(NOTE: This transcription has been automatically generated through an AI program. Consequently, this transcript may not match everything you hear in the podcast episode, and it may contain errors such as spelling, grammar, word choice, etc., due to the limitations of current AI technology.)

Hey everyone, welcome to episode four of season three of Midnight Carmelite, this is your host Andrew Gniadek. So I just wanted to start off this this episode by discussing, commenting really on the interview the past three episodes we just had with Dr. Curtis Hancock and bring to the fore some realities that we pointed to and and how to deal with them. So Dr. Hancock brought up this notion of being friends with God and so I think there’s two things that need to be addressed here.

God’s revelation to us as well as friendship, which we’ve discussed in previous podcasts and then, you know, kind of diving into the mystery of well how does that relate to us as human persons? So I wanted to start with my own words here. It’s a paraphrase of what comes from Dei Verbum. It’s just going to kind of be me, summarizing Chapter one, Section 2. And basically what Dei Verbum says in this section is that God out of goodness and wisdom came and became flesh so that we might have access, you know, in the Holy Spirit to God the Father and then ultimately share and participate in God’s nature, the divine nature.

So that’s the, you know, the revelation of God itself, that’s what it is. And so then therefore based on God revealing himself in this way God out of his love speaks to us as as friends as it says in the constitution and invites us to be in fellowship with him or not, that’s what we were performing at in Dr. Hancock in my discussion on this notion of friendship with God, so let’s kind of unpack this, God is invisible, we can’t see him, you know, per se right?

And so in order for God to communicate with us about his will and what he wants from us, he has to make himself flesh. So I think this is a crucial point here, is that the sacred humanity of Christ is the physical manifestation of God himself. And you know, we talked about the Incarnation we talked about that’s really what this is, and the same with the Eucharist, that is the physical manifestation of God in the host like God is fully present, there body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.

So think about that for a second, so both instances, you know, we’re gonna call it the historical christ and air quoting here and the Eucharist and those are all physical manifestations of God’s love for us, why? Because God has become flesh in order, so that we may become like God, in fact St. Athanasius says, so God became man, so that man could be made into God essentially, and and if you think about that, so we have Dei Verbum saying that and St. Athanasius saying this, I would argue that a lot of the times we forget that ultimately God’s revelation is calling us to share in the divine nature and to be his friends now, if that’s true, which I believe it is, and the dogmatic constitution says that, and and other things that there are two questions come up in my mind.

The first question is, well, wait a minute, if that’s true, you know, and and we like we discussed in the podcast, God seems to make it difficult to determine his will. You know, he doesn’t show up and just, you know, kind of tap us on the head and say, these are your orders. Like one of the objections was that was mentioned, so, so if that’s true and he wants to be a friend, how do we understand that? What I mean by that is is like how does it fit into our faith?

And I would argue for, first of all, is that it fits into our faith, because it shows that God ultimately values our freedom. Now, this is a contentious issue I’m about to get into I’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, but I’m going to give my understanding of freedom, which is obviously I need, you know, needs refining. It’s something I’ve researched for a long time, but I think it might be helpful to to meditate on it a little bit here and and kind of start diving in this because this is the real key in my opinion, is is freedom is the key because if God’s revelation again, if God’s revelation is about him speaking to us as friends and his goodness and wisdom reaching out to us through the word made flesh, jesus christ, to manifest himself to us in the physical order.

So we could see through Jesus’s miracles and deeds, a confirmation of his godhood, right, that he is actually who he says he is, and then see his love through, you know, Jesus’s life in the cross, and even just the incarnation itself, really, if you reduce it, I mean, that is God became man. I mean, that alone is enough of God’s love. And, you know, if you’re really speaking fundamentally, you know, you’re going to the principle, this freedom is related to this, it’s really related to this.

And so what is freedom, then, let’s revisit this in the context of this revelation, God’s call to friendship. So, I would say that freedom we were made for God, that is who we are. Like, you know, there’s a lot of debate I’ve seen about, well, you know, makes the claim that a man can live a perfectly fine natural life. I don’t want to say that supernatural grace in this view is something like just added on as an accident, but that’s, you know, that’s basically what’s going on here, It’s that we don’t deserve heaven because of our sin, but we can still live a perfectly natural life, and therefore, you know, when we enter the supernatural life, it’s above and beyond what man is, who, you know, you know, ultimately is a material-soul being right?

So, you take into those two accounts where material has fallen and we can live this natural life. You should see, I don’t agree with that view. Again, I haven’t researched this a lot, so I don’t want to again, I don’t want to characterize a view, but from what I’ve read about this view and things on my own, and I hear that view, I don’t agree with that at all, because I think what it’s missing is the fundamental point I mentioned earlier, if God revealed himself, the entire enterprise of our faith is God out of his love for us becomes incarnate to save us from our sins, to reveal himself through Jesus Christ who is fully God and fully man.

