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The cross, does it kill or liberates


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The cross, does it kill or liberates

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The cross, does it kill or liberates

  1. 1. 5.The cross, Kills orreleases?How could you have taken a very serious mismatch between what Christianity is and what itseems? Perhaps because the world does not understand the Cross. The cross is not denial, butway to achieve life, liberty, peace, friendship ... and any positive reality. No cross, no human has afuture. No cross, we destroy ourselves, between ourselves and the cosmos.Yes, because "the world lives by the sacrifice" as any family or friends, who only lives andeveryone will be comfortable only if someone is sacrificed. The cross is the sign of the greatstatement, the grain gives life dying. Why look at death, instead of focusing on what is important isthe greatness to be generating a new and higher life?
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  3. 3. 1.5 WE WANT TO LIVE! WE WANT FREEDOM!We want great things!It is not true that young people think about everything in the consumption and pleasure. It is true that is materialistic and selfish.The opposite is true: young people want great things. They want to stop injustice. They want to overcome the inequalities andinvolve everyone in the goods of the earth. They want the freedom to obtain oppressed. Theywant big things. They want good things.For this reason, you are so young-you-are again fully open to Christ. Christ has promised us a comfortable life. Who seeks comfortwith it is the wrong way. He shows us the path that leads to great things, to good, to an authentic human life. When he speaks ofthe cross we must bear is not the taste of torment or a petty moralism. Is the impulse of love, beginning with himself, but not self-seeking, it drives a person in the service of truth, justice and goodness.Christ shows us God and, thus, the true greatness of man. 34.1 pray with B16 1.5.aA basic paradox"How do you choose life?" On reflection, I have come to mind that the great defection of Christianity in the West occurred in the lasthundred years was precisely in the name of choice for life. I think it was said Nietzsche, but also in many others, that Christianity isa choice against life. It was said that with the cross, with all the Commandments, with all the "no" that he proposes, we close thedoor of life, but we want to have the life we choose, we choose, ultimately, by freeing ourselves from life the cross, liberating usfrom all these Commandments and all these "no." We have life in abundance, nothing more than life.Here comes immediately to mind the words of the Gospel for today: "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loseshis life for my sake will save it" (Lk 9, 24). This is the paradox that we must consider first and foremost in the choice for life. It isspewing life for us as we find life, but giving it, not having it or taking it, but giving it. This is the ultimate meaning of the cross, not totake for themselves, but giving life. March 2, 2006 1.5.bThe cross is a symbol of lifeThere was a period, which has not yet been fully overcome, in which Christianity was rejected precisely because ofthe cross. The cross speaks of sacrifice, it was said, the cross is a sign of denial of life. Instead, we want the wholelife, without any restrictions or waivers. We want to live, just live. We will not be limited by commands and prohibitions,we want wealth and fulfillment, so they said and still said.All this seems convincing and attractive, is the language of the serpent, who tells us: "Be not afraid! Eat quietly all thetrees of the garden! ". But Palm Sunday tells us that the real big "yes" is precisely the cross, that cross is precisely thetrue tree of life. We did not find the proper life of her, but donating. Love is giving himself, and so is the way to true life,symbolized by the cross. WYD. Rome, Sunday, April 9, 2006. 1.5.c2.5 The wise logic of the crossThis is the demanding way of the Cross that Jesus points out to all his disciples. On several occasions he said, "If anyone wants toserve me, let him follow me". There is no alternative for the Christian who wishes to fulfil his vocation. It is the "law" of the Cross,described with the image of the grain of wheat that dies in order that new life may germinate; it is the "logic" of the Cross, recalledalso in todays Gospel: "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life". "To hate"ones life is a strong and paradoxical Semitic expression that clearly emphasizes the radical totality which must distinguish thosewho follow Christ and, out of love for him, put themselves at the service of their brethren. They lose their life and thus find it. Thereis no other way to experience the joy and the true fruitfulness of Love: the way of giving oneself, of self-giving, of losing oneself inorder to find oneself. Parish of the Holy Face of Jesus in the Magliana. Sunday, March 29, 2009. 