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DEFENDING  THE  BRIDE

 

 

Eadmer of Canterbury's Explanation of How the Blessed Virgin Mary was the First to See Our Resurrected Lord.

 

 

Eadmer of Canterbury (c. 1060 Ė c. 1126, disciple of Saint Anselm), 
Liber de excellentia Virginis Mariae , Chapter 5
- CAPUT V. De compassione beatae Mariae pro filio crucifixo.

English paraphrase :
The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first to witness Jesus coming into the world as He took on flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And it was the Blessed Virgin Mary who first witnessed Jesus after He had rose from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit as He came in His new resurrected flesh.   (Romans 8:11)

Eadmer is alluding to the principles of typology.  He is not only stating that Jesus first appeared to the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary,) 
he is also providing us with a proof.  It would be an insult to Jesus Christ if anyone other than Mary was the first to witness and participate in the celebration of His resurrection. 

We need only to understand two principles.
First typology and second how Mary is the most perfected of all creatures above all others because she is the one who was most open and therefore was the one who received Godís grace more than any other creature.

This second principle was known to Eadmer. Rather than refer to voluminous texts of his time, it is shorter and easier to refer to a concise summary of those teachings in modern texts.

 

Pope Paul VI :

Ö Christian worship in fact is of itself worship offered to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit ...

 the Mother of the Lord and then to the saints, in whom the Church proclaims the Paschal Mystery, for they have suffered with Christ and have been glorified with Him. In the Virgin Mary everything is relative to Christ and dependent upon Him. It was with a view to Christ that God the Father from all eternity chose her to be the all-holy Mother and adorned her with gifts of the Spirit granted to no one else. Certainly genuine Christian piety has never failed to highlight the indissoluble link and essential relationship of the Virgin to the divine Savior.(69)  Ö

Examining more deeply still the mystery of the Incarnation, they saw in the mysterious relationship between the Spirit and Mary Ö

Delving deeply into the doctrine of the Paraclete, they saw that from Him as from a spring there flowed forth the fullness of grace (cf. Lk. 1:28) and the abundance of gifts that adorned her. Ö

It is also necessary that exercises of piety with which the faithful honor the Mother of the Lord should clearly show the place she occupies in the Church: "the highest place and the closest to us after Christ."
Apostolic Exhortation Marialis Cultus
For The Right Ordering And Development Of Devotion To The Blessed Virgin Mary
, February 2, 1974

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

967
By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) of the Church.

968
... "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a
mother to us in the order of grace."

And we need to understand typology

Understanding Typology

So what is a type ?   A type is a real person, place, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows something greater in the New Testament.  From  ďtypeĒ  we get the word  ďtypology,Ē  the study of Christís foreshadowing in the Old Testament (see Catechism, 128-130).

Adam, Moses, King David, the son of David, the temple are all types in the Old Testament that point forward to Jesus Christ, the Arch-Type, who fulfills what the OT types point toward.  The later Arch-Type is always greater because it is a greater manifestation of the grace of Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament (O.T.) is filled with types that prefigure the greater glory of God that is fully revealed in the New Covenant. These O.T. types find their perfection and completion in Jesus Christ, either in Himself or in someone or something that manifests His grace and glory in the New Covenant that He established.  So, it is in Jesus, who is God, that we can find the ultimate fulfillment of all these good things. 
More on
Types and Typology in the Bible 

In typology there is a parallel between the O.T. types and the New Testament types.  Eadmer now points to a parallel of one type in the New Testament before the resurrection that points to an Arch-type after the resurrection.

The Blessed Virgin Mary was the first to witness Jesus coming into the world as He took on flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit.  And it was the Blessed Virgin Mary who first witnessed Jesus after He had rose from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit as He came in His new resurrected flesh.   (Romans 8:11)

Eadmer makes the parallel between the first example how BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary)  was the first to see the flesh of Jesus when He came by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the 2nd Arch-type how she was also the first to see Him in His resurrected flesh, which as well, was brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit.   Eadmer shows how one example of Godís glory prior to the resurrection points us to another post resurrection glory.

By focusing on the Incarnation Eadmer wants us to see how with the coming of Jesus Christ there is the fuller outpouring of Godís grace and therefore Godís glory is made more manifest. When we go from the Old Testament to the N.T. ( New Testament)  we go from the lessor example of Godís grace to the greater Arch-type and fuller outpouring of Godís grace in N.T. because of Who Jesus Christ is.  He is truly God, and therefore the fullness of Godís grace.

The important principle of typology is that Jesus Christ is the sole source of all grace.  So, there is a logical progression from the lessor outpouring in the O.T. to the fuller outpouring of Godís grace in the N.T.  This is because Jesus, His revelation, and His grace is made more completely manifest in the N.T.   It would be an insult to Jesus if someone who was less close to Jesus and who had a greater outpouring of Godís grace or participated more fully in the heavenly glories than someone who was closer to Jesus Christ and His grace.

But now in the example on Mary she is the greatest of Godís creatures because she has the fullest co-operation and participation with Godís grace.  She can point to no creature greater than herself because no creature co-operated with Jesus more than she did.  If there was a greater participation by someone other than BVM  in the Glories of Heaven such as Jesusí resurrection by someone who was not as close to Jesus as was BVM that would be an insult to Jesus Christ because He is the sole source of all grace.

Therefore, Mary had to be the first to participate in the heavenly glory of Jesusí resurrection.

 

 

  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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