Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Assumption

Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary. A holy day of obligation.

I found this article at the Catholic Exchange website: The Spirit and the Assumption : Deificaton and Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council only promulgated two dogmatic constitutions: Dei Verbum (Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation) and Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). Stating this is not meant to downplay the other constitutions and documents of the council. Rather, it is to highlight key opening passages found in a dogmatic context. Certain repeated passages at the start of these dogmatic constitutions beckon the faithful to renew their evangelical pronouncements and catechetical methods by incorporating a recovery of the biblical and patristic understanding of deification (in Greek: theosis) into the New Evangelization.

Byzantine (Greek Catholic and Orthodox) theology, spirituality, and catechetical tradition has always centered on the near-symmetry that "God became man so that man might become God" (cf. CCC#460). The pronouncement balances and encompasses the wider meaning of "salvation" and the purpose of the Incarnation as defended by Saint Athanasius against the Arians. In the East, catechetical reiteration upon "participation in the divine nature" (2 Pet 1:4) and "becoming God" by grace was always standard fare. In the West, the symmetry was never lost but the doctrine seemingly waned catechetically from the time of the 14th Century until the 20th Century. Nevertheless, the heart of the matter was always maintained in Western mystical theology, especially in Saint John of the Cross, and known implicitly in Marian devotion and study. Liturgically, at the Offertory, we still hear, "By the mingling of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity."

See ya at Mass...

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