2.5.bThe logic of the cross, the only wayThis is the demanding way of the cross that Jesus tells all his disciples. On several occasions he said: "If anyone wants to serveme, follow me." There is no alternative to the Christian who wants to fulfill his vocation. Is the "law" of the cross described with theimage of the grain of wheat that dies to germinate into a new life, is the "logic" of the cross from which speaks to us todays Gospel:"He who loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life "(Jn 12, 25). "Hate" life itself is astrong Semitic expression is a paradox, highlights well the whole radical that should characterize those who follow Christ and Hislove is at the service of the brothers dies and thus the found. There is no other way to experience the joy and the true fertility ofLove: The Way of giving, surrender, lost to found. Parish of the Holy Face of Jesus in the Magliana. Sunday, March 29, 2009. 2.5.b3.5 THE CROSS SAYS MANY TRUTHS 3
  4. 4. The Cross - the giving of himself on the part of the Son of God - is the definitive"sign" par excellence given to us so that we might understand the truth about man and the truth about God: we have all beencreated and redeemed by a God who sacrificed his only Son out of love.This is why the Crucifixion, as I wrote in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, "is the culmination of that turning of God against himself inwhich he gives himself in order to raise man up and save him. This is love in its most radical form" (n. 12). Parish of God the Merciful Father. March 26, 2006 3.5.aThe cross is a revelation. But does not reveal anything, but God and man. It tells us how God is and what is man. InGreek philosophy foreshadows this in a way peculiar to the Platonic image of the just crucified. In his work on Platoasked the State how they could achieve in this world a man fully and completely fair. He concludes that the justice of aman is only perfect when he gives the impression that it is unjust to himself, because then it makes it clear that followsthe opinion of men, but that does justice for her sake. Thus, for Plato, misunderstood and persecuted is the real rightin this world. And do not hesitate to write: "You say, then, that in these circumstances will be tortured, flogged,chained, and then crucify him ..." This text, written four hundred years before Christ, all Christians impressed.Philosophical thought, with all its seriousness, has shown that just in the full sense of the word, must be crucified.Here is a glimpse of what the cross is revealed about the man. Introduction to Christianity, pp. 244-245 3.5.bBut the cross does not just say who the man but who God is. God is such that this gap has been identified with men and judges tosave him. In the abyss of human rejection manifests itself even more endless abyss of divine love. The cross is, therefore, the truecenter of revelation, a revelation that tells us nothing unknown, but we reveal who we really are to ourselves before God and putGod in our midst. Introduction to Christianity, pp. 244-245 3.5.c4.5 What does it mean the Cross of the Lord?But what does it mean the Lords cross then? It is the form taken by that love which man has completely accepted, even in his guiltand, therefore, even in death, to which it has fallen. It came to be sacrifice in boundless love that load shoulder with men, as thelost sheep, and leads him back to the Father, through the night of sin. From that moment there is a new kind of suffering is not acurse, but as love transforms the world. The Christian God, pp. 55-56 4.5.aThe cross opens the door from one side…In the old liturgy for Palm Sunday, the priest, arriving in front of the church, would knock loudly with the shaft of the processionalcross on the door that was still closed; thereupon, it would be opened. This was a beautiful image of the mystery of Jesus Christhimself who, with the wood of his Cross, with the power of his love that is given, knocked from the side of the world at Gods door;on the side of a world that was not able to find access to God. WYD, Saint Peter´s Square, Sunday, April 1,1 abril 2007. 4.5.bYet the man Jesus who was a true man with the same sentiments as ours felt the burden of the trial and bitter sorrow at the tragicend that awaited him. Precisely since he was God-Man he felt terror even more acutely as he faced the abyss of human sin and allthat is unclean in humanity which he had to carry with him and consume in the fire of his love. He had to carry all this with him andtransform it in his love. "Now is my soul troubled", he confessed. "And what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour?" (Jn 12:27). The temptation to ask: "Save me, do not permit the Cross, give me life!" surfaces. In the distress of his invocation we maygrasp in anticipation the anguished prayer of Gethsemane, when, experiencing the drama of loneliness and fear, he implored theFather to take from him the cup of the Passion.Parish of the Holy Face of Jesus in the Magliana. Sunday, March 29, 2009. 