, Andy. It seems like he is saying the injustice of the world is the itch that you can't seem to scratch. He also speaks of the thirst that lies deep within, the thirst for God, but what is more prominent to the mind than the thirst is the itch. Anyway, I love this document. I've only read it once--need to read it again (and again). It ties in so well with his book Jesus of Nazareth, which I am halfway through now. The face of Our Lord is our great hope, and Our Lady is the portal, the window, to Christ. :)