In his papal address on 18 April 2007, Pope Benedict XVI made the following comment in the context of discussing St. Clement of Alexandria:
“Knowledge of Christ is not only thought, but is love which opens the eyes, transforms the person, and creates communion with the Logos, with the Divine Word who is truth and life.”
I love theology because it is the study of our great and merciful God. But sometimes we can become so focussed on our theology that it can tend to become dry, and we risk losing Christ because our theology becomes the end rather than the means to the end.
Theology is good because it helps us to know Christ better. However, as our Holy Father so wisely puts it “knowledge of Christ is not only thought”. We have to let our theology open our eyes so that we are transformed and drawn into closer communion with our Lord and Saviour.
In this way, the words of our Holy Father are simply an echo of those of our first Pope, when he said that avoiding false doctrine, we should “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18).
As each one of us seeks to grow in our understanding of our Lord Jesus, may our prayer always be for His grace that we would be drawn into deeper communion with Him. And where can we receive this grace most especially? The greatest grace is received through the same means as the end that we are hoping for, and that is Holy Communion. There is no greater gift of grace that our Lord can give us than Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. So, if we desire to know Jesus, and enter into deeper communion with Him, the best place to start is with the Holy Eucharist.