Skip to comments.Mary as the New Eve - St. Irenaeus
Posted on 12/07/2010 10:10:05 AM PST by marshmallow
St. Irenaeus of Lyons
Early Church Father and Doctor of the Church
This excerpt from St. Irenaeus' classic second century work Against Heresies (Lib. 5, 19, 1; 20, 2; 21,1: SC 153, 248-250. 260-264) shows that the Blessed Virgin Mary is truly a new Eve. It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for Friday in the Second Week of Advent.
St. Irenaeus was one of the most important Church Fathers of the 2nd century AD. His life reveals the cosmopolitan nature of the Roman Empire at the height of its power. Irenaeus was bishop of Lyons, in Southern France, though he appears to have grown up in Smyrna, in Modern day Turkey. There he had personal contact with St. Polycarp, one of the Apostolic Fathers who in turn knew the Apostle John, son of Zebedee. Before becoming bishop, Irenaeus apparently studied in Rome where he was influenced by St. Justin Martyr. His major work, Against Heresies, which appeared around the year 185 AD, exposed the absurdities of the Gnostic cults of the day and included a strong presentation and defense of Catholic Christianity.
The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.
As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.
Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with Gods words to the serpent in Genesis: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.
The one lying in wait for the serpents head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the- promise was made.
He shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as mans adversary.
That is why the Lord proclaims himself the Son of Man, the one who renews in himself that first man from whom the race born of woman was formed; as by a mans defeat our race fell into the bondage of death, so by a mans victory we were to rise again to life.
Sometimes I think the lawyers have taken over the church
All this sings like legal mumbo jumbo applied to biblical lessons.
This is why I dont belong to ANY organized church...
Thank you for posting this.
God always says it best:
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Jesus was the “Last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). If Mary is the “New Eve”, was Joseph “her” Adam?
Different people relate to God in different ways. Some people are more philosophical; some more intellectual, some more emotional, some more spiritual, some more practical. God is able to engage you where you are.
Don’t worry about it. If you love God, love your neighbor, and believe in the Christ you are his. He’ll engage you where you are. At some point he may draw you into a body of believers, because there is something to be gained from being part of a group of like-minded believers. Until then just keep looking up and leading your little clan.
You're looking at it through human institutions.
Adam and Eve were the progenitors of man... and the authors of our failure. Jesus and Mary are the progenitors of our life of grace and through whom our redemption was accomplished.