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Vocation is Gods call towards authentic self-realization in union

with Godself in ones particular state of life and work by way of the
common good. Jesuit education forms and helps its students
discern their vocations through cura personalis, total holistic
formation, developing them to be persons for others, dialogue
between faith and reason, and magis.

Vocation: Gods transcendent call to every concrete human person towards

self- realization in ones life and work by way of the common good.
Human persons are grounded in Another who initiates personhood and who
stays bound to persons in loyal ways for their well-being. Contrast to this is
the modern self-groundedness which actually leads to groundlessness. It is
not that this person existed and then was claimed for God. Rather, the
act of claiming is the act of giving life and identity to that person. Before
being called and belonging to, the person was not. In the Bible, "person"
means to belong with and belong to and belong for.
Protestant work ethic: Activity within the world was the supreme
means by which the believer could demonstrate his or her commitment
to God. To do anything for God, and to do it well, was the fundamental
hallmark of authentic Christian faith.
-! Pope John Paul II on the primacy of the subjective value of work over
the objective: As a person he works, he performs various actions
belonging to the work process; independently of their objective content,
these actions must all serve to realize his humanity, to fulfil the calling
to be a person that is his by reason of his very humanity. The
subjective dimension of work aims at the realization of the person
through that persons work.
-! Social dimension of work and vocation: Commitment to the public
good and not simply the private good of their firms is at the heart of
what it means to call their work a vocation and not simply a career or a
-! Frederick Beuchner: The place God calls you to is the place where
your deep gladness and the worlds deep hunger meet


Jesuit schools as institutions of vocational inquiry: Who are you going to

be in the light of who God calls you to be?

Characteristics of Jesuit education:

a. Cura personalis (care for the individual person): Teachers and
administrators, both Jesuit and lay, are more than academic guides. They
are involved in the lives of the students, taking a personal interest in the
intellectual, affective, moral and spiritual development of every student,
helping each one to develop a sense of self-worth and to become a
responsible individual within the community.
Total holistic formation: core curriculum. The aim of Jesuit education has
never been simply to amass a store of information or preparation for a
profession, though these are important in themselves and useful to emerging
Christian leaders. The ultimate aim of Jesuit education is, rather, that full
growth of the person which leads to actionaction, especially, that is
suffused with the spirit and presence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the
Tao para sa kapwa. Today our prime educational objective must be to form
men- for-others; men who will live not for themselves but for God and his
Christ for the God-man who lived and died for all the world; men who
cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least
of their neighbors; men completely convinced that love of God which does
not issue in justice for men is a farce. (Pedro Arrupe, S.J.).
Magis; Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam: not doing more, i.e., through ones own
efforts, but the more that carries us out to the end for which we are created.
God is the more (Deus semper major): it is the close personal relationship,
surrender and union with God, lived out in ones daily life in ones
commitment to the Other, that is the source, sustaining power and goal of
vocation and completes human self-realization. Magis then means in the
second sense choosing the option which serves the more universal good,
i.e., that which makes the wider impact on others, society and the world that
will give greater glory to God (A.M.D.G., Ad majorem Dei gloriam). I will
ask for an intimate knowledge of Our Lord, who has become man for me,
that I may love Him more and follow Him more closely."


Jesus Christ is the full Truth (Jn 1:14-16), the goal of our desire to
know. It is through dialogue between faith and reason that enables
humanity to reach the fullness of truth. Divorced from faith, reason
falters and becomes enmeshed in errors such as reductionisms and
self- deception.

Jesus Christ, the full Truth (Jn 1:14-16), the God who is Agape, selfgiving Love, in the Incarnation, is not just the center of Christian Faith
but also the center of all humanity, the whole cosmos, reason, morality
and hope. This divine Agape has the power to liberate humanity
from self-deception, since God who is Love embraces us in spite of
what seems unacceptable to us. The God of revelation is not an object
to be mastered but a Subject who invites us to be mastered by an
infinite Love. Jesus Resurrection opens the whole universe to a future
filled with hope in even in an ambiguous universe.


John Haught: Our deeper truths are in the encounters with the other,
whom we know not by possessing or dominating them but by faith:
allowing ourselves to be claimed by them in love.

