I want to start talking about Mary which can actually be a pretty extensive subject so I will try and limit it to the immaculate conception and Mary as our spiritual Mother today.
Some how Protestantism can accept that Eve was born without sin but Mary could not have been without sin. This breaks with the seamless fabric of scripture and how God does everything in perfect measure and balance. When scripture is properly experienced removing the concept of time and space, it becomes a fugue, multiple instruments being played at once as an entire sonata. At the same time God sees the 12 tribes surrounding the meeting tent He sees the world through all time. At the same time he sees the outer curtain in course animals hair He sees the baptism of John. At the same time He sees the Levitical priests washing in the bronze laver He sees people being baptized into the flesh of Christ which Paul refers to the veil in front of the Holies. At the same time he sees the bread of the presence which is sanctified by the Shekinah, He sees the Eucharist in the hands of the priests. At the same time He sees the Menorrah He sees the life giving cross. At the same time He sees the smoke of the incense, the prayers of the saints are rising to the throne of God. At the same time he sees the ark of the covenant in the holy of Holies he sees the true Ark of the Woman clothed with the Son and Christ.
Protestantism completely separates from this perfect balance because Protestantism is founded on protesting the Catholic Church which we know as the one truth God established and protesting is not attesting. Protesting does not get you to deep spiritual truths.
The early church fathers saw this perfect balance which is something that even appears to me to flow as a theological poetry.
Just Martyr writing around 150 AD tells us:
For Eve, who was a virgin and undefiled, having conceived the word of the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy, when the angel Gabriel announced the good tidings to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her, and the power of the Highest would overshadow her: wherefore also the Holy Thing begotten of her is the Son of God; and she replied, ‘Be it unto me according to thy word.’ And by her has He been born, to whom we have proved so many Scriptures refer, and by whom God destroys both the serpent and those angels and men who are like him; but works deliverance from death to those who repent of their wickedness and believe upon Him.
So Eve is a Virgin and undefiled. Obviously being a Virgin means you have not had intercourse so the words “ and undefiled” would mean undefiled by sin.
So in perfect balance Justin is saying that Mary as the true Eve was a Virgin and undefiled by sin. So Eve when she was undefiled by sin , fell into the temptation of Satan while Mary undefiled by sin was obedient to God.
In the ASCENSION OF ISAIAH we read:
“[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, ‘The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months.’ And many said, ‘She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain’” (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).
The Ascension was written around the same time as the Didache was. I consider the Didache to be the first Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism came before the Bible.
In the Ascension it mentions the possibility of Mary giving birth without pain. So I am pretty sure whoever wrote this understood the reason for pain in childbirth according to scripture.
In Genesis 3:16 we read
To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children.
So Justin tells us that Mary was undefiled and the Ascension of Isaiah shows us one of those results of being undefiled which is to have no pain in childbirth.
So anyone who tries to say that this doctrine was created by man first seen December 8, 1845 in pope pious the XI encyclical INEFFABILIS DEUS does not understand the church. Things can be in the heart of the church since the beginning of Christianity and not made official doctrine until much later.
Another example would be the Trinity. We can say that obviously the Trinity existed before it was canonized, or made a rule of faith.
Going back to balance and poetry,
This lack of contrast and balance is something that Doctor David Anders does a great job of describing. I love his conversion story.
Dr Anders wrote:
By the time I finished my Ph.D., I had completely revised my understanding of the Catholic Church. I saw that her sacramental doctrine, her view of salvation, her veneration of Mary and the saints, and her claims to authority were all grounded in Scripture, in the oldest traditions, and in the plain teaching of Christ and the Apostles. I also realized that Protestantism was a confused mass of inconsistencies and tortured logic. Not only was Protestant doctrine untrue, but it bred contention, and could not even remain unchanged. The more I studied, the more I realized that my Evangelical heritage had moved far not only from ancient Christianity, but even from the teaching of her own Protestant founders.
