Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Mother of God

“To be Mother of God, then, the Virgin Mary identified in her existence the life of the created with the life of the uncreated; she united in her own life the creation with its creator. And so every creature, the entire creation of God, finds in her person the gate of “true life”, the entrance to the fullness of the existential possibilities. “In her all creation rejoices, the company of angels and the race of men”. In the language of the Church’s poetry, every image which includes nature is ascribed to our Lady, in order to exhibit exactly the entire renewal of the created which was accomplished in her person. She is “heaven” and “fertile earth” and “unhewn mountain” and “rock giving drink to those who thirst for life” and “flourishing womb” and “field bringing forth atonement”. And the inmitable “semantics” of orthodox iconography translates the figurative statement of these images at one time in outline and at another in colour. 

It represents the Theotokos and throne of divinity, either as holding a child or praying, or sweetly kissing the Child, or “reclining” at the Nativity of Christ or at her own falling asleep. She is the new Eve who recapitulates nature, not in that autonomy contrary to nature and in death, but in that participation in the Divinity which transcends nature and in the realization of eternal life. Because her own will restores the existential “end” and purpose of creation generally, she gives meaning and hope to the “eager longing of creation”. When the faithful seek the intercession of the Theotokos for their salvation, they are not seeking some kind of juridical mediation, but that their own ineffective will be contained within her own lifegiving will, her will which affirms the saving love of the incarnate God”[1].  

[1] Yannaras, Christos, Elements of Faith, (Edinburgh, T&T Clark, 1991), p.100-101

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