Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hail WHO? Part Nine - Death Through Eve, Life Through Mary

Happy Palm Sunday to you, Coffee Talkers!

Tonight we will continue on in the "Hail WHO? - What Do Catholics Really Believe About Mary?" series, with this final (and brief!) section of my paper on Mary as the new Eve! (It's taken a while to get through it, huh?) This final portion sums up all of the major points I presented throughout the paper which support the theological concept of Mary as the New Eve. [Note: I've included brief footnotes to cite my sources, but if anyone want the full bibliography, e-mail me and I'll pass it on!] After concluding the paper tonight, I will continue the series from time to time to cover other hot Marian topics like apparitions and what the Catholic Church believes about private revelation.

For now, the final section of the paper -- enjoy!

Open Wide the Gates - Mary as the New Eve

Death Through Eve, Life Through Mary

St. Bonaventure describes that while "that woman (namely Eve), drove us out of Paradise and sold us, ... [Mary] brought us back again and bought us." (57) In every way that Eve, the first woman failed, Mary, she who is blessed among women, gloriously surpasses even Eve's original state of holiness and justice, thanks to her free and active participation in the salvific and redemptive work of Jesus Christ, the new Adam. "In fact, just as Eve caused the death, so Mary, with her 'yes,' became 'a cause of salvation' for herself and all mankind (cf. Adv. Haer., III, 22, 4; SC211, 441)." (58)

Mary, the new Eve, shines as a model for all women. As Fr. Xavier Leon-Dufour explains, "The Lord willed to be born of a woman (G 4,4). Mary, virgin and mother, fulfills in herself the feminine hope of fruitfulness." (59) In Mary, the new Eve who gives birth to Christ and His body, the Church, we see "the prototype of the woman, whom each woman longs in her heart to become." (60)

Mary's role in the plan of salvation, however, extends far beyond being a model for all women and all Christians. As the new Eve with the new Adam, Mary is the faithful, obedient, and Immaculate adversary of Satan. She is the spiritual mother of all people and Mediatrix of all graces and through her co-redemptive suffering with Christ Mary re-opens the gates to paradise and gives men access to the fruit of the new tree of life. As the Second Vatican Council beautifully describes, 
"The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life. That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by God with the gifts which befit such a role." (61)
 Mary's role as our intercessor, mother, and co-redeemer are an inexhaustible source of spiritual richness. May we sit always at the school of Mary, Mother and model of the Church, as we journey toward our heavenly home where we shall see her and Christ, the new Adam, face to face.
57. Miravalle, p. 111.
58. Calkins, p. 26.
59. Leon-Dufour, p. 665.
60.Leon-Dufour, p. 666.
61. Lumen Gentium, #56.
As always, thanks for reading. Be assured of my prayers for all of you as we enter into Holy Week!

Peace and all good,

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