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AMERICA’S TECHNOLOGICAL ONTOLOGY AND THE GIFT OF THE GIVEN: BENEDICT XVI ON THE CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE QUAERERE DEUM 1 • David L. Schindler • To put the matter in language not easy for moderns . . . Christianity [is at its] center concerned with grace—if that word is given its literal meaning. Grace simply means that the great things of our existing are given us, not made by us and finally not to be understood as arbitrary accidents. Our making takes place within an ultimate givenness. However difficult it is for all of us to affirm that life is a gift, it is an assertion primal to Christianity. Through the vicissitudes of life, . . . to be a Christian is the attempt to learn the substance of that assertion. 2 In the long run all that is not done through Love and for Love must invariably end by being done against Love. The human being who denies his nature as a created being ends up by 1 This paper is dedicated to Cardinal Angelo Scola, in gratitude for his work in theological anthropology and contemporary cultural issues, and for his collaboration and friendship over many years. It appears in “Sufficit Gratia Tua”: Miscellanea in onore del Card. Angelo Scola in occasione del 70° genetliaco, ed. G. Marengo, J. Prades Lopez, and G. Richi Alberti (Venice: Marcianum Press, 2011). 2 George Grant, “Two Theological Languages,” Addendum [1988], in Collected Works of George Grant, vol. 2: 1951–1959, ed. Arthur Davis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), 60. Communio 38 (Summer 2011). © 2011 by Communio: International Catholic Review

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