15 February 2012

BXVI: When injustice becomes justice. . .

“When the murder of innocent life is called a right, then injustice has become justice. When the law can no longer protect human life, it is suspect as law. Saying this does not mean wanting to impose specifically Christian morality on all members of a pluralistic society. What is in question here is human nature, the humanity of a person who cannot make the trampling on a created being a means of self-liberation without profoundly deceiving himself. The vehemence of the dispute over this question is due to the profundity of the question that is being discussed. Do we become free only when we have cut ourselves loose from creation and have cast it off as an enslavement? Or have we, precisely in so doing, betrayed ourselves? In the last analysis, the battle being waged is about man as such, and from that we Christians cannot dispense ourselves. But another aspect of the question arises here that is significant for the situation of mankind today. In the anxious attempt to obstruct the path of new human life as silently and as surely as possible, can we not detect a deep anxiety about the future? Two answers seem to suggest themselves here. On the one hand, this anxiety emanates, no doubt, from the fact that the free gift of life does not seem meaningful to us because we have lost the free gift of its meaning; there is evident a despair about one’s own life that makes us unwilling to impose on others the dark way of humanity. On the other hand, we see exemplified here clearly and simply a fear of competition, a fear of the curtailment the other may invariably be for me. The other, he who is to come, becomes a threat. True love is death, an obliteration of oneself before and for the other. But we have no desire for death. We want only to be ourselves and to lead lives as free as possible from sharing and disturbance. We do not realize and we do not want to realize that, by our avidity for life, we are actually destroying our own future, that we risk having our own lives fall into the hands of death.” Der Gott Jesu Christi, pp. 38ff.

Joseph Ratzinger, Co-Workers of the Truth: Meditations for Every Day of the Year, ed. Irene Grassl, trans. Mary Frances McCarthy and Lothar Krauth, 60-61 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1992).

H/T: swilson18 from Fr. Z's combox

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