144     Chapter 10    
, `
      Only the strength of God's weakness could ever create such a freedom for Man, but -- since it does --
bishops and priests have no choice but to preach it and protect it. As the only public citizens, they are the last
line of defense of the true freedom, the creativity ex nihilo, of all of Man's 'private' work or prayer. In the New
Covenant, Man's `private' work or prayer has the ability to surprise God himself. The episcopate can not
control it in any way, not even to `protect' Man from himself. As the Fall proves conclusively, not even God
himself did that.
      So, once bishops or priests intrude themselves into Man's 'private'
work or prayer, they are practically admitting that God's weakness,
manifested by his establishment of such ridiculous covenantal freedom
for Man, is no strength at all. By expressing power in the civil order,
they are practically acknowledging that there is nothing for Man
except Cause and Chance, in which the only reality is not covenantal
free relation, but power. They are practically conceding that they have
no genuine confidence either in God's weakness or in Man's freedom.
They are practically ruling out in advance the ability of Man's 'private'
work or prayer to be a complete surprise completely intelligible. They
are practically assuming that St. Therese has nothing real to do in
      Since Catholic theology can find the Fall only by standing within
the Eucharistic Event, the New Covenant, then one more childish thing
has to be pointed out:
there is no 'before' the Fall.
      This is yet another childish idea of Fr. Keefe's. I may be able to
make the idea 'understandable' to you, but you may find it even harder
to swallow, after you have understood it better.
Here is the standard picture we have:
      1. First there was God.
      2. Then God created Man and everything else.
      3. Then Man, in the person of Adam and Eve, turned from God,
sinned, and Fell.
      4. Then God sent his only Son "propter peccatum" (because of sin)
to redeem us.
1. A 'Heaven' in which St. Therese lives but
has no ability to help us -- without in any
way violating our own covenantal freedom -
- not only shreds a central Catholic doctrine,
the communion of saints, but is so
diametrically opposed to her firm conviction
regarding Heaven that, if she had to live in
such a 'Heaven,' she would know herself to
be in Hell. Charles Dickens may have seen
part of it. He has Scrooge observe the ghosts
of the selfish dead, who, like his former
partner, Marley, wander ceaselessly, and
moan, because they are no longer able to
help the poor, who they had turned from in
life: "The misery with them all was, clearly,
that they sought to interfere, for good, in
human matters, and had lost the power
forever." [A Christmas Carol]  But
presumably those souls were in some sort of
Dickensian Hell. If "the Lord is truly risen,"
if the Eucharistic Event is real, then St.
Therese, the woman who on her deathbed
said, "Until the end of the world I will spend
my heaven doing good upon earth," does not
now live in misery, and she does indeed
have real work to do in Heaven.

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

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