Monday, January 10, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI on Prayer and Theology

This drama, in which theology keeps talking although God who can speak and listen has long ago submerged together with the myths, is fascinating in the way it seems to spread, presenting itself quietly, piously, without the least trumpeting of heresy, as the most natural thing in the world. ...

We do not know what human experiences, sufferings and crises lie behind words such as these; we must respect them: it is not our business to judge. On the other hand, we are obliged to state firmly that this is not Christian theology. For the prime characteristic of Christian faith is that it is faith in God. Furthermore, that this God is someone who speaks, someone to whom man can speak. The Christian God is characterized by revelation, that is, by the words and deeds in which he addresses man, and the goal of revelation is man's response in word and deed, which thus expands revelation into a dialogue between Creator and creature which guides man toward union with God. So prayer is not something on the periphery of the Christian concept of God; it is a fundamental trait. The whole Bible is dialogue: on the one side, revelation, God's words and deeds, and on the other side, man's response in accepting the word of God and allowing himself to be led by God. To delete prayer and dialogue, genuine two-way dialogue, is to delete the whole Bible.

"On the Theological Basis Of Prayer and Liturgy"(1986)
Republished in The Essential Pope Benedict XVI: His Central Writings and Speeches

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