In addition to this tradition of Mary being without sin that we see back to 70 AD while some of the apostles were still alive,
The Jews saw no path to heaven due to the sins of Adam and Eve. They waited for a savior to come and believed righteous souls went to shoul. A place that is separated from hell by a barrier that could not be crossed; a kind of waiting station.
Jesus in Lk 16:19-31 shows us an image of this place or state of being beyond our material reality we live.
The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.
He called out, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’
But Abraham said, “Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’
This place was not heaven and not hell but was where righteous souls went and Job and David show us that even if you lived in righteousness as a Jew, you were still born into original sin which somehow held people back from the final destination.
It is possible that the Book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible and was written before Moses. Job could have known of this original sin before the Israelites fell into the curse of not keeping the Mosaic Law.
In Job 14:4 we read
Who can make him clean that is conceived of unclean seed ? is it not thou who only art?
David who was under the law understood this same hereditary defilement of the soul.
In Psalms 51:5 we read:
For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.
And John tells us how nothings unclean can enter heaven ( Rev 21:27) and of course Paul tells us how those in the church were made clean by the grace given freely of baptism.
And you are filled in him, who is the head of all principality and power. 11In whom also you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh: but in the circumcision of Christ. 12Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who hath raised him up from the dead. 13And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he hath quickened together with him, forgiving you all offences: 14Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us.
12Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned…For if by the offence of one, many died: much more the grace of God and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
Circumcision is a removal of flesh. A type for going from the man of flesh to the man of spirit.
When it comes to the incarnation, Jesus did not need to be baptized yet to be a Christian is to follow Christ. Even follow him into that baptism which we do need.
Jesus did not need to be baptized and yet we know that He was not born in iniquity in His mother’s womb. Something different than all of humanity before Jesus happened here. So either Jesus just being God even though He was in the womb of Mary was simply impervious to that original sin or Mary’s womb was specifically prepared by God to not pass on original sin.
If we follow the perfect equity and perfect balance we can ask the question, would God make Mary less purified and holy than Eve even though it is Mary who was obedient to Gods will not Eve? Holy meaning set apart for God.
These things just do not add up, especially when you are following the perfect balance and poetry.
So we should not look to the natural order of things in the incarnation of him who transcends that natural order. And we should look to the Love of Christ in how he would prepare his own mother which He knew of before time began. Perfect love had an image of His mother in His being, before time began. Perfect love would create a perfect mother.
He was not born in iniquity in His mothers womb because Mary was saved from original sin through the blood of the cross before the incarnation. Again, we can’t argue against the purity of Mary through following a course natural laws when we know the incarnation itself transcends the natural order of things. So obviously Mary’s preparation for the divine can transcend the natural order of things. Just as the righteous before the cross who went to shoel, would be saved because of the cross in the future. God is not limited to time and space.
Mary prayed in ecstasy, “ My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” She prays He has done great things to me. All generations shall call me blessed.
Protestants in arguing against Jesus making his own mother special among humanity, says , see, Mary says she needed to be saved.
I like the well analogy for this.
If I was about to fall into a well and you caught me before I fell did you still save me? Of course you did, without your intervention I would have fell in.
So without Gods supernatural intervention in Mary she would have fell into sin.
And yet we should keep focused on why this happened. Mary was preserved without sin not because of her greatness but because of God's greatness and perfection.
Moses was told to remove his sandals because he walked on holy ground. A burning bush was considered holy ground while the incarnation of holiness itself was in the womb of Mary for 9 months.
I was in a debate a while back and the person I was in a debate with told me that Mary’s womb was no more holy or no more prepared than where Jesus slept on a daily basis. So what he is saying was that Mary’s womb was no more protected than the ground Moses walked on when He was told to remove his sandals because he walked on holy ground.
What is fascinating is how Catholics end up defending sacredness and holiness against Protestants.
We argue for the sacred and the holy while Protestantism fights against it. This is some of the damage this construct created.
