Dual natures of Mary?


#1

I implore prayer for wisdom about the difference between a person and a nature or will.

Our Church teaches us that the persons of the Trinity share one nature and one will.

She also teaches us that the one person of the Son has two natures and two wills.

It has therefore come into my mind that even a divinized created person might have more than one nature and more than one will (one of them shared with the Trinity), given the teaching of our recent Council:

``Christ, the final Adam, by the revelation of the mystery of the Father and His love, fully reveals man to man himself and makes his supreme calling clear.’’

Jesus Christ, perhaps, is no “freak” person by having two natures and two wills, but instead reveals to us the unspeakable designs of the Father in the normalcy of this situation for created persons also.

Since the Church contemplates in Mary that which she herself is becoming, the expression of this idea is that Mary, from the first moment of her conception as a created person, has had two natures and two wills-- one created and one uncreated or divine. This does not make her an uncreated person, but rather solidifies the Western doctrine of the Beatific Vision as direct participation in (“having”) the divine nature or essence, while further distancing the Church from the Orthodox conceptions of Palamas who said:

``No single thing of all that is created has or ever will have even the slightest communion with the supreme nature, or nearness to it.’’

Does the created person and particularly the New Eve, by God’s grace, transcend even the human nature and “have” the divine nature as well, in the image of her Son, yet without being more than Nothing in her person by comparison to God? Is this the meaning of “partake” in 2 Pet 1:4? Is this what Jesus was praying about when he prayed that we might be one just as he and the Father are one?

It seems to this poor soul to be a looming question (at least personally), and a potential division between Catholicism and Orthodoxy (yet, while perhaps revealing the true spirit of the schism), and pertinent to the Marian trajectory of dogma, and therefore in need of prayer… particularly for the rescue of Eastern Catholic brethren engaged in Hesychasm if it falls short of the genuine God-given dignity of created persons.

For myself, if my vision of the dignity of the created person is heretical and blasphemous (while yet retaining the humility of the complete contingency and nothingness of the created person), I ask for prayer as well.

I live up this prayer intention to Mary the Mother of God, whose nature(s) it pertains to.


#2

Mary does not have divine nature
Mary is human, wholly created, with one nature and one will, human. She is not divine. If you are attempting to mis-state Catholic doctrine in order to make some point about Orthodox doctrine, the foundations of your argument are faulty. I find the burden of your post completely incomprehensible and so am unable to understand or join in your prayer petition.


#3

Please understand that this is a genuine concern of mine. I have studied the Catholic faith voraciously for more than a year now, and to my knowledge there is no explicit condemnation of this idea… perhaps because it has never been voiced?

Please correct me if I am wrong!!! If the Magisterium is defining that created persons only have (and only ever will have) one will and one nature, then my prayer is answered. I need to see it in black and white, though.

If “having” the divine nature is not a valid reading of “partaking” in the divine nature, then I repent. If, at the level of the Magisterium, the question is able to be pondered without disobedience, then I renew my prayer request for wisdom and insight.

Mary the person was created from nothing. Nothing could be further from my mind than to deny that. My question is about the participation of the created person in the divine nature.


#4

jogomu,

I think you pose quite an interesting question. I note that this fora may not be the best place to discuss it, even though you are asking for prayer. (Perhaps the moderators will split the post to retain the petition here and place the discussion in an appropriate place.)

With that said, and sharing your desire to “think with the mind of the Church”, what follows is PURE speculation, and I will revise or recant from any error as it is shown to me:

  1. I do not think that the Church has ever made an explicit statement that a created person must have one and only one nature. Nor do I think that it is contrary to principles of reason to postulate the possibility that a created person could have two (or more?) natures.

  2. However, I think your scenario does have quite a hurdle to overcome. Assuming for the sake of argument that a created person may have two or more natures, it seems probable to me that – since nature is a principle of activity – the person must be be able to act with whatever nature(s) he has. This would seem to indicate that the nature must be a) on the same order of the person, or b) of a lesser order. As to a): clearly a person can possess a nature on the same order as himself, since we all do. As to b) it would seem that this is precisely the case in Christ, since His Divine Person possessed both a proper Divine Nature and a lesser, human nature. He (as a person) was able to act with either nature.

