Monday, October 21, 2013

Women: Meditations - Part Four

Oh, how foolish those women are today, who covet a vocation and a sacrament proper, only to the masculine gender as Head of the Body that is the Church. Today, more than ever before, men have a real need of the proper exercise of the feminine principle – externalized in the various forms of the religious life, as well as in the role of Wife and Mother in the human family. For it is only in recent times that the biological necessity of the female ovum in reproduction was discovered. In the middle ages and in ancient times it was believed that the male seed was all that was necessary to produce a new human being. The woman was merely an incubator. The discovery of the female ovum and the feminine genetic contribution, the responsibility of the woman is also heightened. She is more than ever the wife, the mother, and the handmaid of the man, who typifies for her, in all circumstances, her Lord and Master.
Let us go back for a moment to the time before the creation of Eve, because Adam’s human nature at this time is the one true type of Our Lord’s perfect Humanity, containing within Himself the feminine principle– never removed, as it was in Adam. Considering all that transpired after the creation of Eve, is it fair to ask whether the feminine principle is absolutely essential to human nature or only relatively so? I think there is no question that the feminine principle is absolutely necessary to human nature as a substantial form. How then, is a woman completely human or how is a man completely human – since Eve’s creation? I do not consider it fair to ask why God withheld the genetic, biological nature of woman from common knowledge - until what we can fairly consider to be these END times, because God has His reasons and we dare not question His Wisdom. But considering Our Lord’s perfect Humanity, containing the feminine principle, as absolutely perfect in every way as reflecting the Blessed Trinity, this much, I believe, can be affirmed with reasonable certitude:
First: Everything presupposes Creation, even and especially the Incarnation. On Day One, the First Day of the World, (No Pre-Historic Age-fiction here!) – God created the spherical Body of the Universe with Earth immobile at the Center, surrounded by the entire inanimate domain of the elements, Prime Matter and Hierarchical-spherical form. And light as the super-eminent quality of this first, sensible Body of the Universe. The“works” of God during the First Six Days is crowned by the special creation of Adam and Eve, whose perfect human nature reflecting in Image and Likeness, the most Blessed Trinity, is a proto-type of the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. The angelic orders in marvelously harmonious hierarchies, mirror and/or are mirrored by the virtually infinite (but finite), number and shapes of the elements – these latter each and all with mathematical precision as Holy Scripture affirms: He has ordered all things in measure, number and weight – mightily and sweetly. (Wisdom 8:1 and 11:21)
Second, The Order of the Incarnation: Pre-figured in Adam and Eve, but only dimly foreshadowed here at the Dawn of History. 
Third, The Order of Generation: This order was instituted and began to function as soon as the substantial forms of the plants and animals (including Man’s body) – were created. This order preserves the Order of Creation by transmitting faithfully, the immutable– substantial forms, but with innumerable, minor variations of quantity, quality, time and place. Especially after the Universal Deluge – do variations of the original Substantial Form – multiply due to the dramatic changes in Earth’s habitats and climate. But the “fossil record”gives evidence of the stability of the Substantial Forms.
Fourth, in the fullness of time, and we dare to say within the Order of Generation, there is this super-eminently– supernatural Order of the Incarnation INSERTED into the Order of temporal and human history. The event of Mary’s conception of the Man-God by the power of the Holy Ghost, is an absolutely unique and special kind of Generation, divinely revealed in St. Luke’s gospel (Ch.1:28-38), and never repeated before or since. But this insertion into the temporal-physical Order of Generation was necessary in order to establish the temporal as well as eternal – the natural, as well as the supernatural, royalty of Jesus Christ, our Lord and King – Savior and Judge, Father of the world to come.
