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Preliminary communication

Transcendental experience of self-care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic

Emanuel Petrov orcid id ; Catholic faculty of Theology, University of Split, Split, Croatia
Šimun Markulin ; Catholic faculty of Theology, University of Split, Split, Croatia

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The meaning of existence of a human being as a person is to share in freedom and love. It has to do with the relationships among people, and human being experiences them in the vicinity and encounters with other people. Although the human being is an image of God as a person, the existence of divine persons is at a different height than the existence of human beings. Therefore, it is existentially important that the encounter with true love and freedom is realized on a human level and in the space of living. In this sense, Karl Rahner speaks of man’s own experience of transcendental surpassing and encounter within God’s self-communication. Human being is a being who in the embodied Logos, Jesus of Nazareth, can encounter what he seeks through personal transcendence. Therefore, the realization of one’s own existence can be achieved only in the encounter with a truly self-communicating Love, which finds its origin in the witnessing existence of human family.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as an experience of exceptional restriction of freedoms, and isolation and loneliness of global society, represents a dramatic experience of the vulnerability of human existence, and as such essentially points to the transcendental dimension of the human being. The experience of the revealed dangerous anthropocentrism, which seeks to satisfy exclusively and only its own “self”, stands in opposition to the inalienable dignity of every person and its transcendental experience of communion. That is why only in the process of transcendental surpassing of this kind of marginal experience, through contemplation, compassion, responsibility and solidarity, and the associated discovery of God’s self-communicating love, can a new time of healing, encounter, justice and common good begin, i.e. the time of returning the transcendental dignity to every person.


Karl Rahner, self-communication, experience, transcendence, dignity, pandemic

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