“If grace now no longer fulfills the deepest longing of our nature, of our ethical, contemplative, and (even) naturally mystical impulses, then it resembles a politics proclaiming… that it is puristically ‘about the political’ and not… about education, welfare, transport, the environment and defense, etc. If grace does not elevate nature in such a way that it further develops the natural (as not sufficient unto itself), then just what is grace after all? It would seem to be something emptily extrinsique, to use de Lubac’s word, itself explicitly borrowed by him from Aquinas’s denial that grace is something extraneum. Instead of grace being a participatory putting on of the divine nature (after the New Testament) it becomes a kind of purely nominal change in status by the decree of an arbitrary God mediated by the power structure of the church. Meanwhile, in the ethical sphere, supernatural charity now becomes something like ‘those acts of love which are preformed with faith in God and therefore accorded merit,’ as opposed to the notion (the normative New Testament notion) that wherever love and mercy are shown, there divine charity is present.”

John Milbank, The Suspended Middle, 21-2

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