140     Chapter 10    
, `
      Degradation, death, insanity, devilry, idiocy, Man finds readily enough on his own. That their cause is the
Fall, a moral choice made by Adam, a moral choice itself made possible only by the prior impossible
possibility of free responsible existence in 'flesh,' is a truth Man can find only in the New Covenant.
      We ourselves also bear the consequences of the Fall of the First Adam and the First Eve, simply because it
matters what bodies do. We bear the consequences of the Fall as a consequence of the impossible ridiculous
freedom given Man in the New Covenant. For the same reason, that it does matter what bodies do, we
ourselves can not Fall the way Adam and Eve did.
      Due to the Fall, we are 'flesh' alone, save for the Eucharistic presence of the Christ. 'Flesh,' as we have
learned, can not Fall any lower than it already is. We ourselves can not commit the Original Sin, because,
unlike Adam and Eve, we have no unFallen existence from which to Fall.
      We ourselves can not repeat Adam and Eve's Fall, for the simple reason that the possibility of making
irrevocable acts that have earth-shattering consequences is the definition of covenantal freedom. Indeed, in
covenantal existence, there are no formally repeatable acts at all. Adam and Eve performed an irrevocable act
that had earth-shattering consequences. In the New Covenant, human acts literally set reality on a new course
-- every  time. What bodies do matters -- for worse, as well as for better. If nothing else, the Fall demonstrates
      This I believe is the point at which to discuss another aspect of the relationship between Man's 'private'
work or prayer and the public work of the Church, as Fr. Keefe sees it. That relationship is one of covenantal
      However, before I can discuss this, I need to ask you a question: who are public figures?
      If you answered, presidents, mayors, senators, etc., you need to think again -- because the sacraments are
the only truly public work.
      Remember, the New Covenant, the Eucharistic Event, is the sole constituting event of objective reality --
we have to remember to take that seriously. If we don't, we instantly end up with the age-old dichotomy
between the Eucharist and everything else, and that always leads to the abjectly pessimistic conclusion that a)
we are enslaved in Cause and Chance, and b) therefore, that free, responsible, meaningful existence is
      We are indeed completely enslaved in Cause and Chance in this fallen world. Therefore, we have a
'public' or 'objective' reality only because the Eucharist is a sacrament. As has been illustrated many times in
this book, if Christ does not fully "empty himself" into our time in and through the Church's free liturgical
mediation of her faith, then kings, presidents, jugglers, and each of us, are all "vanity," and nothing more can
be said.
      So, we need some new vocabulary to take this reality into account. People like presidents and mayors are
really only part of the 'private' work or prayer that has its sole reality in and through its free covenantal
relation to the 'public' work or prayer of the Church, as was discussed at some length in the two previous
      Now that I've reminded you that the sole truly public work, the only truly objective work, is the
sacramental re-presentation of the reality of the New Covenant, then the answer to the question, "Who are
public figures?" becomes obvious.
      The only truly public figures are bishops and priests.
      Bishops and priests have the sole public roles in history. Acting "in the person of Christ," they
sacramentally re-present the New Covenant to Man in the Eucharist, and they protect all the sacraments,
including Matrimony, as was stated in the previous chapter.

N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.

All Pages in The Knucklehead's Guide
Return to the Knucklehead home page
Return to The Old Testament in the Heart of the Catholic Church main page

Previous Page