Jesus Christ, Verbum Abbreviatum Some


Jesus Christ, Verbum Abbreviatum

Some reflection on reading the scriptures by a Swedish Carmelite Priest.

from Nourished by the Word Wilfrid Stinissen

In Christ, the entire Bible finds its unity because everything in it is striving towards him. Christ makes of the many words in the Scriptures a single word, God's word. The incarnate Word has traditionally often been called Verbum abbreviatum, the abbreviated word. In him all the condensed words of the Bible are summarized. . . .

The Church Fathers happily cite Psalm 62:11: Semel locutus est Deus (God has spoken once). God speaks only a single word, the son, the Word which gives meaning to all the words which have been spoke about him. It is in him and only in him that everything becomes comprehensible.

"Everything becomes comprehensible," what felicitous wording. I don't know if Stinissen intended at this point to extend his argument from looking at biblical texts to an examination of reality as a whole; however, regardless of his intent, this phrase does so. Nothing that happens to us makes any sense outside of God. This is why the atheistic nihilism of a Samuel Beckett so clearly does make sense. Without God in the picture there is no sense to anything. When you deny His existence things fall apart. In fact, Beckett was fortunate when compared with Neitzsche who went mad--partially as a consequence of his own philosophy.

Outside of Jesus Christ there is not a moment of our lives that makes sense. Which is comforting, because within the body of Christ everything is incorporated. We must embrace who we are, where we are in life, and where those around us find themselves. Our struggle is not a struggle to better ourselves, but to better the condition of all, to build on Earth the Kingdom of God. We start on that path by accepting God as architect--God as the Word that must be spoken, not only in preaching, but in the preaching that is our individual actions and individual lives. Fullness of life and joy are found only in accepting and embracing Jesus Christ as and where we are. Anything other leads to confusion, frustration, sin, and perhaps alienation. Deep communion with God and with the body of Christ is the only thing that leads us out of confusion.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on September 26, 2002 8:03 AM.

Addressing the Canon was the previous entry in this blog.

More Poetry--Threnody is the next entry in this blog.

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