And our purpose is to, as it says, in Dei Verbum to share in the divine nature, then what we were made for us to share in the divine nature. So therefore we were made for the supernatural life. So to say that we are only supposed to have a natural life. And it’s perfectly fine, is like saying that a proximate end is good enough when really you it ought to be the remote end, meaning the final end or it’s a better way of saying it. So, so you’re so you’re kind of like cutting off what you’re basically saying that the human person doesn’t have this destiny for for to share in the divine nature, because we weren’t made for that.

This is just something that’s like magically added on in the end. And I think that I don’t agree with that position. To me, it’s more like the human person is made for love, right? We were made to again, to share in the divine nature to do that, we know from, you know, it’s changed on the cross and other lights that were made to love God. That’s the mystical union. It’s loving God, growing in this love of God and this is supernatural charity that isn’t sensible of that’s the other distinctions, love of the will.

Then that means that when we fell, we lost access to what fully fulfills us, which is God because that’s what we were made for. Because that’s why he’s revealing himself in the first place. So, so then the question becomes, okay, well, how does our back to this freedom thing? So how does our freedom relate to this? Well, it relates to this because if we were made for God and then in the garden of Eden, we knew what God said, don’t eat the tree we ate. Anyway, man fell.

Men multiplied over the earth. And you know, using men here obviously general human human beings. And now we have a situation where God saying, okay, you know, this isn’t what I intended, but I’m going to work with this, you know, because you have your freedom and I’m going to manage, you know, even though you’ve been separated from me, you it’s like a computer where you took out the video card, the video card ought to be there to allow the computer to function at the level, it ought to meaning what it was made for.

But because we send the video card, the supernatural life was pulled out of the computer. And so we’re rendering at the onboard video and and basically that’s not what we were made for. So, you know, you could say, oh well the the onboard video is fine in my computer, I don’t need a video card and it’s like, well, yeah, but but we were made for more. So, so what you’re really doing is you’re operating in a deprived state, meeting, you’ve lost that, which you ought to have.

So, so my point here is that our freedom is a key part in this revelation. Our freedom is we can choose whether or not we want to be friends with God, whether we want to share in the divine nature and we have the proof for that in the law and doctrine of the Gospel and reason. So both understanding reality as well as reading and knowing God through scripture and tradition, meaning what is a record of God’s words and deeds, right? And what we know about God.

And so anyway, so, so that I just wanted to bring this out there, I don’t want this to go on for too long, I can discuss more in the next episode, but I just want to kind of bring this whole out this whole thought out there because when we think about the problem of evil were often like, oh they’re suffering the world that shouldn’t be suffering, which is what we discussed. But if you bring in God’s revelation, which is he wants us to share in the divine nature, he made christ became man so that we may become God, you know, and therefore this is out of the abundance of his love, he’s doing all this.

Then it starts to make a little more sense why evil may exist because you have people in their freedom who can say no, I don’t want to share in that, I don’t want that. And now some now to be fair and objection, maybe claim, well, wait a minute if someone knew for sure that they would be sharing in the divine nature and being friends with God and that’s eternal life rather than hell, because the absence of God beheld, why would someone in their right mind choose hell?

And my answer to that would be, well, Well, number one, if you believe the story of Satan’s fallen tradition, he saw it all and he said, you know, you know, as well as we often say, non serviam. Right? So the point is is that God is a person. So, so you can’t be friends with someone if you’re using them for who they are. So if someone says, oh well I don’t really like God, but I want eternal life because I don’t want to die. You’re kind of using God for yourself, which is kind of selfish.

So it wouldn’t be friendship. And the key word in the Dei Verbum was friendship, God calls us to be friends. So again, that would come that would come back to a disagreement about the notion of friendship. Not a disagreement in my opinion about, you know, that knowledge leads to right action. I mean Aristotle really settled this where Aristotle made the point that Plato said, well look, if someone possesses the knowledge of the right thing, they’re going to do it. And Aristotle said, well obviously not because there’s plenty of people with knowledge of the right thing and we know that and they just still don’t do the right thing, right?

So I’m going to cut off here, otherwise I’m going to keep going. But I’ll kind of discuss more of this, these themes in the next episode and what they mean. And we can go through that and, you know, wrap up this season and just kind of, you know, take in that, how do we explain evil and freedom and those types of things. So anyway, I’ll bring more comments in the next episode and I’ll see you then thanks for listening

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