Letters to the Editor

Important development of understanding doctrine now possible for transubstantiation

Fr Martin Henry’s article in Faith Matters (December 6) is very interesting as he discusses the history of the development of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and some of the theological difficulties encountered.  The dogma was declared in 1854 and confirmed by Our Lady herself in 1858 when she answered St Bernadette at Lourdes: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

St Maximilian Kolbe puzzled over this name of Our Lady for many years. The problem is that the name I am belongs to God, so why did Mary, who is not divine, not say, “I was”, as she was conceived at a point in history in St Anne’s womb, just like all other conceptions of humanity which are historical.  Kolbe’s solution is that the Holy Spirit is so perfectly united or married to his spouse, Mary, that she takes the name of her husband who is the divine conception (love) between the father and the word in the Trinity.

Fr Henry mentions several difficulties associated with the closely allied doctrine of original sin and the fall, which Pope Benedict XVI regards as the most serious of present theological problems (Ratzinger Report 1985). Because of natural evil, disorder, disease and death in creation, right back to the Big Bang beginning, I concluded that original sin happened in the transcendental realm of God, the Eternal Now and not in history (ccc390). Creation then was one great transcendental idea, a union of many ideas. As St Paul says (Ephesian 1) before the world was made God chose us in Christ. Thus the suggestion is that the ideas of Jesus and Mary in the one great idea, totally alive and immortal, of creation are the only two which did not rebel against the divine will for actualisation as true being.
The ideas of Jesus and Mary are always immaculate so they are conceived immaculate in souls and bodies unlike all others, but they freely accepted to be actualised and live with us in the fallen, finite and thus distorted state of space-time which is the exile of this sinful world out of the initial paradise. Mary, like Jesus, can therefore always say “I am” because she always remains immaculate and thus rightfully belongs in the Eternal Now of God, but came into space-time to be co-redemptrise with her son.

This answers the main objection which the Orthodox Church has to the Dogma (1854), because they argue that at the moment of conception Mary would have been coerced by God and not have a free choice as Eve did, (Genesis) to accept or reject Satan’s temptation.

Eve is all feminine life in creation.  A very important development of understanding of doctrine, which Fr Henry advocates, is now possible for transubstantiation.  All matter-energy in the universe is in its true reality a formless spiritual substance, an argued by Karl Rahner SJ and some others,  It is blemished by Original Sin except that in the living bodies of Jesus and Mary. Transubstantiation is then the change from the blemished substances of ordinary bread and wine to the immaculate substances of the body and blood of Christ.  The change in the soul of a child is also from blemished to immaculate at baptism, but the body remains blemished by Original Sin.

Jesus and Mary go to heaven after life on earth but our bodies which are universal as well as personal have to await the general resurrection when the stain in matter-energy of all creation, which is redeemed is removed. Perhaps all living forms which are lower than humanity such as dogs, which suffer are also resurrected.  

PROF JOHN ROONEY
Belfast BT9

 

Term ‘no-deal’ Brexit is difficult to understand

In June 2016 l marked an X beside the word leave. I also noted another box marked remain and I didn’t notice any deal option boxes. 

I understood the meaning  of the word leave before I started primary school. I certainly understood it when I finished my ‘non-college education’.

However, I don’t understand the term ‘no-deal Brexit’. 

If, as seems increasing likely, we leave without Mrs May’s very bad deal, we don’t jump off a cliff we simply adopt WTO rules which control 90 per cent of world trade. If asked for a reason why a so-called no deal was better than Mrs May’s bad deal I could suggest 39 billion (and counting) reasons – not to mention no tariffs on shoes, clothes and food as well.  

Remainers are too inward looking. They should look outwards towards trading with the 90 per cent of the world not in the backward  looking, protectionist EU.

A friend of mine recently retired early and now tells me that he is much happier being poorer and retired than richer and working. That is a bit like my non-college educated attitude to Brexit –  I would rather be the poor master of my own destiny than the rich servant of someone else. I know exactly what
leave meant.

BRIAN GIBSON
Comber, Co Down

 

Charity’s appeal for fundraisers

As the new year rapidly approaches, we’re looking to harness the tremendous energy and dedication of people across Northern Ireland to save lives in 2019 by supporting Bowel Cancer UK, the UK’s leading bowel cancer charity.
More than 400 people in Northern Ireland die each year from bowel cancer, making it the second biggest cancer killer but with your help we can change that.

Why not set a new year’s resolution to support vital research and lifesaving work to stop people dying of bowel cancer. Get fit and fundraise by doing anything from abseiling down Belfast’s Europa hotel, getting friends together for a skydive, or getting muddy in April’s obstacle race, the Jungle NI Rampage.

You could take part in Bowel Cancer UK’s very popular fitness challenge ‘Step up For 30’ this June, which focuses on getting active for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. Or, if you’re up for an even bigger challenge, you could tackle the Belfast Marathon or the Spar Omagh Half Marathon.
It’s because of people like you in Northern Ireland, we can continue to save lives and improve the quality of life of everyone affected by bowel cancer. Interested? Visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk to find out more.

LUKE SQUIRES
Bowel Cancer UK

 

Deal or no deal?

I  believe it is fair to say  no British person living in the British Isles today will have experienced such an occasion that threatens the destiny of every British person. I am referring to the European Union’s obstinate reluctance for Britain to break away from this very corrupt union.

If ever there was a time for every politician from every party to come together,  and give the people what they voted for – a clean break from the European Union, having no underhand attachments, ties or deals.

When Britain leaves this union politicians will have the freedom to make their case to govern Britain. That is what the people expect  and may I say want – it is called democracy.

 Politicians of every party, depend on the people to elect them. It is the people that count, not the politicians’ pocket.

I forecast Britain cannot, nor will ever return, to being a proud, independent, successful nation, when they have any connection whatsoever, to the European Union.

HARRY STEPHENSON
Kircubbin, Co Down

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