Wednesday, March 14, 2012
A Year With Thomas Merton - March 9
A Christian Remnant to Preach Peace
I am coming to see clearly the great importance of the concept of "realized eschatology"--the transformation of life and of human relations by Christ now (rather than an eschatology focused on future cosmic events--the Jewish poetic figures to emphasize the transcendence of the Son of God). "Realized eschatology" is the heart of genuine Christian humanism and hence its tremendous importance for the Christian peace effort, for example. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the call to repentance, the call to see Christ in man, the presence of the redeeming power of the Cross in the sacraments: these belong to the "last age," which we are in. But all these do not reveal their significance without a Christian mission of peace, the preaching of the Gospel of unity, peace, and mercy, the reconciliation of man with man, and so with God. This duty, however, does not mean that there will not at the same time be great cosmic upheavals. The preaching of peace by a remnant in an age of war and violence is one of the eschatological characteristics of the life of the Church. By this activity of the Church the work of God is mysteriously accomplished in the world.
March 7, 1964, V.87