S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
Man has been entrusted with a 'mission' ("munus")
from God, to
open his sexual acts per se to the transmission of life and thus refuse
contraception, but Christ also has been entrusted by the Father with his
three munera (missions) of Priest, Prophet, and King,
and, of course,
with his fundamental mission as Son, to be sent to give the Spirit. The
'mission' -- for both Christ and Man -- is completely free, a 'mission' to
create a complete surprise completely intelligible; that is, for both, it is
a mission to give grace, to be truly natural. To have a munus is already
to possess free, responsible, and therefore creative, unnecessitated,
relation. "Hail, full of grace"
is literally true: Mary, though solely
'flesh,' is full of grace in the New Covenant -- her munus is "full of
grace," no less than His, though He is her Lord.
1. cf. Humanae Vitae, 1.
2. cf. Lumen Gentium, 31.
3. Luke 1:28 RSV
On both sides the 'mission' is the transformation of the necessary,
of Cause and Chance, of "vanity," in the New Covenant. On both sides
it is the Creation of the world. The impossible, ridiculous freedom of
the New Covenant is given by a Triune God whose weakness and
foolishness must, by this absurdity, be inexhaustible. If such as this is
not understood, much of the special childishness of Covenantal
Theology will remain lost to this generation of Catholics.
In and through the public work or prayer of His Bride, the Church,
the refusal of contraception is creative ex nihilo, is a real completion,
in a man's 'private' work or prayer, in his 'flesh,' of what is lacking in
Christ's afflictions. Thus Man's 'mission' is to create history in and
through history, on the historical Eucharistic Event.
For Man's activity is utter "vanity" as the working-out of some
time-less 'design,' framework, or account. Nothing dehistoricized can
answer 'flesh's' agonized pessimism, its conclusion, when it is at its
bravest and brightest, that, in the fallen world apart from the
Eucharistic 'order' of history, we are bound, whether we like it or not.
Only history -- the Lord of history's living, free, responsible,
meaningful acts in time in and through his Bride the Church's free
historical liturgical mediation of her faith -- can be the "medicine of
immortality" by which we are free and the Creation good and very
But as free in him, in his history, in his death, we too are thus
capable of historical acts: meaningful, responsible acts in time that are
not bound by Cause and Chance but creative ex nihilo.
4. cf. Chapter 13, concluding pages.
A 'foundation' for human acts is impossible
within 'flesh,' for flesh may only find
"vanity," or flee to the time-less. The sole
foundation for our acts in time is no time-
less theory or framework, but -- bluntly --
His acts in time as 'One Flesh' with His
Bride: the New Covenant, the Eucharistic
Event. Fr. Keefe wishes us to see that it
was not just the Greeks for whom this is a
hard saying. Nonetheless, only our acts in
free union with His Bride's may be
responsible and thus free and meaningful.
However, all our acts, when historical --
responsible -- are not only founded on and
in free union with an historical Event rather
than on any time-less thing, but, in full
ridiculous covenantal freedom, we create
them in and through that historical Event
as a worship in spirit and truth, and thus
literally make history.
The Lord of history, in and through the free liturgical mediation of
the faith of his Bride, protects the sacraments by revealing how
decisive is our rejection of history, how much of a god we make the
time-less, how damaging, not only to the sacrament of Matrimony, but
also to the history of the world, to the entire sacramental 'order,' it is,
whenever we contracept. History, meaningful time, can not be created
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.