S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
Only his confidence that his object, the Eucharistic Event and the free response to that Event, is a
"concretely present knowable unknown," allows him to proceed.
He proceeds by making his method of posing questions and answering them as conscious, explicit,
historical, and Catholic as he can.
Thus, and first: in and through the Church's free liturgical mediation of the New Covenant, he stands
within his free response of faith to the liturgy of the Church -- to repeat, his primary response of faith is in and
through the liturgy and to the liturgy, not to an idea of it, not to a commentary on it, but, specifically, to the
Church's actual historical re-presentation and mediation of the New Covenant in sacramental sign.
In and through that standing, he stands within Sacred Scripture and
Tradition, for "he was known to them in the breaking of the bread."
1. Luke 24:35 RSV
Then, standing within both, he stands within an historical tradition
of inquiry: the historical 'private' free response, the work or prayer of
the faithful in time, in a particular time, which is a "searching" that in
no way can be limited to the theological, but which includes the
theological with all seriousness.
He refuses to try to make his "searching" 'safe' or 'defensible' by a
flight to a time-less court of no appeal. His inquiry is historical
throughout, responsive to his fleshly historical tradition of inquiry, and
never to some infinite and time-less 'standard' apart from it.
First, however, his inquiry is radically and thoroughly responsive
to the historical reality of the New Covenant, freely re-presented in
time in and through the Church's free liturgical mediation of her faith.
He submits his work or prayer in time totally, without remainder, to
the historical and not the time-less judgment of the real and historical
Bride of Christ.
Thus, abjectly historical, he assumes that his very thoughts, even
his thoughts about what is 'reasonable,' are open to a total historical
transformation by the reality of his object.
Thus, with both the confidence and the humility exemplified by
Our Lady's juggler, he makes his 'private' work or prayer freely
available to the whole Church, to make of it what she will.
To conclude this chapter, it is worthwhile to reiterate a point made
earlier in it, for the point really does capture one of the absolutely basic
ideas in Covenantal Theology: a Catholic theologian is committed a
priori, before he begins, and throughout his "searching," to the reality
and inexhaustible intelligibility of his object.
That is, no Catholic -- and so, of course, no Catholic theologian --
can seriously ask this question regarding the Catholic faith: "An sit
verum?" (but, on the other hand, is it true?). A Catholic is unable to ask
this question -- because he can't really take it seriously. The question
assumes that there is some 'place' Man can stand 'outside' the
Eucharist, where he is able to 'evaluate' or 'understand' it:
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.