John Milbank writes, “Since life passes and is only mediated through memory and desire, every concrete instance of life is always also something other than itself, part of a larger, dimly-imagined reality, disclosed only partially.”

Thus, “a ceaseless passing and a ceaseless dying is the very condition of life, which allows its dynamic and its development. This further suggests that only an impossible, embalmed, absolute finite life (as sought by spatialization) would be perfectly dead. Whereas, by contrast, what lives is never for a single instant of time or iota of space perfectly alive, but rather always already passed away and transported beyond the given horizon.”

And that means that created life is a sign of absolute life: “If life is only the passing of life, its ecstatic memory, then, as Augustine suggested, it occurs only as a sign of an absolute eternal life, as a desire for more of itself that would be more like itself.”

(Milbank, “Politics of Time: Community, Gift, and Liturgy,” Telos 113 [1998]: 41–67.)

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