4.5.c…and from anotherWith his Cross, Jesus opened Gods door, the door between God and men. Now it is open. But the Lord also knocks with his Crossfrom the other side: he knocks at the door of the world, at the doors of our hearts, so many of which are so frequently closed toGod. And he says to us something like this: if the proof that God gives you of his existence in creation does not succeed inopening you to him, if the words of Scripture and the Churchs message leave you indifferent, then look at me - the God who lethimself suffer for you, who personally suffers with you - and open yourself to me, your Lord and your God.It is this appeal that we allow to penetrate our hearts at this moment. May the Lord help us to open the door of our hearts, the doorof the world, so that he, the living God, may arrive in his Son in our time, and reach our life. Amen. 4
  5. 5. WYD, Saint Peter´s Square, Sunday, April 1, 2007. 4.5.dThe cross is a bridgeThere is a bridge between heaven and earth. This bridge is the cross, the love of the Lord has built. The construction of this bridgegoes beyond the possibilities of the technique, the Babylonian had and will have to sink. Only the incarnate love of God couldraise that bridge. Where the sky opens and the angels of God going up and down (Jn. 1, 51), the men begin to understand. The Easter Road, p. 152 4.5.eA strange way to rise of all realityIn this light, we also understand the solemn proclamation with which the Gospel passage ends: "and I, when I am lifted up from theearth, will draw all men to myself" (Jn 12: 32), and likewise the Evangelists comment: "He said this to show by what death he wasto die" (Jn 12: 33). The Cross: the height loftiness of love is the loftiness of Jesus and he attracts all to these heights. Parish of the Holy Face of Jesus in the Magliana. Sunday, March 29, 2009. 4.5.fHe descends to this bridge, reaching us, and we can climb up on this bridge of peace to reach him. On this bridge, always togetherwith him, we too must reach our neighbour, reach the one who needs us. It is in lowering ourselves, together with Christ, that werise up to him and up to God. God is Love, and so the descent, the lowering that love demands of us, is at the same time the trueascent. Exactly in this way, lowering ourselves, coming out of ourselves, we reach the dignity of Jesus Christ, the human beingstrue dignity. Sunday, May 15, 2005. 4.5.g5.5 No cross, no life, and we make nothing bigThe fundamental law: no cross, no lifeWhen we touch the Cross, or rather, when we carry it, we touch the mystery of God, the mystery of Jesus Christ. The mystery thatGod so loved the world – us – that he gave his only-begotten Son for us (cf. Jn 3:16). We touch the marvellous mystery of God’slove, the only genuinely redemptive truth. But we also touch the fundamental law, the constitutive norm of our lives, namely the factthat without this “yes” to the Cross, without walking in communion with Christ day by day, life cannot succeed. The more we canmake some sacrifice, out of love for the great truth and the great love, out of love for the truth and for God’s love, the greater andricher life becomes. Anyone who wants to keep his life for himself loses it. Anyone who gives his life – day by day in small acts,which form part of the great decision – that person finds it. This is the challenging, but also profoundly beautiful and liberating truththat we wish to enter into, step by step, as the Cross makes its journey across the continents. May the Lord bless this journey. WYD, Saint Peter´s Square, Sunday, April 5, 2009. 5.5.aOcean of evil against ocean of goodnessWhy was it necessary to suffer to save the world? It was necessary because there exists in the world an ocean of evil, of injustice,hatred, and violence, and the many victims of hatred and injustice have the right to see justice done. God cannot ignore the cries ofthe suffering who are oppressed by injustice. To forgive is not to ignore, but to transform. God must enter into this world in order toset against the ocean of injustice a larger ocean of goodness and of love. And this is the event of the Cross: from that moment,against the ocean of evil, there exists a river that is boundless, and so ever mightier than all the injustices of the world, a river ofgoodness, truth, and love. Thus God forgives, coming into the world and transforming it so that there may be a real strength, a riverof goodness wider than all the evil that could ever exist.So our address to God becomes an address to ourselves: God invites us to join with him, to leave