S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
For if Christ does not save us now, as a sacramental Event in our
time, then only time-less structures can save us -- and they can not:
If "in Christ" there isn't a way 'in' to time, that is,
If in the Eucharist the Son of Mary and the Son of God, the "Jesus of
history" and the "Christ of faith," "one and the same,"
is not present,
1. cf. e.g., Council of Chalcedon
if thus His One Sacrifice is not sacramentally re - presented in the
and never time-less worship of the Church
2. 'time-full' is my own term, not Fr.
Keefe's, but the word gets his point across.
if thus it is not as present reality His full "emptying" into the Cause and
Chance of our time, ex opere operato, not by our 'remembrance' of a
time-less structure but, as complete surprise completely intelligible, as
an actual event now: "This is My Body, This is My Blood,"
then not only is our faith "in vain,"
3. cf. 1 Corinthians 15:14 RSV
but also the whole world "groans,"
and will groan unceasingly, until
finally it -- as we -- can flee into nothingness --
4. cf. Romans 8:22-3 RSV
because there is no way out of time.
Mr. Minsky is right: if Man 'discovers' that there is a way out of
time, he is simply lying to himself, trying to avoid the pain of being
completely enslaved in Cause and Chance. As Fr. Keefe understands,
the freedom of even one of our acts in time is abjectly and totally
dependent, not on any 'middle box,' not on any time-less framework or
'place,' but on the reality of the Christ's free sacramental acts, in our
Man may not be able to bear the news, but if he can, it will become
ever more clear to him that 'free will' is available to Man -- to the
universe -- absolutely nowhere else outside the Eucharistic One
Sacrifice. The perennial question will remain, is it available to Man
there, in and through the worship of the Church? This is the quiet
speck of grit over which the whole world will stumble in every age:
"But who do you say that I am?"
Although we have not come very far in our exploration of Fr.
Keefe's work, we may have come far enough to give the answer to the
question with which this book began: is Catholicism childish?
Our answer can only be Tertullian's:
It is impossible. It is not childish.
5. Mark 8:29 RSV
6. It may here be important to notice
that the Penitential Rite of the Mass has
a sweetness not always remarked.
When "In the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" we
are asked to "call to mind our sins," we
are given in that name the great gift
that, contrary to what we can discover
on our own, it matters what we do. For
no one irresponsible -- no one who
lacks free will -- can sin. Thus, the first
fruit of mercy is judgment. For to be
subject to judgment in Christ is to be
given the gift of free will in Christ. Not
in any time-less place, but fully in time,
in the 'time-full' Event of the Eucharist,
we learn -- first, to our joyful relief, and
only secondly, to our horror -- that it
matters what we do.
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.