S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
as ever, even though, in the Eucharist, it plainly mediates grace. To be
sure, in and through its free covenantal relation to the Eucharistic
Event, our 'private' work or prayer has inexhaustible, free, covenantal
meaning. However, fancy words should never obscure the reality: we
are talking about 'flesh' here. 'Flesh' never rises above what Our Lady's
juggler did. For that matter, Our Lady never rises above what Our
Lady's juggler did, for she too is merely a creature; even the fullness
of her grace, the plenitude of her reality, the sanity of her `foolishness,'
forever unmatched and unrivaled among all men of all times, is utterly
dependent on the One Sacrifice of her Son. Thus, the 'problem' of the
meaningfulness of individual human (sexual) acts becomes no more --
but no less -- of a problem than asking: did it matter, when he juggled
in front of Her statue?
The example serves to illustrate the point:
The 'fleshiness' of 'flesh' never goes away within a truly
Catholic, a covenantal theology, nor is 'flesh' ever
condemned, destroyed, or refused.
Thus 'flesh' is either "vanity" through and through, or Nature is
Grace, and 'flesh' is through and through freely related -- even as fallen
-- within the Eucharistic 'order' of 'flesh,' 'One Flesh,' 'life.'
Everything Man does is as ridiculous -- or as dignified and
meaningful -- as what Our Lady's juggler did.
What bodies do is all we've got, and therefore, what bodies do, how
they relate themselves in space and time, never matters, or it always
So: does it always matter, how bodies relate themselves in space
and time, or does it never matter?
Here occurs another child-like crux of the thought of Covenantal
Theology. For obviously, each man is a body in time himself. How
could a man who is inherently not free, decide about freedom? More
precisely, how could a man choose to be unfree -- to turn away from
God, to sin -- if he did not have a freedom prior to his decision?
The classic "theological" solution to the problem is a dehistoricized
cosmology: you put "free will" in some time-less place, where it
supposedly is then "safe." The problem with this solution is one now-
familiar -- that puts "free will" into Mr. Minsky's middle box, which
can only get smaller and smaller.
Within any dehistoricized cosmology, time itself is enslaved within
a time-less framework. No individual man could ever freely and
personally answer the question of whether the particular movements of
When Humanae Vitae speaks of the
Church's duty to preach "the whole
moral law firmly and humbly, both
the natural law and the law of the
Gospel," [HV 18] that ought to be
read, not as a defense of an
'ungraced' 'natural law,' but in the
context of another statement: "It is
false to think, then, that marriage
results from chance or from the
blind course of natural forces.
Rather, God the Creator wisely and
providently established marriage
that He might achieve His own
design of love through Men." [HV 8]
As illustrated in this book, 'natural
law' considered apart from Christ's
Eucharistic immanence in history
would of necessity enslave Man in
the conviction that "marriage results
from chance or from the blind
course of natural forces." Thus the
kind of time-less `natural law'
assumed by theologians can not be
the "natural law" professed within
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.