Perspectief 2022-57

2022-57 Recensie van Maria: icoon van genade 25 Regarding Catholicism’s overestimation of Mary’s place in the plan of salvation, then, maximalism is also to be rejected because it has the danger of a tendency to monophysitism, according to Berkouwer and some Catholic critics, such as Edward Schillebeeckx, Karl Rahner and Yves Congar. If we make Mary’s “cooperation an ontologically internally necessary component of the Incarnation then that may lead to an exaggerated Mariology.” Berkouwer adds, “One then ascribes to Mary’s humanity what is already accomplished by Christ (vere homo). And that cannot be the meaning of Mary’s place in the mystery of salvation, because then Mary would represent the human component in redemption, a consequence only possible in a Monophysite Christology that certainly fully confesses Christ as ‘vere Deus’, but comes up short on the ‘vere homo,’ leaving a ‘deficiency’ in the area of his humanity.” In other words, Mary is taken to be a complement, or compensation, to Christ’s divinity “filling the vacuum left by lacunae which seemed to exist in Christ’s humanity.” For example, as Huijgen also notes, on this view, Mary is the Mother of Mercy who can sway her Son, the Righteous Judge. Indeed, this criticism of maximalist Christology is a major objection shared by Berkouwer with minimalists, and Huijgen concurs (97). Mary’s ‘Yes,’ her act of faith, indeed, her co-operation with the realization of God’s plan of salvation in the redemptive work of Christ may be called ‘receptive’ rather than productive because it is Christ alone who possesses the productive power of grace, who saves and hence who is the full and sufficient cause of our salvation. Her act of faith is not passive, however, says Huijgen. It is, adds Huijgen, an “activiteit geladen passiviteit” (41); “geen doffe passiviteit, maar een royaal ‘ja’ op de boodschap van de engel” (65). “Kennelijk is er meer aan de hand dan alleen Maria’s jawoord” (138). Again, adds Huijgen, “God’s genade schakelt mensen niet uit, maar in. Intussen gaat Gods genade principieel voorop” (155). I would say, more exactly, her receptivity is genuinely causal—“receptive causality,” as Semmelroth calls it. “It is a very real and essential causality . . . receiving and giving the Life that conquered Eve’s deed.” Huijgen rightly notes, “Daarmee wordt de vermeende tegenstelling tussen activiteit en passiviteit doorbroken en overstegen” (50). He concludes, “Haar kracht ligt in haar receptiviteit, die veel meer is dan passiviteit” (318). We can then understand Semmelroth’s appeal: “The Fathers hold Mary to be the cause of salvation because of her receptivity—based on her active belief—to the coming of the Logos and the accomplishment of His work. In the words of Irenaeus, Mary becomes the Advocate Evae, the