Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Incarnation as the Reason for Creation

For the fifth day of Christmas, a little something from Charles Williams. Referencing Duns Scotus, Williams suggests:

The Incarnation is the point of creation, and the divine 'reason' for it. It pleased God in His self-willed activity to be incarnate. But obviously this union of Himself with matter in flesh did not necessarily involve the creation of other flesh. It would have been sufficient to Himself to be Himself united with matter, and that 'united with' means a union very much beyond our powers to conceive; more than a union, a unity. Even now, in spite of the Athanasian Creed, the single existence of the Incarnate Word is too often almost Gnostically contemplated as an inhabitation of the flesh by the Word. But it is not so; what he is He is wholly and absolutely, and even in His death and in the separation of body and soul He remained wholly and absolutely one. His act could have been to Himself alone. He decreed that it should not be; He determined creation; He determined not only to be incarnate, but to be incarnate by means of a mother. He proposed to Himself to be born into a world.

This decree upon Himself was the decree that brought mankind into being. It was His will to make creatures of such a kind that they should share in that particular joy of His existence in flesh. He bade for Himself a mother and all her companions; perhaps the mystery of the mortal maternity of God was greater than that, but at least it was that. It was the great and single act of active love, consonant with nothing but His nature, compared to which the Redemption (if indeed He were infinitely to maintain all souls alive) was but a sheer act of justice. Our flesh was to hold, to its degree, the secrets of His own.
"Natural Goodness" in Selected Writings p. 107

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