For the gospels establish that both Joseph and Mary were of the House and Family of David; and Mary, as well as Joseph, can call Abraham their Father, genealogically as well as spiritually, as we of the latter times can only call upon Abraham as “our Patriarch” and Father in the Faith. This insertion of the Divine into the human and general Order of Generation is worthy of our meditation. The Blessed Virgin Mary is elevated to a state of being that is so unitive with the Holy Ghost, that it is theologically correct to name her as His spouse in the Divine Generation of the God-Man Jesus Christ. As such, she is also the personification of the Holy Spirit, in so far as she represents Him in the Holy Family: the Father represented by St. Joseph – the Mother-Mary the Holy Spirit and their Divine Son. And as such, the Divine Model for all human families. This Divine Generation unites the perfectly integral Human Nature of the Incarnate Word with the One Person of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. This wholly perfect Human Nature was taken – and given –entirely from the Immaculate Flesh of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
Whether or not the Holy Ghost miraculously supplied a masculine component to this Divine Generation, but I, for one, strongly doubt it. If He did not, this means that the Human Nature received from His Immaculate Mother Mary was entirely from her as to all genetic components. In other words, the miraculous and divine generation of the Word-Made-Flesh was genetically complete without any male contribution, or if a male component was necessary biologically – as Modernist-tending theologians might insist– then it was supplied by the Holy Ghost, in what was in any case, a divine and wholly miraculous conception. All of this we intend when recite in the Creeds: “..was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary….and was Incarnate by the Holy Ghost from/of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man.” We should emphasize that what we mean/signify here by Human Nature is the strictly and purely physical part of humanity. As in the case of every human being, God alone can supply by creation – ex nihilo – the rational-immortal soul consisting of the powers of intellect and free will. These powers of the soul are so designated – because for a human being to function humanly, the powers of the soul – the one Form of the human body – must make use of the human organs of the brain and the heart. The union of the soul and the body in the human being is unique in all of creation. This is because the one Form of the human composite, the soul-body union, is the spiritual-immortal-rational soul. So that when, on the Cross, our Divine Lord gave up His human, immortal soul into the hands of His Father, His human body really died, that is, ceased to function in the human way. However, as the Scripture says, God would not suffer His Holy One to see corruption. And so, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Divine Nature of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity – Who is also the one Person of Jesus Christ – Our Lord’s body lay dormant in the tomb until the Resurrection. And much the same must be said of Our Lady’s Dormition. Neither could she, as God’s Holy One, see corruption. However, Our Blessed Lady never really died. She was assumed Body and Soul into Heaven, after a brief sleep.
If she had been allowed to die in the sense of separation of soul and body, Her Immaculate Flesh – Her Body would have begun to corrupt, because unlike Our Lord, her soul was not hypostatically united to the Divine Nature – so as to form One Substance with it. Unlike Our Lord, she was not consubstantial with the Father, nor with the Holy Spirit, nor with the Person of the Word. This consubstantiality belongs exclusively and absolutely – uniquely to the Three Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity. All of this has so much to tell us women of today. It has always been the goal of Eastern Spirituality, according to the early Eastern Fathers and the Fathers of the Desert, to regain the purity of Adam and Eve before the Fall. The ascetisicm of the Desert Fathers is, or was, well known. They sought to find in the desert, the state and age of innocence and original justice. Closer to our own times, the closest approximation to this spirituality, in my opinion, is the Ascent of Mount Carmel of St. John of the Cross and the Interior Castle of St. Theresa of Avila, both great saints of the spiritual life, made more accessible than ever, indeed, even for dummies, by the Great Little Saint Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Women: Meditations - Part Three

