Friday, September 18, 2015

The world finds fulfilment in the Church

Many ask how the world was created. Did it come into existence due to the big bang? Are we to follow the creationist view? Or, maybe, another view in order to explain this mysterious beginning of the created world. To be honest, I don’t think this is an important question for a Christian. Scientifically, it does maintain its significance; however, within Christian the importance is given on who did this and why. These two last points interest us, because they explain where we started from and where we are going; what the meaning of our life is and what our true objective is in life, i.e. communion with God (theosis). Vladimir Lossky explains why we have creation and how the world finds fulfilment in the Church, pointing out the fact that the Church is inclusive and not exclusive.

‘The world was created from nothing by the sole will of God – this is its origin. It was created in order to participate in the fullness of the divine life – this its vocation. It is called to make this union a reality in liberty, in the free harmony of the created will with the will of God – this is the mystery of the Church inherent in creation. Throughout all the vicissitudes which followed upon the fall of humanity and the destruction of the first Church – the Church of paradise – the creation preserved the idea of its vocation and with it the idea of the Church, which was at length to be fully realized after Golgotha and after Pentecost, as the Church properly so-called, the indestructible Church of Christ. From that time on, the created and contingent universe had borne within itself a new body, possessing an uncreated and limitless plenitude which the world cannot contain. This new body is the Church; the plenitude which it contains is grace, the profusion of the divine energies by which and for which the world was created. Outside of the Church they act as determining exterior causes, as the constant willing of God by which all being is created and preserved. It is only in the Church, within the unity of the body of Christ, that they are conferred, given to men by the Holy Spirit; it is in the Church that the energies appear as the grace in which created beings are called to union with God. The entire universe is called to enter within the Church, to become the Church of Christ, that it may be transformed after the consummation of the ages, into the eternal Kingdom of God. Created from nothing, the world finds its fulfilment in the Church, where the creation acquired an unshakable foundation in the accomplishment of its vocation.’[1]

[1] Lossky, Vladimir, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, (Cambridge, James Clarke& Co.Ltd., 1991), pp.112-113.

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