This is from a conversation I had with a gentleman who was reading Maximus’ book on Mary (and much of Maximus’s book was drawn from the gospel of James).
Now our NATURE HAS BEEN RAISED to Heaven by the ascension and translation of the holy VIRGIN, as before by the Ascension of her son. SHE has become MORE exalted than the thrones, cherubim, and seraphim, 15 for truly SHE has become far more exalted and glorious than all the other bodiless and immaterial creatures, the blessed mother of our savior Christ God, clothed in royal splendor, praised and venerated by the powers and dominions and every name that has been named, not only those in this world but those in the one to come, which are invisible and unknown to us. I have said what is more brilliant and useful for us 16 than all the rest. Now a SECOND MEDIATOR has gone forth to the first 17 mediator, a devout human being to the incarnate God, a SECOND OFFERING of our nature TO THE FATHER after the first one who was himself sacrificed one time on behalf of all, and SHE is ever living to intercede on behalf of those who approach God through her.”
I am not going to critique this so much, as to draw out some contrasts and raise some observations:
- Substitute “Gaeia” or “Sophia” for Mary and this isn’t any different from gnosticism or paganism.
- For argument’s sake I can grant a distinction between heavenly intercession and mediation (I don’t actually believe in any such distinction). This has always allowed Eastern Orthodox to deny, in contrast from Roman Catholicism, that Mary mediates our salvation. The Maximus quote, however, completely voids that denial.
- How do we reconcile the mediation language in Hebrews 7-10 with the Marian use of another mediation and another offering (of our nature? Christ’s nature?)?
- I’ve long suspected that Bulgakov better interpreted Maximus than his critics. I think this proves it.