Metropolitan Daniel: Life as Existential Dialogue
24 września 2005 | 21:25 | Ⓒ Ⓟ
According to the Holy Scripture (Genesis, chapter II), the human person was created in God’s image. The plural form in the sentence: „Let us make man in our image and in our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) was interpreted by the Church Fathers as a revelation of the Holy Trinity. That is, God the Father communicates and cooperates with the Son and the Holy Spirit when He creates the human person.
Hence, the earthly human person is created in the image of the celestial, transcendental divine Persons, who dwell in eternal communion of life and love.
In this manner, the human person emerges in a state of dialogue, through communication, collaboration and communion.
All human persons are created in the image of God, capable of communication, collaboration and communion with God and among themselves. Yet those who attain the likeness to God are the saints, more specifically, those people that permanently foster cooperation with God by prayer and with their fellow human beings by love and worthy deeds.
This is the reason why Jesus Christ made the command of love for God and one’s fellow human beings the norm of true life.
The Holy Scripture also shows us that human sin, as a rupture of the communion of love with God the Creator disturbs communication, cooperation and communion among the human persons, as well as their relation with nature, with the whole creation (Genesis 3:1-24)
In order to restore and bring to perfection the communication, collaboration and communion of life between God and humans, the eternal Son of God became Man, uniting in Himself, eternally and indestructibly, the Divinity and the humanity. By this divine incarnation, Christ asserts the eternal value of the human life in permanent communication with God. Thus, in and through Christ, humankind is in eternal existential dialogue with the persons of the Holy Trinity. Consequently this existential dialogue with the Holy Trinity begins for each human person with the Baptism and is cultivated in the liturgical life of the Church and the Christian life in the society and the Kingdom of heaven.
The most intense form of communication of God with the Church is the Holy Gospel, the closest cooperation of God with the Church is expressed the Holy Liturgy (Gr. ‘leiton’ + ‘ergon’= work of God’s people), and the most intimate communion of God with the Church is the Eucharistic communion.
Yet, it is faith and prayer that constitute the basis of all of these three steps of the human person’s dialogue with God. Every human person grows spiritually through existential dialogue, that is by means of mutual communication of information or messages, expressed in multiple language forms (verbal, gestural, conventional, symbolic, etc), by cooperation with other persons as a synthesis of intellectual or physical energy, in achieving common good, and communion of love as mutual offering of spiritual life, of interiority and of intimacy.
The milieu where the human life expresses itself as permanent existential dialogue is first the family, and then the society. However, only by faith and prayer does the temporal existential dialogue between human persons open up to eternal dialogue and becomes communion of eternal life.
The faith in the eternal love of God for the human persons and prayer as a source of pure love help us overcome the halt in communication brought about by inter-personal conflict, help us pass from anger to reconciliation, from quarrel and confrontation to communication and collaboration.
However, true existential dialogue is more than peaceful coexistence, as its final aim is communion that is to say the spiritual unity of persons that are different in point of temperament, culture, age, social standing, nationality, race, etc.
Individual or collective egotism, self-sufficiency, the fear of one’s neighbour and the indifference to the stranger, the superficial and distorted understanding of one’s fellow human person, the human being, yet very much different from my self – all these can become major obstacles in achieving existential dialogue.
Nevertheless, there are human persons, communities and institutions that cultivate the holy gift of dialogue, that help to solve conflict situations, that facilitate communication and reconciliation, cooperation and the communion of love among very different and even among hostile persons and peoples. One example, in this aspect, was Pope John Paul II, who passionately cultivated the gift of dialogue.
About such people, the Saviour Jesus Christ said: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9).
These people are alike to the Son of God Who came in the world to teach the human persons that without dialogue there cannot be freedom, without love there cannot be humanity and without prayer there cannot be eternal life.
Today, in the family and society, in the Church and among the Churches, in each religion and among religions, in each nation and among nations, we are in great need of peacemakers and masters of existential dialogue so that human life can be experienced as divine blessing.
The Europe of science and economic progress nowadays greatly needs existential dialogue and spiritual communion within its borders and outside of them.
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