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7.4 Divine person and human persons

At this point we immediately understand that saying “you” presupposes a concept that needs to be clarified: what is “person”? Obviously we make an idea of this word basing on our relationships between human beings only. But it is not possible to define what “person” is in theory: it cannot be explained, but only experimented. Therefore, my relationship with God, considered as a personal “you”, cannot but start from a reference to the meetings already lived with human persons. I believe that all this finds a synthesis in another fact to reflect on: faith actually seems never to be born by itself, but only following relationships with human persons; there is always someone who transmits a creed, which is then studied in depth. Even if we go back to prehistoric times, it is possible to realize that believing in a god always arises within a relationship between people, even if it is the problem of relationships that break due to death. An interesting article on this topic is La scoperta dell’aldilà. Credenze e miti alle origini dell’uomo in Archeo 75 (1991) 56-109.
Then turning to God as a “you”, exposed to the doubting of reason, can be adequately realized only by keeping alive reference to the relationships with human persons that we lived and we are still living. From there, by analogy, we can come to relate to a you who is not seen, but who can be seen witnessed in people. If the most important aspect of God is being a “you” person, that I as a believer can see turning to me and to which I can respond, then the primary place to refer to to meet God will be people, even when I find myself alone in praying. My spiritual encounter with God will have to be structured so as to be born from the encounter with other people; moreover, it must also be realized in the perspective of the future meeting with other people. This way, the encounter with other people can effectively be defined as fons et culmen (source and summit) of my encounter with God.
This means that, in the context of Catholicism, even within a church where Mass is celebrated, the presence of God in people is more important than that in bread and wine; so we can better understand that the essential of the Eucharist is being for people and not being “in itself” (the “real presence” of Jesus Christ in the Host, which is sometimes referred to): what use would I make about a Host that was only to be watched or eaten on my own? In this sense, my experience of prayer, as a dialogue with the Lord, will start from a synthetic image of the most recent meetings that best showed it to me in the people with whom I related: it may have been a meeting, or a conversation, a visit, a chance meeting with a friend, etc .; the horizon will therefore still be aimed at similar future moments of encountering.
Of course, meetings with people are often disappointing, sometimes even deadly. But no one can save us from the lack of satisfying relationships with other human persons, if not other people still more, who are also human and cannot be summarily reduced to God, even if it is the reference to God made man. In the latter case we note that God, who also presents himself as a person, and also human, in Jesus Christ, never presents himself in substitution of relations with men, but redirects each time again towards them, often on the basis of a new start. This reflection makes the enclosure life certainly not the closest to the project of God and not even to the model of life constituted by the earthly existence of Jesus of two thousand years ago.

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