Monday, 9 December 2013

The Immaculate Conception: John Macquarrie

'Without God's Son, nothing could exist; 
without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed' 
- St Anselm -

12th Century statue of Our Lady in the Church of Santa Maria la Real, O Cebreiro, Galicia

Part of a defence of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception by a notable Twentieth Century Catholic Anglican theologian - best of all, read the whole book...  
"…the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in its official formulation states quite explicitly that Mary’s ‘unique grace and privilege’ in this matter (and we may understand these words as referring to her election and vocation) were granted  ‘in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race.’ It could not be more plainly asserted than it is here that Mary has her significance not in herself but because of her relation to Christ. The latter’s saving work reaches backward in time as well as forward. So Mary is subordinate to her Son. In the language of Christian theology, she is the God-bearer, fully human; he is the God-man, fully human and fully divine." 
John Macquarrie: ‘Mary For All Christians’ *

'There is no rose of such virtue'  - the mediaeval English carol, sung here by Chanticleer

* See also the ARCIC Agreed Statement:  Mary, Grace and Hope in Christ (2005) where, under the heading  'Advances in Agreement,'  the following declaration is made:

"We affirm together......
~  "that in view of her vocation to be the mother of the Holy One, Christ's redeeming work reached 'back' in Mary to the depths of her being and to her earliest beginnings" 

The language of 'ecumenical dialogue' notwithstanding, if that is not the Immaculate Conception (and - for those who believe they need it - further justification for Anglicans to observe the Solemnity) I don't know what is ... 

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