ANTHROPOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

This work, inspired by a poem and an image: footprints on the sand left alone, might seem like a fanciful idea. In reality, based on the Word of God and the faith of the Holy Church, it aims to be an attempt to translate, in terms understandable to us, the experience of Cistercian anthropology. Specifically, I avoid using the term “Cistercian spirituality”, as in contemporary culture, this term has taken on a very dubious content. Furthermore, the Cistercian experience is not at all a “spirituality”, but rather an anthropology. It is the path of “recovery” of man and his development, until the full maturity of Christ Jesus.

Fr. Bernardo Boldini

Cistercian Monastery (Trappist)

Therefore, God created man composed of two substances, one called body, initially created with mud and subsequently procreated with the flesh and blood of man, and one called soul, which, created each time by God, and only once and for one flesh, descends to unite with the flesh that forms in a womb. Without the soul, man would be an animal creature guided by instinct and natural gifts. Without the body, man would be a spiritual creature with supernatural gifts of intelligence, will, and grace like the angels.

 

NOTEBOOKS FROM 1945 TO 1950 CHAPTER 591 – Maria Valtorta

INTRODUCTION

Anthropology (from the Greek ἄνθρωπος, “man”, and λόγος, “speech, study“), in general, is the discipline that studies the human being, considered both as a subject or individual, and as a member of a community.


Genesi

GENESIS - ORIGIN OF MAN

The creature needs to love, and to feel less alone and to love, it must remember. Memory is like a chain that binds to the beloved, thrown into the distances. You cannot see the end, but the movements that are felt coming through the loving chain of mutual remembrance say that one is loved as one loves.

 

Adam and Eve therefore had the gift of Grace, which is love, light, wisdom, knowledge of God, and this gift, being they men and women privately and publicly together, being the progenitors of all the human family, would have been transmitted by them together with other gifts to their descendants and there would have been no need for them to labor to remember God.

THE ORIGIN OF CONFLICT
YOU LEFT ME ALONE BECAUSE...?

“Why have you left me alone” is the voice of the conflict existing in the human being and that we constantly find in the Bible, especially in the Psalms. It is an experience of “conflict” within man that reverberates outside of himself, on his “world”, in culture, in religions, and, unfortunately, in violence of all kinds; in the search for meaning in suffering and death.

 

Where does it come from? The philosophical, psychological, sociological analyses, etc., are countless. Throughout these pages, there are some necessary hints for the documentation of the aforementioned investigations

GOD: "THE ADVERSARY"

Recriminations against God arise easily; because, even if the wound is “defended,” it always remains alive. Such recriminations can unconsciously lead to the denial of being “wounded” and, therefore, to the denial of Love: God the Father, the Lord Jesus, the Holy Healing Spirit.

 

Most of the time, because it is less responsible and less demanding, denial is masked by indifference, supported by the modern “culture,” the approximate and consumeristic mentality, not so much of material goods, but of ideas, sensations of the moment.

REDEMPTION

Our psychological structure and our culture give us an image of God and ourselves not only incomplete but false: God is an “adversary” and man “c’est une passion inutile” (it is a useless passion)…

The origin of such a falsification of judgment is rooted in original sin. Original sin is caused by the suggestion of the serpent, which distorts reality, insinuating in man the desire not to be limited by the dynamics of growth inherent in him…

 

Man lives under the influence of original sin in the anguished attempt to realize himself within the created realm, his fig leaves, but he never succeeds in his attempt to realize himself despite his achievements…

Marx himself constructed a “mystique” which, although entirely focused and aimed at the realization of materialism, was a “transcendence into the religion of a new world and a new man”: a state without social classes.

WHY HASN'T GOD FORGIVEN?

Why does man continue to suffer and die? If He has forgiven in Christ Jesus, if from the beginning He has promised a Redeemer, why hasn’t He immediately remedied the disorder caused by sin: fear, anguish, and death?

Death entered the world through the envy of the devil, because God created the devil and above all because He continues to maintain him in existence, why doesn’t He annihilate him?

With this brief but necessary clarification and distinction between pain, evil, and suffering, we can proceed in attempting to understand how to reconcile suffering with the goodness and power of the Creator.

THE WORD OF THE LORD

How to read the Gospel.

This question leads to another: what is the Gospel? A text must be approached according to its nature, its historical origin, etc. Therefore, what the Gospel is is the first question to answer in order to understand anything about the Gospel.

What is the Gospel.

It is the word of God! Well, but what is the Word of God? The explanation is summarized briefly but exhaustively from the beginning of Hebrews:

Heb 1:1-3, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.”

FOR A PATH OF CONVERSION
THREE WOMEN AND A MAN

The path of healing, or conversion, can be summarized with three episodes from the Gospel, or rather, with the attitude of three women. Each one reveals a deep behavior of our lives that we must overcome because the “footprints” do not leave the continuous experience of being left alone and therefore always in conflict with ourselves.

The awareness of the “illness” is an observation that remains, in a certain sense, “external” to us. Changing, instead, is a transformation that must occur within us: the change, from illness to healing, presupposes an active passage…

DREAMING AND REBIRTHING

It seems that no one is able to redo what was wrong in our growth. The wounds remain. The defenses against these wounds, although healed, are always strong. We are careful that no one enters these “zones” of our lives that risk making us experience the past sufferings again. And it is the fear of reopening these wounds that our ego builds defenses, censors and “adapts” – with the superego – to the culture…

The reason for our lament comes from the real realization that, at a certain point, on the beach there is only one footprint. The observation is well-founded: suffering, evil, death exist. The conclusion, however, is hasty: “why have you left me alone?”

A WALK WITH JESUS TO BE REBORN

The power of the “greats” has overwhelmed us.

In reality, our ears have heard harmful things whenever in our growth desire has been curtailed, rejected, and thus frustrated.

Frustration that at a certain point shows its true face: ANGUISH!

How can we modify ourselves until we change our experience to accept the Lord’s experience? How, that is, can we learn to see that the single footprint on the sand is not a sign that the Lord has abandoned us, but that He was carrying us and therefore was with us?

In our daily experience it is clear: there are wounds that make us suffer. There are indeed situations that we experienced in childhood that have marked us without us being able to decide or react.

 

The Liturgy is a complex of signs: sacraments, symbols, through which God comes to us with his half to offer us the completion of ourselves.

INSIGHTS FOR UNDERSTANDING
AND GUIDANCE TO VISION

The Christian faith is a reality that is given to us both as knowledge and as the realization of man. It is God who offers us the other half of the “symbol” to complete our knowledge and our reality. The union of the two halves of the “symbol” is achieved in the relationship, which becomes listening, acceptance, prayer.

In order not to fall into the constant danger of clinging to the subjective and therefore distorted religious sense, it is necessary to adhere to what offers us the other half of the “symbol”: the Lord Jesus in the holy Church.

INTRODUCTION

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THE MYSTERY OF THE LITURGIC SIGN

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THE MYSTERY OF LITURGY

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SIGNS OF INITIATION

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THE EUCHARIST

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The Transfiguration

MAN MUST ACCEPT TO CHANGE
HIS EXPERIENCE

To everyone, he said: If anyone wants to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross every day and follow me. Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it, Luke 23-24.

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Conclusion

As long as it is fear that leads you to act rightly, it means that God does not yet form your delight. As long as you behave like a slave, it means that you have not yet placed your delight in God: when you find your delight in him, you will be free.