- What is the authentic relationship between Christian Faith and human

a. In religion there are highly dangerous pathologies, which make it
necessary to use the light of reason as an instrument of control, to purify and
order religion again and again (as the Fathers of the Church envisaged). But
in the course of our reflections, we have also seen that there are pathologies
of reason . . . , an exaggerated arrogance (hubris) of reason, which is still
more dangerous because of its potential destructive force: the atom bomb, or
the human being understood as a product. This is why reason must similarly
be conscious of its limits, learning to lend an ear to the great religious
traditions of humankind. When it is set completely free, and loses its ability
to learn in this reciprocal relationship, it becomes destructive. (Pope
Benedict XVI, The Dialectics of Secularization)
b. Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the
contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to
know the truthin a word, to know himselfso that, by knowing and loving

God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about
themselves. (Pope John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, 1).
c. Although faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy
between faith and reason, since the same God who reveals mysteries and
infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind; and God
cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth. (Vatican I, Dei
Filius, 4).
d. They are of mutual aid one to the other; for right reason demonstrates the
foundations of faith, and, enlightened by its light cultivates the science of
things divine; while faith frees and guards reason from errors, and furnishes it
with manifold knowledge. (Vatican I, Dei Filius, 4).
e. Avery Dulles, S.J.: Reason prepares the way to faith, and when faith is
attained, reason helps the believer to understand what it believed. Faith and
reason in combination, enable the human spirit to soar to heavenly heights,
preparing it for eternal blessedness. Divorced from faith, reason falters and
becomes enmeshed in error. (The Voice of Reason and of Faith)


Freedom is primarily the human persons capacity to achieve his

final, irrevocable and eternal self, and secondarily the choices one
makes which can affirm or undo ones primordial commitment.
Authentic freedom directs ones primordial commitment towards

a. Karl Rahner: Freedom is the capacity of the subject ... to achieve his final
and irrevocable self .... It is the event of something eternal (Foundations,
96). In freedom we are performing the eternity which we ourselves are
and are becoming (Ibid.).
b. God is the ground and goal of our freedom, for only Gods love is able to
embrace ourselves as a totality: it alone is able to unite all mans many-sided
and mutually contradictory capabilities because they are all oriented towards
God whose unity and infinity can create the unity in man which, without
destroying it, unites the diversity of the finite (Rahner, Theology of
Freedom, 190).

c. Freedom thus includes, and is more than, freedom of choice.

d. Haughey: Life will be found when a person is willing to particularize his
choices in life. Our choices, more than any other act individuate and define
us. Selfhood comes to be primarily by choosing.
Freedom is for commitment. A person who has made permanent, irreversible
commitments, is going to experience greater freedom than those who
deliberately refrain from so doing.
a. The prime analogue of human commitments is the spousal commitment.
Commitment to God is a class by itself, but even in Scripture the spousal
image of ones relationship with God is used.
b. Every commitment involves a promise. By a promise one projects oneself
into the future with another person or group of persons, a yielding to the
other, creating a network of permanent relationships. The capacity for human
beings to make and keep promises is the surest way to free themselves, to
determine themselves rather than be determined.
c. A contemporary attitude: freedom is connected to tying no knots. The
greater the number of options a person leaves open, the greater his freedom
will be; freedom is the capacity for indefinite revision. But such a freedom
which never comes to choice will eventually cease to be. This is making
freedom tantamount to indetermination. To live freely in a state of constant
indetermination is the surest way of becoming unfree, because one will be
determined by forces outside oneself. The least free are the least committed
and that without commitment freedom is impossible.
- Primordial commitment - the mysterious basic direction of our lives, which
manifests a rather consistent personal identity, and establishes a horizon
within which we realize ourselves through our individual acts of freedom.
Our conscious primary and secondary commitments are symbolic of this
deeper direction one has chosen to take in ones life. The more we become
aware of this subterranean and prethematic intentionality, the more we are
free and true to ourselves and choose the authentic direction of our life.
A persons primordial commitment can flow in only one of two directions:
self- donation, which leaves to salvation, and self-absorption, which leads to

Though more tendential than volitional, primordial commitment naturally
evolve (horizontal freedom), or can be radically changed (vertical freedom),
that causes a complete horizon shift that creates new commitments and affect
previous ones.
Indwelling is the radical act of vertical freedom wherein the entire
reality of the person has moved from being to being-in-love, from a
solitary I am to a mutual we are, consequently enriching,
rejuvenating and becoming the paradigm of primary and secondary
commitments. Indwelling completes being and is its raison dtre.
Christian metanoia/conversion is an act of vertical freedom wherein one
makes an act of faith, which chooses God as ones new horizon through
indwelling in Christ (Jn 15:4-5), which is affirmed through daily individual
acts of freedom.
Overcommitment is the investing of more of the self in the object of ones
commitment than the object can or should deliver.

