#36.4, Thurs., Sept. 8, 2022

Historical setting: 589 C.E. Poitiers

         Brother August has already dealt with my obstinate little heresies, nitpicking substance of Trinity and plundering creed, calling it a human appeasement and not the true nature of God.  And now I’ve added a wife to my list of sins.

         From this monk’s point of view it’s only a gracious yield to the practical, that marriage of man and woman can exist at all. The virtuous sexuality is no sex at all — chastity. So if a man can’t really be chaste, then, the rules say, he can be married to one, and only one woman and The Church seems to let him call that “chastity” also. But by this doctrine we are all born in Original Sin, no exceptions, well except for Jesus. Sex is the one big necessary evil. Augustine agreed with Origen on that one.  Even though Origen was dismissed as a heretic for his extreme Gnostic actions, Augustine took one thread of O. Sin and knitted it back into the Latin dogma. So it is that people who read rules more and listen less for the Jesus love come to the conclusion that patriarchs define what virtue is; while tempting, menstruating and birthing women are the sin source. In short: men-good, women-bad. So of course Jesus born of Virgin explains why he was so good after-all. [Footnote] Apparently all that hard to do love your enemy thing, and God loves universally, all those things Jesus taught and died saying are easily dismissed as too hard for humankind to do because Jesus was just born different.

         So what of my little thought that God, Spirit, Creator of all Creation, gave human kinds and maybe other creatures too, sex as a physical metaphor for spiritual love? In Roman Christian order it sounds pantheistic — another Pagan heresy.

         Dear God thank you for your continuous shower of love on me and all of us. Please help me through my human ways — be they virtue or heresy — to follow the one commandment of love you have laid before us. And stay close to Ana also. Amen.

         So today, by hammer and chisel, the face of the Virgin emerges from stone. The artists chip a nose like a nose on familiar barbarians, and they polish the gazing eyes to holy until earthly people can reach into her embrace and find Heaven.

         Tomorrow I will take the short ride into Poitiers to find out what Ana has learned of women.

 [Footnote] (Erickson, Carolly The Medieval Vision:Essays in History and Perception New York: Oxford Unisversity Press 1976) This author offers a clear overview of the history of this Medieval view of women. (Chapter 9 The Vision of Women pp181—212)

(Continues Tuesday, September 13, 2022)

Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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