56 Chapter 4
THE EUCHARISTIC NATURE OF REALITY
Whether we believe that we ourselves are capable of "self-
salvation," in the Lutheran theologian Paul Tillich's telling phrase, the
Eucharist itself stands as a perennial -- a daily -- contradiction to that
The Eucharist is the New Covenant, the living effective sign that
reality is free; that is, reality is a surprise, a gift, grace, not necessitated
or conditioned by anything whatever.
Yet this knowledge, that reality is a surprise, that it is free, is freely
given in the sacraments. As freely given, we will never find that
knowledge inevitable, necessary -- for then it would not be free.
Instead, we would be forced, by inevitable 'logic,' iron necessity, to
accept it. We would be forced to accept the freedom of the Eucharist!
Thus the Eucharist does not force us. Its free gift is
so free that it gives us our own freedom: we can really
decide, we can truly make a moral choice, because we
will never be forced by any necessity, logical or
otherwise, to choose the Eucharistic gift freely offered
Thus the Eucharist itself is the creation of free will and moral
choice. No such 'free will' or 'moral choice' will ever be available to
Man, except by this free gift, this complete surprise, given in the One
A universe in which all is either arbitrary, or necessary, has no
room for free will, and therefore no room for moral choice.
Dehistoricized cosmology, of any sort, is a denial of freedom, and of
the moral realm, from before the outset. Within any dehistoricized
cosmology, 'responsibility' simply can not exist. What we do is either
necessary, or it is arbitrary -- and there are no other alternatives.
It is worthy of note that the analysis of Covenantal
Theology is thus a decisive refutation of all of
traditional Catholic moral theology.
For within that theology, which founds itself intellectually on a
dehistoricized cosmology, what is 'moral' is, in the end, logically
necessary, or it is arbitrary, and is therefore commanded by obedience.
Fr. Keefe has, obviously, absolutely no problem with the moral
teachings of the magisterium. What Covenantal Theology refutes is the
approach that theological science has traditionally taken toward those
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.