The Catholic Church which was living the sacramental life in obedience to the faith before a word of scripture was written, fulfilled Mary’s prophecy that all generations will call her blessed. We have called her blessed for 2000 years.
There is also some fascinating science here; knowledge that we have only come into recently. It’s called Michrochimerism . It has been discovered that fetal cells travel through out the mothers body and have even been found on heart tissue actually healing the heart of the mother. Autopsies have revealed that these fetal cells in mothers have lasted even into old age.
We are here for a blink of an eye compared to eternity in order to be saved, so we must consider the possibility that God placed this in science for the particular purpose of contemplation on Jesus’s love and union with His own mother.
Jesus who said, woman, what is there between me and thee? His male DNA was miraculous and everything else was from His mother.
Makes you think again about the words, “ He has done great things to me.”
We don’t know when Mary died. There are different opinions. One of those opinions is that she lived a long life died of old age and was assumed into heaven after death. She could have been alive during the times when most of the apostles were martyred. One of the reasons why Sola Scriptura is foolishness is because of the sacredness of the mysteries and another is because of persecution. It was Jesus who said do not give what is holy to the dogs. Paul explained, “ If our gospel be veiled it is veiled to those who are perishing.” Due to persecution and the sacredness of the mysteries, it was veiled to those outside the church. This would be a good reason why Paul would tell the church to hold fast to the tradition oral and written.
Even though what was sacred was being addressed during persecution, Luke used words in his description of Mary that were profound and completely new when it came to Mary. Luke who must have knew Mary in order to get such intimate details of the story of the incarnation, was probably protecting Mary by writing the way he did, maybe because she was still alive, and the pagans would have done awful things to her, or he simply was being guided by the Holy Spirit in placing many images in scripture and did not fully understand what he was putting to paper. It is pretty obvious that he had to know he was creating a new word though in describing Mary.
Hail full of grace. He is not giving the name of Mary to show us how the angel Gabriel addressed Mary but is addressing a state of being as a new name; full of Grace. When there is a name change there is a higher purpose established by God in the salvation mystery, Just like Abrams became Abraham, , Sarai's to Sarah, Jacob's to Israel and Simon's to Peter.
Abram’s name, meaning "high father," to “Abraham,” meaning "father of a multitude"
“Sarai,” meaning “my princess,” to “Sarah,” meaning “mother of nations”
Abram’s name was changed at the establishment of the covenant with Abraham.
Mary was given the name full of Grace before she gave birth to the one who would fulfill Abraham’ s covenant promise. Mary becomes the true Mother of nations because through Mary came the promise of Abraham fulfilled. By her yes to God which reversed Eves disobedience.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses (Book V Chapter 19) [120-180 AD]
"The Lord then was manifestly coming to his own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation that is supported by himself. He was making a recapitulation of that disobedience that had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience that was upon a tree [i.e., the cross]. Furthermore, the original deception was to be done away with—the deception by which that virgin Eve (who was already espoused to a man) was unhappily misled. That this was to be overturned was happily announced through means of the truth by the angel to the Virgin Mary (who was also [espoused] to a man). . . . So if Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to be obedient to God. In this way, the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience has been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way, the sin of the first created man received amendment by the correction of the First-begotten
This is what Catholics mean when they refer to Mary as the cause of our salvation. This does not mean that Mary is the primary cause she is a creature and all creatures are practically infinitely less than God. Co redemptrix also does not mean that Mary herself is an origin of grace. It means that God chose her to participate in our redemption through His grace. Mary is a practice of humility. Humility is the key to seeing through Satan’s preternatural deceptions.
So Mary through obedience to God as a Virgin and undefiled who gave birth without pain, was the bridge between the Old Covenant and the New. The promise of Abraham in the Old Testament and the promise fulfilled in the new. The promise that includes multiplying the descendants of Abraham to be numerous as the stars. Both Joseph and Mary were from the Royal Line of David but that is another story for another day.
