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Skip to comments.The ABSOLUTE Primacy of Christ
Posted on 06/13/2007 4:39:26 AM PDT by fr maximilian mary
Franciscan (Scotistic) Thesis: Absolute Primacy Of Christ -Jesus Christ was absolutely predestined for grace and glory in His Incarnation quite apart from any question of sin. The elect (men and angels) were chosen and predestined in Him by an eternal decree. And this before the universe had been created.
Supporters of this:
-St. Maximus the Confessor: This [the Incarnation] is that great and hidden mystery. This is the blessed end for which all things were created. This is the divine purpose foreknown before the beginning of creation Really, it was for the sake of Christ, that is the mystery of Christ, that all the ages and all the things of all the ages themselves received the beginning and end of existence in Christ.
-St. Francis De Sales: The primary reason for the Incarnation was that God might communicate Himself outside Himself (ad extra). From all eternity He saw that the most excellent way to do this was in uniting Himself to some created nature, in such sort that the creature might be engrafted and implanted in the divinity, and become one single Person with it. Thus God willed the Incarnation. Through Christ and for His sake God willed to pour out His goodness on other creatures thus choosing to create men and angels to accompany His Son, to participate in His grace and glory, to adore and praise Him forever.
-St. Albert the Great: In his commentary on the Sentences he writes, to the extent that I can offer my opinion, I believe that the Son of God would have become man even if there had been no sin Nevertheless, on this subject I say nothing in a definitive manner; but I believe that what I said is more in harmony with the piety of faith.
Bl. John Duns Scotus:
The absolute primacy of Christ begins with Gods plan. So we can say that it begins from above, and not from below (from man). It begins with God. Scotus seeks to see the created world form Gods point of view. And God, he would hold, does not subordinate His eternal decrees to mans temporal situation. God rather in His goodness, freely wills to create the universe according to a fixed plan.
The key note to Scotus system is the word "predestination"
Note the distinction again from a Calvinist predestination: God has a fixed plan for creation, but man is still free. For Scotus, the origin of all creation rests on predestination. Scotus defines Predestination as "An act of divine will which destines (chooses or elects) an intellectual creature to grace and glory." Predestination is characterized by 2 activities:
1) eternal: the eternal act outside of time. This refers to the intention of God for all eternity. This specifically refers to the activity of "determining the end." Meaning determining the goal or purpose or final cause of all of Gods activity outside of Himself.
2) temporal: " The Execution of His foreseen plan in time." This means the gradual realization of His eternal plan in time.
-Therefore, we have a single plan of predestination with 2 activities that bring it about. Intention and execution. The intention which God freely chooses from eternity always precedes the execution of His intention in time. The example used by Scotists is that of a sculptor. First the artist sees in his mind a life-size wooden statue (say, of Sacred Heart of Jesus) and he wants to carve this wooden statue.
The first thing the sculptor does is have an intention to carve the statue. Now to execute that intention, he obtains a large chunk of wood. He brings it to a studio and begins to carve. What we can see in this process is that the intention is first and the execution is second, and in a certain sense we can say that the execution (the chunk of wood) is less perfect compared to what the final statue would be (the more perfect). But the sculptor throughout the process sees the Sacred Heart of Jesus in that wood. That intention is what moves the execution of the plan along. So in the sculptors activity of intention, the perfect is willed and is seen first. Whereas, in the activity of execution, he begins with the less perfect and gradually moves to the perfect.
Applying this to subject of primacy of Christ: God is the divine artist. The first thing he does is wills and predestines the Most sacred Heart of Jesus to the maximum grace and glory as possible. This maximum grace in glory is by virtue of the personal union that the human heart of Jesus will have with the eternal Word in the Incarnation. This happens through the hypostatic union. Now through the activity of the intention God wills the end of all creation; The goal and height of all creation: Jesus Christ.
To get to this goal of all creation, God sets his plan in motion (the execution), with the creation of the universe. God moves from the lesser perfect to the most perfect realization of his eternal decree. (Chunk of wood to the actual statue). Thats why he starts with creation. The most perfect of his eternal decree is the grace and glory of Jesus Christ. (Scotus says that Scripture supports this. Jesus is the high point of creation.) Thus the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the first created being willed by God and was done so for all eternity and the Sacred Heart is predestined to the height of Glory. The Sacred Heart is the goal of all creation. What God seeks to realize in the fullness of time (Gal 4:4). So this eternal intention of God and the temporal execution towards this end, is what is fixed by predestination. Secondly, all other rational creatures are predestined in, thru, and for Jesus Christ.
The predestination is the positive act of the divine will which destines a rational creature to grace and glory. This refers first to Jesus Christ in his humanity, and also to all the saints and angels.
For Scotus predestination is absolute, not relative, meaning that it is not relative to any created need or circumstance. Rather it is based on Gods own intrinsic goodness and moving creatures to himself for the optimum grace and glory.