Conscience is the secret core and sanctuary of the human person,

where he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths. Thus
as the proximate norm of morality, a correct conscience must be
obeyed above all else under God in order for the human person to
realize ones authentic self through concrete actions that conform
to the objective divine moral order.

Conscience is the secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone

with God, whose voice echoes in his depths (Gaudium et Spes, 16). a.
The subjective pole. Joseph Fuchs, S.J.: conscience concerns not simply
the realization of one deed or another, but also, at the same time and
very profoundly, the realization of ones very self (Christian Morality,
124). b. Gods presence in the depths of conscience means that the human
person can ground oneself only in the transcendent God, the intimior intimo
-! Thomas More: I would ... for mine own self follow mine own





conscience, for which myself must make answer unto God, and ...
leave every other man to his own conscience (Last Letters). !
Terrence Merrigan: In the experience of conscience, the subject
apprehends not only itself but also itself as a subject in [close] relation
to God. !
Newman: There are two and two only absolute and luminously selfevident beings, myself and my Creator .... If I am asked why I believe
in God, I answer that it is because I believe in myself, for I feel it
impossible to believe in my own existence (and of that I am quite sure)
without believing also in the existence of Him, who lives as a Personal,
All-seeing, All-judging Being in my conscience (Apologia Pro Vita
Sua). !
Merrigan: The God disclosed in conscience is the God whose presence
is always mediated, whose voice is never heard directly but only as it
is echoed in the chasms of our hearts and minds (GS 16). !
Merrigan: conscience is best understood as both the consciousness that
one exists in relationship to God as a responsible subject, or self, and
the summons to act in accord with this consciousness. !

- The primacy and inviolability of a human persons conscience. Each is

bound to follow his conscience faithfully in all his activity so that he may
come to God, who is his last end. Therefore he must not be forced to act
contrary to his conscience (Dignitatis humanae, 3).
- Lewis: The primacy of conscience has never been understood in a radically
subjectivistic sense, as though conscience were a law unto itself
independently determining moral good and evil or a purely arbitrary
judgment tailoring the morality of ones actions to ones personal wishes. In
arriving at a judgment of conscience one must search for objective truth.
- Lewis: Objective truth thus has a certain primacy, but it is upon human
conscience that these obligations fall and exert their binding force(Dignitatis
humanae, 1). In other words, no objectively true formulation can take the
place of conscience, for it is through the mediation of conscience that one
perceives and acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law (DH 3).
- St. Thomas Aquinas: a correct conscience binds absolutely and

intrinsically ... whoever believes that something is a command [of

conscience] and decides to violate it wills to break the law of God and,
therefore, sins (Disputed Questions on Truth).
- Fuchs: What makes us morally good is not the actual right act performed in
itself, but primarily the sincere effort and commitment to do what we
honestly believe to be the right thing.
- Lewis: According to St. Thomas, the ultimate moral truth of human action
is determined not in the nature of the act in itself, but more in its intention of
the author of the act, as identified by ones conscience. Traditionally this is
expressed by speaking of conscience as the proximate norm of personal
morality. Moral truth, the goodness or badness of a human action is formally
constituted by the intention and judgment of conscience; divine law is the
remote and material norm and its moral value is only activated and
actualized in ones conscience.
- Conscience and Truth: Consciences Objective Pole a. In the depths of
his conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself,
but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good
and avoid evil, the voice of conscience can when necessary speak to his
heart more specifically: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law
written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of man; according to it he
will be judged. (Gaudium et spes # 16)
- Conscience does not mean that the subject is the sole author of its moral
norms. Conscience signifies the perceptible and demanding presence of the
divine voice of truth in the human subject itself, which overcomes mere
subjectivity (Benedict XVI).
- Anthony Fisher, O.P.: Conscience is only right conscience when it
accurately mediates and applies that universal moral law which
participates in the divine law; it is erroneous when it does not.
- Fuchs: Since the objective moral order is ultimately grounded in the
relationship God has with us, we do not find this moral order out there
external to us, but in the interior of the sanctuary of the persons conscience.
(Christian Morality, 124).

