Thursday, January 27, 2005

Something about Mary

In a comment to a post below, Talmida says:

About Mary? Maybe she is God in a way. (I'm in deep trouble for saying that, no doubt). I believe that prayer sanctifies - that if people pray somewhere long enough, that the place itself acquires a kind of holiness (shrines, churches, holy wells, etc. -- is this my inner celt coming out?), God chooses to dwell there in a special way. Maybe since zillions of people have turned to Mary over the centuries she has evolved into the female face of God. Not that she ever was that, but that she's become that.


I wouldn't go quite as far as to say that she may be God in a way. However, I do believe that the essence of idea or root of the person of Mary is part of the heart of the Trinity. Now the way this works is sort of like with Christ. The man Jesus was created and started to exist at a certain point in human history, but the second person of the Trinity is and was and ever shall be. At the conception of Christ, is when the Second Trinitarian person gets incarnated and is forever fully God and fully man AND we can now say the man Jesus created the world or that God died on the cross.

With Mary it works similarly. Not in the sense that there is a pre-existing Marian person, but that there is a pre-existing essence in the divine Godhead that is manifested in the person of Mary. Why am I so convinced of this? There are theological reasons which I may or may not get into. But the key point is that everything that exists, and I mean everything, including the Godhead, revolves around Christ. In my post on angels yesterday, my point was that angels were originally made for Christ as his companions. If you press this idea that everything revolves around the Son of God, it then gives the Trinity a different dynamic than has been explored in Catholic theology and opens up space for this Marian pre-essence I speak of. For me, Mary is not God, but she is God's eternal gift and symbol or approval to and for his Son. (At this point, I feel Torquemada tying up my feet and set alight the pyre, "recant!" he says.)

Last point is that theology is simply an articulation of what is believed. I think we all get a sense of Mary that is hard to put into words and we know there is something divine about her, but it's hard to make that point without intruding into the untouchable Godhead. This is why the there have been ferocious fights about Mary and the Immaculate Conception and also with the Co-Redemptrix. But here's the test, can you push the Mary thing as far as is theologically possible and not obscure Christ? The answer is yes. Again, this is an ultra Christocentric view of existence. I think the Catholic tradition revolves more around a theistic view of creation, more specifically, a philosophical theistic view, i.e, the "divine nature" is what everything revolves around. As a result, the emphasis leads to its unique theological context and a limiting theological context constricts the space for certain ideas.

4 Comments:

Blogger Nate said...

I think this can all be related to theosis somehow, but I can't do it right now. Mary is, by far, the most perfect example of theosis. In light of the Immaculate Conception and her Assumption into Heaven, it becomes clear that Mary shared in God's life and divine nature from the first moment of her conception, just as our first parents did prior to the Original Sin. Whereas all other saints only had a partial share in God's life and nature on Earth, sharing in its fullness in Heaven, Mary shared the fullness of God's life and nature from the moment of her conception.

Christ became what we are so that we might become what He is -- and Mary is the first fruits of that redemption, the first to become what Christ is, because from the moment of her conception she shared in the life of God. She is the first and perfect example of divinized humanity.

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