Brant Pitre does a beautiful job of showing Mary in the redemption mystery when he writes about the shoot of Jesse. Jesus and Mary are at the top of the tree and of course Jesse the father of David is the foundation. Pitre looks at the typology of the virgin daughter of Sion.
“Indeed, this verse becomes an excellent example of what Scripture scholars refer to as the polyvalent or multi-layered nature of Scripture. The angel’s greeting signals not only that Mary is “full of grace,” but also that she is the true “Daughter of Zion.”
So how does this relate to Mary being free from sin? We saw before that it was the sin of Israel that prevented God from dwelling “in the midst of” “the virgin daughter of Zion.” How fitting for the New Covenant daughter of Zion—in the midst of whom the Lord would dwell bodily—to be free from all sin. The obstacle that kept God from dwelling in the midst of his people had been eliminated through Mary’s immaculate conception, and Mary becomes the archetype of the Church—“holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).
On one level, since she was “full of grace,” Mary was the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the daughter of Zion even before the Incarnation. And yet, there was more to come. Mary’s fullness of grace had prepared the New Covenant daughter of Zion for something the Old Covenant people of God could never have fathomed. It was grace that made her fit to be a worthy vessel to bear the King of Glory in her body. The fulfillment of God’s promise would not be complete, then, until Mary conceived Jesus in her womb.”
Paul shows us how we entered into this promise fulfilled through our baptism which destroys original sin.
26For you are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you be Christ's, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise.
This brings us to the reason for the immaculate conception. The promise of Abraham fulfilled came with the destruction of original sin through the sacrifice of an unblemished Lamb. Jesus as one not born into original sin in order to be the unblemished Lamb
The angel Gabriel addressed Mary as:?
Hail Kecharitomene in the Greek language. Which is formed into English as, Hail you who have been perfected in grace. Some Bible versions have full of grace. Some have a lousy interpretation as highly favored. The original Greek does not give the name Mary ( When there is a name change there is a higher calling) , but the new name perfected in grace.
I don’t know Greek but I accept this understanding from people who do.
Here is a further explanation. I don’t remember where I found this so I just put it in quotes.
“Why is the word Kecharitomene used only once in the entire volume of scripture? It is used in scripture when the Angel Gabriel addressed Mary?
Why is the word used nowhere in secular Greek literature?
The technical name for such a novel, unique word is hapax legomenon. Hapax legomenon--which comes to us from Greek--means "expressed once."
Why is the word a feminine present perfect passive voice participle of a verb which means previously graced; past tense? To have been made graceful in the past? Or the immaculate conception?”
Can sin reside in perfection?
Was Eve before the fall without sin? In perfect balance God would not make Mary who answered Gods call, less than Eve.
Why did the Angel Gabriel Address Mary with the salutation of Hail?
Past participle previously perfected in grace or
"Immaculate conception. "
In addition to Luke using this amazing creation of a new word for a creature, he builds this understanding up in layers for those who would live in the tradition of the church. First he shows us the imaculate conception then he shows us how the imaculate conception is the true Ark of the Covenant. He gives us the reason why an ark of the Covenant was even made. It was made to fulfill a particular aspect of typology. It was made so that the soul should feed on the deep spiritual realities that often have no words to truly describe but simply create a closer union with the divine. It was done to show us the glory of the true ark and the sacredness of the contents. It feeds the soul on images of holiness as God calls us to be holy for He is holy.
How Luke does this should show people that it is beyond the laws of probability that it was not happenstance. The words that were used that creates the image of the ark in our minds cannot be denied if you choose to follow truth wherever it leads.
I can’t overemphasize this verse from James.
“ He who knows what is right and refuses to do so for him this is sin.”
So after Mary is declared by God through the Angel Gabriel that she is the immaculate conception who will give birth to the savior of the world, or as Isaiah tells us Emanuel, God with us, and she proclaims that God has done great things to her, Luke shows her visiting her cousin Elizabeth who will through a miraculous birth due to her age, and it is written that she was never able to conceive, give birth to John the Baptist who will prepare the way for Christ through a ministry of repentance of the Jews in preparation for Christ.
