Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/147

This page needs to be proofread.


MEDICES


119


MEDICES


union of mother and child arc inferior in perfection to the hypostatic union of tlie Son of God with human nature. Husband, mother, son, are tliree persons; Jesus Christ, God and man, is only one person, identi- cal with God, identical with man. Moreover, the hypostatic union makes Him the Head of mankintl, and, therefore, its natural representative. By His hu- man origin Christ is a member of the human family, a partaker of our flesh and blood (Heb., ii, 11-15); by reason of His Divine Personality, He is "the image and likeness of God " to a degree unapproached by either man or angel. The Incarnation establishing between the First-born and His brethren a real kin- ship or affinity, Christ becomes the Head of the hu- man family, and the human family acquires a claim to participate in the supernatural privileges of their Head, " Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. " (Eph.,v, 30.) Such was the expressed will of Ciod : " But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman . . . that we might receive the adoption of sons. " (Gal., iv, 4-5; also Rom., viii, 29.) The man Christ Jesus, therefore, who was designed by God to mediate be- tween Him and mankind, and whose mediatorship was not accidental and delegated, but inherent in His very being, was endowed with all the attributes re- quired in a perfect mediator.

Christ's function as mediator necessarily proceeds from His human nature as principium quo operandi; yet it obtains its mediating efficacy from the Divine nature, i. e. from the dignity of the acting person. Its first object, as commonly stated, is the remission of sin and the granting of grace, whereby the friendsliip between Gocl and man is restored. This object is at- tained by the worship of infinite value which is offered to God by and through Christ. Christ, however, is mediator on the side of God as well as on the side of man : He reveals to man Divine truth and Divine com- mands; He distributes the Divine gifts of grace and rules the world. St. Paul sums up this two-sided mediation in the words: "... consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus" (Heb., iii, 1); Jesus is the Apostle sent by God to us, the liigh priest leading us on to God.

(4) Performance. — How do we benefit by Christ's mediation? Christ is more than an enlightening teacher and a bright example of holiness ; He destroys sin and restores grace. Our salvation is not due ex- clusively to the Mediator's intercession for us in His glorified state in heaven; Christ administers in heaven the fruits of His work on earth (Heb., vii, 25). Scripture compels us to regard the work of the Media- tor as an efficient cause of our salvation: His merits and satisfaction, as being those of our representative, have obtained for us salvation from Ciod. The oldest expression of the dogma in the Church formularies is in the Nicene Creed : " crucified also for us ". " Vicari- ous satisfaction", a term now in vogue, is not found expressly in the Church formularies, and is not an adequate expression of Christ's mediation. For His mediation partly replaces, partly completes, partly renders possiljle and efficacious the saving work of man himself; on the other hand, it is a condition of, and it merits, the saving work of God. It begins with obtaining the goodwill of Ciod towards man, with ap- peasing the offended God by interceding for man. This intercession, however, differs from a mere asking in this, that Christ's work has merited what is asked for: salvation is its rightful equivalent. Further: to effect man's salvation from sin, the Saviour had to take upon Himself the sins of mankind and make satisfaction for them to God. But though His atonement gives God more honour than sin gives dishonour, it is but a step towards the most essential part of Christ's saving work — the friendship of God which it merits for man. Taken together, the expiation of sin and the meriting of Divine friendship are the end of a real sacrifice, i. e.


of "an action performed in order to give God the honour due to Him alone, and so to gain the Divine favour" (St. Thomas, III, Q. xlviii, a. 3). Peculiar to Christ's sacrifice are the infinite holiness of the Sacrificer and the infinite value of the Victim, which give the sacrifice an infinite value as expiation and as merit. Moreover, it consists of suffering voluntarily ac- cepted. The sinner deserves death, having forfeited the end for which he was created ; and hence Christ ac- cepted death as the chief feature of His atoning sacrifice. (5) Results. — Christ's saving work did not at once blot out every individual .sin and transform every sin- ner into a saint; it only procured the means thereto. Personal sanctification is effected by special acts, partly Divine, partly human; it is secured by loving God and man as the Saviour did. Christianus alter Christus: every Christian is another Christ, a son of God, an heir to the eternal Kingdom. Finally, in the fulness of time all things that are in heaven and on earth shall be re-estabUshed, restored, in God through Christ (Eph., i, 9-10). The meaning of this promise is that the whole of creation, bound up together and perfected in Christ as its Head, shall be led back in the most perfect manner to God, from whom sin had partly led it away. Christ is the Crown, the Centre, and the Fountain of a new and higher order of things: "for all are yours; And you are Christ's; and Christ is God's. " (I Cor., iii, 22-23).

Consult any treatise on the Incarnation, e. g. Wilhelm and ScANNELL, Manual of Calh. Theol, II (London, 1908), bk. V; Humphrey, TAe One il/frfmtor (London). J. WiLHELM.

Medices (de Medicis), Hieronymus, illustrious as a scholastic of acumen and penetration, b. at Camerino in Umbria, 1569, whence the surname de Medicis a Camerino. He was clothed with the Dominican habit at Ancona. He first distinguished himself as profes- sor of philosophy and theology in various houses of the Province of Lorabardy, whence he was advanced to a professorship in the more important theological school at Bologna. He was approved by the general chapter of his Order held at Paris, 1611, and raised to the mas- tership and doctorate. He was then performing the duties of general censor for the tribunal of the Inquisi- tion established at Mantua, for which reason he is said eventually to have secured the transfer of his affilia- tion to the convent of that place (1618). His labori- ous and fruitful career closed in 1622. It had been marked by a studious application to the doctrines of St. Thomas. Just as the Paris chapter was acknowl- edging his intellectual ability, he completed the first part of the invaluable " Summa; theologiae S. Thomse Aquinatis doctoris angelici formalis explicatio". In this work he puts into syllogistic form the whole Summa. Aiming primarily at the enlightenment of beginners, he contributes notably to the instruction of others more advanced. The first part was not pub- lished until the first section of the .second part was ready (Venice), 1614. Three years later followed the second section, but it was not until 1622 that the third part appeared at Salo, instead of Venice. The supple- ment had preceded the third part by a year (Venice, 1621); it was not published at Mantua in 1623. Other more correct editions have followed evenas late as ( Vici) 1858-1862. It is to Jacobus Qu6tif that credit is due for having improved the original in accuracy. He re- produced the work in five tomes, folio (Paris), in 1657. ■The chief advantage to be derived from the arrange- ment of St. Thomas in syllogistic form is a quickness of grasp with an easiness of assimilation not otherwise obtainable. In the Vici edition certain additions have laeen made which, although raising the value of the work as a manual, are outside the scope of the original. They serve as appendices to each question and, imder the caption "Utilitas pro Ecclesia S. Dei", furnish the student with practical applications of the original mat- ter in view of dogmas subsequently developed or con- temporary heresy.