The Dual Nature of Christ and What It Means To Us. Guadalupe Revisited.

Jesus Christ is God and and Man, the staple teaching about God in His Church. This has been true since the birth of Christ, actually since the Annunciation, when Christ was conceived by God the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Perfectly God. Perfectly Man. Two natures. One Person. This dual nature (hypostasis) has been expressed in the Oral Apostolic tradition and in iconography, long before the printing press and the more widespread literacy that occurred in the second millennium. In ancient iconography, this is written in the extension of the second and third digit of the right hand of Christ as in the the ancient icon of Christ Pantocrator from Mount Sinai monastery:

 

(The opposing two remaining fingers with the thumb represent the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one Divine Person, but that is not the subject of this essay.)

The dual nature is also written in the asymmetry of the eyes and facial expression. The asymmetric eyes indicate Christ’s (God’s) new (since the Incarnation) will to see with both Heavenly and human eyes.

A Heavenly and earthly perspective. This is for us, as He intercedes for us humans before God the Father. It is also representative of His life when He walked on earth, Perfectly God, and perfectly human. Two planes of existence. (Here are two examples of Christ being perfectly human in humility while being God: John 11:33-35, Matthew 24:35-37.)

We humans also have this asymmetry of face, unlike other mammals. A mark of man made in the image of the Divine.

Now what this means to us in the Vine of Christ is exactly the same. It is our life on two planes of existence, the human plane and Divine plane, where the Divine is through the Sacraments, the perspective of the eastern churches. How we live in the Divine plane is by living our ordinary human lives while partaking in the Sacraments. (Willful rejection of the Divine plane of existence is remedied through the Sacrament of Confession). We cannot fathom the full significance of our Divine plane of existence at this time (we can barely appreciate the significance of our human existence) but one way we can remind ourselves of this mystery is to think of ourselves as a chamber or temple where God and His angels, patriarchs, faithful, saints and the Queen of saints meet, confer, inspire, and act exactly in our moment in history, without us necessarily knowing of any plan or action, nor necessarily while receiving any inspiration, although He may let us, His vessels, know some things according to His Holy will. Sometimes this occurs in the humiliations and sufferings of our human lives and these states may be when His power is most manifest (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Sacraments are the exquisite methods used by God whereby He imparts His Nature to us in doses while implementing His will on earth, even before we are fully converted. Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

How encouraging it should be to seek the Sacraments in this, God’s plan of salvation. How encouraging it should be to know that Christ’s dual nature becomes manifest in us this way. But how ineffable are words for our understanding a mystery so great. So let’s look at another icon for inspiration. This time of the Mother of God and from a different era and civilization, also without widespread literacy.

The asymmetry of the face of the Virgin of Guadalupe has been brought up recently with insight.

We can extend this further, noting that the “brighter” or blissful side of the face is on the heavenly side, represented by the mantle of stars and the “sad”, or we can say more human/suffering side, is on the side of the earth colored tapestry.  The pattern on the earthly tapestry is a direct reminder of the Mayan calendar for the peoples of that culture and represents our human existence at any moment in history. This is the sojourning side with the knee bent forward. (Click on image for detail.)

The Virgin’s forearm lifts the heavenly garment out of the way to expose the earthly tapestry for us on that side of her face. The winged angel (or Saint Juan Diego) reinforces this point by having one hand on the heavenly and the other on the earthly vestment, bringing each forward to parallel the facial expressions.

How ineffable are words for our understanding a mystery so great, but how full of grace is the Theotokos to give us insight into the mystery in such a beautiful way.

 

Holy Virgin in my heart
every day before I start.
And when the daily heartbeats stop,
call me O Virgin when I drop.

 

 

Contraception and the Soul and Body Dysfunction

 

God is triune, three Persons in One, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. A glimpse of this mystery can be facilitated by looking at who any one of us are. God made man in His image. So there must be a clue in us about God.

Any one of us must be a son or daughter of someone. We can espouse and become a spouse. We can procreate or adopt and become father or mother. So each one of us is, in actuality, three persons in one. Even those that do not marry or do not have children, still have that three-in-one disposition in their very being.  Triune man or woman, has an inherent potential to be faithful, like a spouse, or care for another, like a mother or father would. The Holy Virgin is a triune person: Crowned Daughter, faithful Spouse, and Virgin Mother.  In the capacity or actuality of being three-in-one, there is then the mark of the Divine.  Note that this triune state is not contingent on having sexual relations; rather it is a primordial and eternal state of the soul.  A characteristic of the Divine substance.  The teaching and notion of the Holy Virgin embodies this truth. This leaves the sexual act in its proper place: the creation of new life. And this teaches male-female relationships without sexuality.

Meet the new Eve, the Realm of God’s Love.

In creating man, God meant that no gift be not subject to the will.  Contraception. like an illicit drug,  effectively makes a decision for you and in direct opposition to the triune state.  It is replacing your will, a component of the soul, so the will weakens. In the case of the contraceptive drug, the effect can also weaken the male’s will, who has to interact with the female in everyday life. Contraception produces a subtle distortion in the triune soul, leading to the soul’s dysfunction.  Male and female.

Now man in the image of God is created body and soul. Intimately intertwined. The body then manifests the soul, along the principle that form follows function. The bodily change that results from contraception contradicts the function.  With this understanding, such an alteration of the body might be expected to result in ill-effects on the health of the person. And it does. These effects of contraception have been documented in the medical literature but have been effectively swept under the rug by the main-stream culture:

Blood clots in the extremities and pulmonary emboli.  In recent decades, there was the not infrequent puzzle of explaining chest pain in women with normal chest x-rays. With the current use (and abuse) of CT scans, small pulmonary emboli are now known to be the cause. Small and insignificant, is the the current cultural rationalization to carry on.

The cyclical nature of contraceptive drugs is designed to trick the body into recognizing a pregnancy that is not there. The ovulation is thwarted. The uterus also looses the natural cycle, now capable of denying the implantation of breakthrough fertilization. If these organs are to be so fooled on a monthly basis for most of the adult life of a person, then how can we not expect the rest of our organs and tissues to be not fooled? Month after month. What about the cumulative effects? This background is the scientific explanation of the statistically proven dysplasia in breast tissue from contraceptives that increases the risk of cancer. It is called biological plausibility, the long lost spouse of biostatistics. A doctor should be able to explain things to patients in terms they understand.

And what about other tissues? The brain for example. If it is well known that pregnancy causes psychological effects, then why not monthly phony pregnancies?

The analogy of mind-altering drug use is appropriate: Illicit drugs block the intellect, will, and memory, components of the soul, and produce adverse health-effects on the body.

But can we stop with contraception?  If the person develops habits that deny the triune nature of the soul then might we not develop yet unstudied effects on the body from other inventions like barrier methods to avoid pregnancy, or even masturbation or pornography? What is the effect of the soul, our will and intellect, by these habits? Our productivity? Our peace of mind? Do we become like deer during rut season, except all year round and for all our lives?

Dysfunctional souls are easy prey for predators. Without even mentioning the devil and his goals, the dysfunctional soul becomes fodder for the proponents of population control that deny the freedom, will, and the means available to humans. They believe in animal husbandry. You are a cow in a herd. You have no control over your facilities. They propose contraception while encouraging seduction, the continual hum of the culture. Just like the medical industry  creates pathology for treatment and the war industry, conflict for hardware.

James 4: 1, From whence are wars and contentions among you? Are they not hence, from your concupiscences, which war in your members?