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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Guest Post by Fr. Tom Collins On Mary as "Co-Redemptrix": Premises and Foundation

Editor's note: With Mary's big feast day coming in a few days I thought Fr. Tom's article on Mary as Co-Redemptrix was timely. Today I'm publishing a pre-article which gives the foundation for her title. Each of Father's points is well worth meditating on, "pondering in our hearts." Drawing close to Mary is key to drawing closer to Jesus. He was as close to her as a person could be. Doesn't it make sense that He wants us to draw closer to Him through her? The demons hate Mary because of her humility. When we come to Jesus through Mary we exhibit a humility that shines like the star of Bethlehem. I'll be pondering all these points over the next few days. I hope you'll join me. Our Lady, Mother of the Savior and Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.                 


1) Only Jesus is God incarnate - both as Person and Mystery.

2) Being and action are the same in God. He does not just love, He is love. Therefore Jesus' saving act is His saving being.

3) Salvation is ontological, not merely psychological. Thus, salvation from the disintegrating/ malignant power of sin must be real, and not merely imputed, since sin, by its very nature, involves a free choice to invest one's self into a dynamic that distorts one's perspective, attitudes, actions and character (i.e., drawing one into an ever deepening alienation from the integrity of truth).

4) Salvation involves the totality of one’s person and relationships – what is not shared is not redeemed.

5) Man is made in the image and likeness of God, as both a personal and a covenantal being ("male and female, not "male or female" Gen 1:27, 5:1-2). The more a human is God-like, the more integral is his humanity. The more the human community conforms itself to the integrity of God's commandments, the more integral will be its development and fruitfulness.

6) Man (Humanity) is the only creature God loves for his own sake. His love for humanity mediates His love for all other creatures. Thus, while we respectfully use things, we are to reverently love each human being and respect his freedom by promoting the integrity of his conscience.

7) God is the Holy Trinity, not just a monadic person. In the dynamic life of the Holy Trinity, obedience is an integral dimension of the God's Being- Father (Jn 15:16), Son (Jn 6:38), Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13).

8) Grace is primarily realized as a holy living communion with God, and secondarily as the wisdom and strength that flow from this holy communion.

9) Jesus’ Paschal sacrifice was essential for our salvation (Lk 24:26, Heb 5:8-10), not just a matter of demonstrating how deeply God loves us.

10) Evangelization is essential for one's full participation in the grace of salvation.

11) The paradigm for spiritual growth is primarily one of communion-transformation, rather than one of cause-effect (Eucharist, as Holy Communion, is the source and summit of the Church's life).

12) Salvation from the dis-integrating and alienating infection of sin must be real, not merely imputed.

13) Sin, by its very nature, involves a free decision to enter into a communion with an evil spirit, who draws us into a dynamic that distorts our perspective, so as to distort our attitudes, so as to distort our actions, pervert our character, and ultimately destroy our ability to live in a holy communion with God.

4) What is not shared is not redeemed. Even salvation itself is not authentic unless it is shared in grateful and gracious love with others. Thus one fulfills the new and normative commandment given by Christ, "Love one another, as I have loved you," (Jn 15:12) by embracing he lost and the alienated into the communion of divine love with one's self. Thus we are to give as a gift, what we are receiving as a gift.

15) Our true life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3, Gal 2:19-20)

16) Covenantal actions involve a mutuality/complementarity of ministry. In this context, joy is discovered in gratitude for the sacred privilege of participating in this sacred dynamic, rather than in an alienating pride, whereby a person imposes himself and his agenda on others, rather than share himself and his insights in a spirit of reverence for the whole truth of God.

17) Co-redemption takes place through the mystery of the Incarnation – God the Son, in obedience to the Father and by the power of the Holy Spirit, had to take to Himself a full and authentic human nature.

18) Full redemption is possible only if one can be perfectly redeemed.

19) Without a clear vision of the nature of human authenticity, we tend to perish in the alienation of sin.

20) God’s ways do not conform to the distorted expectations of sinful humanity.

Note: Sadly, a radical alienated and alienating individualism continues to poison a lot of contemporary Church theologies and spiritualities. Note, for example, how several recent Church documents tend to be little more that an ecclesiastical version of the #Me-too movement. For example, 1) they sympathize with those who, while promoting immodesty and unchastity, feign a holy umbrage toward those who expand the parameters for the liberation of libido to the point where the Church can be subjected to litigation. (The fear of the lawsuit is more apparent than the fear of the Lord); 2) they ignore and/or bully any who dare to present objective data, which may indicate that man-made global warming is not a reality; and 3) they refuse to acknowledge that there is any difference between a] legal immigrants, b] economic, political or religious refugees and c] infiltrators, such as gang members, jihadists, human traffickers, drug smugglers, “sleeper cells” of our adversaries, criminals and those bringing deadly contagious diseases into our nation.

In this last point, it is worth noting how many Church leaders are supporting the allegation that those who want to promote respect for our immigration laws are racists and xenophobic. Ironically, though, as they allege the absolute right of people to migrate geographically with no respect for national sovereignty, they also insist that any who want to spiritually migrate into the Catholic Church must, as Church“migrants" (catechumens/converts), respect the Church’s immigration laws and disciplines, such as the RCIA process, sacramental preparation and, if necessary, recourse to the marriage tribunal.

Fr. Thomas R. Collins -->

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