behind the ocean of evil, ofhatred, violence, and selfishness and to make ourselves known, to enter into the river of his love. Aosta. July 24, 20 09 5.5.bYou know from bitter experience that, in comparison with the sudden, destructive fury of evil, the work of rebuilding is painfully slowand arduous. Living by the truth takes time, effort and perseverance: it has to begin in our own hearts, in the small daily sacrificesrequired if we are to be faithful to God’s law, in the little acts by which we demonstrate that we love our neighbours, all ourneighbours, regardless of race, ethnicity or language, and by our readiness to work with them to build together on foundations thatwill endure. Let your parishes become communities where the light of God’s truth and the power of Christ’s reconciling love are notonly celebrated, but proclaimed in concrete works of charity. 5
  6. 6. Cimangola, Luanda. Sunday March 22, 2009. 5.5.cWe do welcome brothersLet us turn our gaze to Christ today, often distracted by superficial and ephemeral earthly interests. Let us pause tocontemplate his cross. The cross is the source of immortal life, is a school of justice and peace, is the universalpatrimony of pardon and mercy, is proof of a permanent and infinite self-giving love that brought God to become man,vulnerable like us, to die on the cross.Her arms stuck open for every human being and invite us to approach him with the assurance that we will welcomeand closer in an embrace of infinite tenderness: "When up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (Jn 12, 32).Through the sorrowful way of the cross, men of all ages, reconciled and redeemed by the blood of Christ, havebecome friends of God, Heavenly Fathers children. "Friend", and called Jesus to Judas and directs you the latest anddramatic call to conversion."Friend”, He calls each one of us, because He is true friend of all. Unfortunately, men do not always manage toperceive the depth of this infinite love God has for His creatures. For him there is no difference of race and culture.Jesus Christ died to free mankind from ignorance of God, the circle of hatred and revenge, from the bondage of sin.The cross makes us brothers. Colosseum in Rome. Friday, April 6, 2007 5.5.d6.5 IS GOD CRUEL BY ALLOWING THE CROSS?Because of a misunderstood theology, many have received [...] the image of a cruel God who calls the blood of his Son. [...]However, it is just the opposite: the biblical God does not want human victims. Where it is presented in religious history, stophuman sacrifices. Before Abraham Isaac put his hand on, it prevents the divine mandate: the ram replaced the child. Thus beginsthe worship of Yahweh: the sacrifice of the firstborn who asks the ancestral religion of Abraham is relieved by obedience, by faith,the external substitute, the ram is only an expression of this process more deeply, it is not replaced but access to the essential. Forthe God of Israel, human sacrifice is an abomination: Moloch, the god of human sacrifice, is the quintessence of the false god,which opposes Yahwist faith. Divine service to the God of Israel, not the mans death, but his life. Irenaeus of Lyon coined for thisidea the beautiful formula, Gloria Dei vivens homo living man is the glory of God. The Christian God, p. 55 6.5.aSt Gregory of Nazianzus once asked himself why God wanted to become a man. The most important and for me the most movingpart of his answer is: "God wanted to realize what obedience means to us and he wanted to measure everything on the basis of hisown suffering, on the invention of his love for us. In this way, he himself can directly know what it is that we feel - what is asked ofus, what indulgence we deserve - calculating our weakness on the basis of his suffering" (Orationes30; Theological Talk IV, 6).At times we would like to say to Jesus: Lord, your yoke is far from light. Indeed, it is tremendously heavy in this world. But thenlooking at the One who bore everything - who tried out on himself obedience, weakness, suffering, all the darkness -, then thesecomplaints of ours fade. His yoke is that of loving with him. And the more we love him and with him become loving people, thelighter becomes his seemingly burdensome yoke.Let us pray to him to help us become with him people who are loving, thereby toincreasingly experience how beautiful it is to take up his yoke. Vatican Basílica, Holy Thursday, April 5, 2007. 6.5.b7.5 WHY DO WE CROSS ONESELF?What do we do when we cross oneself?The prophet shows us is that this king will be a king of peace: he will cause chariots of war and war horses to vanish, he will breakbows and proclaim peace.This is brought about in Jesus through the sign of the Cross. The Cross is the broken bow, in a certain way, Gods new, truerainbow which connects the heavens and the earth and bridges the abysses between the continents. The new weapon that Jesusplaces in our hands is the Cross - a sign of reconciliation, of forgiveness, a sign of love that is stronger than death.Every time we make the Sign of the Cross we should remember not to confront injustice with other injustice or violence with otherviolence: let us remember that we can only overcome evil with good and never by paying evil back with evil. WYD, SAINT PETER´S SQUARE, SUNDAY, APRIL 9,JMJ, 2006. 