This Second Eve, He would make certain to be of such a character as to lift the status of woman from the degradation to which she fell during the course of time and in different civilizations, to a state of being worthy of the vocation to which she would be called in the Order of the Incarnation. And He would do this by creating and choosing, by asking her permission, one woman of such singular and exceptional beauty, holiness and purity, as to be the wonder and glory not only of Israel but of the entire human race. Tu Gloria Jerusalem – Tu laetitia, Israel – Tu honorificentia populi nostril….Tota pulchra es, O Maria….(Judith 13 and 15. – See Mass of the Immaculate Conception and of the Assumption.) 
Types are one thing. The anti-type or reality always far surpasses the type. And so it is throughout Holy Scripture – both for Our Divine Lord and for His Immaculate Mother. We need only look at Genesis 3:15 to see the supereminently, supernatural role that Mary was destined to fulfill throughout history – facing off with none other than the Arch-Enemy of the human race and of God Himself! Lucifer! A Woman! The Feminine Principle of Sub-ordination – She alone is destined to crush the head of the evil Serpent – Chief of the rebellious Angels. Of course She does it by the power of Her Divine Son! But it is given by Him to her to do it! Why is this?
It would seem that God is that anxious to regard and exalt the lowly, the humble…(Luke 1: 41-50 – and in other places where we are told that the last shall be first.) And so it is. But there is more. The great thing about the exaltation of the lowly is that – besides being founded in the Truth – or because of it, God’s exaltation of the lowly gives Him Glory. It magnifies Him! Does this sound a trifle “Self-Serving” on God’s part? Only from our inherently distorted fallen point of view. From Our Blessed Mother Mary’s point of view, as given to us, for example, by a great Marian saint like St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Montfort, there can be no greater blessing bestowed on a creature than that of being allowed to give Him glory, however small a bit it may be! The reason is because of His Goodness! is that simple. It is because He deserves it. He deserves it infinitely, that is, in a degree far beyond even what we can imagine. He is more than worthy of it! Everything not only presupposes Creation, but everything requires or demands that glory be given to God. This is why the heavens declare the Glory of God, even if man did not exist, or the angels. This is why the Canticle of the three young men in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:57-88.) is so fitting. The Angels - the Heavens - the Waters above - the clouds - the hosts of stars - showers and dews - winds - fire - chill - cold - ice and frost and snow - nights and days - light and darkness - the earth and all the works of the Lord- all creatures - even if men did not command them to do so, would - by their very being proclaim and give glory to God. But I digress....
To put it as briefly as possible: God took the Feminine Principle out of Adam because He - God - willed from all eternity to exalt the lowly in a super-eminently - supernatural model of humility. Secondly, to manifest in corporeal creation the Feminine Principle as a personification of the Holy Ghost. Thirdly, to model, by reflection, the Most Blessed Trinity in the Holy Family of the Incarnation. Fourthly, to serve as a super-eminent Model of what the human family should aspire to be. Fifth, to manifest in Mary - by her prerogatives - each and every one of Eve's transgressions and their punishments: sorrows in conceptions - pain in childbirth - degradation by men. (Gen:3:16).
Therefore, in Mary there is - first of all: the eternal enmity set in place between Mary, the Super-eminent model of humility - truth and purity against Lucifer, the chief of rebellious angels in prideful arrogance, superhuman craftiness and deceit with most foul impurity. Two camps: Eternal enmities between the 2 seeds, (Gen.3:15). Mary's single, miraculous conception in atoning opposition to Eve's lustful conceptions. Mary's joyful - painless and bloodless giving birth in the miraculous nativity of her Son, the Word of God. Mary's relation to St. Joseph as one of singular modesty and mystery, subordinate but queenly. And all of this reflects her super-eminently - supernatural relationship to God the Father as His Daughter. In all things, Mary is the super-eminent model of all that a woman should be in fulfillment of the feminine principle and personification of the Holy Ghost, her Divine Spouse and love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father. 
That the Word be made Flesh and dwell among us, it was necessary for the Second Adam to have a Second Eve - not as His wife, for that would violate all established ORDER...but to be His Mother, providing the Human Nature incarnate, to fulfill the requirements of the Redeeming Price. Only by taking Flesh from a Royal Daughter in the line of David - could the plan of God to redeem mankind and Image the Most Blessed Trinity in a corporeal creation, the Holy Family, for the Church and for the World. And this is also why it is so very true - as she herself said to the children of Fatima, "Only I can help you!" It is as spouse and personal model of the Holy Ghost - soul of the Church, that the Blessed Virgin Mary requests the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, by the Pope in union with all the Bishops. Only she can help us because God Himself has so arranged it! And so it is not only - or merely as the Blessed Virgin alone, super-eminently Holy as she is, who calls for this consecration by the Pope and Bishops....No! It is the Holy Ghost Himself, speaking in and through His Immaculate Spouse and personal delegate as it were! His Representative! 
And all the while, at the same time, Mary - ever-virgin, did and continues to do in her followers, all the duties of the wife or spouse. For she is always and ever the Handmaid of the Lord. (Luke 1:38). And a Handmaid is essentially a servant. And this is the basis of all her super-eminent and supernatural sanctity, her humility.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Women: Meditations - Part Two

