Co-Workers of the Truth 9/5

Benedict XVIMen experience the preciousness of things, and experience it fully, only in the company of those who share their enjoyment; in this way, they become aware of the festive quality of an existence that is so often hostile and ill-humored in their regard but is present at a meal, as it were, with open hands, with a gesture of lavish generosity, of unrestrained joy.  This liberality of existence, which is rich and bestows itself freely, is an intrinsic part of a meal. 

The same is true of a wedding. In it, the elevation of the biological process of sexual attraction to a fundamental spiritual act of Eros, of the human being’s loving transcendence of self, is crystallized, epitomized, and confirmed.  Here, too, we experience the liberal graciousness of existence, which grants us the festive wonder of a love we cannot force but that comes to us of its own accord, takes us by surprise and overwhelms us, transforms our life, gives us a new inner center, and even, in moments of ecstatic bliss, confers on us a foretaste of a life that is brighter and fuller than our everyday life. 

Thus, the experience that inspires pictures of a meal or of a wedding is, in many respects, even more fundamental and powerful than that which finds expression in pictures of a city.  It is determined, above all, by the interaction of force and spirit that draws the powerful force of earthly things into the circuit of the spirit and thus creates the unity of reality in which its two poles – matter and spirit – fructify and in doing so permeate one another: matter receives light and clarity from the brightness of the spirit, which permeates and illumines its torpor; spirit receives depth, maternal warmth, and strength through the material and earthly force that is wedded to it.  In addition, there is the experience of a festive joy that transcends all bounds and links all creatures in fraternal communion.  And within, at the heart of it all, as it were, the knowledge of the mystery of love.

From: Dogma und Verkundigung, pp. 309-10

 

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