Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christ represents us naturally, but Mary, personally

"It is not by chance that it was precisely the male sex which was chosen for the highest elevation of nature, but the female sex for the elevation of the person.  For nature hypostatically united to God had to represent God in His ruling position and as Bridegroom of the creature, a representation that the male sex alone could achieve.  But the highest elevation of a created person into communion with God finds its expression in the relationship of the Bride to the Bridegroom, and for that reason it is naturally represented in the female sex."

     M. J. Scheeben, Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik, vol. 2, p. 922, as translated on p. 204 of John Saward, Cradle of redeeming love:  the theology of the Christmas mystery (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2002):
Und auch hier ist es nicht zufällig, daß für die höchste Erhebung der Natur gerade das männliche Geschlecht, für die der Person das weibliche Geschlecht ausgewählt wurde; denn die hypostatisch mit Gott vereinigte Natur mußte Gott selbst in seiner herrschenden Stellung und als Bräutigam der Creatur repräsentiren, was nur das männliche Geschlecht vermag, während die höchste Erhebung einer geschaffenen Person zur Gemeinschaft Gottes ihren Ausdruck in dem Verhältnisse der Braut zum Bräutigam findet und daher naturgemäß gerade im weiblichen Geschlecht repräsentirt wird.
Thus, the English should read "but the female sex for that of the person" (making it very clear that Mary was chosen for a "highest" elevation, too).  Scheeben goes on to cite "Thomassin l. 2 c. 1-2; Thom. 3. p. q. 31 [(ST III.31)]; Bonav. in 3. d. 12. a. 2."
     Though Apollinarius was (given that what the Second Person of the Holy Trinity assumed was a fully rational and spiritual nature) a heretic, I can't help but think that Mary is given here (in at least one carefully restricted sense) the higher part.  (But I haven't examined this in context, and it may be that Scheeben addresses that question, too.)
     Apparently, E. L. Mascall thought so as well:
That human nature as such, and not merely male human nature, has been redeemed and renewed by the Incarnation of God the Word is undeniable, and it is presumably the basis for the priestly character which is enjoyed by the whole Church as the Body of Christ.  There is, however, the further fact to be taken into account that the Word (as is congruous with his personal name, as the Son [not the daughter] of the Father) became man as a male individual, and in that male humanity he performs for ever that priestly work of which the work of the ordained priest in the Church is a communication and a participation.  It would seem to be this fact, and not any 'inferiority' of women under the New Dispensation (an inferiority which is in any case a highly qualified one, in view of Ephesians 5. 25 f.), which is the basis of the masculinity of the historic priesthood.  The fact must be faced that, in the mystery of the Incarnation, the two sexes are involved in different ways.  It was male human nature that the Son of God united to his divine Person; it was a female human person who was chosen to be his Mother.  On the other hand, no male human person was chosen to be the Son of God (to suppose that was the error of the adoptionists); and no female human nature was united to a divine Person.  Thus from one point of view the Incarnation exalts the male sex above the female, in another sense it exalts the female above the male.  In no woman has human nature been raised to the dignity which it possesses in the male human nature of Jesus of Nazareth, but to no other human person than Mary has there been given a dignity comparable to that of being the Mother of God.  The fundamental fact about the two sexes is not that one is superior to the other, but that they are different.  That difference is reflected both in the different roles that they play in the work of redemption and in the different roles that they play in the economy of the Church.  It is, I believe, the almost complete neglect of Mariology in the Church of England that has led to the demand that the functions of the two sexes in the Church shall be simply identical
(E. L. Mascall, "The ministry of women," Theology 57, no. 413 (November 1954):  428 (428-429); I was put onto this by Consecrated women?  A contribution to the women bishops debate (2004) 4.1.5, in Fathers in God?  Resources for reflection on women in the episcopate, ed. Colin Podmore (Norwich, England:  Canterbury Press, 2015), 110, which, however, misquotes Mascall very sloppily; Mascall also recommends "the extremely powerful arguments of N. P. Williams which appear in one of the Appendices to his recent Life by Canon Kemp" (429)).

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"God deliver me from sour-faced saints".

