Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Mary's Ensoulment according to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

Four and one-half months less three days after St. Anne had conceived under the Golden Gate, I saw the soul of Mary, formed by the Most Holy Trinity, in movement. I saw the Divine Persons interpenetrating one another. It became a great shining mountain, and still like the figure of a man. I saw something from the midst of the Three Divine Persons rising toward the mouth and issuing from it like a beam of light. This beam hovered before the face of God and assumed a human shape, or rather it was formed to such. As it took the human form, I saw it, as if by the command of God, most beautifully fashioned. I saw God showing the beauty of this soul to the angels, and from it they experienced unspeakable joy.

I saw that soul united to the living body of Mary in Anne’s womb. Anne lay asleep upon her couch. I saw a light hovering over her and from it a beam descending toward the middle of her side. I saw that beam enter into her in the form of a small, luminous, human figure. At the same instant Anne sat up. She was entirely surrounded by light, and she had a vision. She saw her own person, open as it were and in it, as if in a tabernacle, a holy, luminous virgin from whom proceeded all salvation. I saw, too, that this was the instant that Mary first moved in her mother’s womb.

Anne arose and announced to Joachim what had taken place. Then she went out to pray under the tree beneath which a child had been promised to her. I learned that Mary’s soul animated her body five days earlier than is customary with ordinary children, and that she was born twelve days sooner. (Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, Mysteries of the Old Testament)


Remarks: Above is a quote taken from the prophetic visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich. She describes the supernatural creation of Mary's soul. Strangely, she describes the miraculous formation and fusion of Mary's soul to happen about four and one half months into St. Anne's pregnancy. And she goes on to say that the time of this event give about five days, is customary for all ordinary children. By ordinary I would assume she is excludes Jesus, Adam and Eve.

This is by far the latest I've ever heard anyone say that ensoulment occurs. For example, long ago, Saint Thomas Aquinas, following Greeks, suggested that ensoulment occurs for humans from 40 to 80 days after conception (fusion of M & F gametes). But Blessed Anne's number suggest about 135 days, which is midway through second trimester. Modern theologians and members of the pro-life movement have seemed to abandon the idea that ensoulment happens post conception. However as far as I know the Pope or Pope and Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church have not clearly and authoritatively taught when so called ensoulment occurs. So for her (Blessed Anne, in the 1800s) to clearly state these numbers is to me fascinating. It took me years just to get used to the idea!!! This is a private revelation but if this were true there would be all sorts of implications. And now, for a variety of reasons I agree with her. Assuming Faith it is reasonable that God would wait half way through the pregnancy to create the soul and unite it to the body. For different reasons this to me would be a a wise choice on God's part.

Notice also that she clearly states the Mary's soul assumed a form. Soul refers to an object, i.e. to that which has form, shape, figure, etc. . . pick your synonym. Form is the primary quality of all objects, and the soul is most certainly an object, NOT a concept such as love, life, justice, gravity, light. Jesus clearly references the soul as an object in Matthew 10:28. This soul miraculously formed by God, takes on the same form and unites with Mary's living, yes Blessed Anne says, living body. This agrees perfectly with the teaching form the Council of Vienne (1312). The Pope and Bishops taught that the soul of itself has the form of the body. My understanding is that they explicitly and authoritatively taught this doctrine because some philosophers and theologians of the time thought that there was this universal soul that superposed all humans. This would suggest that this soul has vast boundaries or limits, but this is not the case. The form of the soul itself, meaning that which is bound or contained from the immediate surrounding is identical to the body. In a human, the soul and the body are most thoroughly united, superposed, interfaced, interpenetrated, mingled, etc. such that there is a single object called human which can be described as having a body and a soul. Human does not reference two objects, but a single object. However the soul has form, boundaries. Furthermore it stands out, it exists, can be described as three dimensional, has location, has unique properties and abilities and is made of that which is not of Mother Nature, call it soulium if you like. But the soul does not assume its form from the same fundamental object which atoms derive their form, the same which they use to enact light and gravity. The soul of itself is not inherently connected to all the atoms of the Universe. It does not belong to the network of matter. Nevertheless when it is united to the body in the perfect and intimate relation of a human it is connected to matter via the body.

And last Blessed Anne says she saw this soul unite to the LIVING body of Mary in Saint Anne's womb. She seems to suggest that Mary's body was already alive in Saint Anne's womb prior to ensoulment. Although assuming Faith the soul is an essential featured object to mature humans, Blessed Anne's words would seem to suggest that an object can be described as living prior to ensoulment meaning that the soul is not necessary for an object to enact the dynamic relation called life. And from here we need to start discussing definitions of life, establishing contexts, and so on. This is all I will say in this blog post for now, but this is by far a most stimulating quote and it has made me rethink what the theologians have shoved down my throat.

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