The Lord of History, by Msgr. Eugene Kevane. ©2003 The Miriam Press. All Rights Reserved
Contents Directory • Next • Previous
References – IX. The Lord of History and His Parousia
153. Quoted in J. Daniélou, The Lord of History: Reflections on the Inner Meaning of History (London: Longmans, 1958), p. 191. On Jesus Christ as the center, the origin and the goal of history, and thus Himself personally the Lord of history, cf. also the work of Romano Guardini, The Lord (Chicago: Regenery, 1954), esp. pp. 439-443, “Lord of History,” and Part Seven, pp. 473-571, “Time and Eternity,” passim.
154. Cf., for example, Father George Tyrrell’s “profession of unbelief” in his Christianity at the Crossroads (London: Longmans, Green, 1909), p. 95: “The difficulty, for us, lies in the fact that this ‘idea’ [of Jesus] has been transmitted too faithfully, in form and not merely in substance; that this apocalyptic imagery has been given a fact-value which our minds have slowly become incapable of accepting…. For Jesus, what we call His apocalyptic ‘imagery’ was no mere imagery but literal fact. But for us it can be so no longer. We can no longer believe in the little local Heaven above the flat earth, from which Jesus is to appear in the clouds; nor in all the details of the vision governed by this conception.” Liberal Protestantism consistently expresses the same negation, just as Reform Judaism gives up the historic Hebrew faith in a personal Messiah to come in glory. These religious positions represent the old-fashioned quintessence of the “modern,” as such. In the radically altered post-modern universe of intellectual life, there is no problem, for “above” and “below” relate now to the various wave lengths and impalpable modes in which it is now understood that even material beings can exist.
155. S. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis XV; Leo P. McCauley and Anthony A. Stephenson (transl.), The Works of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (Washington: The Catholic University of America, 1969), Vol. II, pp. 53-55.
156. In Francois le l’Im. Conc., O.C.D., Mieux Connaître Sainte Thèrése de Lisieux (Paris: Librairie S. Paul, 1955), p. 32.
157. John Henry Newman continues to be the best guide on these matters for the English-speaking world. No one knows the day or the hour, for the times are reserved to the Father. But there are also signs of the times, which need the attention of careful Catholic scholarship, especially when a Marxist interpretation of the phrase is gaining headway alongside the Modernist one of “On-going Revelation.” Cf. R. Guardini, op. cit., pp. 467-471, “The Lord’s Return.” “It is hardly an exaggeration to say that also among Christians profound consciousness of the Lord’s return has become a rarity…. But does this not entail an essential loss to Christian faith?” (p. 471). In general, the philosophy of history looks to theology for enlightened discussion of the matter; and doubtless both Christian Philosophy and Sacred Theology look forward to a future teaching of the Extraordinary Magisterium on the signs of the times.
158. Attachments, for example, to the temporal structures of that other Empire of Christian Rome. Catholic Christians ought to be attached to the things of the immortal soul and the lasting home which is to come. Cf. St. Augustine, En. in. ps. 95, P.L. 36-37, 1235, commenting on “The world as we know it is passing away” (1 Cor. 7, 31), and “There is no eternal city for us in this life but we look for one in the life to come” (Hebr. 13, 15). A different kind of attachment, offering a constant challenge to post-modern philosophical analysis throughout the Twentieth century, is the bias of Religious Modernism holding over from the Modern Age even in scholarly works. “Treatises of this type,” writes Voegelin, “quite frequently are still indispensable because of their reliable information concerning facts (bibliographical references, critical establishment of texts, etc.). The damage is rather done through interpretation.” The New Science of Politics, op. cit., p. 10/ Voegelin is writing of the hold-over influence of Comtean positivism in certain contemporary treatises on history, sociology and law, but his insight applies also to work in philosophy and theology. As an example, cf. Roger Aubert, Le problème de l’acte de foi (Louvain: Nauwelaerts, 1969, 4th ed.), where helpful positive scholarship is marred sometimes by insufficient concern for and fidelity to the Church’s post-modern program of renewal in philosophy. Aubert’s slant becomes visible in his “Preface” to “Progress and Decline in the History of Church Renewal,” Concilium (New York: Paulist Press, 1967), Vol. 27, p. 2: “It is a pity, for example, that we have not been able to find room for…the conflict between Catholic intellectuals and intégristes (hyperconservatives).” This illustrates well the attitude holding over from the Modern Age: Religious Modernists are “Catholic intellectuals” and those who profess the Apostolic Faith, quod ubique, quod semper, and who think philosophically within that same Faith, are “intégristes (hyperconservatives).” This is to mistake entirely the meaning of Aeterni Patris and the significance of the program for the renewal of Christian Philosophy in the contemporary Church. Younger scholars, truly and fully post-modern, are calmly setting aside this kind of obsolete name-calling. Aeterni Patris will have its second century.
159. Rudolf Graber, Athanasius and the Church of Our Time (London: Van Duren, 1974), p. 24. The first published work of John Henry Newman, The Arians of the Fourth Century (London: Longmans, Green, 1901) continues to be seminal throughout all three moments of the Modernist phenomenon.
160. St. Augustine, En. in ps. 95; P.L. 36-37, 1235: “What kind of love of Christ is it that fears to have Him come? Brothers, are we not ashamed of ourselves? We love Him and we fear to have Him come!… He will come, whether we like it or not. For from the fact that His coming is delayed, it does not follow that He is not going to come.”