Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον [Luke 1. 46b]

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Nine-Month Advent Nearing Its End

 Whether our Blessed Mother, Saint Mary Ever-Virgin, Theotokos, ever actually rode a donkey on her way to Bethlehem (or whether she walked) is somewhat moot...she was quite (quite) along in her Holy pregnancy nonetheless.  Her period of ADVENT was drawing to fruition--as soon The Sacred Fruit would tabernacle forever amongst us as IMMANUEL!

   An interesting quote I recently came across (if it's legitimate--as I found it on an old Roman Catholic calendar) is worth sharing:

"Hail, Mother and Virgin, living and immortal tabernacle of God, the world's treasure and ligth, ornament of virgins, support of true faith, firm foundation of every church. You who gave birth to God, and carried under your pure heart, Him Whom space cannot contain. You through whom the Holy Trinity is praised and worshipped, and through whom the holy cross is venerated in the whole world...who can praise you who are above all praise?"

- - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bp, C, Doctor of the Church (+444)

   While there is much that a Lutheran can disagree with in this prayer/paen, there is still some verity contained.  Saint Mary of Nazareth is truly Gottesmutter and gave birth to not just "the Lord," but to "God."  She is worthy of a whole lot more praise and respect than is usually afforded her by contemporary Lutheranism. Much the pity.

   And, oh.... Saint Cyril is one tough, brass-nuckled theologian for the "smack-down" he layed on Nestorius the weasel.

   Just sayin'

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, Fr. Jay!

    St. Cyril WAS a tough, uncompromising customer ... and that's a fact, Jack. And Nestorius WAS a consummate, Constantinopolitan bishop/politician (the latter "p" word, if I recall my Linnaeus from college correctly, is IN FACT a subspecies of "weasel." Or maybe that's more accurately expressed as a subspecies of "calvinist" ... sorry, father, but the memory corrodes like my outdated Verizon's "Coupe" clam-shell. Like Nestorius, the creature "calvinist" will also cut corners and paste together planks very, very strictly, to prevent communication of attributes, consign our Christ to a box in heaven, and more generally test God's patience. Thus, according to calvinist caboodlings, the Almighty and once crucified Savior (who rose from the dead, no less) surely cannot come to us, with servantly intent to feed us at His Altar. Instead, we have to ascend on ethereal wings to heights unknown to spiritually chew on the Bread of Life, as if the blessed Altar were a transporting Virgin 2 launch-pad, or maybe even an opium den. That's right, that's what I said. -- a conscious-changing, high-inducing opium den. Or more accurately, perhaps, what a rationalizing Frenchman Jean C. implied: i.e., sovereign God can't voyage through space and time to intimately parley and dine with us; but WE beggars can. If you believe this, you may be interested in the latest four-point restraint fashions, at the state hospital.

    The digressive trouncing of faithless (and quite ground-bound -- like the kiwi) kalvinists (I'm on a roll) aside -- yes, yes, Nestorius WAS tricky. He didn't question the Virgin birth, to his credit (or maybe to his imperial bank-book), but he was discomfited by the phrase "Mother of God," but had to admit that leaving things at "Mother of Jesus" was sort of Islamic, and this was two centuries before Mohammed. Nestorius preferred for the masses to publicly confess, instead: "Mother of Christ." There. Masterful work, like having the otherwise undisturbed dead of Chicago register to vote. "Mother of Christ." That should make everybody happy, including the Alexandrians, right? Right?

    Well, no.

    And make no mistake about it. Back then, in the mid-fifth century, the laity knew their Cyril and CARED about such things ... with a fervency which veered into the violent, on occasion. (Timothy Gregory's Ohio State University Press book ... "Vox Populi" ... is a fascinating read on a gloomy winter's eve, discussing these tendencies). These days, of course, we're more attentively attuned to "Pick 6 Lotto," than discussing over the holiday turkey, for example, the heretical subtleties of Monophysitism. Truth be told, though, I'm not sure this is necessarily a bad thing. In general, the masses are asses, and inclined to construct golden calves as representative of YAWEH; or repeatedly vote, some 10-15 years ago, for a neo-Baptist from Texas as a synodical president ... if given half the chance, or a whole bunch of bureaucratic machinations and bylaw changes. The calvinists, on the other hand, are far slicker, and inclined to craft and sell Baby Jesus figurines in "Family" bookstores, for immense profit ... while simultaneously haranguing the Evangelical Catholic (and the public, more generally) with their own peculiar idea of what constitutes the Second Commandment!

    What cheek! What chalvinist chutzpah!

    This profit (by the Book, blue or not) behavior, by the way, is known as the "Protestant Ethic," which should not be confused in any way with "Protestant Gray Matter" ... the existence of which has not been convincingly confirmed by MRI or by the typical postings on "LutherQuest," which site the Theotokos- uncomfortable Bp. Nestorius appears to have imbibed to the point of intoxication, enthusiastically.

    Your (unworthy) servant,
    Herr Doktor, S.S.P.