7.5.aJonahs death according to rabbinical tradition, was a voluntary death for the salvation of Israel, and for that reason was Jonah "ajust perfect." The sign of true Fair, the perfect right, is the voluntary death for the salvation of others. This sign has given us Jesus.He is the real fair. Your sign is your death. Its symbol is the cross. This will mark the end of time. And is this a sign the worldsopinion, the trial of our lives. Let our lives right now under this sign, day after day, we accept and recognize the sign of Jonahmaking the sign of the cross at the beginning and end of our prayers. The Easter Road, p. 42 6
  7. 7. 7.5.bThe cross around the neckMany of you wear around your neck a chain with a cross. I too wear one, as indeed all the bishops. Not an ornament or a jewel. It isthe precious symbol of our faith, the visible and material sign that we belong to Christ. St. Paul speaks clearly of the cross at thebeginning of his first letter to the Corinthians. In Corinth, lived a community uproar and revolt, exposed to the dangers of corruptionof the surrounding culture. Hazards similar to those we know today. I will not mention anything more than the following: the quarrelsand fights within the community of believers, the seductiveness of pseudo religious or philosophical wisdom, the superficiality offaith and a dissolute morality. Saint Paul begins his letter by writing: "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are inthe process of destruction, but for those who are being saved, for us is the power of God" (1 Cor 1.18) . Then the Apostle showsthe opposition between wisdom and folly, in God and as men. Talk about it when he evokes the founding of the Church in Corinthand purpose of his own preaching. Concludes insisting beauty of wisdom God Christ and after Him, His Apostles teach the worldand Christians. This wisdom, mysterious and hidden (cf. 1 Cor 2.7), has been revealed by the Spirit, because "human level onedoes not capture what is proper to the Spirit of God, it sounds crazy, can not perceive it because you can only judge the criteria ofthe Spirit "(1 Cor 2.14).The Spirit opens human intelligence to horizons that surpass it and makes him understand that the only true wisdom is in thegreatness of Christ. For Christians, the Cross signifies Gods wisdom and his infinite love revealed in the saving gift of Christ deadand risen for the life of the world, in particular, for the life of each. The Spirit of the Liturgy, Christianity Ediciones, Madrid 1978. God and Christianity B16. 7.5.cThis discovery impressive a God became man for love you to respect and venerate the Cruz. Not is only sign your life in God andyour salvation but-lo know-silent witnesss sufferings men and while unique expression and precious all hopes. The Spirit of the Liturgy, Christianity Ediciones, Madrid 1978. God and Christianity B16. 7.5.dGod is a blessing for all creation and all men. The cross, which is his sign in heaven and on earth, had to become, therefore, in thegesture of blessing itself Christian.Christianity not moralism. Christianity is the reality of the common history of God and man. In this story that dominates the gift ofGod, we learn to act like men. The Spirit of the Liturgy, Christianity Ediciones, Madrid 1978. God and Christianity B16. 7.5.e8.5 Ways of our crossDear young people, I know that venerating the Cross can sometimes bring mockery and even persecution. Cross-threatening insome measure of human security, but is also and above all, Gods grace and confirms our salvation. This evening, I entrust to theCross of Christ. The Holy Spirit will understand its mysteries of love and you will exclaim with Saint Paul: "God forbid that I shouldglory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal 6.14). Paulhad understood the words of Jesus seemingly paradoxical that it is only by giving ("losing") that one finds life (cf. Mk 8:35, Jn12.24) and it had drawn the conclusion that Cross expresses the fundamental law of love, the perfect formula for real life. Thatsome deepening the mystery of the Cross you discover the call to serve Christ unreservedly in the priesthood or religious life. Notre-dame Cathedral Paris, Friday, September 12, 2008 8.5 ATo follow himWe see that the entire fabric of the message of Jesus is full of tensions, which is a major challenge. There always has to do withthe cross. Who does not want to be left to burn, who is not willing, nor come near Him But we must know precisely where he