I thrilled to the passage from Saint Bernard that I read this morning at Matins of the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Mellifluous Doctor attributes the work of redemption to one Man and one Woman, to Jesus and Mary.
Later in the day, reading the Holy Father’s homily at Mass in Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, I discovered that His Holiness spoke of the same mystery: the new Eve cooperating with the new Adam in reversing the disobedience of our first parents.
Saint Bernard this morning at Matins:
“Dearly beloved brethren, one man and one woman grievously harmed us, but, thanks be to God, by one Man and one Woman all things are restored unto us, and there remaineth still due from us a great debt of gratitude. For not as the offence, so was the gift (Rom 5, 15) but the greatness of the benefit far outweigheth the amount of the loss. Thus did it please our most wise and merciful Creator; that which was shaken, He did not break, but made all things new and better, making for us a new Adam out of the old, and changing Eve for Mary.”
Pope Benedict XVI this morning in Sydney:
“Dear friends, let me conclude these reflections by drawing your attention to the great stained glass window in the chancel of this cathedral. There Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, is represented enthroned in majesty beside her divine Son. The artist has represented Mary, as the new Eve, offering an apple to Christ, the new Adam. This gesture symbolizes her reversal of our first parents’ disobedience, the rich fruit which God’s grace bore in her own life, and the first fruits of that redeemed and glorified humanity which she has preceded into the glory of heaven.”