Choice toward personhood

Every other human being, according to the ancient church, shares the same nature I do. But we are each persons — or, at least, we are each on our way to becoming persons. We are now individuals, subject to human nature. The distinction for and of Saints is they are those who have crossed a particular barrier/threshold, they are those who have become persons. These have moved somewhere beyond human nature, or at least beyond fallen human nature. Not that they share God’s unique nature, but they share his energies, and so then, as the Apostle Peter said, they share in the divine nature. Which, according to the Church, involves personhood as sovereign, as supreme. Which moves (in an organic motion) into life in all its fullness. Ultimate life.

Death (destruction) of the individual that is me — the nascent person if you will — is a formidable enemy. In the second epistle of Peter, the apostle is perhaps saying something along these lines. (And he says that Paul wrote about the “same things”, and that Paul’s writings are hard to understand and can be twisted by those “untaught” as well as by those “unstable”. Not that I am stable; don’t take my word for things; take Peter’s, take Paul’s.)



The idea I may be working with, then, is that I am not my worst enemy. I am a creature whose destiny can be personhood, which is life. By making rebellious, awful choices I am an enemy to myself, because I turn away from life, my best destiny. Nonpersonhood, it seems obvious, would be death, destruction. My ultimate foe. Maybe God's powerful, ultimate wrath is/will actually be seen toward ultimate death, the thing individuals can ultimately choose, being free, being creatures, not the Creator, who "has life in himself" and who "can't deny himself."

What does the pro-life movement base itself on, after all? Their message is that through abortion we are denying personhood. Or at least we are denying existence under the sun to those who are made such that they can become persons.

I suppose that in the pro-abortion movement might lurk the correct understanding that a little human who gets to be born is still not a full person. In the sense of the Church, maybe, then, the abortionist, who is denying that little human life here and now, is also still not a full person, because none of us is. And we are given the real option to deny ourselves the journey toward full personhood (maybe by aborting babies; maybe by gossiping, maybe by clinging to ideas that are outside of the truth and bring death).

The tragedy in abortion is not deepest for the baby, although an injustice occurs for that individual. The tragedy is deepest for the individuals who bring about that abortion of the process of living under the sun. The act of abortion is sin. As does every transgression, it moves toward the ultimate death, the second death. Thank heaven God is merciful toward me and every other sinner.

The choice toward ultimate life or toward ultimate death continues throughout our existences under the sun. This is a thought that pauses me. But while it is a fearful thought, it is not a despairing one. I remain one who has not made myself and has not created reality. The Creator, who is good, has done this and has provided the one good choice that can only be rejected; it will not be taken away. And I can be comforted by those who have gone before and have remained, abided, in the choice for ultimate life. Their choice is a Person in whom from the beginning was Life, and the Life was the light of men. They have become, at least more fully, persons. Saints.

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