willfind true goodness, that helps us, and we agree that in addition to harbor good intentions toward us, makes us do well. God and the world, p. 21 8.5 BTo respond to evilFollowing the divine Teacher in docility makes Christians witnesses and apostles of peace. We might say that this inner attitudealso helps us to highlight more clearly what response Christians should give to the violence that is threatening peace in the world.It should certainly not be revenge, nor hatred nor even flight into a false spiritualism. The response of those who follow Christ israther to take the path chosen by the One who, in the face of the evils of his time and of all times, embraced the Cross withdetermination, following the longer but more effective path of love.Following in his footsteps and united to him, we must all strive to oppose evil with good, falsehood with truth and hatred with love. 7
  8. 8. Basílica de Santa Sabina. Miércoles 1 marzo 2006. 8.5.cTo persevere in adversityDear friends, what it mean to build on the rock? Building on the rock means being aware that there will be setbacks. Christ says:"The rain fell, the floods came, the winds blew, and rammed the house ..." (Mt 7, 25). These natural phenomena are not only theimage of the many contradictions of the human condition are also usually predictable. Christ does not promise that building a housein a downpour will not fall ever, not promises a violent wave not break down what is most dear to us, does not promise that strongwinds are not what we have built drag sometimes at the cost of enormous sacrifices. Christ not only understands the aspiration ofman to a permanent home, but is also fully aware of everything that can ruin the happiness of man. Therefore, you should notsurprise you that contradictions arise, whatever. Do not be discouraged because of them. A building constructed on the rock wasnot exempted from the action of the forces of nature, inscribed in the mystery of man. Have built on rock means being certain thatin difficult times there is a positive force in which you can trust. Krakow-Błonia, Saturday May 27, 2006 8.5.dAnd do not be afraid! Even if it means being a “sign of contradiction” (Lk 2:34) in the face of hardened attitudes and a mentality thatsees others as a means to be used, rather than as brothers and sisters to be loved, cherished and helped along the path offreedom, life and hope. Cimangola, Luanda. Domingo 22 marzo 2009. 8.5.eTo be in his hands[...] [...] The cross demands that Jesus put in the hands of my own self, not to destroy it, but that it becomes free and open. Theother in Jesus Christ that I convey his if he really is totally mine. So this approach requires much patience and humility, as the Lordis patient with us: not a somersault in the heroism that makes holy man, but the humble and patient journey with Jesus, step bystep. Holiness does not consist in risky acts of virtue, but in love with him. So true saints are men fully human and natural, thehuman beings who, through the transformation and purification of Easter, comes the light in all its original beauty. Look to Christ, p. 107 8.5.fTo accept the truth"Becoming" means: to accept the suffering of the truth. The conversion requires the truth, faith and love will become moreimportant than our biological life, the welfare, success, prestige and tranquility of our existence, this is not just an abstract way, butin our reality daily and in the smallest things. In fact, the success, prestige, tranquility and comfort are the false gods that more truthand prevent true progress in personal and social life. When we accept the primacy of truth, follow the Lord, we carry our cross andpartake in the culture of love, which is the culture of the cross. The Easter Road, pp. 27-28 8.5.gTo accept the effortA man who is deprived of all fatigue and transported to the promised land of their dreams lose their authenticity and selfhood. Infact the man is not saved but through the cross and accepting ones suffering and the suffering of the world, who find their sense ofliberation in the passion of God. Only then will man be free. All other offers at the best prices are bound to fail. Why am I still a Christian?, P. 109 8.5.h9.5 The cross is not the last WordThe cross was not a last word of God in Jesus Christ. The tomb is not retained. Resurrected and God speaks to us through theresurrection. In hell, the rich man begged for Lazarus to his brothers will appear and advise them of his cruel fate: believe, hethinks, if someone had risen from the dead (Luke 16, 27s). However, Lazarus has come true. Is there and says, this life is noteverything. There is an eternity. [...] The theme of this world has every appearance of an escape from the present. But if this issueis true, can you overlook?, Can dismiss as consolation?, Is not precisely what gives life seriously, freedom, hope? The Christian God, p. 54 9.5.A 8