Slow reading now, mainly because of life outside of books, but I can’t say how much I love this book. In this passage, Pope Benedict is addressing the conception of God as ‘otherness’, and why His condescension is part of his ineffableness.

Most people today still admit in some form or other that there probably is some such thing as a “supreme being”. But people find it an absurd idea that this being should concern himself with man; we have the feeling – for it happens again and again even to those who try to believe – that this sort of thing is the expression of a naive anthropomorphism . . . . But, we think, in an age when we know how infinitely different things are, how unimportant the earth is in the vast universe and consequently how unimportant that little speck of dust, man, is in comparison with the dimensions of the cosmos – . . . it seems an absurd idea that this supreme being should concern himself with man . . . . But although we may think that in this way we are speaking about God in an appropriately divine manner, in reality we are in fact thinking of him in a very petty and only too human way. . . .

In contrast . . . . The boundless spirit who bears in himself the totality of Being reaches beyond the “greatest”, so that to him it is small, and he reaches into the smallest, because to him nothing is too small. Precisely this overstepping of the greatest and reaching down into the smallest is the true nature of absolute spirit.

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