I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cardinal Lustiger

The late Archbishop of Paris Cardinal Lustiger published a wonderful book called "The Promise". Here is an extract from it.

"The Church appears in Jerusalem, after Pentecost, as an "assembly"
kahal in Hebrew, ecclesia in Greek. It is unthinkable that she would
claim to replace Israel. She is not another Israel, but the very,
fulfillment, in Israel, of God's plan...The Church is then faced
with the question of the extent to which these pagans who share in
Israel's Election should be obliged to observe the laws which are
Israel's trust, responsibility, and privilege. To what extent should
these pagans be associated with the totality of Israel's mission?
This is the major problem facing the first generations of
Christians, as all the New Testament writings testify...In this
early Church, the status of the pagan-Christian assemblies begins to
be established. They are not dispensed from observing the Law- if
the pagans did not observe the Law, they would have no share in
either Israel's Election or grace. But the gift of the Holy Spirit,
a grace of the messiah, enables pagans to observe the law
differently from Israel, which remains charged with
this "delightful" burden of observance. The Church of Jerusalem is,
in the Catholic church, the permanence of the promise made to
Israel, the presence of the fulfillment of that promise, an
attestation of the grace bestowed on the pagans. Thus, the church is
that of both Jews and pagans. The fact that this church of Jerusalem
was to survive only until the sixth century is one of history's
great mysteries and may well be a great spiritual tragedy-whose
final outcome remains hidden. For this matter the separation of the
church into Eastern and Western branches, cannot be considered
settled. These mysteries are a part of the wounds, the sins, that
we must acknowledge...The commandment to love as Jesus loves is not
to be substituted for the other commandments. That would make no
sense. There is only one holy Law. The law is the revelation of
God's commandments. The newness is in God's act, in that he sends
Israel his obedient Son... Jesus obviously spent much time
meditating on the commandments. Everything psalm 119 has to say
about the "delights" of the Law was certainly an essential part of
his prayer...The commandments were constantly being meditated by
Jesus as word of life...Why do these commandments have such
importance? How can we increase our understanding of them? The words
from Leviticus – `You shall be holy; for I am holy (11:44;19:2)- are
echoed in the Sermon on the Mount...It makes no sense to understand
the Sermon on the Mount as the substitution of one commandment for
another...It is essential to understand what is meant by the
expression "a new law". If the novelty meant is that the Holy Spirit
enters the heart of the one who participates in Christ's life –
the `law of the spirit' ,as Saint Paul expresses it- then, yes, the
expression "new law" is appropriate. However to maintain that the
revelation has been substituted for another is to understand
absolutely nothing of the mystery of Christ. It is to deny the gift
of God.

Why have these commandments been given to us?...The Law
enables us to act as God acts. And in Jesus meditation, the law
reveals how God acts. Just as much as the law is a precept given to
man, it is also revelation of God's action and his mystery...How can
it be suggested that by observing the Ten Commandments, we act as
God does, unless the commandments reveal to us how God acts? We have
to enter into Jesus' prayer – the gospel makes it possible – to
understand what the commandments tell us about the way God acts, how
they allow us to participate in God's own action...Undoubtedly,
there are several ways of observing certain precepts and practices
in religious life: that of the Church of Jerusalem, as described in
the Acts of the apostles in the first days of Christianity, a
community composed of observant Jews; an example of this way today
is monastic life – whereas the pagan- Christian communities do not
have the same obligations. All however, being ordered by love, which
is the greatest good of the church. This diversity is given for the
edification of all; but there is only one way to observe the will of
God and that is to obey the commandments." ( Cardinal Lustiger `The

"Pagans also have a right to the Law , as
a holy law inscribed in their hearts. It is by acting through the
Messiah , with him and in him who made himself obedient to the Law
to death on the Cross, that they obey the Law. The discipline of the
church dispenses them from Israel's observances, a burden to heavy
for them, and which remains Israel's privilege. It is not for the
pagans to take on the physical history of the Hebrews, since they,
through Christ, have become spiritual offspring of Abraham, but not
his physical descendants. Nevertheless, in Christ they have access
to the plenitude of the law, and receive the Holy Spirit which
allows them to fulfil it." (Cardinal Lustiger "The Promise" ACCESS

You can buy a copy in english here:


Hasidic Joy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Aron Yosef,
I would love to meet you to discuss your story.
Please e-mail me at RabbiC@bigpond.net.au
Thank you and G-d Bless you

Rabbi Eli Cohen