- In a wonderful manner conscience reveals that law which is fulfilled by love

of God and neighbor (cf. Mt 22:37-40; Gal 5:14). In fidelity to conscience,
Christians are joined with the rest of men in the search for truth, and for the
genuine solution to the numerous problems which arise in the life of
individuals from social relationships. Hence the more right conscience holds
sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to
be guided by the objective norms of morality. Conscience frequently errs
from invincible ignorance without losing its dignity. The same cannot be said
for a man who cares but little for truth and goodness, or for a conscience
which by degrees grows practically sightless as a result of habitual sin. (GS
- Anthony Fisher, O.P.: Conscience is not infallible and sincerity cannot
establish the moral truth of a judgment of conscience; freedom of conscience
is never freedom from the truth but always and only freedom in the truth. The
Magisterium does not bring to the conscience truths which are extraneous to
it, but serves the Christian conscience by highlighting and clarifying those
truths which a well- formed conscience ought already to possess (VS 64). A
well-formed conscience will seek to be both more objective about morality
and truer to the Christian tradition than any morality based on sincerity or
balancing acts can deliver.
- Like the natural law itself and all practical knowledge, the judgment of
conscience also has an imperative character: man must act in accordance with
it. If man acts against this judgment or, in a case where he lacks certainty
about the rightness and goodness of a determined act, still performs that act,
he stands condemned by his own conscience, the proximate norm of personal
morality. The dignity of this rational forum and the authority of its voice and
judgments derive from the truth about moral good and evil, which it is called
to listen to and to express. This truth is indicated by the divine law, the
universal and objective norm of morality. The judgment of conscience does
not establish the law; rather it bears witness to the authority of the natural law
and of the practical reason with reference to the supreme good, whose
attractiveness the human person perceives and whose commandments he
accepts. (VS 60)
- Christians have a great help for the formation of conscience in the Church
and her Magisterium . . . The Church puts herself always and only at the

service of conscience, helping it to avoid being tossed to and fro by every

wind of doctrine proposed by human deceit (cf. Eph. 4:14), and helping it not
to swerve from the truth about the good of man, but rather, especially in more
difficult questions, to attain the truth with certainty and to abide in it. (VS 64)
- Stages of Conscience Formation (Louis Monden, S.J.) a. Instinctive
decides on the basis of fear of breaking taboos or desire for affection. b.
Moral chooses the good that leads to self-realization. c. Christian-Religious
living out the moral good as a yielding to indwelling with God who is
intimior intimo meo which leads to a higher and deeper self-realization, a real
divinization of man. Law is no longer obligation but vocation, a
yielding in love to God.
- John Glaser, S.J.: The danger of confusing moral conscience with
psychologys superego.


Jesus is the ultimate source and norm of Christian moral life by

way of discipleship, i.e., to indwell in Christ and be like Christ, to
be caught up in Gods love, enabling oneself to renounce self-made
securities that create dominating and excluding power and replace
it with self- giving love that creates hospitable inclusion.
1.! Scripture the sacred text which has a special sacred claim on the
Christian community;
2.! Tradition which represents the lived wisdom of the Christian
3.! Rational Reflection on the Normatively Human e.g., human rights
discourse, moral philosophy and the whole tradition of natural law
theory; and
4.! Human Experience involves not just individuals own experience, but
the whole range of scientific and social science disciplines that help us
gather, organize and interpret data drawn from our individual and

collective human experience.

The first two are the Sacred Axis and the rest belong to the Rational Axis:
This means that moral discernment involves the necessary dialogue between
Christian faith and reason.
- All these sources are subordinated to Jesus Christ and his Gospel message,
the ultimate source and norm of Christian moral life (March 9, 2016).
- To regard Jesus Christ as the norm of the moral life is to enter the way of
discipleship, to faithfully and creatively live under the reign of God as he did
(imitatio Christi).
- To be a disciple is, like Christ, to be caught up in Gods love, which enables
him/her to let go of all forms of self-made securities (renunciation),
especially power that promotes superiority/inferiority as the paradigm of
human relationships, in order to find true security in God and Gods love. A
disciple, like Christ, exercises power for hospitable inclusion, not cruel
6.! The Sermon on the Mount is a call to indwell in God through
Christ. The Sermon reorients and empowers the believer through
Gods Spirit towards unlimited concern for the good of the other
even at the expense of ones own rights.
1.! The Sermon on the Mount is not a law in terms of form, spirit and
2.! The Sermon is not a law in the sense of one is morally obliged to
follow it using ones own resources. It turns the justice of the
world upside down: it tells us not to insist on our own rights but
on unlimited concern for the good of others.
3.! The Sermon is a call to faith (vocation), to indwell with God
through Christ in the power of the Spirit who gives the believer the
capacity and power to live the demands of the Sermon.
7.! Sin is the ungrateful missing the mark of the human persons goal
that is God, the source of personal worth, social solidarity and

