Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Grace for grace: the mediation of Mary in the light of Christ, the One Mediator

Random, unorganized thoughts on created vs. uncreated grace  (Prompted by meditation on this link: http://afkimel.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/oecumenical-grace-roman-catholicism-and-created-grace/)
And of His grace we have received: grace for grace.
God's uncreated energies synergize with our created energies, bolstering them, and making them the carriers of true grace, created though they be, through a sort of hypostatic union of His own and our own, exactly parallel to (if not repetitive of) His own hypostatic union.

He has as His principle uncreated nature, and so He is "God by nature", although He "took on Himself the form of a servant" -- that is, He took on Himself created nature, and so became man.

We have as our principle that same created nature which He put on.  And we are called, by a similar "putting on" of Him, the Christ, to become "god(s) by grace" -- that is, "partakers of the divine nature".

But -- I think -- it is one and the same hypostatic union that results, both in Him (uniting uncreated with created) and in each of us (uniting created with uncreated): both He and we are Sons of God.

The only distinction is this: that He is the only begotten Son, having His generation from the Father before all ages (that is, eternally), and being manifested in the flesh only afterward.

Whereas we are manifested in the flesh first, and receive our generation only after, "that we may become the sons of God", receiving the Spirit of adoption.

In this sense, then, we understand that
There is [but] one mediator between God and man: the man Christ Jesus.
Namely, that it is "of His grace [that] we have received", "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" that is with us all.

Any other "mediation and help" for which we ask the saints (particularly Mary) are mediations not between God (the Father) and man (for that is Christ's alone), but rather are mediations of the grace of the Son to His fellow men, which grace we have received, each according to the measure of faith given to him.

And so, when I synergize with this grace -- this energy, this action -- I mediate it to the world, and so it can properly be called "my mediation", and I a "mediator", as I am the instrument of Christ's One Mediation in the world: for it is yet not I who lives, but Christ Who lives in me.

So, when we pray, asking the Virgin Mary for "Thy mediation and help", calling her "Mediatrix", we do not replace Christ with her, and we are not speaking as though she is the Mediator Between God and Man. Rather, we express precisely the correct doctrine that He, the One Mediator, is present in and active through His saints, that "of His grace we have received: grace for grace", and that we are called to activate that grace in the world by uniting our own (created) energies to it, subjecting our own will to His even as He subjected His human will to His divine will.  We express this doctrine by asking Mary to (continue to) do that thing that every Christian (Mary included) is called to do: use her God-given gifts (χαρίσματα, 'charismata' = 'graces' or 'gifts'), which she receives from our collective Head, for the edification and help of the Body.

(Side note: There is also the sense that she mediated Christ to the world insofar as she gave birth to Him from her own flesh.  She is the ladder upon which He descended.)

We single her out specifically and specially simply because, while the grace given to her is not "without measure" as her Son received from the Father, she has the greatest measure of grace of any of the Saints, even so far as to have been referred to by the angel as "full of grace" (κεχαριτωμένη).

This is evidenced by the fact that she is the only Christian to have undergone the Resurrection of the Body as of yet.  And not only that, but her faith is the simplest and most direct in the Kingdom, and she is the Queen Mother, set at the right hand of the King, having born Him as a result of an act which precisely portrays and activated exactly what we're talking about here: namely, her active, complete, and humble submission of her created energies (her "natural" or "created" graces and abilities) to the will and operation (uncreated energies) of God, to manifest Christ to the world in the flesh, when she said to the angel: "Be it unto me according to thy word."

Also, because of her aforementioned Resurrection, she alone among the Saints has full and unfettered use of the graces given to her by Her Son.  Unfettered on the one hand by the body of sin, unlike those of us still in the flesh here on earth.  And unfettered on the other by the lack of any body at all, unlike the rest of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord, but have not yet been resurrected.

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