God decreed that it is not good for the man, Adam, to be alone. So God brought to Adam, all the animals and birds, and whatever name Adam gave - that is its name. But there was found among the animals and birds, no fit helper for Adam, - no one like unto himself. How much time or how many days passed between the creation of Adam and the creation of Eve? Can we make any assumption based on the fact that Eve should possibly have been included in the keeping of the First Sabbath Day of Rest and Worship? The Fathers agree that Eve was created in the garden where Adam had been placed, for Adam was created outside the Garden. The Fathers also agree that the First Sabbath Day was Saturday and that Adam was created on Friday; so that Creation, or Day One, was Sunday.

Of course these names are not the original ones. It is obvious that our present names for the days of the week are taken from the pagan mythologies. And these myths, as recounted at length elsewhere, are corruptions of the original, primordial revelation given to Adam and his sons. I believe that we must leave these questions of what I have studied elsewhere as "Adam's First Day" to those scholars deeply learned in Hebrew. For there may be some clues hidden in the original, or more near to the original manuscripts. My focus in this study is the role of women, insofar as it can be defined from Genesis and subsequent history.


We return to Adam - before the creation of Eve. He was a prototype of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His perfect - and magnificently Perfect Human Nature. Artists should have this in mind, when they depict Our Divine Lord, especially in His Passion and Death on the Cross. But Adam was not intended by God to remain in this state of Perfect Human Nature, insofar as the feminine principle was concerned. In order to image forth the Blessed Trinity in corporeal, incarnated form, there had to be a corporeal personification of the Holy Ghost and God the Father.

God the Father was and is represented by Adam, the Head of the whole human race and of every member in it. God the Son, is He Who became Incarnate - and God the Holy Ghost is the feminine principle in God and in Adam. But taken out of Adam to make the first Eve, He is also personified in the Holy Family by the Immaculate ever-Virgin Mary - and in every human family - by the wife and mother. The Order of Generation thus has this one unique insertion into its processes - to be forever held up and above all human generation. For the Incarnation of the Word of the Father, Creator of all things - visible and invisible - took place in a miraculous manner - absolutely outside of and above the ordinary manner of human generation. And at the same time, within that Order to ensure the legitimate genealogy of the children of Adam and of King David. For David was the legitimate heir of Adam's royalty - by which he held dominion - prefiguring Christ's Kingship over all nations and empires. For He alone is True God and True Man.


His perfectly integral human nature subsumed into the One Divine Nature of the One Person of the Son - but with no admixture of Natures = 2 Natures - perfectly human and perfectly - infinitely Divine - under the perfect control of the one Divine Person of the Word. Oh marvelous and ever adorable mystery of the Incarnation! This ever ineffably adorable mystery includes the redemption from Adam's Sin. Now we enter the period or interval of time, which ends that of the state of Original Justice and Innocence, and begins that of the State of Fallen Nature. And this is where we still are. Eve was deceived by Lucifer/Satan. She believed the malicious tempter's lies about the effects of eating that very alluring fruit - so beautiful to behold - how could it possibly be evil, Eve thought to herself! And to be like God who is all knowing! And so is Adam! To be like Adam and no longer subject to him. To be like the Man-Adam and no longer serve him - but to be a head and rule as he does! That is what the modern woman desires. And she too, is deceived by Satan's lies. But Adam was not deceived. Now lacking the feminine principle embodied in Eve, he could not bear to be separated from her in her sin. Better to be separated from God! And so the man was seduced. And Adam consented to the evil desires of the woman Eve. Even so does the effeminate man of today allow the wayward women to pursue their evil desires and fails to rebuke them as he should, for their own good. And so the woman of today must be presented with the true theology of femininity, - a true Mariology. She must be shown how to be a true handmaid of the Lord.