mutual entrustment. Sin in turn results in disordered relations to

others. Only Gods reconciling and forgiving love can overcome
1.! The loss of the sense of sin. The rise of the secular spirit with its
moral relativism, sending to irrelevance religious faith and reducing
sin to a psychological or social disorder.
2.! Sin is fundamentally a religious reality:
a.! transcendent dimension - saying a selfish no to the invitation to
live with God in love; which in turn results in
b.! immanent dimension saying no to others.
c.! Sin is different from unavoidable failure or limitation ... It is a
spirit of selfishness rooted in our hearts and wills which wages
war against Gods plan of fulfillment. It is a rejection, either
partial or total, of ones role as a child of God and a member of
his people, a rejection of the spirit of sonship, love and life.
(Sharing the Light of Faith, 1979)
3.! Biblical Perspective: sin as fundamentally hattah/hamartiah, i.e.,
missing the human persons goal that is God; the true meaning of sin
is ingratitude to the gracious God (Gen 1-11, 2 Sam 12; Ps 51; Hos
2; Hos 11).
a.! From the covenant perspective: Israel broke the personal bond of
love of which the law was an external expression. Sin is
breaking or weakening the God-given bond of love which gave
Israel its worth, solidarity and entrustment.
b.! Sin starts from the heart of the person, which leads to sinful
4.! c. The Gospel message: Gods forgiveness through Christ is greater
than sin: conversion/repentance/metanoia as joyful gratitude of
once being lost but now welcomed by the loving Father (Lk 15:11-

32; 7:36-50; Rom 5:12-20).

8.! Only in the unconditional promise of loving forever the personal

Other, an act of indwelling through total self-donation, can a
human person put down and deepen the roots of ones selfhood,
and thus can realize oneself and bear fruit through fidelity.
- Only in the unconditional promise of loving forever the personal Other,
an act of indwelling through total self-donation, can a human person put
down and deepen the roots of ones selfhood and thus can realize oneself and
bear fruit. a. Love is the only intentionality that warrants the outlay of ones
total self.
- Marcel: constancy vs. fidelity. Permanent is the after-the-fact
description of a commitment that has been true to the communion within
which it operated. Permanence built on anything less than love can be
cruel to all parties concerned.
- Interpersonal commitments are rooted in love and ratified in freedom
rather than the solely the product of free will.
d. Self-donation means a rising out of self-absorption into a fuller life
of interpersonal communion and dying to a solitary mode of being.
10.!e. The perpetual adolescent withholds himself, refusing to put down
roots. He dabbles with life rather than living it.
-! The ambiguity of the post-modern rootlessness and ever-changing
world: Sartre vs. Marcel.
-! Jean-Paul Sartre: the fundamental project which I am. The
individualistic determination of ones whole self through constant
revocation and freedom from the determinations of others: L enfer,
cest les autres. Every human interaction, including love, are attempts
of one or more subjects to dominate or be dominated by others.
Conflict (Mitsein) is the original meaning of being-for- others.
-! Gabriel Marcel: there is only one suffering, to be alone. Being as
with the other, co-tre, intersubjective communion (I-Thou/Je-Tu).
Love is not an attempt to dominate others, but an attempt to enter into
communion with them, to participate in their very being. Love creates a


suprapersonal unity, which promotes the integrity and well-being of

each person.
Ignatian Perspective: Commitment implies downward mobility
a. The Standard of Satan: riches, honor, and pride. Swollen pride
(crescida soberbia) refers to hubris, arrogance, contempt of others, selfish
ambition, and will to power, believing that we are more important than
others. Attachment to possessions and upward mobility detaches us from
one another.
b. The Standard of Christ: poverty, insults, and humility. Christ calls
each of us to highest spiritual poverty, i.e., interior detachment from
material riches. Humility means I am not greater than even the least in
society. Humility means identifying with those whom the world deems
unimportant. It means solidarity.
c. Poverty vs. riches is a matter of relationship with the poor. Honor vs.
contempt is a question of status: with whom do I stand? With those whom
society honors or with those it holds in contempt? Pride is contempt for
others; humility means identifying with the outcast.
d. The standard of Christ today is downward mobility: it means
entering the world of the poor, assuming their cause, and to some
degree, their condition. Identifying with the poor will help us detach
ourselves from luxuries when we see them deprived of necessities. For
Ignatius, the goods of the earth are entrusted by God to us for the good
of all, especially those in need.
Jesus Christ is the source and ground of downward mobility, especially in
his kenosis, incarnation, passion and death. Through Christ, God suffers
with sinful humanity and through this death and resurrection, redeems
The Mystery of Fidelity (Haughey). a. Fidelity as constant conversion:
Faithful persons do not cease to resituate themselves in the communion
that they are in. There is no human love that is without the tendency to fall
away from presence; consequently, there is no interpersonal commitment

