Immediately after my post on de Lubac and Barth regarding the totus Christus, I came across this image from The Institute for Sacred Architecture.  The image, combined with the theological description, perfectly encapsulated the notion of the totus Christus.

About this imagine, the author states: “We are initiated into this God-Man at baptism, and his identity becomes ours, his work becomes ours. The eschatological task of the members of the Mystical Body is to continue the work of the Head. Christ recapitulates all things, the cosmos as well as human history, as we were reminded by Fr. Emile Mersch in his historical study, The Whole Christ:

The idea that the Incarnate Word is in Himself the unity and harmony not only of men, but also of the entire universe and even of material things, was to remain a favorite theme for the Fathers of the Church. … Athanasius in particular is so penetrated with this thought that he expresses it often. He loves to repeat that Christ is the leaven of the world: pasa ktisis, ta panta, the whole universe is the mass that He leavens and the body to which He gives life.

He goes on to quote his teacher, Fr. Aidan Kavanagh, “liturgy is doing the world the way the world was meant to be done.”

But how to see this Christ, this overarching Pantocrator, as the same Galilean Peasant who inaugurated a rebel movement in a backward outpost of the most powerful empire in the world?  In a word, I want the totus Christus AND the executed political criminal.  I admit, this larger than life Christ frightens me, no doubt rubbing against my Protestant heritage.  Yet if Jesus is just like you and me, then he becomes you and me (Feuerbach – the absolute downside of this same Protestant heritage).

I think I’m beginning to see now the genius and revelatory aspect of Chalcedon.

Advertisements