Keeping in mind that only in the Most Blessed Trinity is there absolute equality amongst the Three Divine Persons, and that the principle of hierarchy is of the essential nature of the form of all corporeal being and even of the Angels, we can and must say that the very structure of human nature is also, therefore, hierarchical! Therefore the feminine principle is, of necessity, one in subordination to the masculine one. And is this not precisely what Our Blessed Lady instinctively recognized when she replied to the Angel Gabriel, "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord"?

In Genesis One when God says "Let Us make man to Our Image and Likeness....Male and female He created them". (Genesis 1:26-27), God is summing up in a brief statement what is given us in greater and to us more important and interesting detail in Genesis 2. But why did God create a helper for Adam given the fact that Adam, to all appearances, felt no need at all for such a companion-helper? Well, we could say that God just knew better, especially when He said that it was not good for man to be alone. Everyone, today especially, would quickly agree that God was simply pointing out something obvious! But I submit that there is a deeper reason, if we may speak of human reasons in God. Recall that in the Divine Mind all is present. It is an eternal now. It is certainly too facile to say that God foresaw the real necessity of a female body for the reproduction of the human species. But it is not, perhaps, too easy to note that God certainly foresaw the Fall of Adam and the subsequent need for redemption. In which case, there would, of necessity, need to be a second Adam and a Second Eve.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Women: Meditations

Women who are concerned to restore the true place of women in society, should study the work of Matthias Scheeben, the 19th century priest, theologian and mystic, who demonstrated the deep analogy present in Patristic theology between the Holy Spirit and the Blessed ever-Virgin Mary. First of all, we can start with the fact that Eve was formed from the rib or side of Adam. This clearly indicates that Eve was composed of something that Adam had within him. Did he lose it when Eve was formed? Apparently he did! Recall that Adam lived for some time before Eve was created from his side. Recall, also, that Our Divine Lord never married – and that in imitation of Him, many holy men, priests, religious, monks and laymen, lived celibate lives. History is full of such examples. So, it is a fact that human nature is complete without the female principle. Or is it? Yes, it is! Did not God take the female out of Adam? So is Adam incomplete after the formation of Eve? Yes, in a sense he is. God formed Eve from Adam’s own body in order to externalize the feminine principle in God as well as in Adam. And also, to make a Trinity of the human family. To externalize here – means to make a profoundly real analogy with Mary, Ever-Virgin. Remember, whenever we speculate about divine things, all is present in the Divine Mind. There is no before and after – or future. It is all now.

And so, in God, the Three Divine Persons have always been and evermore Are. And so, God sees the human family as Father, Mother and Child-ren. God saw Adam as the Prototype of the Incarnate Word of God– but He also saw him as the Father, with Eve, of the whole human race or family. Adam is complete when Eve, the feminine principle, is within him. Then he is like the Blessed Trinity always is: the Holy Ghost is the feminine principle in God, in the Most Blessed Trinity – as the personal love of the Father for the Son and of the Son for the Father. But when God formed Eve from Adam’s side, Adam himself was incomplete without her, but complete as male and female – for the two constitute human nature as the fountain and foundation of the human family.

What a wonderful mystery!

And it is even more wonderful and beautiful when we see the role of our Blessed Mother Mary in the Order of the mystery of the Incarnation. Our Divine Lord’s Humanity remains absolutely perfect and complete in Himself, and so it will forever remain. And yet, there are two miraculous and most beautiful facts to this ever new mystery: One is that the Word of God took His Human Nature completely from Mary – so that His physical image was as if He were her “Twin” – so much did He resemble her and also the role of the Holy Ghost as the Spouse of the Blessed Virgin…for He alone created, with the Father and the Son, the male part of conception, whatever that was or was not in this case. For Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Ghost and was made man. And so, here we have the deepest and purest analogy of the Blessed Trinity in the Holy Family, where St. Joseph represents God the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Mary is the personification of God the Holy Ghost – as the feminine principle of the love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father. This is why, too, some theologians raise St. Joseph into the Order of the Incarnation, but not St. John the Baptist. The Blessed Virgin Mary is always mentioned in the Mass with St. John the Baptist. Perhaps someday St. Joseph will be added. He was the Foster-Father of God the Son as well as the human guardian – spouse of Mary.