that can last without conversion. Fidelity involves being willing to

continually nurture the communion that is already present.
The ultimate criterion of fidelity: to continue a commitment is good only it
has produced, is producing, and gives promise of producing, self-donation,
indwelling and communion.
There is justification for withdrawal from a commitment in which no
communion has ever taken place and none can be hoped for; the we are
has never, and does not, exist.
Fidelity is a reflection of and a participation in Gods faithfulness (the
biblical hesed) to us, as witnessed in creation, in the history of Israel (Hos
2), and finally, perfectly enfleshed in Jesus, perpetually made present in
the Eucharist. Being in union with Jesus is our way of having our lives
reflect the hesed of God.

11.! The entire personhood of the Father, the Son and the Spirit of the
Triune God is constituted by the complete self-donation to one
another towards indwelling (perichoresis). The Triune God is the
final ground and archetype of human fidelity and commitment: we
are called to be an icon of the Trinity.
The Triune God, a Relational Ontology: The personhood of each of the
three divine Persons is constituted by their complete self-donation to
one another towards mutual indwelling (perichoresis, ). a.
The one God, or divine unity, is not to be interpreted exclusively in
essentialist terms, as a unity of nature of substance, but is also to be
understood as a unity established through the interrelationship or
koinonia (fellowship, St. Basil the Great) of the three distinct and
equal divine Persons who share a single will and a single energy
-! Haughey: The Father eternally confers the fullness of divine being on
his Son. The Son of Man receives dominion, glory and kingship, the


very things that constitute the Ancient Ones own kingship (Dan 7:914; Phil 2:6-11).
-! Edwards: Perichoresis is a word used by John Damascene to describe
the being-in- one-another, the mutual dynamic indwelling of the
trinitarian persons (Jn 10:30; 14:9; 17:21). It comes from perichoreo,
meaning to encompass, and it describes reciprocal relations of intimate
communion. The word suggests a communion in which diversity and
unity are not opposed. Rather it is a unity in which individuality finds
full expression. Perichoresis expresses the ecstatic presence of each
divine person to the others, the being-in-one-another in supreme
individuality and freedom. It points to a relationship in which each
person is present to the other in a joyous and dynamic union of shared
-! Haughey: Jesus total and free self-donating commitment to his Father
was always in process during his human life, creating an ever greater
capacity to love and commit himself to others, culminating in the cross.
St. Augustine: This self-giving love which binds the Father (Lover) and
the Son (Beloved) is itself subsisting divine person, the Spirit as Love
shared by both the Father and the Son.
St. John Damascene: The Persons of the Trinity are united yet not confused,
distinct yet not divided. God is a triunity of persons loving each other, and
in that reciprocal love the three persons are totally one without losing their
specific individuality.
Richard of St. Victor: If God is love, God has to be at least three Persons
loving each other; love is not only mutual, but shared. Where love is perfect,
the Lover (the Father) not only loves the Beloved (the Son), but wishes the
Beloved to have the joy of loving a Third, jointly with the Lover, and of
being jointly loved by that Third, the Holy Spirit, the Co-Beloved,
condilectus (the one who is loved by another (Ware)
Theology leads to anthropology: The Triune God is the final ground of
human fidelity and commitment, as well as the heart and source of all
creation and redemption. The Triune God as the radiating event of Love to
humanity and to the world. Each human person is called to be a living icon
of the Trinity, signifying and participating in the divine unity (Ware). a. God

