Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Philosophy Is The Handmaid Of Theology

"As the summons to become the Mother of the God-man involved the highest dignity for Mary, and raised her from a humble maid to be the Queen of all creation, thus also there is no greater distinction for reason than its vocation to cooperation with faith in the generation of theological knowledge, whereby it is elevated beyond its native lowliness to the highest nobility. Mary rose to the dignity of Mother of God by the humble obedience of a handmaid of the Lord. With this obedience she assented to the invitation of her divine bridegroom, and even in her high estate preserved the humility fitting for the Lord's handmaid. So too, reason can receive faith only by the humble acknowledgment of the rights of revelation and an obedient assent to God's call. Even in its intimate union with faith, it must remain conscious of its subjection to faith. With the humility of a maidservant, reason may not contradict faith, but, mistrustful of self, must gladly submit to the infallible guidance of faith. In both cases, however, the bride's dignity ensures that the obedience will be a free and liberating, noble obedience which is not under the constraint of harsh subjection to a master. On the contrary, this obedience proceeds from a tender devotedness that fittingly corresponds to the gracious kindness of the lord.

Therefore he who is repelled by the axiom, 'philosophy is the handmaid of theology,' should turn his thoughts to the handmaid of the Lord and the merit of her humility; he should think of her who is the pinnacle of human eminence and dignity in her attitude toward the divine. For by her humble submissiveness and by her sublime union she prefigures the perfect relationship of all that is human with the divine."

-Matthias Scheeben in The Mysteries of Christianity.

No comments: