Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Does any prominent Father in the first millenium

apply the image of Spouse to the individual human person, and not just to the Church as a whole? Or is this more of a medieval Latin development, concomitant with shifts in Latin understandings of spirituality and the Eucharist?

Regarding the Bridegroom and the Bride, God the Son is the analogue of the male/man, and the Church (and perhaps the individual human person) is the analogue of the female. Just as the husband is the "active" principle and leads and imprints himself on his wife, and the wife is conformed to the husband, so Christ is the active principle, and the individual human person is conformed to Christ.

While the literal application of this imagery may be useful to female religious, I question its effectiveness for men. (As opposed to its being used as a theological metaphor to help our understanding of our communion with Christ and the Holy Trinity.)

And the individual human person has a filial relationship with God the Father by being sons in the Son. A logical consequence of the first, perhaps, our being conformed to Christ.

Would we say that the individual soul is the bride of the Holy Trinity as a whole? Or of the Father? I don't think so, even though it may be claimed that Israel is the bride of God the Father in the OT? It would be even more problematic if the human person were called to have a "conjugal" relationship with God the Father and a "filial" relationship as well. I believe the latter is literal, even if by analogy, while the former is only a metaphor or figurative language. So as I start reading through John Paul II's catechesis (and not the popularizations put forth by others) I will be keen to see how he parses this out.

Legitimate Development?

Fr. Z: Pope Francis Establishes a New Path to Beatification