The divine GPS

The semi-official Vatican journal "La Civiltà Cattolica" has published an interview with Fr. Jean-Miguel Garrigues, professor of patristics and dogmatics at the Institut Supérieur Thomas d’Aquin, at the Dominican House of Studies in Toulouse, and at the Seminaire International St Cure'd Ars. He worked with Cristoph Schönborn in preparing the Catechism of the Catholic Church. With regard to issues likely to be the subject of passionate debate at the Synod of Bishops in October, Garrigues proposed a pastoral approach that takes into account the personal journeys of individuals. He offered a comtemporary analogy:

     When we take the wrong street or are distracted, the apparatus recalculates the route, taking note of our mistake and adapting the route so that we can reach the destination still desired. “Analogously, every time that we go off track by sinning, God does not require us to return to our point of departure because biblical conversion of heart, metanoia, is not a Platonic return to the starting point. God re-orients us towards himself, tracing a new route toward himself. Just as the destinations do not change in the GPS, so the moral goals do not change in God’s governance. What changes–and how great they are!–is the route that each person takes in his free journey towards moral maturity before God and towards God. Think of the number of alternative journeys that the divine GPS must have pointed out to the Good Thief before that final and supremely dramatic short-cut on the Cross!”

Andrea Tornielli’s summary of the interview can be found here, but strangely the English translation omits the paragraph I have translated above which can be found in the Italian version here.

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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