Pius XII, himself a pope (who knew the difference between an ex cathedra pronouncement and an ordinary one, because he had done both, only our fusion into unity with him, makes us bearers of the promise.” (33) This goes far beyond the Protestant notion of Union with Christ. That union is accomplished through the Holy Spirit – and the New Man.
But fast forward to July 2009, in an address in Aosta, Italy, Benedict again, as pope, cites Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and his pantheistic vision, far beyond what was said in “Introduction to Christianity” and claims that “the cosmos becomes a living host”:
“Let Your Church offer herself to You as a living and holy sacrifice”. This request, addressed to God, is made also to ourselves. It is a reference to two passages from the Letter to the Romans. We ourselves, with our whole being, must be adoration and sacrifice, and by transforming our world, give it back to God. The role of the priesthood is to consecrate the world so that it may become a living host, a liturgy: so that the liturgy may not be something alongside the reality of the world, but that the world itself shall become a living host, a liturgy. This is also the great vision of Teilhard de Chardin: in the end we shall achieve a true cosmic liturgy, where the cosmos becomes a living host. And let us pray the Lord to help us become priests in this sense, to aid in the transformation of the world, in adoration of God, beginning with ourselves.In other words, “we are the world.”
Paul’s letters frequently follow the pattern of theology --> application, and his letter to the Romans follows this same pattern. Here is the citation of the selection that the pope is quoting:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Schreiner, in his commentary, does not see pantheism in this text. “Paul is not merely saying that [these] sacrifices are spiritual in nature. His point is that it is eminently reasonable, given the mercies of God, for believers to dedicate themselves wholly to God.” (Commentary on Romans, 644-645). “The worship described does not relate to public assemblies but to the yielding of one’s whole life to God in the concrete reality of everyday existence.”
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
I’ve written about this, too, in a post entitled The Real Body of Christ.
Here, Ratzinger openly embraces the Platonic concept of “body” and rejects Scriptural meaning as he openly states, “Communion means the fusion of existences. Just as in the taking of nourishment the body assimilates foreign matter to itself, and is thereby enabled to live, in the same way my “I” is “assimilated” to that of Jesus, it is made similar to him in an exchange that increasingly breaks through the lines of division.”I’ll refer you to that link for more about this topic, but for now, it should be enough to provide a biblical picture of our future:
Now, it could not be more clear, in analyzing the texts of Paul’s letters, that this is in no way what he is talking about. But the Roman self-infatuation, in its desires to perpetuate its grandiose claims about itself, effectively repeats the promise of Satan: “You will be like God.”
See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”It will be time for Lewis’s “Great Dance”. No pantheism allowed.
Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
and they will reign on the earth.”
Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!”
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.