176 Chapter 13
WHY IT WAS WORTHWHILE
Christ "emptied himself" into the Real World, and no other. His blunt
acts in time as One Flesh with his Bride, not an time-less `idea' or
framework, is our faith. The consuming pessimism at the empty center
of all time-less frameworks is only refused by the "radically historical"
reality of the Eucharistic Event in the One Sacrifice. There is no other
source of Catholic optimism.
Catholic optimism is the only real optimism there is, and the only
one that can last. Within the Eucharistic Event alone is the time-less
perfectly refused. Standing within the free liturgical mediation of the
Church's faith in her Lord -- the Lord of history -- is the only place
fallen Man can stand in this fallen world where he is not "bound
whether he likes it or not" to conclude to a pessimism beyond despair.
Apart from covenantal existence, Man is quite literally bound to lose
his nerve, forced by inexorable necessity to become either an idiot or a
devil just to make it through the day, bound to try to flee time for some
time-less unreality that in the long run can only increase his suffering.
Thus, within the vocabulary provided by Covenantal Theology, the
New Class refusal of the 'middle box' is correct. The 'middle box' is the
appeal to the time-less, a flight to an unreal refuge from time.
However, the New Class, even while bravely and correctly rejecting
the time-less in one guise, still sees no alternative to the brute reality of
the world's unfree and irresponsible existence, because we are bound
"whether we like it or not." The world is enslaved in the necessary and
the arbitrary, completely and forever shackled by the time-less 'natural
law' of Cause and Chance.
Some 'godless' members of the New Class, even though they
understand this, refuse to flee time for the time-less, whatever the cost
to themselves. Their brave -- their impossibly optimistic -- crucifixion
into time, the historical fact that 'modern science' was "stillborn," in Fr.
Jaki's memorable phrase, in every culture except the Christian West,
and the contention that 'modern science' is only possible for Man, not
when he submits himself to a time-less structure or framework, but
only when he tries to be present in time to a "concretely present
knowable unknown," as Fr. Keefe says, equally memorably, all
practically cry out to teach Catholics much about the New Covenant,
given always and everywhere in and through the plain flamboyant
worship of the Church, if Catholic theology possessed even the
rudiments of the language needed to notice.
An optimism about time is required
for modern scientific inquiry, but this
'time-full' historical optimism is only
given and grounded in the
Eucharistic 'order,' in and through
the "radically historical" Eucharistic
Event. Man's history is created
solely in and through Our Lord's
history with his Bride and Body.
The reality of Man and the world is covenantal, solely. Creation -- all fourteen billion light years of it --
exists as good and very good solely by the Christ's covenantal presence as One Flesh with his Bride in the
One Sacrifice. The entire Creation is made living, and free, but solely in and through his death. Reality is of
its essence a good surprise: not predictable in advance, yet inexhaustibly intelligible. Therefore, in the Christ's
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.