However, when we look at a hypothetical created person with a nature on his own order (e.g a created human nature) and also with a nature above his own order of being (namely, uncreated Divine Nature) you have the a case of an actor (the created person) acting with principle of activity above their own order (an uncreated Divine Nature).

Now, while it is true that we, as uncreated persons are able to sometimes act with a principle of activity above our own order – the ultimate expression of this being partcipating in the Beatific Vision, we only can do so because of a supernature which is given to us. Because this and other actions are above our nature they require grace, or supernatural life in us, as a whole new principle of activity. But we acknowledge that this is a raising of our nature ABOVE itself, and we do not say we possess a new or additional nature.

  1. Given the points raised above, and taking into account what we know through Divine Revelation:
  • A Divine Person can (and does) possess two or more principles of activty or natures: one proper to Himself and the other(s) of a lower order than Himself. (The Divine Nature is of the Uncreated and Infinite order, and the human nature is of the created and finite order.)

  • I can speculate that a created person could have two (or more) natures on the created order. Although I can’t see how this would be fitting.

  • Mary, being a created person could not have both a created nature and a Divine Nature, because the latter would be a principle of activity above the order of her own being. A finite person cannot employ a infinite nature. To put it as an analogy, it would be like single celled microorganism trying to use a pencil to write the complete works of Shakespeare.

Anyway, that is my thought. Take it “cum grano salis”. Again, if anything I said is incompatible or inconsitent with the mind of the Church on this matter it is due to my own lack of understanding, and you should ignore it.

What do you think?
VC


#5

Moved to Apologetics…


#6

First you are going into grounds completely contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Mary only has one nature. She is wholely human. She is a creature, a created being like the rest of us.

If I were you, I would rechant any speculation you have about Mary’s dual natures. If you don’t, you will fall into heretical doctrines.


#7

What you propose seems to be coming entirely out of left field. It sounds like either like New Age or Gnosticism.

Mary is a human being. Her human nature is expressed in human personhood. She has one intellect and one will operating as faculties of her human nature.

Any created person, including Mary, can only “partake” of the divine nature in the order of Grace, never in the order of nature. That’s what sanctifying grace is all about. It doesn’t make us a part of the divine nature, but enables us to live the life of sanctity necessary to ultimately enter into the Beatific Vision.


#8

I’m afraid that it’s quite impossible for a created being to have two natures. The only thing similar that I can find in theology is given in a word as theosis, given to us by our Greek brethren. While the word itself means divinization, it means so only in the sense of reparation of the wounded nature of a man rather than the emergence of a second supressed nature inherent to a man as a created being (though some held a contrary heterodox opinion that actual divinization in the sense of assimilation into the Godhead was possible).

The simple fact is that Christ’s divine nature was a function of the part of Him that was divine, that is, the nature and will which operated in closest communion with his human will and nature but was never induced to becoming to a simple dual modal system of a single synthesis of being (de fide). Thus, that portion of the hypostatic union which was divine was necessarily generated (not created) from the triune deity and was of a single substance (homoousion) with the other persons of the Trinity. By definition that which is of God in substance is eternal and infinite (de fide), meaning that it is impossible that it has been created, as the “divine will” of a created being would necessarily be. Also, it is dogmatic that only one Person of the divine substance of the Trinity became flesh (initiated hypostatic union) and is therefore unique throughout all time.


#9

Miles,
That is a very concise argument against jogomu’s speculations. Because, unlike human nature which many can possess, there are only and can only be Three Persons who possess the One Divine Nature.

