Sunday, July 27
Mary in the Redemption by Adrienne von Speyr:
Mary from the Perspective of a Twentieth-Century Mystic -- Part V
Discussing "How Mary Mediates" in the next chapter, von Speyr also makes some extremely important points about Mary’s womanhood and her role as a channel of grace. "Eve," says von Speyr, "would have had the task of mediating to Adam something of God’s trinitarian life." She was "created in order to reveal to Adam something of God’s love and life" (41). Adam and Eve were thus to reveal to each other grace, which von Speyr describes as "what God keeps in store for men, but also what men request from God." The sin of Eve destroys this mediation, but it "remained in God and was now free for Mary" (42). Thus, Mary, the new Eve, but also the first, is prepared from that time to renew the mediation of grace that was forsaken by Adam and Eve. This image of mediation from the beginning of time also puts forth a new perspective on Mary’s femininity. Woman was created in the first place as an equal of man, to mediate grace for man and to in turn receive grace from him. Mary, as the perfect woman, by her "amen" or "fiat" to Gabriel, opens up these long-dormant channels of grace and begins to mediate them once again. "Eve became for Adam the mediatrix of all sins," and thus, as von Speyr perfectly sums it up, "It is only in Mary that what should actually have been mediated becomes visible" (44-45). This is a groundbreaking approach both to the theology of grace and to anthropology, placing within the grasp of all people the theological role of mediation that is most perfectly realized in the person of Mary.