The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What it Means to Be a Human Being

Normally I don't do a lot of quoting of other people's writing in my blog, but I read a short essay by Cardinal Pierre d Berulle, who lived in the 17th Century, that was so beautiful, that I just had to share it with anyone who might come across this.

The ancients used all their eloquence to the full in extolling the grandeur and perfection of humanity, and rightly, since the human being is really a great miracle. For in its substance we see two very different natures united in an admirable fashion. One of these nautures is entirely spiritual, which sets many things in motion without itself moving. It can ascend to heaven and decend into the abyss without changing its place. It has room for the whole world in its memory, without the physical presence of the world. It can unite the whole of the past into one, without succession in time. It is entirely enclosed in this body, and in every part of it, as in its own universe. It is an image of God, and the divine sovereignty and the working of God on earth.
The other nature is material, animal, and sensitive, by which the human being lives, feels, and imagines; and in its structure and composition it is an epitome of this universe. And the uniting of these two natures together results in an excellent compoud, which has existence like the elements, life like plants, feeling like animals, and intelligence like the angels.
It is the most perfect and admirable mixture existing in nature. It seems that God wanted to make it an epitome of his works and to reporduce in it the grandeur of his universe in miniature, or rather to create a new universe and small world. It is a small world enclosing all the perfection of the great universe with added wonders; a small world in the midst of the universe, bearing within itself a kind of epitome of God in the human spirit, an epitome of the world in the composition and admirable structure of the human body. And in this mixture, perfect though it is, there is no confusion of natures; for each remains different in its essence, its powers, and its working; but they are admirabley united in substance, and in the unity of the same person composed of two such different natures.
In light of these thoughts it seems to me that humanity in the image of God, by whom we are created, is also an image of the God-man, by whom we are recreated, and that in creating humanity God foreshadowed the mystery of the incarnation.

I do not believe I have a read a better treatment describing humanity. After reading that, can you not better see how each and every one of us is as Pope Benedict XVI says, "a thought of God?" We think so little of ourselves. We search for proof of God in our world, and yet He is all around us in the people we meet and that person looking back at you in the mirror. Build on that and you can not come to any other conclusion than the reality that God is love.


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