Christ was willed (Incarnation) before the foundation of the world (cf. Eph. 1:4). Jesus is first of all willed for His own sake and not first for mans sake. In fact, men and angels are created for Him and He for God (cf. I Cor. 3:23). Jesus could not be predestined to grace and glory on account of sin....even though he will conquer sin in his mercy. Thus the Incarnation is the supreme work of God ad extra (outside of Himself) and it is not occasioned by sin. This predestination of Christ, of men, and of angels is one simultaneous act. So God destines all of the elect to grace and glory in Jesus Christ.
In Scotuss Ordinatio he says:
1) God predestines Christ (in His humanity), saints and angels to glory before any foreseen sin.
2) Predestination is absolute in the intention of God and not based on future needs or sins of creatures.
3) Thirdly that Christs absolute predestination could not be "occasioned by sin" or even for the sake of men and angels.
a) After willing the Trinity, the first thing that God wills is the humanity of Jesus.
b) You dont predestine the height of created glory based on the fall of an inferior creature.
Consequently, this is the view I hold. It also has implications for the Blessed Virgin as well, which I will post on at a later time.
In the meantime, Tom over at Disputations has started a discussion on the subject... Make sure you check out the discussion in the combox. You will find that Fr. Maximilian Mary Dean, F.I. has joined the discussion. Note what he says, for he wrote the book on this subject......literally! It's called A Primer on the Absolute Primacy of Christ.
Be sure to check out Fr. Maximilian's vlog series on this subject at AirMaria.com.
by Danny Garland Jr. at Irish-Catholic and Dangerous
“Future? You mean she isn’t now? ;-)
She’s waiting patiently for the official announcement from the Pope. The Title will be given retroactive application to the date of the Crucifixion. That way the Catholics can insist that they did not change her status, they merely confirmed it”
Actually it’s already a doctrine of the Church and Our Lady already is the Mother of All Peoples which has the three aspects of Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate.
Does the official installation and recognition of a goddess in heaven make the RCC a cult or a pagan religion. I'm confused; which is it?
"...anyone who wills methodically first wills an end, and then more immediately, those things which are more immediate to the end. But God wills most methodically; therefore, He wills thus: first He wills Himself, and everything intrinsic to Himself; more directly, so far as concerns things extrinsic, is the soul of Christ. Therefore, in relation to whatever merit and before whatever dement was foreseen, He foresees that Christ must be united to Him in a substantial union..."
Welcome to FR, Mr Garland!
Thank you for explaining the origins of the comment itself, providing some contextual info around it, and ultimately for clearing up my concerns. FWIW, I thought the material overall was excellent (and well-presented, BTW). I was troubled largely by that one phrase, and it's potential implications on understanding the rest of the material.
That's a poor multiple choice quiz you've set there, squire.
Only two options.
Next time include at least two more and make one of them "none of the above".
Normally I’d be in agreement. But given that Christianity, by definition, is built upon faith in Christ, instituting a goddess who is equal (if not above) Christ fundamentally alters the belief. No more is such a religion Christ-centered, and no more ought it be called Christian. I suppose we can call it Roman Catholic, but how should it be classified? Alongside the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses as a cult? Or, alongside Wiccan and Muslims as a pagan religion?
Let me know what you think; I’m perplexed.
The real thesis of this article is quite interesting ... that the Incarntaion was planned all along, regardless of what Man might do. It has to be that way, of course ... otherwise by sinning Adam would have "forced God's hand". That's problematic to say the least.
Quite so. Since Catholics don't do that, where's the beef? You're barking at shadows, here.
Just responding to what the author stated. So, does the RCC acknowledge Mary as a goddess or not? Is she the co-redemptrix or not? What is her official standing? It seems that the RCC ought to have a hard and fast statement on this. Why do so many members have so many different takes? What is the official teaching?
I have no idea what the Royal Caribbean Cruise considers ...
But, for the billionth time, the Catholic Church explicitly teaches that Mary, the Mother of God, is and always has been a human person, a creature, redeemed by her divine Son. That's simply not controversial. Why some folks, who are not Catholic, cannot or will not understand it eludes me. It can't possibly be because of a willful malicious desire to deliberatly misrepresent other folks' beliefs. That would be wrong.
Before I name them, it should be noted that Mary was created, and therefore not a goddess.
1.) She was born without original sin. (Immaculate Conception)
2.) She is perpetually a virgin. (Perpetual Virginity)
3.) She was assumed (taken up, not went up of her on ability) into Heaven. (Assumption)
4.) She is the Mother of God (a statement more about Jesus than her) (Divine Maternity).
The Mormons would argue with you on this one...
Thanks for the clarification. Now, do all catholics agree? What about the members of the Royal Caribbean Cruise line?
Then what's all this talk about co-redeemer status? Are the folks proposing this idea in error? Are they "faithful"?
No. The Church has neither approved not condemned it. It’s “in limbo.”
How convenient for the RCC.
Oh? You’re beginning to sound like a conspiracy theorist.
Not at all. Doesn’t everybody like to leave their options open?
When did you stop beating your spouse?
Who says I've stopped? ;)