May 28th Personhood VI


Yesterday, we ended with Henri de Lubac’s idea that in the Person of the Son, we are “completed” as persons.  What can he possibly mean by this?  Jesus himself answers the question in the Gospel of St. John by teaching us about the indwelling of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in our hearts:

I shall ask the Father and he will give you another Paraclete to be with you for ever, the Spirit of truth whom the world can never accept since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him because he is with you, he is in you.  I shall not leave you orphans; I shall come to you….  On that day you will know that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.   Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I shall love him and reveal myself to him.  Anyone who loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make a home in him.

John 14:16ff


Our ‘completion’ as persons is realised only through our share in the very life of the Trinity.  In the Trinity, the divine persons freely give themselves to one another in love.  They do not become the other, but in an eternal dance of love, they ceaselessly give themselves to one another.  To share in this ‘dance’ is to become a person in the deepest sense of the word.  And we can do this through Christ; he, and only he, makes possible for us an interior life shared with himself, the Father and the Holy Spirit.  He gives us a share in his own rich and joyful interior life, a share in his very fullness of being.  ‘I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.’  This is the true – the truest – realisation of our personhood and our human dignity.  This overflows into all our relationships.  God has created us with a need to be in communion with others.  Henri de Lubac’s words are enlightening:

‘God did not create the world apart from himself, nor did he create souls apart from one another.  In the first place, does not each one need “the other” so as to be awakened into conscious life?  Again, does not to be a person [mean] to enter upon a relationship with others?  The summons to personal life is a vocation.’



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