S GUIDE TO COVENANTAL THEOLOGY
day that Catholic thought committed itself to the project of assigning all of Catholicism to the vanishing
middle box of the time-less and the non-existent.
This project obviously must be refused. To undergo a reconversion to the sacraments, and to refuse all
time-less theories, Catholic theology has to refuse Mr. Minsky's middle box as a matter of its basic principles.
In this it merely puts itself into better correspondence with the actual and continual sacramental practice of the
Church, which is always 'time-full,' historical, covenantal.
This refusal of the middle box of course does entail the perennial Catholic proclamation that Jesus Christ
died, in a world of death, which lacks free will. Yet that world is also a world of life, which possesses free
will -- but only because "He is risen."
Thus there is a 'time-full' and not a time-less order to reality:
a "Eucharistic order of history,"
as Fr. Keefe calls it. The order is:
sarx (the 'world' or the 'flesh'),
mia sarx (the One Flesh, Christ with His Bride, the Church),
pneuma (life in the Son sent by the Father to give the Spirit).
The world as we find it is, exactly, the fallen world, sarx. However, that 'world,' that 'flesh,' has not been
destroyed or negated by the Christ: "For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that
the world might be saved through him." [John 3:17 RSV] Thus Christ did not come to condemn the 'flesh,' in
which it is clear that we have no free will, but to save it.
The full 'order' of reality is maintained, and fulfilled, by the Son's sending by the Father to give the Spirit.
This also is the truth given at every Mass, in which the bread and wine are not condemned or destroyed, but
rather are "transubstantiated," becoming the Body and Blood of the Lord. For that same 'order' of 'flesh,' 'One
Flesh,' and 'life' is given in the Eucharistic liturgy: Offertory, Consecration, Communion. Mr. Minsky's Real
World, "vanity" itself, is not condemned or destroyed or refused by the Son, but saved. Catholic thought can
no longer afford to assume that there exists any time-less place in which Jesus Christ the Son of God only
pretended to die.
To refuse all dehistoricized cosmology, and to return to a sacramental and covenantal understanding of the
nature of reality, is to return to a Eucharistic 'order.' This Eucharistic 'order' is the sole reason time is
meaningful and can therefore become 'history,' and not just a series of either completely determined or
completely arbitrary events.
Ironically, then, this optimistic 'order' in which reality is "history": free, surprising, genuinely creative,
and meaningful time, is available only after we no longer flee the abject pessimism that is the correct
conclusion of 'flesh,' but follow Christ's example and are crucified in that 'flesh.' It is only thus that we do not
flee the 'flesh,' but instead accept Christ's 'ordering' of it into
N.B. This is an html-ized copy of a page from the pdf file, The Knucklehead's Guide to Covenantal Theology.