François Gérard (1827)
"Dios me libre de santos encapotados".

     Letters of Saint Teresa:  a complete edition translated from the Spanish and annotated by the Benedictines of Stanbrook; with an introd. by Cardinal Gasquet, vol. 3 (London:  T. Baker, 1922), 295n2.

     More critically, "Virtudes de nuestra Madre Santa Teresa segun una relacion de su prima La Venerable Madre Maria de San Jeronimo," Appendix LV in Obras de Sta. Teresa de Jesus, ed. P. Silverio de Santa Teresa, C.D., Biblioteca Mistica Carmelitana, vol. 2, Relaciones espirituales (Burgos:  El Monte Carmelo, 1915)), 301 (291-302).
     Moreover, the plural occurs in the Introduccion to vol. 5:  "Dios nos libre de santos encapotados" ("God deliver us from sour-faced saints"; Obras de Sta. Teresa de Jesus, ed. P. Silverio de Santa Teresa, C.D., Biblioteca Mistica Carmelitana, vol. 5, Las Fundaciones (Burgos:  El Monte Carmelo, 1918)), x).
     According to Dr. Eric W. Vogt, Professor of Spanish at Seattle Pacific University and translator of The complete poetry of St. Teresa of Avila:  a bilingual edition, 1st ed. (New Orleans:  University Press of the South, 1996), 2nd ed. (2015), "This is a hallmark sentiment of hers. She expresses it frequently, consistently and many ways in her writings, including in her poetry" (note to me dated 31 December 2015).
     encapotados:  scowling, frowning, cloudy, lowering (and presumably sullen).  (But I haven't checked a period-specific dictionary such as one of those included in the Nuevo Tesoro Lexicográfico de la Lengua Española.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Christ is really the Son of the Virgin Mother through the real relation of her motherhood to [Him]."

Bouguereau, Virgin and child (1888).
"each opinion is true to a certain extent. For if we consider the adequate causes of filiation, we must needs say that there are two filiations in respect of the twofold nativity. But if we consider the subject of filiation, which can only be the eternal suppositum, then no other than the eternal filiation in Christ is a real relation. Nevertheless, He has the relation of Son in regard to His Mother, because it is implied in the relation of motherhood to Christ. Thus God is called Lord by a relation which is implied in the real relation by which the creature is subject to God. And although lordship is not a real relation in God, yet is He really Lord through the real subjection of the creature to Him. In the same way Christ is really the Son of the Virgin Mother through the real relation of her motherhood to Christ."

"quantum ad aliquid utraque opinio verum dicit. Nam si attendamus ad perfectas rationes filiationis, oportet dicere duas filiationes, secundum dualitatem nativitatum. Si autem attendamus ad subiectum filiationis, quod non potest esse nisi suppositum aeternum, non potest in Christo esse realiter nisi filiatio aeterna. Dicitur tamen relative filius ad matrem relatione quae cointelligitur relationi maternitatis ad Christum. Sicut Deus dicitur dominus relatione quae cointelligitur reali relationi qua creatura subiicitur Deo. Et quamvis relatio dominii non sit realis in Deo, tamen realiter est dominus, ex reali subiectione creaturae ad ipsum. Et similiter Christus dicitur realiter filius virginis matris ex relatione reali maternitatis ad Christum."

     St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae III.35.5.Resp., trans. FEDP.  I was put on to this by John Saward, Cradle of redeeming love:  the theology of the Christmas mystery (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2002), 126.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

"[Jesus] importunes for us by exhibiting before the Paternal conspection the humanity [he] assumed for us and the mysteries [he] celebrated in it."

"interpellat pro nobis humanitatem pro nobis assumptam et mysteria in ea celebrata conspectui paterno repraesentando."

     I was put on to this by John Saward, Cradle of redeeming love:  the theology of the Christmas mystery (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2002), 93:  "As St Thomas says, our Lord 'makes intercession' for us in Heaven, not by offering up petitions, but 'by making present (repraesentando) in the sight of the Father the humanity assumed for us and the mysteries celebrated in that humanity'."
     Aquinas goes on to cite Heb 9:24.