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Blessed Among Us: Grounded in Divine Revelation

This excerpt from Blessed Among UsGive us this Day is worth reflection and highlights the importance of human experience as being grounded in divine revelation and the paschal mystery. If we believe there is a plane of existence beyond the physical and material, what we call Spiritual, how is our “religious practice” connecting us to the reality of the spiritual dimension active in each of our lives? The “practices” should ultimately lead us to a deeper awareness that we are grounded in God as we move through the day. In each encounter we have, how we choose to be in relationship with everything and everyone, is how we answer the question Jesus asks in Matthew’s gospel this past Sunday. “Who do you say that I am” ?

Maurice Blondel
Philosopher (1861–1949)

Maurice Blondel was a French Catholic philosopher who initiated a fresh understanding of the relation between Christian faith and human existence. His particular concern was what he termed the “extrincism” of traditional Catholic apologetics. The Church tended to present revelation as God’s communication of “heavenly” truths. The Church certified the divine origin of this revelation by appealing to such signs and miracles as the resurrection. Thus, the credibility of revelation depended on its divine origin, rather than on its actual content or its intrinsic relevance to human existence.

Blondel believed the definition of saving truth was that it corresponded to actual questions and yearnings of the human heart. He proposed a “method of immanence” to show how the logic of human existence itself pointed toward transcendence. In all our actions, he taught, there is some reference to the infinite reality in which existence itself is grounded. Ultimately our lives are characterized by a choice—to be open to this dimension or to be closed in on ourselves. The Christian Gospel named this choice explicitly in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Thus, Christianity concerns Good News that resonates with the meaning of our deepest experience.

Blondel’s work left a deep impact on Karl Rahner and other architects of Vatican II. Blondel himself continued to teach and write until blindness encroached. He died on June 4, 1949.

“Our God dwells within us and the only way we can become one with our God is to become one with our authentic self.”
—Maurice Blondel


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