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229 Love and understanding

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McDermott John M.   

 “Analecta Gregoriana” 229

1983, pp. XVI -  318



“That paradoxical suggestion of the infinite in and through the finite”: so in his first published writing, a eulogy of José Maria Hereida, a cousin on his mother’s side, Pierre Rousselot, characterized the poet’s achievement of genius. What the poet suggests the metaphysician seeks to clarify. These words present the task which the young Jesuit set himself as he entered the ways od speculation. For more then being the ideal of the great metaphysicians of history, those words reflect justly the whole sacramental reality of Christianity. The infinite God can and does reveal Himself through the finite and thereby sanctifies and elevates this finite world beyond itself. God remains God, and man remains man, but the two are joined in Jesus Christ and the sacraments of the Church. Born 1878 at Nantes, Rousselot grew into the strong Breton faith of a family that had remained constant to martyrdom during the French Revolution. When he chose at the age of sixteen to “leave the world” by entering the Jesuit novitiate, he never recognized a complete separation between the world of God and the world of man. Nature and grace had so cooperated in his own upbringing that conversion, through real, was much more a return to deeper, hidden springs of life than a complete repture with the past. His profound sensitivity for the fundamental unity of nature and grace, flesh and spirit found a kindred soul in St. Thomas Aquinas, the proposed master of his philosophical and theological studies in the Society of Jesus.



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