Manuel Garrido e-mail(Inicie sesión)

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Manuel Garrido e-mail(Inicie sesión)


In the last few decades special attention has been given to the so-called "theology of the cross". This theory is promoted primarily by protestants, who beginning with Luther, see in that expression the true theology in which God manifests Himself through appearances contrary to His proper nature; thus putting forth a theory which contradicts all other knowledge concerning God attained through his works.

One of the recent authors who has most developed this aspect of Christian theology is J. Moltmann. Moltmann presents Christology basing it on the Cross and more concretely on the "forsaking of christ by God" on the Cross: not so much in the sense that this forsaking is a simple absence, silence or passiveness on the part of God, but that it is a positive and incomprehensible act of God Himself. As a consequence, the theology of the Cross would be for him (J. Moltmann) a hermeneutic principle relative to God Himself and not a simple expression of the mystique of suffering.

The author, without denying the many positive aspects that this theology of the cross might have among protestants, attempts to point out that the liturgical tradition of the Church, in very close union with the Holy Scriptures, the Magistery of the Church, the teachings of the Popes, the councils and the teaching of the masters of the spiritual life, offers a wide perspective of the mystery of the Cross, allowing it its true dimension. It is understandable that protestants authors know little of the liturgical tradition of the Church, but what is not understandable is that catholic theologians overlook it.

The liturgical tradition of the Church in the Orient as well as in the Occident coincides in this matter, although the author limits himself to an exposition of the theology of the Cross in the occidental liturgies. Among the many aspects studied by the author we find the Cross as related to the Redemption-Paschal mystery, as the antithesis of the tree of Paradise, as the triumph over Satan, as suffering, and as sacrifice; the author speaks about the sacraments, "dormire in cruce", the mystery of the Cross, protection, martyrdom-abnegation-ascetical struggle, the folly and glory of the Cross, and the cult of the Holy Cross.

The author calls attention, as he has done in other publications, to the necessity of incorporating the liturgy into the teaching of Theology, because the liturgy is one of the most expressive instruments of the Faith of the Church, an instrument that is at the same time prayer and should have a major influence and efficacy in forging an authentic spiritual life. That is the reason why it can not be lightly affirmed, as some people do, that the Cross should be relegated to cemetaries or sacred buildings, or that the Cross should be considered only as a simple ornament or commercial object. The Cross is for the Church the focal point, the integral and essential element of the paschal mystery of Christ.


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