53
THE SECOND EVE

"As therefore we died through a tree, so by a tree are we brought to life. A tree showed us our nakedness, a tree clothed us with leaves of pardon. A tree excited the heat of sins, the tree of knowledge clad us with cooling refreshment for our sins; a tree brought forth thorns and briers, the tree of knowledge help and salvation... O mystery of the sacraments of Mary. O teaching hidden to unbelievers, and revealed to the faithful. The Immortal builds up a mortal: she brings forth the Immortal. The Incorporeal finds His place on earth, the corporeal in heaven; God is made man, but is shown to be God. All that was done by Adam is washed out by Mary. Hence happy Eve, by whom was given the occasion; yea, rather happy Mary, by whom was offered the cure; happy Eve, by whom is born the people; happier Mary, by whom was born Christ. Hence, while he is better to one, both indeed are glorious; for Christ would not have made Mary glad, had He not deformed the former Eve from whom too Mary was herself born: nor would He have come to the people, had she not sinned first in the world. The one is called the mother of mankind, the other of salvation. Eve taught us a lesson, and Mary gave us strength. By Eve we grow, by Mary we reign; by Eve we were brought down to earth, by Mary we are raised to heaven; and with the view of briefly making plain the whole mystery of the Law, I shall show the intimate relation of these two women to one another, and with them of all: how of old Mary was in Eve, and afterwards Eve was revealed by Mary."*

S. AUGUSTINE.

"Hail Mary, full of grace: Blessed art thou amongst women. In saying, Full of grace, he showed that the wrath of the first sentence was entirely removed (ex integro iram exclusam primae sententiae), and the full grace of benediction restored. In saying, Blessed art thou amongst women, he expressed what was the blessed fruit of her virginity... For Eve, who once was cursed, has now, we believe, through Mary returned to the glory of benediction."+

"For man's deception he was given to drink poison by woman; for man's restoration let salvation be given him to drink by woman. Let woman compensate for the sin of man through her deceived, by giving birth to Christ."++

"Because man fell through the female sex, by the female sex was man restored. Because a Virgin had given birth to Christ, a woman announced His Resurrection. By woman death, by woman life."**

"Eve by her disobedience merited punishment; Mary by obeying obtained glory. The one through tasting what was forbidden was cursed; the other by believing was blessed."||


* Sermo xlv. De primo Adam et Secundo. Int. opp. S. Ambros. Its author is unknown.

+ Serm. 123, 2, De Natali Domini, vii. Int. opp. S. Augustini, Appendix.

++ Serm. 51 (al. De divers. 63), c. 2. P. L. Tom. 57, p. 335.

** Serm. 232 (al. De tempore, 44), cap. 2. Ib. p. 1108.

|| Serm. 10, In Natal. Dom. iii.

*** Ep. 63, n. 33.

 

 

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