Skip to comments.Hernándo Cortés and Our Lady
Posted on 12/02/2007 7:28:29 AM PST by auraur
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In vaguely related news, whenever I can steal a little time from the most Thomistic of our current crop of Dominicans, he and I are doing a "compare and contrast" on "blessed assurance" and hope.
Canticle Ephesians 1 God the Saviour Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us, in Christ, with every spiritual blessing in heaven.
In love, he chose us before the creation of the world,
to be holy and spotless in his sight.
He predestined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ,
simply because it pleased him to do so.
This he did for the praise of the glory of his grace,
of his free gift of us in his Beloved,
in whose blood we have gained redemption,
and the forgiveness of our sins.
This he did according to the riches of his grace,
which he gave us in abundance,
with all wisdom and discernment,
revealing to us the mysteries of his will,
because it pleased him to do so.
In this action he has planned, in the fulfilment of time,
to bring all things together in Christ,
from the heavens and from the earth.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
I mention all this to suggest one of my hunches, that many of the disagreements are not as crisp and clear as they seem to be at first sight.
So for an individual it may seem that the work done by the messenger that gave us the gospel is just as important as what Mary did and Paul did in writing about it and even as what Jesus did on the Cross.I can't imagine anyone carefully and thoughtfully asserting "just as important". As I thought about this discussion, I remembered the 16th century physician, Ambroise Pare, who said, "I treat, God heals." I'm trusting you enough to think that you won't think I'm bragging when I say that on more than one occasion I have been told, "You saved my life," or "You saved his/her life." Now to me this is very rich: First, I didn't/couldn't create the life that needed saving. (I guess one of the reasons I like sailing is that it is always clear that the boat moves because of the wind, and the wind is not my doing; and even if I had built the boat and woven and sewed the sails, and if I understood the laws of hydrodynamics, it would still be the wind, over which I have no control and for which I can take no credit, that moved the boat. Grace!)
And when I actually formed what Kant would call "The subjective principle of volition", as in "Holy mackerel! I've got to help that guy! He's in trouble!" there was never any perception of choice or any question. It was more like being possessed: one minute I'm trying to swallow the awful food the Red Cross gave the volunteers, the next moment I'm jamming my fist into somebody's diaphragm, and I hardly know how I got out of my seat ....
(And, I should add that whenI was little, I used to pray that one day I could save somebody's life.)
So I'm very, highly, deeply, thoroughly (add your own adverbs here), aware of being a mere instrument and any sense of credit or importance, if somebody says you have to think about that, seems ridiculous. More than that, I am HAPPY to be a 'mere' instrument. I cannot bear, am not, on my own, good enough to own, any kind of responsibility. I don't want any credit. If I want anything it's for the people I "saved" to thank God and to understand to the best of their capacity, that it was, is, and always will be God who saves.
Can you imagine a scalpel bragginbecause he was used by a great surgeon? Ridiculous -- In the same family as the beggar who boasts because his benefactor is generous.
I'm quite serious. Ithink all I "want" from the experience is the "credit" of having been there so that I am believed when I say,"This is what I thought and how I felt."
AND just to put the cherry on top, I thank God, not only for putting me there and getting me the training and all, but also for driving into my thicker than average cranium that all Glory is His and for making me rejoice at that.
I may be a froward ass, but even an ass can happen, by God's grace, to be in the right stable at the right time and to see a miraculous birth, and maybe even be lucky enough to carry the wonderful mother and more wonderful infant and be led by the wonderful man wherever they want to go.
If the bible said of Mary that she is all that RCC Marianism said, then I'd believe it and teach it to my kids. If the bible said that a maternal dimension was needed for my faith than I would teach it as presented in the bible. Reasoning, external to bible teaching, that this "maternal dimension" is needed leads to all that is wrong with Marianism and with the Mormon version of a "maternall dimension" whom they call the Heavenly Mother.
Man has a natural urge to the maternal, and it always leads to paganism.
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