Wed. May 29th, 2024

What does it mean, that God enters into relationships?

Fr. Jan Kaczkowski

It means He loves. That man as such was created as the only being for Himself, out of love. In theology it is said that amor est diffusivium sui, or, that . . . . . . . it is literally untranslatable – love is by its very existence poured out. If we imagine before there was time, God as concentrated love, then since amor est diffusivium sui, this love should boil over, because it cannot remain for itself alone.

You can say that God did want to remain alone in this love. When a boy falls in love, then he carves into a tree “I love Julie” and he is ready to do anything for Julie. This is human pouring out, being a shadow of the Divine relationship. Similar, in an absolute way only, to God’s action. He didn’t need the world at all, because He was full of this boiling over love. If He needed someone, He would have felt some lack. And so, would not have been an absolute completeness. So, He formed the great cosmos.

Let’s not argue over which theory of cosmic creation is best. Personally, I prefer the one represented by the cosmologist Fr. Michal Heller than the one popularized by professor Hawking. But the question is: if we have evolutionary development, then at what point did the transition from animal to human occur? From one side a distant, cold God who is above the world and is not interested (as is said of deities). On the other, the One who brought everything into existence and gives everything the reason for being, as confirmed by Thomists. And on the third side a God dramatically close through building relationships and the fact of the incarnation which burst into the centre of history, in biology. And even through biology, saved the same universe.

As a bioethicist, I’m very curious about what genome Christ had. If God did not act contra naturam, then Christ had to have a genotype, must have passed through the blastocyst stage, He must have gone through all these stages of development. He probably took half His genetic code from the Blessed Mother. And what about the rest? The Holy Spirit can’t be a suspect for a genotype, and presence of St. Joseph’s genes would ruin the theology. My own vision based is on the assumption that Christ’s radical closeness with us suggests that He had a universal genotype common to all peoples. In this He is still more fully involved in our humanity.

Adopting our nature, God gave dignity to every person. During the addition of water to the wine during Holy Mass we say: “By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity”. This is a wonderful prayer that dares me to think that I have something in common with the genotype of God!

Christianity is the most beautiful religion in the world. I don’t have to, as Buddhists, melt into the pleroma, escape from my own body and disappear so as not to suffer. I don’t have to, like our older brothers in faith, perform a thousand actions on the verge of anxiety which will prevent me from being unclean. I don’t have to, like our Moslem brethren, once again be afraid of God. In which religion are you able to say to God: Father? In which religion are you able to say to God: brother? Which God became a defenceless child, even though being great and immeasurable? Who developed, grew, matured – was a teenager, and therefore probably liked girls, and in the morning experienced what every healthy man experiences?

This is fascinating, because Christ also through biology achieved our redemption, that is He burns Himself up to the end. He gives up His body, to rise in a miraculous way. He restores His body, so that in some form, we will probably have a resemblance to after the resurrection, as is assumed by theology. For now, we in this sweaty biology, which sometimes gives off an unpleasant odour, we have the extraordinary privilege to receive His Body. This intimacy of God, in the double closeness – He received our body, and we at the altar receive His Body, true, real, substantial Body – it’s not a dream. It is Him, even though “sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgement of you, but hearing suffices firmly to believe”.

Father, having in mind your memories of childhood and these words, I have the impression that in your spirituality the Eucharist is the most important.
As you yourself point out, this thread has rolled out in the story of the cycle of my life: it appeared in the first stage, in childhood, it now returns in perhaps the last stage, before death. Illness and talking about your own death, digesting it all, has allowed me to a renewed discovery of the intimacy of God through the reality of the incarnation. All the sick are biologically ill, but for God’s sake, God has nothing to do with our illness; in the sense that God does not sit up in the clouds and say: “Kaczkowski, I don’t like your gob, you’re going to have a mutation and cancer”.