Write In Between

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Writer's Wednesday -- Augustine of Hippo

You to whom I am speaking, you are members of Christ. Who has given birth to you? I hear the voice of your heart: it is the Mother Church, this holy honored Church who, like Mary, gives birth and is virgin. She gives birth to nations, but they are the members of one alone, of him of whom she is the body and spouse. In that, too, she bears the image of the virgin Mary, because in this multitude, she is the mother of unity. As in Mary, we see in her perpetual integrity and incorruptible fruitfulness. What the first merited in her flesh, she has preserved in spirit. If the one gave birth to the only son, the other gives birth to numberous sons who, by this only son, are gathered into one.

-----Augustine of Hippo, (354-430 AD), Sermo Denis 25, c. 8.

(Wow -- the essences of ecclesiology and mariology all rolled into one paragraph!)

Want a little bit more?

Okay, here's another citing that Henri de Lubac points out (in Motherhood of the Church, p. 58.) from the ancient liturgy of the Spanish Church called the Marzarabic Rite (Sorry I cannot date it for you...but suffice to say, it pretty well builds on Augustine's words above.):

The one gave salvation to the nations, the other gives the nations to the Savior. The one carried Life in her womb, the other carries it in the sacramental font. What was once accorded to Mary in the carnal order in now accorded spiritually to the Church. She conceives the Word in her unfailing faith, she gives birth to it in a spirit freed from all corruption, she holds it in a soul covered with the Virtue of the Most High.

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