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What is man?

From Pope Benedict’s Dogma and Preaching:

Man is such that he cannot stand the person who is wholly good, truly upright, truly loving, the person who does evil to no one.  It seems that in this world only momentarily is trust met with trust, justice with justice, love with love.  The person who exemplifies all these virtues quickly becomes insupportable to others.  People will crucify anyone who is really and fully human.  Such is man.  And such a I – that is the terrifying insight that comes to me from the crucified Christ.  Along with this insight, however, goes another:  Man is the creature who is capable of being an expression of God himself.  Man is so made that God can enter into union with him.  Man, who seems at first sight to be a kind of unfortunate monster produced by evolution, at the same time represents the highest possibility the created order can attain.  And this possibility becomes a reality, even if it be amid the saddest kind of failure on the part of the human race.

It is one of the many unique geniuses of Christian theology to simultaneously admit the depths of depravity and the heights of holiness of which humanity is capable.  This may be one of the more odd “both/and” cases I’ve come across, but that does not at all decrease its validity.

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