With such exalted truths about the feminine gender to contemplate, how could any woman be so foolish as to desire, or even to think of, a vocation other than that of a wife and mother? Those called to the higher religious life are spouse and mother in the higher spiritual sense – nonetheless –real. Some saints have been fruitful in both states. Married women should see in their husbands – what is truly, really their own other and higher “half” – their “head” and authority under God. Only in such a relationship will there be true fruitfulness for the family. God intends marriage – both physical and spiritual –to reflect the Blessed Trinity.
A woman's entire mission in life, whether she be wife and mother or religious, is to supply for men, in the way of a real service, not as a slave, but as a handmaiden. Just as Our Blessed Mother Mary saw herself...behold the handmaid of the Lord! - to supply what a man lacks, and what he gave up sacrificially, we can say, when God formed the woman Eve from Adam's side. And now, a most important point, quite overlooked previously, is the fact that it was God Who first said: "It is not good for man to be alone. (Gen.2:18). And then proposed: "Let Us make him a help like unto himself. (Gen.2:18) But instead of making Eve then and there, immediately, God brought all the animals and birds, "to see what Adam call them, "for whatsoever Adam called any living creature, the same is its name." (Gen.2:19) And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the air, and all the cattle of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper like himself.(Gen.2:20)

Just by way of parenthesis, people who tend to make dogs and cats surrogate children, or real companions, should take special note of this passage in Genesis. Of course, there is some excuse now, at least for men, because the feminine principle has been taken out of them since the creation of Eve. But God always provides for those who seek to do His Will and to please Him. Holy Scripture does not indicate here nor in any other place that there was any kind of response from Adam to his lonely situation nor did he ever manifest any need for a helper, so far as we know. Is this not proof positive - that human nature is, indeed, quite complete in Adam, the man, before the creation of Eve, the woman?

When God said, (Gen. 1:26), "Let Us make man to Our Image and Likeness", the Fathers of the Church say this refers to the natural and the supernatural states of life, human (natural) and divine (supernatural) life. St. Thomas sees intellect and will as the faculties of the one immortal soul, but adds the image-making faculty with St. Augustine, memory and/or imagination. But, could not the Trinitarian nature of God also be reflected in Adam's intellect, (with memory and imagination as integral aspects of the intellect), will and the feminine principle? In Genesis 1:28 - Adam and Eve are told to increase and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.

This command obviously was given to our first parents after the making of Eve and the institution of marriage, detailed in Genesis 2:21-25. There is no contradiction between Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. They simply have a different author in the sense that Genesis 1 is God's direct narrative, given to Adam - who then recorded his own history up to Genesis V - wherein the narrative of Seth begins. This is the patriarchal "theory", which I find so compellingly true that I do not think of it as a "theory" at all, but simply as pointing to the evidence of the fact that not only Genesis, but the entire Pentateuch was written by the eyewitnesses of the historical facts/events recorded.

And so the chronology of events is this:

The creation of Heaven and earth: Waters = Light

Day One: Time begins. The creation of the inanimate realm of limited-finite but
virtually infinite number of elementary particles: atoms and photons. Prime Matter and Form of the Body of the Universe - spherical around fixed immobile Earth with hierarchical Order of Creation within.

Day Two: the distinction or division/separation of the Waters, above and below the firmament of Heaven

Day Three: the gathering of the Waters into seas; dry land appears - Earth brings forth the plant kingdom: herbs, grasses, trees

Day Four: Making of Sun, Moon, Stars and placed or set in the Firmament to give light, to shine upon the Earth and for signs and seasons - day - night - month - years.

Day Five: The Waters brought forth the marine creatures and the birds

Day Six: the earth brought forth all the land animals, domestic and wild and God made Adam in God's own Trinitarian Image and Likeness

Day Seven: God finished His work and rested on the Sabbath Day. He instituted the Day of Rest, He blessed and sanctified it. (Gen.2:3) God places Adam in the Garden of Eden, "to dress it and keep it. (Gen.2:15)

God gives to Adam the one command: to eat of every tree in the Garden; but of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil thou shalt not eat, for in the day so ever thou shall eat of it - thou shalt die the death. (Gen.2:15-17.)