Two relational reciprocitists

by Andrea Elizabeth

‘In consequence, the ontological dimensions of the Eucharist are dimensions of this limitless and incorruptible eternal life, consisting in mutual self-giving which is identified with eternal awareness and experience of the deifying truth of our adoption in Christ – of the recapitulation of creaturehood in accordance with providence, which is activated in the context of the Church’s Eucharistic communion. Maximus’s thought is governed first and foremost by experiential knowledge of this truth, leading him to place the Eucharist at the apex of the mysteries of the Church[…], “The cup is placed before the baptism, because virtue exists for the sake of truth, not truth for the sake of virtue.” And he goes on to explain, “Truth means divine knowledge, while virtue means the struggles which those who desire the truth undertake for its sake.” ‘ (A Eucharistic Ontology, by Nikolaos Loudovikos, p. 29)

‘ “When we objectively investigate the truth, we reflect objectively about the truth as an object to which we are related. We do not reflect upon the relationship, but upon the fact that it is the truth–the truth to which we are related. When this to which we are related merely is the truth, the true, then the subject is in the truth. When we subjectively investigate the truth, we reflect subjectively upon the relationship of the individual; only when the how of this relationship is in truth, is the individual in truth, even if he is thus related to the untrue.” [Fear and Trembling]
One of his famous quotes is; “Truth is subjectivity.” It would be easy to misinterpret that as meaning you can believe whatever you want to believe. That is not the subjectivity Kierkegaard seeks. Selecting beliefs out of convenience is a superficial, consumer-level mode of living. People sometimes justify their beliefs this way saying “it works for me” or “it is my truth” or some such. As I read Kierkegaard, the appropriate slogan would not be It works for me, thus it is true but rather I work for it, thus it is true. The difference is the matter of personal commitment to the truth. ‘ (from oregonstate.edu)

St. Maximus through the Church, Kierkegaard through individual pursuit, refusing communion on his deathbed. I hope he was given another chance.

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