Thursday, January 13, 2022

Hallow, New Man!

The Baader-Meinhof Word of the Day is transform. Once I started thinking about it, it began appearing everywhere.

Paul uses the word twice, advising us to not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2); ultimately we are being transformed into the [image of God] from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Co 3:18).

It shows up seventeen times in the book I read a couple days ago (Salvation); if we toss in related words like "growth" and "change," then there's something on nearly every page. 

Likewise the much more substantive Three Ages of the Spiritual Life by Garrigou-Lagrange. I'm reading that one much more slowly, like a chapter a day. Here are a few passages that touch on our subject, either directly or really directly:

We reach up to God and God reaches down to us, and in divine love we are made sharers of the Divinity.

What human nature can never do can be done in the supernatural power of divine grace.

Because our interior life descends to us from on high, it can reascend even to God... 

[T]he deification of the intellect and that of the will presuppose the deification of the soul itself (in its essence) from whence these faculties [intellect and will] spring.

[T]he inward man is renewed day by day. His spiritual youth is continually renewed... by the graces which he receives daily. 

[G]radually there disappears what St. Paul calls "the old man" and there takes shape "the new man."

Hello, new man! 

This new and inward man

is renewed unceasingly in the image of God, who does not grow old. The life of God is above the past, the present, and the future; it is measured by the single instant of immobile eternity.

Here is a sampling of similar passages from Salvation, which is 

an unmerited gift of righteousness that actually transforms us.

Humanly speaking, what God calls us to is completely beyond our reach. It is truly impossible.


What is impossible with men is possible with God.

Woo hoo! 

[Grace] enables us to become something more than our human nature alone could ever achieve.

"Paul holds that believers are truly changed," for "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." We are "truly remade."

We'll leave off with a few passages from Balthasar's Heart of the World, which I also recently reread slooooowly:

Here the old man is replaced by the new. Here the world dies and another world rises. Here the two eons intersect. Here every ending becomes a beginning.... Here springs forth out of the hardest rock the water of eternal life. Here the road of reason and faith sprouts wings.... Here is bridged the chasm between heaven and earth.

Patient as a seed, we are to let your Kingdom grow in us...

You transfigure enigma and replace it with mystery.... you take each being to yourself and, without destroying its reality, you confer upon it a new being. You change refuse into jewels...


John Venlet said...

In regards to the thinking of men reaching up to God, and God reaching down to us, I'm reminded of this thought from the pen of Lynn Harold Hough:

"It is because we have become so occupied in observing man in the quest for God that we have almost lost the power to make men conscious of God's quest for men...We like to think of ourselves as officers in the army of men marching Godward. We have almost lost the capacity for awed glad receptiveness which is able to see God marching manward."

Gagdad Bob said...

Balthasar: "your Heart is restless until it rests in me. Your Heart is restless until we rest in you, once time and eternity have become interfused."

julie said...

Patient as a seed, we are to let your Kingdom grow in us...

Makes me wonder, for all its outward patience, just how restless the inner workings of the seed might be? There's a lot happening in there, for something that usually appears to be one solid mass.

Depending on your frame of reference, a seed is just a lit firework preparing to explode in slow motion.

EbonyRaptor said...

Julie, I like your comment on the complexity of the seed. I read a blog series a few years ago describing how the body works at the cellular and molecular level, and how all the complex parts work together to sustain life. Things like each individual cell having millions of potassium pumps to maintain the proper water/potassium level to keep the cell alive, and how those pumps know what the levels currently are and need to be and how to use diffusion and osmosis to transfer chemicals through the plasma membrane surrounding each cell. And on and on. I found it truly fascinating and if you're interested in checking it out - the link is below. The point is that that little mustard seed may not look like more than a solid little lump - but it is extremely complex at the molecular and cellular level.

Gagdad Bob said...

A seed must be one of the most mysterious things in existence -- a packet of information that can remain dormant for hundreds of years until certain circumstances cause it to explode.

julie said...

Right? And then once it does, everything that happens after is somehow a process of that little seed taking dirt, water, air and sunlight and transforming (there's that word again) those inanimate things into something alive and amazing.

Along the lines of EbonyRaptor's comment about cells, I saw an interesting video earlier this week about the death of a single-celled organism. Without the eyes of a scientist, it's hard to tell exactly what's happening in detail, but the complexity of the creature certainly comes across.

John Venlet said...

Julie's seed reference also reminds us that one seed can produce a crop 30, 60, or 100 fold increased. Be the seed.

EbonyRaptor said...

Don't be misled by the name of the blog ( - it's essentially a blog refuting random materialistic evolution and providing evidence for Intelligent Design.

John Venlet said...

EbonyRaptor, have you read Stephen C. Meyer's Return of the God Hypothesis? It sounds as if his book and EvolutionNews would be good companions. I thought Meyer's book was excellent.

Van Harvey said...

"...Patient as a seed, we are to let your Kingdom grow in us..."

Mustard, no doubt.

EbonyRaptor said...

John, I have not read Meyer's book but it is cited often in other articles on that blog. I've seen him speak and participate in panel discussions quite a few times on YouTube so I know the gist of his thinking - but I should get around to reading that book for more in depth.

Anonymous said...

Just being watching some new men, politicians here on Irish tv applauding the radical feminist women's movement for hijacking the recent murder of Ashling Murphy to use as an excuse to smear the good name of all men at vigils all around the country and indeed abroad and this without the killer and their gender yet known. With Eve being the first radical feminist and knowing what inspired her it's mind boggling that today in a still Christian country even if only in name leading government figures are unable to see evil hiding in broad daylight disguised as good.