VC


#10

Does the experience that the created person of Mary has of the divine nature in the order of grace differ subjectively from the experience that the uncreated person of Jesus has of his own divine nature? If so, in what way? What are the limits of this grace? Are they the limits of Palamas, excluding the creature from participation in the essence or nature of God? If so, then in what way is the man Jesus Christ representative of us as firstborn among many brothers? Does the man Jesus not fully participate in the divine nature/essence belonging to his own divine person? What are the limits of the participation of the glorified human nature of Jesus in his own divine nature? Dare we say that there are any limits? Would he not raise all human nature to that same level of participation?

VC… I’m still chewing over what you wrote. Thanks for the thoughts. Thanks to all. I am very concerned about this topic.


#11

Your welcome jogomu.

Yes, there are limits, necessarily so. Christ’s human soul is created and finite, and thus the powers of His human soul have limits. For instance, His created intellect, however perfect, cannot have infinite knowledge as His Divine intellect has.

Thus, the Council of Basel condemed the following proposition:
“The soul of Christ sees God as clearly and intimately as God perceives Himself.” (Session 22).

God bless you,
VC


#12

Is it dogma that only three persons can possess the divine nature, or is it dogma that only three uncreated or divine persons can possess the divine nature? (I know, based on VCs comments, that it is probably a nonsense distinction.)

I may not be using the proper terminology for what I am trying to convey, since by “possess” I think I mean the same thing as “receive in the order of grace”… but I’m trying to limit the distinction to the “feminine” mode of “being from” (e.g. Eve from Adam) and of “responsive conception” (e.g. in fruitful love) rather than to arbitrarily downgrade the scope of the participation without warrant.

Wow! I think that is what I was looking for!! OK, now I think this is my last concern:

Can we say that the soul of Mary sees God as clearly and intimately as the soul of Christ? I.e., there there is no secret level of the Beatific Vision that Christ enjoys alone?

What a strange thing that one person cannot fully know himself from one nature to another… but I guess it makes sense due to the limitations of the lower nature.


#13

A further refutation of this is the further dogmatic truth that the three Divine Persons share a single will.


#14

Beatific vision cannot be enjoyed by any soul so enshrined in the flesh.


#15

That the three divine persons share a single will does not in and of itself exclude other created persons from sharing that will, except by consideration of the impossibility of sharing the nature in which the will resides… assuming that it is impossible to share that nature and also assuming that the will is inseparably attached to that nature. Right?


#16

From my perspective, this whole discussion should be limited to human natures that are ascended/assumed into glory and/or post-purgatory and post-resurrection. (Unless we get onto the topic of the practice of the Hesychast, which frankly bothers me a lot. See horujy.chat.ru/nije.html )


#17

Quite. The divine will is intrinsic to the substance of the triune deity and thus cannot be imbued into a created thing. Even in Our Lord, the divine nature and will is not mixed with His human will and nature, only enjoying perfect and most intimate communion therein. And of course, it is dogmatic that only the person of the Son was granted hypostatic union.


#18

Yes. Jesus IS God, and experiences his essence as the Son, the divine Word, the second Person of the Trinity.

Mary is a human being, who being full of grace, enters into heaven as a distinct human individual united to God through sanctifying grace, which is defined as a created sharing in the life of God.

You seem to be thinking of the idea of person as a distinct entity from nature. It is not. I am but one single human being. I have a human nature and a human person, but I am not two entities but one. My person (who) is an expression of my nature (what.) It is of the essence (nature) of human beings that we are expressed as one person.

Of course Jesus fully participates in the divine nature because he is a divine person, not a human person.

(PS–none of this disagrees with what VC said in post #11 above, which is absolutely correct. In his human nature, Jesus is limited to human experience; in his divine nature, he is unlimited. But he is a divine Person, not a human person.)


#19

Only the Holy Trinity has a divine nature.
Humans (including Mary) have only a human nature.
To say or speculate that a human has or could have a divine nature would a grave sin against the First Commandment.


#20

We believe in ONE GOD… three persons in ONE God.

There are no other “divinities” (say it however you may with “divine nature” or whatever)…


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