This is when Luke brings in the imagery of the true Ark prepared for Christ.
The ark of the covenant covered in gold as a sign of purity, contained the High priest Aaron’s staff that budded/ Jesus is our high priest Melchizedek of offers through His body His glorified body and blood in the form of bread and wine , who established the life giving cross.
The Ark contained the Ten Commandments/ Jesus is the word that became flesh through which the prophecy was fulfilled that the law would be written on our hearts.
The Ark contained the manna that sustained the lives of the Israelites for 40 years in the desert, food from heaven./ Jesus compared his body to that manna saying my flesh is true food and he is the true bread of life.
The ark could be carried on a donkey, set on the ground, be taken across a river but when someone who did not go through the proper purification touched the ark they would die, we see this in the story of Uzzah.
The ark could not be touched by unpurified man because the true ark could not be touched by sin. The true Ark from the time it was formed is the immaculate conception.
If we follow the type and heavenly reality in perfect measure. If Joseph did not recognize the sacredness of the true ark on his own then God would have done what he needed to do to stop Joseph from having sexual relations with Mary. Joseph was of original sin and he would have thought it as sacrilege to corrupt the true ark which gave birth to God into time. Joseph knew that the Ark of the Covenant was the most powerful symbol of God that was ever on earth up until the incarnation. It was carried into battles as the power of God against the enemies of Israel. He was a Jew. He lived the scriptures.
And there is so much more.
The ark traveled to the house of Obed-edom in the hill country of Judea, we see this in (2 Samuel 6:1-11)
Mary traveled to the house of Elizabeth and Zachariah in the same hill country of Judea (Luke 1:39).
David who was dressed as a priest, danced and leapted in front of the ark (2 Samuel 6:14)
John the Baptist who was of priestly lineage lept in Elizabeth’s womb as Mary, the true ark approached. (Luke 1:41)
David thought, “how can the ark of the Lord come to me?” (2 Samuel 6:9)
Elizabeth thought , “Why is it granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me”. (Luke 1:43)
But we even have more. To anyone who bases their faith on reason this in itself should be overwhelming by now but scripture does not interpret scripture to the heart, faith does.
In second Samuel 6:15 David shouts while in the presence of the ark.
In Luke 1:42 Elizabeth exclaims with a loud cry in the presence of Mary. Get this, on top of everything else, Luke used the Greek term "anaphoneo" to describe how Elizabeth cried out in a loud voice, the only other times the word "anaphoneo" is found in the Bible is when scripture is referring to the sounds made by the levitical priests before the ark of the covenant.
We can go on
The ark was in the house of Obed-edom for three months and the house was blessed by the presence of the ark. ( 2 Samuel 6:11)
Mary stayed in the house of Elizabeth for three months and beyond all laws of probability to the contrary, the word blessed is used three times. (Luke 1:56, 1:39-45)
Later on the ark is returned to Jerusalem and 2 Samuel 6:12 and Kings 8:9 expressed that God’s presence and glory is seen in the temple.
We go back to Luke and see see Mary as the true Ark and Jesus as Gods incarnate presence in the temple. (Luke 1:56, 2:21-22)
In Psalms 132:8 David in the Holy Spirit says, “ Arise, O Lord, into thy resting place: thou and the ark, which thou hast sanctified.”
And, we see where the ark which was sanctified by God rises to, at the end of Revelation 11 and beginning of Revelation 12.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven: and the ark of his testament was seen in his temple, and there were lightnings, and voices, and an earthquake, and great hail. And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”
An ark that was sanctified, made holy defined as
1. : to set apart to a sacred purpose or to religious use : consecrate. 2. : to free from sin : purify.
So Satan goes to make war with the children of the women who keep the commandments of God.
The woman who wears the crown of 12 stars with the moon under her feet can be both the church and Mary but it cannot be just the church. In these images is where we who live obedience to the faith, are given the grace to contemplate, things, things that are outside of time and space and simply are. Things that bring forth an eternal vision separating us from time as we contemplate on them.
