The Dogma of Maria Always Virgin (Reflections)

Faith Issues by Rev. Fr. Oliver Onah

The Significance of the Perpetual Virginity of Maria in Relation to Eschatology

Eschatology is a theme in the allied branch of Dogma in the abundant ocean of Theology. It is the study of the last things namely; death, resurrection, judgment (particular or universal), heaven, beatific vision, hell, purgatory, etc.

The question here is: since God designed marital and family life from the foundation of the world, is the virginity of Maria relevant to any of these eschatological bumps? Yes! It is most significant.

The salvific work of Christ has immersed in the whole creation, the seed of that new form of existence that will open up when this terrestrial world is transformed.

As a matter of fact, Christ answered the question when he averred that marriage in this world is simply designed for the propagation of the human species as a temporal solution to the problem of death. But in heaven where there is no death and where we shall be like angels, there will be no necessities of marriage (cf Matt 22:30, the Gospel of 32nd Sun year C).

The virginal conception and birth of Jesus, and the practice of celibacy by the clergy and the religious is a preparatio eschatologicum, a vision of future transformation prepared for those lovers of God who would be counted as most blessed on the last day. In effect, priests and religious would not have to begin to learn how to remain unmarried for life when they enter into heaven.

In Jesus Christ, there is no masculine or feminine. The virginal birth of Christ is therefore, the sign of this emergence of the new human species, a state that is superlatively advanced in the evolution of humanity. It marks the transcendence of the sensuality, the reaching of the apex of human perfection.

The new human person does not proceed from a sensual generation but from God the Trinity. This has been possible because a woman has been found who knew how best to adhere totally to God in love in such a way that what human love searches to attain in an imperfect mode through sexual relations and matrimony has been fulfilled by divine love.

As we noted above, humanity is divinized through Maria's virginity. Maria's perpetual virginity should not be understood in the Ebonites' moral sense only, nor in a mere literal sense as some modern thinkers do to indicate the beginning of a pneumatised humanity.

It is rather to be intended in a biological and real sense in a way to give the Holy Spirit the possibility of communicating himself with the feminine, in the same way the Incarnation gives to the Son of God the possibility of communicating himself with the masculine.

It is a generating force of the Holy Spirit that creates the Most Holy Body of the Son of God (cf Lk 1:35). It is a historical fact accepted without discussion by the evangelists (cf Matt 1:18; Lk 1:35) and of the constant Tradition of the Church.

The virginity of Maria was not of a cultural character as that of the dressing gown that was offered to the gods for plating them with gold, nor was it of a moral character as the dominion of the nous or bad matter, nor of the platonic- that moral virtue most often inspired by the hidden pride (superbia).

Instead, the virginity of Maria is of a vetero-testamentary character as the openness to the work of the Omnipotent and transcendent God at a zero point, of a humility, and all the depressed effects of a just Hebrew; a pure disponibility, a radical confidence in God that is abandoned to the design of the Most High, a theological virtue that is more than a moral virtue, stripped of any type of auto-affirmation by the human person.

Maria's virginity is simply a vision of the new life in the world to come.


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