Mortification: Entry into the Christ-Mystery

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Missouri Province of the Society of Jesus


In the spirit of the Church’s aggiornamento, there is a great demand today for authenticity in moral and ascetical theology, a demand for new and valid expressions for the old values. A value is a value, after all, not because it is traditional but because it is an authentic expression of my personal relationship to God and to other people. We are aware of, and fear, the crystallization of the primary Christian experiences. It has often happened that the Church---or more exactly, institutions and individuals within the Church---have bequeathed to succeeding generations rites, methods, and customs without any inner ideal and spirit. Such a stagnation of the original value can occur in any human experience: mysticism can degenerate into magic and ritualism; prophecy is always in danger of crumbling into morallsm.


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