71
EXEGESIS - GENESIS.

"What is it that troubles thee in My nativity?" -- Christ is represented as saying to a Manichaean -- "I was not conceived by concupiscence. I Myself made the Mother, of whom I was to be born. I prepared and made clean the way for My journey. She whom thou despisest, O Manichaean, is My Mother; but she was formed by My hand. If I could have been defiled in making her, I could have been defiled in being born of her. Eve by her disobedience merited punishment, Mary by her obedience obtained grace. The one by tasting of what was forbidden was cursed, the other by believing the angel was blessed; the one brought us death, the other bore us life."*

"The mother of our race brought punishment on the world, the Mother of our Lord brought the world's salvation."+

"He is mistaken, dearly beloved, who thinks that this day of reparation can be compared with that other of creation. For in the beginning the earth was formed, to-day it is renewed. In the beginning, on account of Adam's sin, the earth was cursed in his work,++, but today is restored to it peace and security."**

"God chose out Mary alone from the entire company of virgins to be the instrument of our salvation."||

"Two women are celebrated for their innocence and simplicity, Mary and Eve: one was the source of salvation, the other of our death."***

"In fulminating the sentence on the serpent according to his desert, God dooms him to have earth for food, to crawl on his belly, and since it was he who made that death, He adds: And I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and the woman's seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt watch for her heel. Seest thou not, what He then threatened the serpent in Christ. For I refuse utterly to allow any other seed of the woman, but that which the Apostle says was made of a woman; made of flesh, which says the Evangelist, was supposed to be the son of Joseph, but was not; and was in fact the Word made flesh."+++

"I, the Maker of all creation," God is represented as saying by the angel Gabriel, "have espoused this Virgin for man's salvation. It is My will to renovate the human race in her virginal womb. It is My will, by Myself being fashioned, to make again the image which I formed, and by a new formation to repair the old. From virgin earth I formed the first man whom the devil seized upon, dragged and cast down as an enemy, and then mocked at My fallen image. It is now My will to form for Myself from virgin earth a new Adam, both that nature may have for herself a fitting defence, and with justice be crowned by Him who laid her low, and the enemy be brought to ignominy." Gabriel then thus salutes Mary, "Hail, full of grace. That primeval mother of thine, Eve, having transgressed the law, received as sentence that in sorrow she should bring forth children: but to thee belongs this Ave. She brought forth cain, and thereby, her offspring envy and slaughter: but thou shalt give birth to a Son who will bring with Him life and incorruption."****


* Tract. contr. quinque haeres., cap. v., Int. Opp. Augustini. Append., Tom. 8.

+ Serm. 195. De Annunt. II. Ib.

++ Gen. iii. 17.

** S. Ephrem, De divers., Serm. De laudib. Deip., Opp. Gr. et Lat. T. iii., p. 607. See the quotation continued supra, p. 50.

|| Ib., p. 607.

*** In Genes.

+++ John i. 14. De viro perfecto, int. Opp. Hieron., cap. vi. Vallarsius says that it is undoubtedly the work of S. Maximus of Turin.

++++ Hom. in Deip. Annunt., Int. Opp. Chrysost.

 

 

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