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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
It is at this point (unless you are the Pope and have spoken ex-cathedra) nothing more than Catholic speculation and Marian fanaticism. The Magisterium has not officially spoken. AFAIK, you may still safely think for yourself on this one.
There clearly is a movement to make it dogma. Perhaps you are a member of that heretical and blasphemous movement. Perhaps not.
Welcome to Free Republic.
Maybe if you're a politician or a pundit.
The Church doesn't leave its "options open". It studies then it pronounces.
Two hundred years ago, there was no dogma of the Immaculate Conception nor Assumption. The Church was not "leaving its options open." These matters were being carefully studied. Then came a point when that process was complete and the dogmas were pronounced. For ever. No "options".
It will be the same with any new dogma, should it ever arise.
Hmm... So the roman catholic church studies for hundreds, even thousands of years, and then pronounces a doctrine.
Seems to me that everything God wanted us to know was given by the Lord to the Apostles (via the Holy Spirit), recorded by the pens of the NT writers (inspired via the Holy Spirit), and placed in the hands of the churches (preserved via the Holy Spirit). All before the last Apostle died.
Unless one of the Apostle is still living, unbeknownst to the world, I’m hard-pressed to figure out where new enlightenment will originate.
LOLOL!!! Don't forget the Catholics have been busy writing a bunch of articles for the last 100 years so they can say they're going by the traditions of the fathers.
Wow! The implications of the internet age... Do you realize that someday the RCC posters here on Free Republic may very well be quoted as "church fathers"? That means that we could be conversing with living legends; the rock stars of catholicism in a networked world!
From now on, I'll take more seriously my irreverent posts that knock the legs out of RCC doctrine with Biblical Truth.
I can just picture a group of RCC's gathered around a statue of St. Marshmallow.
Blessed St. Marshmallow, patron of all things gooey, pray for us.
ping to 47
Now if we could find two other catholic freepers with user IDs “graham cracker” and “chocolate”, we could enshrine a triumvirate to ensure good smores at our next campout.
Welcome to FR, Dan.
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.
May we quote you on that? Various RCs on the forum dispute this claim when Protestants make the same statement.
Eighteen hundred years to develop one dogma?!?
And you don't see a problem with that?
It reminds me of Spielberg's ludicrous movie, "A.I." --
"Two thousand years later..."
That's a mighty preposterous stage direction.
Christ must be so proud of your sneering mockery of Catholics.
Lest you think that this is something novel, consider the dogma of the Holy Trinity. During the first centuries the Church sought to clarify her Trinitarian faith, both to deepen her own understanding of the faith and to defend it against the errors that were deforming it. This clarification was the work of the early councils, aided by the theological work of the Church Fathers and sustained by the Christian people's sense of the faith.
The Church is a living organism and this process did not cease with the Council of Ephesus or Nicea. It continues today.
It is as explicit as God wants it to be.
The doctrine of the Trinity was espoused from the early church, certainly from the fifth century on according to the Nicene Creed.
Most importantly, the doctrine of the Trinity is founded on Scripture.
Unlike the Assumption of Mary which is nowhere in Scripture and remains strictly errant speculation.
In fact, Scripture speaks against anyone deserving of our prayers but God. There is only one rock higher than you and I -- Jesus Christ.
"From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I." -- Psalm 61:2
Just for the record, there is a difference between a doctrine and a dogma. Dogma is solemnly defined by a Synod of Bishops with the approval of the Pope or can be defined by the Pope ex cathedra. Danny stated that Marian mediation and coredemption is a doctrine, not a dogma. So he's not claiming to be Pope :)
As noted above, this is a highly debated question amongst Catholic theologians. Like Danny, I would argue that it is Catholic doctrine (not dogma). See this article of Msgr. Gherardini for a brief explanation of why.
It's not a "new" doctrine. St. Irenaeus (died 202) says that Mary, as the New Eve, became the "cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race... the knot of Eve's disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." (Against Heresies, 3:22:4)
Pope Benedict XV wrote, "To such extent did she [Mary] suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for mans salvation, and immolated Him insofar as she could in order to appease the justice of God, that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ (Pope Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia, 1918 A.D.).[the italics are mine]
At any rate, this discussion has been well-developed, as P-Marlowe noted, at this post.
God bless you all...
“He thinks that God became a trinity and that the trinity has not always existed.”
Don’t be a prole. God only acts in time when he acts in the universe subject to time. Clearly willing for God is an eternal, timeless, event which we can only speak of in terms that connote time. Your argument is a strawman and you know it.
Where to begin to point out the errors in that sentence?
1) Where does Scripture say Mary "almost died with Christ?"
2) Where does Scripture say Mary "surrendered her maternal rights" (whatever that means)?
3) Where does Scripture say Mary "immolated" Christ?
4) And finaly, saving the most offensive for last, where in Scripture does it say Mary "redeemed the human race together with Christ?"
Exactly. St. Paul tells us that Jesus Christ is "the firstborn of every creature" (Col. 1:15) and that "All things have been created through and unto Him, and He is before all creatures, and in Him all things hold together." (Col. 1:16-17). Jesus is the "firstborn", not chronologically, but in God's eternal plan! God willed the Incarnation first and then created us "through and unto Him". Because of sin Jesus Christ redeemed us, but sin or no sin He is the "one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1 Tim. 2:5).
There are no errors in that sentence. But you are asking me to respond using Scripture alone, and that is an error. Where in the Scripture does it say "the Bible alone" is the source of Divine Revelation?
And where did we get the Scriptures from?
Statements like St. Irenaeus and Pope Benedict XV are based on the Word of God as passed on to us through both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
Grace and peace be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ...
True. Which is not the same as saying that we ourselves have reached a complete and full understanding of Revelation. Such a claim would be presumption and a manifestation of pride.
Rather, our understanding of that Revelation continues to develop. This in fact, is a sign of God's love. Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church. This enables the Church to penetrate the mystery of Revelation ever more deeply.