instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A few more nuggets

From last night's talk:
  • "The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame." Here, "nakedness" signifies weakness. In himself, man is weak and depends upon God's strength. Before the Fall, this was not a problem, since man's relationship with God was rightly ordered.

  • After the Fall, "the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked." Till then, it hadn't occurred to them to think of themselves as weak; it hadn't occurred to them to think of themselves at all, since their eyes were upon God, not themselves. But from the first, all sin has been a matter of regarding yourself first.

  • And when what is second (man) tries to become equal with what is first (God), he winds up last (as told in Genesis 3, servant to what is third (an animal)).

  • Even so, "the LORD God made leather garments, with which he clothed them." God does not leave mankind altogether reliant on his own strength, the strength of fig leaves, but gives him the grace of a certain degree of divine protection before sending him out into the world.

  • "Then God said: 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'": The way an empire signified that a town belonged to it, however far the town was from the capital, was by placing a statue of the emperor in the center of the town. In the Creation Stories, God places an image of Himself in the center of creation. Man, then, signifies God's dominion over all creation -- which explains the devil's interest in corrupting the image of God in man.

  • The first human words quoted in Genesis are of a man's delight at his wife. The last human words quoted in Revelation are of a woman's delight at her husband. Christ's marriage with the Church restores the unity intended from the beginning.

  • Mankind's first liturgical act produced a human victim. So does (so must, you might say) the final liturgical act. (Which is why, I suppose, the Church's liturgy cannot be other than a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice. "It is finished," as He said, and if we are doing something else or something more, then we are in some way continuing the line of insufficient liturgies offered between Abel's death and Jesus'.)