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.

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