55
THE SECOND EVE
S. MAXIMUS.

"Christ is born of Mary, both that the female sex might give man, and virginal integrity bring forth God. Christ is born of a woman, that as Adam was unable to provide against the devil who deceived him by means of Eve, so the devil might not discover God to be present at His coming by means of Mary. A woman therefore gives birth to the salvation of the world, that she who had shown herself an incentive to iniquity, might become a ministress of justice, and by her, through whom death opened for itself an entrance into this world, life might find access to us. And that the Creator of the human race, and of both the sexes, might show the care that He has for both sexes. A man is born and comes forth from a woman that thus we might be reminded that there is with God no distinction between man and woman in obtaining salvation. And why should we not believe with all devotion, that a Saviour Child could be born of a Virgin, since we believe that a perfect man was formed from the dust?"*

One ancient author calls Mary: --

"The one and only daughter of life."+

And another: --

"The new Eve and mother of life." ++

S. JEROME.

"When the virgin conceived in her womb, and brought forth a Child for us... the curse was done away. Death by Eve, life by Mary."**

"The plenitude of all the grace which is in Christ came to Mary, though in another way. And therefore he says: Blessed art thou amongst women, that is, more blessed than all women. And by reason of this the malediction which was infused by means of Eve, was entirely taken away by the blessing pronounced on Mary."||

S. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM.

"A virgin cast us forth from paradise; through a Virgin we have found eternal life. By what things we were condemned, by these same are we cured."***

"To-day we celebrate a glorious triumph of victory... Let us then all rejoice, exult, and be glad... For He hath wrought all for our salvation; and by what things the devil worsted us, by these same did Christ overcome him. He took those same arms, and with them He prostrated him. And how? Listen. A virgin, wood, and death were the symbols of our defeat. For Eve was a virgin, since she had not yet known man when she was deceived. The wood was the tree. Death was the punishment pronounced on Adam. Thou seest how a virgin, wood, and death were the symbols of our defeat. Now see how these very same are the cause of our victory. Instead of Eve, Mary. Instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the Cross. Instead of Adam's death, the Lord's Death."+++


* Hom. De Nativ. Dom. xv. Patr. Lat. Tom. 57, p. 253. See also Serm. liii. pp. 638-640 and Serm. xi. and xii. int. Opp. Append. pp. 864-869.

+ Epist. ad Paul. Samos. attributed to S. Dionysius of Alexandria.

++ Serm. de Annunt. Deip. int. Opp. S. Athanasii.

** Ep. 22, ad Eustoch. 21.

|| De Assump. B.M.V. Int. Opp. S. Hieron.

*** Exposit. in Ps. xliv. P. G. Opp. Tom. 5, p. 193.

+++ Hom. in S. Pasch. ii. Tom. 52, p. 767.

 

 

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