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CHRIST JESUS THE SECURE FOUNDATION ACCORDING TO ST. CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA TN two previous studies we have investigated the writings of St.¦*¦ Irenaeus1 and of St. Athanasius2 to ascertain whether they have anything in favor of the Franciscan doctrine that Christ was predestined for His own glory before all creatures, and so a fortiori before the sin of Adam was foreseen; and that He was predestined to be the Final Scope and Exemplar and Mediator of all creatures.3 The results of the investigations were encouraging because it seems certain that these two great Doctors of the Church, and specialists on the Incarnate Word, not only leave room in their doctrinal system for the Franciscan doctrine, but uphold it in many and various ways. Another Doctor of the Church who in general follows closely the thought of both St. Irenaeus and St. Athanasius, is St. Cyril of Alexandria. It is, therefore, of interest to know whether he does so in the matter under discussion. Having read through the works of St. Cyril and noted all the passages that might, in any way, be brought to bear on our subject, we have grouped them under 1.FRANCISCAN STUDIES, V (1945), 3-20; 114-137. 2.Ibid., VI (1946), 30-53; 171-194. 3.For a complete statement of the question of the Absolute Primacy of Christ see ibidem, II (1942), 428-475. To my knowledge, the only one who has written at length to prove that St. Cyril did not hold the Absolute Primacy of Christ, is Aloysius Spindeler, Cur Verbum Caro Factum? Das Motiv der Menschwerdung und das Verhaeltniss der Erloesung zur Menschwerdung Gottes in den Christologischen Glaubens-kaempfen des vierten und fuenjten Christlichen Jahrhunderts, in Forschungen zur Christlicher Uteratur und Dogmengeschichte (Paderborn, Schoeningh, 1938), XVIII, n. 2, pp. 99-120. His stand will be refuted in the course of this study. Two authors have written at length in defense of the Franciscan doctrine according to St. Cyril. Franc. M. Risi, Ord. S. Joan, a Deo, SuI motivo primario dell' lncarnazione del Verbo (Roma, Desclée, 1898), III, 275-288. Jules Basetti Sani, O.F.M. "La dottrina del Primato di Gesu Cristo in S. Cirillo," ch. 6 in Kyrilliana, Etudes Variées à l'occasion du XVe cent, de S. Cyrille d'Alexandrie (Guizeh, Egypte, Séminaire Franciscain Oriental). I have not been able to consult this work. As usual P. Chrysostome, O.F.M., Christus Alpha et Omega seu de Christi universal'! regno (Lille, Berges, 1898), in ch. 1-10 passim, and J.-B. du Petit-Bornand, O.F.M. Cap., Proludium de Primatu Domini Nostri Jesu Christi et Causa Motiva Incarnationis , translated by Ambrosius a Saldes, O.F.M.Cap. (Barcinone, apud Subirana Fratres, 1902), draw frequently from the works of St. Cyril to substantiate the various points of the Franciscan doctrine. FRANQSCAN STUDIES — 1 2 CHRIST JESUS THE SECURE FOUNDATION... various headings, as for St. Irenaeus and St. Athanasius, in order to facilitate our consideration. This study of St. Cyril will be very similar to that of St. Irenaeus and especially of St. Athanasius, and consequently, there will be some necessary repetitions. Whatever monotony there may occur, we hope that it might be offset by the gratifying realization that we have at hand a doctrine that was handed down, practically unchanged, from Sts. Irenaeus and Athanasius to St. Cyril. CHRIST THE ETERNAL FOUNDATION St. Cyril views creation as a massive building for which Christ is the Foundation, who gives security to and puts unity into the entire structure. "For Christ is the Foundation and the unshakeable base, who gathers and holds all things together that they may be well established."4 And Christ is the Foundation not merely as God, but also as Man; in fact, He was made the Foundation when He became Man; and so, precisely, He is the Foundation as the God-man. Therefore, Wisdom, that is, the Son of God, is founded; not that He received a beginning of existence as Word, but that He was made the Beginning and Foundation as far as He was made Man and put on our likeness for us who have been built upon Him in piety...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 1-25
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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