Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Meaning of Coredemptrix

tip to Catholic Video of the Day

In the words of the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “Of course Mary is the Co-redemptrix — she gave Jesus his body, and his body is what saved us.”

These are no lightweight issues - link here.

#7 - “Suffering is Redemptive” and the “Culture of Death”

A solemn definition of Mary Co-redemptrix would be a Christian proclamation to the world that “suffering is redemptive.” The Christian example of the Co-redemptrix manifests to the world that to accept the providentially permitted crosses of our human existence is not a valueless waste to be avoided at all costs, including intrinsic evils such as euthanasia and abortion. But rather that the patient endurance of all human hardships are of supernatural value when united with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, a participation in the distribution of the redemptive graces of Calvary, both for ourselves and for others (cf. Col. 1:24).

Even the example of Mary’s “yes” to unborn life, in circumstances which could foster undue judgement and ridicule from people surrounding her, is an example of a co-redemptive “yes” that all people should say in response to the event of unborn life, regardless the circumstance.

John Paul II describes the present “Culture of Death” as a “cultural climate which fails to perceive any meaning or value in suffering, but rather considers suffering to be the epitome of evil, to be eliminated at all cost. This is especially the case in the absence of a religious outlook which could help provide a positive under­standing of the mystery of suffering.” [79]

The concrete example of Mary Co-redemptrix offers to the Church and the world the positive Christian message that “suffering is redemptive” in all possible circumstances, from Christian persecution, to terminal cancer, to “unwanted” pregnancy, to the ordinary crosses of daily life.

Chick on Dr. Mark Miravalle to see more.

Looking at this from a Girardian perspective we may say that this brings into question the whole ontology issue of where one abides. If one abides in the One True God - the God that Mary found herself standing before at Golgotha - then they abide in Real Transcendence. At this grounding is where one can have a true and honest understanding of suffering that reaches beyond to the faith, hope and love of Christ for sustenance. It is here one dies to the flesh, the negative imitation of desire (compulsive pre-occupation of the other) and is reborn in Christ.

If one however has no real grounding, only blowing from one false transcendent noise-maker to the next, one lives in a constant state of negative desire (a compulsive pre-occupation with the other).

I close asking Mary to extend her YES for enabling God's Will to be done in me.

The Prayer of Mary
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified

Mary's Cooperative Prayer (2617)
At the Annunciation, Mary's prayer cooperated in Christ's conception. At Pentecost Mary's prayer cooperated in forming the Church, Christ's Body. God found in Mary the acceptance he had always wanted. "Let it be done to me according to your Word" (Lk 1:38).

Her Prayer of Intercession (2618)
Mary's prayer of intercession was revealed at a wedding feast. This prefigured the wedding banquet of the Lamb, when Jesus gave his body and blood for his bride, the Church. At the foot of the cross, Mary became the "mother of all the living" (Gen 3:20).

Her Maternal Prayer (2619)
Mary's Magnificat is a song of the Mother of God and of the Church. It is a song of Zion and of the new People of God; a song "of the poor" who hope in the fulfillment of God's promises.


Athos said...

Aramis, I like your: If one however has no real grounding, only blowing from one false transcendent noise-maker to the next, one lives in a constant state of negative desire (a compulsive pre-occupation with the other).

Regarding Our Lady and the topic of your post, J. R. R. Tolkien wrote very specifically:

The Assumption of Mary, the only unfallen person, may be regarded as in some ways a simple regaining of unfallen grace and liberty: she asked to be received, and was, having no further function on Earth. Though, of course, even if unfallen she was not ‘pre-Fall’. Her destiny (in which she cooperated) was far higher than that of any ‘Man’ would have been, had the Fall not occurred. It was also unthinkable that he body, the immediate source of Our Lord’s (without other physical intermediary) should have been disintegrated, or ‘corrupted’, nor could it surely be long separated from Him after the Ascension. There is of course no suggestion that Mary did not ‘age’ at the normal rate of her race; but certainly this process cannot have proceeded or been allowed to proceed to decrepitude or loss of vitality and comeliness. The Assumption was in any case as distinct from the Ascension as the raising of Lazarus from the (self) Resurrection. [Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, 286 footnote]

Porthos said...

Wonderful post! This is very helpful on "Coredemptrix," which I have loved without fully grasping (not that I ever will fully grasp it!) Nice words from Tolkein, too, Ath. And good words on suffering.

If you develop a mimetic treatment of redemptive suffering you will be (to my knowledge) the first to have done so. I think mimetic theory has a hard time with any suffering that isn't victimization by other humanoids, and I think MT would see suffering as being only redemptive insofar as it is revelatory of same. (As far as terminal cancer is concerned, mimetic theory might as well be Christian Science.) James Alison started to work on this problem as a side issue in The Joy of Being Wrong but never fully developed anything.

How about Banished from Eden?