Sunday, November 3, 2013

Healing the past with present action thus reconstructing our life in a new unity - a new meaning

Jesus said, "Do THIS in remembrance of Me." 

and they all, looking around at one another, wondered, "Do what?"

Father Bernard Bro has a lovely way of answering.

Not only do we become by means of the sacraments contemporaries of a past that is the very source of our salvation, but we become capable of recuperating the past, of retaking and reconstructing our life by giving it a new unity. We know that there is a distance between "me" and my history, between the depths of ourselves and our acts. Our actions commit us; but, once they are performed, they escape us and accumulate behind us and form the chain of our history. And this past can be crushing. 

The sacraments continually permit us to transcend this history, and to judge it, and, to a degree, to change its meaning and the value of the whole by means of new acts.... 

The sinner who has been reconciled to God in his person nevertheless drags behind him in his past a failure towards God, a failure towards love; it is true that at one moment in his history he failed the order of charity which should be reflected in every human undertaking. The event, this sin, remains a fact forever; but by means of the sacraments it can take on another meaning in the entirety of its history, and this by means of new acts repairing the disorder. It is possible for us to restore God's honor, not only in our heart, but in the course of our history which is still being written. It is possible to change the profile of our past acts by means of new compensating acts. This is a marvelous conversion which the sacraments place within our reach! We become capable of much more than a compensation for the past; we become capable of offering to God a life really ordered by love. This is where the reflection we mentioned above concerning healing the past by means of present actions takes on its force. The sacraments do not only remove the sickness from suffering; they go infinitely farther: they transfigure and trans value what was perversion and evil into an occasion and fruit of divine friendship. 

— FATHER BERNARD BRO, o.p.--A French Dominican priest, a distinguished theologian;  Magnificat, October, 2013, Pp. 68.

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