So the seed of the woman has to be those who enter the promise of Abraham fulfilled.
I have addressed this in past discussions and we are bound to overlap over and over again.
Those who have entered the promise fulfilled have as Paul addressed in Romans 9
Not as though the word of God hath miscarried. For all are not Israelites that are of Israel. 7Neither are all they that are the seed of Abraham, children: but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8That is to say, not they that are the children of the flesh are the children of God: but they that are the children of the promise are accounted for the seed.
And in order to enter the family of God , enter the promise of Abraham fulfilled, Peter tells us we are divinized. Of course as Catholics we understand that this occurred through the single event of baptism which was the beginning of the correction from the fall of Adam and Eve.
Peter writes in 2 Peter 1
3As all things of his divine power which appertain to life and godliness are given us through the knowledge of him who hath called us by his own proper glory and virtue. 4By whom he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature.
So if we have become the family of God inside His divine nature, then obviously the mother of God into time would be much more perfected in that divine nature than we would be in the flesh.
We were not prepared to be a literal tabernacle for the incarnation from birth and it is through our baptism that destroyed original sin that prepared us for receiving the Eucharist. You do not pour new wine into old wine skins. Do you really think Mary needed no preparation to carry God in the flesh in her womb for 9 months?
And in perfect equilibrium the mother of that divine nature would also be our mother.
Let’s go back to Dr David Anders who writes.
Scripture teaches that the Church is the Body of Christ (Eph 4:12). Evangelicals tend to dismiss this as mere metaphor, but the ancient Christians thought of it as literally, albeit mystically, true. St. Gregory of Nyssa could say, “He who beholds the Church really beholds Christ.”1 As I thought about this, I realized that it spoke to a profound truth about the biblical meaning of salvation. St. Paul teaches that the baptized have been united to Christ in His death, so that they might also be united to Him in resurrection (Rom 6:3–6). This union literally makes the Christian a participant in the divine nature (2 Pet 1:4). St. Athanasius could even say, “For He was made man that we might be made God” (De incarnatione, 54.3). The ancient doctrine of the Church now made sense to me because I saw that salvation itself is nothing other than union with Christ and a continual growth into His nature. The Church is no mere association of like-minded people. It is a supernatural reality because it shares in the life and ministry of Christ…
Once I understood the Catholic position on salvation, the Church, and the saints, the Marian dogmas also seemed to fall into place. If the heart of the Christian faith is God’s union with our human nature, the Mother of that human nature has an incredibly important and unique role in all of history. This is why the Fathers of the Church always celebrated Mary as the second Eve. Her Yes to God at the annunciation undid the No of Eve in the garden. If it is appropriate to venerate the saints and martyrs of the Church, how much more appropriate is it to give honor and veneration to her who made possible our redemption?
Jesus gave his mother to the church at the same place he consummated his marriage with His bride, giving his mother to His flesh, His bride, His church those who have entered the promise fulfilled who have been divinized in order to enter the family of God.
At the foot of the cross Jesus gave care of his mother “ to the disciple whom he loved”.
Does he not call all of us to all be the disciple whom He loved, in turn giving us His mother?
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…
Scripture is influenced by God , God breathed, and must be seen as a beautiful balanced poem of a love story between a perfect groom and an imperfect bride.
Jesus in the Old Testament tells His bride:
I will espouse you to me in justice. I will espouse you to me forever.
John who is the friend of the bridegroom says:
He who has the bride is the bride groom.
Paul tells us:
Who ever hateth his own flesh? No, one loves and nourishes his own flesh as Christ does the church.
And Augustine shows us the marriage.
“Like a bridegroom Christ went forth from his nuptial chamber…He came even to the marriage-bed of the cross, and sensed the creature sighing in her breath, he surrendered himself to torment for his bride in a communication of love.
(Augustine, Sermo Suppositus, 120:3)
It is consummated