What you are is God's gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.
To be a child means to owe one's existence to another, and even in our adult life we never quite reach the point where we no longer have to give thanks for being the person we are.
The Church does not dispense the sacrament of baptism in order to acquire for herself an increase in membership but in order to consecrate a human being to God and to communicate to that person the divine gift of birth from God.
What the Father gives is the capacity to be a self, freedom, and thus autonomy, but an autonomy which can be understood only as a surrender of self to the other.
In Christ, for the first time, we see that in God himself there exists--within his inseparable unity--the distinction between the Father who gives and the Gift which is given (the Son), but only in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
Her (Mary's) Son first had to be the Child of the Father in order then to become man and be capable of taking up on his shoulders the burden of a guilty world.
Mary thus learns that the Most High has ever borne a Son in his bosom, and that this Son has now chosen her bosom as dwelling-place.
It would be unjust toward children to introduce them to Christian teaching and existence only as little pagans and catechumens, in order to leave it up to them to choose the Faith on their own responsibility at a point in time difficult to determine.
Whoever removes the Cross and its interpretation by the New Testament from the center, in order to replace it, for example, with the social commitment of Jesus to the oppressed as a new center, no longer stands in continuity with the apostolic faith.
Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness.
But the issue is not only life and death but our existence before God and our being judged by him. All of us were sinners before him and worthy of condemnation.
Thus it is necessary to commence from an inescapable duality: the finite is not the infinite.
We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it.
Prior to an individual's encounter with the love of God at a particular time in history, however, there has to be another, more fundamental and archetypal encounter, which belongs to the conditions of possibility of the appearance of divine love to man.
It is, finally, a word is untimely in three different senses, and bearing it as one's treasure will not win one anyone's favours; one rather risks finding oneself outside everyone's camp... Beauty is the word that shall be our first.
Not longer loved or fostered by religion, beauty is lifted from its face as a mask, and its absence exposes features on that face which threaten to become incomprehensible to man.
If God wishes to reveal the love that he harbors for the world, this love has to be something that the world can recognize, in spite of, or in fact in, its being wholly other.
The Christian response is contained in these two fundamental dogmas: that of the Trinity and that of the Incarnation. In the trinitarian dogma God is one, good, true, and beautiful because he is essentially Love, and Love supposes the one, the other, and their unity.
The first attempt at a response: there must have been a fall, a decline, and the road to salvation can only be the return of the sensible finite into the intelligible infinite.
St. Paul would say to the philosophers that God created man so that he would seek the Divine, try to attain the Divine. That is why all pre-Christian philosophy is theological at its summit.