creates the world out of love (ex amore) and not just ex nihilo (Ware). The
God of Trinitarian Love creates the world so that others besides Godself
would share in the movement of divine love (Ware). b. Catherine LaCugna:
Gods To-Be is To-Be-in-relationship, and Gods being-in-relationship-to-us
is what God is. The fundamental cosmological principle of evolution and of
the whole universe is relational because God is Persons-in- Relation. Every
creature springs from, depends upon, and in a creaturely way participates in ,
the being of divine Persons-in-Relation. It is communion that makes things
be. Nothing exists without it (Edwards).
John McMurray: The Self exists only in dynamic relation to the Other. ...
The Self is constituted by its relation to the Other ... I need You in order to
be myself. Precisely because God is Trinity, I need you in order to be
myself. To be a person after the image of God is to be a person-inrelationship. Without Trinitarian love, we cease to be truly human (Ware).
Noncommitment: (the rich man, Mk 10:17-31): The obstacle to
commitmentself- absorption in gathering religious and material wealth for
oneself; only self- donation leads to eternal life; follow me: one has to
entrust oneself to another, someone beyond himself, where one will find true
treasure outside of oneself (Haughey).
The evolution of Marys commitment: from Mary as the Jewish mother of
Jesus to Mary, the Woman, the first disciple, Behold, I am the
handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word (Lk
Pauls symbiotic commitment to Jesus: I live now not I, but Christ lives
within me (Gal 2:20); commitment to the whole Christ leads to commitment
to his Body, the Church.
The revolutionary dogma of the Trinity is the foundation of the liberating and
transfiguring vision of humanity as participation in this divine community of
self- giving love (Migliore). a. The dogma of the Trinity constitutes a
revolution in our understanding of God.
Falsely we think of God as superior, controlling and dominating power. Such
a false theology is a reflection and projection of false anthropology of being
human as will-to-power. Juan Luis Segundo: Some sort of degradation of

humanity lies buried within every deformation in our idea of God.

The Trinity is the revelation of God in concrete history as God who is
eternally self- giving and abiding Love. The Trinity is liberating because it
stands in opposition to existing society and especially to those in power and
think they are gods.
Genuine faith in the Triune God leads to economics and politics based on
mutuality, participation and sharing of power and wealth.

12.! The Gospel of John is a call to believe, i.e., to be open to the truth
that is the glory of God revealed through Christ, which leads the
believer to commit ones entire self to life-giving abiding union with
Jesus, the Son who abides with the Father and with all humanity
through the Spirit.
The Gospel of John, an Invitation to Believe: But these are written that you
may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that
through this belief you may have life in his name (Jn 20:31).
a. To believe means openness to the truth which makes a person capable of
seeing the glory of God whenever and wherever it is revealed: Did I not tell
you that if would believe you would see the glory of God? (Jn 11:40); or
else one falls into unbelief, i.e., self-deception, blindly seeking ones own
glory rooted in idolatry (Jn 5:44).

b. To believe in Jesus in John means to commit to Christ with the totality

of ones being (self-donation towards indwelling): Do you believe in the
Son of Man? (Jn 9:35). c. All our other commitments are to be judged as
authentic as long as they are expressions of our absolute commitment to God
through Christ.
The Gospel of John, a Call to Abide in Christ: Abide in me, as I abide in
you (Jn 15:4).
a. According to John, God is love (1 Jn 4:7-8), and the Love of the Son and
the Father is a dynamic and eternal (Jn 17:24) relational life of mutual
indwelling (abiding) which reaches out and embraces us (1 Jn 4:16)
(Edwards): As the Father has oved me, so I have loved you; abide in my
love (Jn 15:9).
b. The divine I am grounds the humans I am. The mutual abiding of the
Father and the Son in the Spirit is the source, archetype and pattern for the
abiding of the community (Lee): love one another as I love you (Jn 15:12,
c. Jesus is the icon of divine and human abiding, since in his own flesh he is
the abiding place of God among people (Jn 1:14) and establishes the I-Thou
union of persons (Lee): That they may all be one, as you, Father are in me
and I in you, that they also be one in us (Jn 17:21). d. Abiding, the force of
life (Jn 6:27, Jesus as the food that abides for eternal life), does not bypass
suffering and death: the vinedresser prunes, the world pours scorn, the seed
dies, the Son creates community with his dying breath (Lee). e. Abiding
brings subject to subject, face to face, I-Thou, redeeming the world from
objectification, alienation and the fear of alterity. Abiding brings stillness and
contemplation, rather than external achievement and activism: co-operative
being rather than competitive doing. Yet abiding is not passive: it is
fertile and creative, bears fruit in love. External activity flows from intimacy