Sunday, 10 February 2019
Kitty Bouwman: The Mystagogical Function of Divine Motherhood at the Conversion of Augustine
In the τ we found expressions of divine motherhood in relation to Augustine's conversion to Christian Faith. With these expressions Augustine puts us on the track of an inclusive reality of God that encompasses divine motherhood.The personification of Continentia (self-restraint) appeared as a mother during Augustine's conversion. He decribed her as the Lord's spouse. She personified divine acts by offering him Christ's law. In doing so she broke through the opposition between the 'flesh' and the 'spirit', initiating him into God's grace. She did not urge him toward sexual abstinence, but toward a life according to the law of the Spirit which brings life in Jesus Christ. This law is founded on the law of Moses and also that of Wisdom. With the repetion of aperire the connection became clear between Continentia's manifestation and the events that followed - the opening of the Holy Scripture, his surrender to God and the reward of spiritual sonship.Divine Wisdom revealed hersef in her power to transform divine nourishment into grace ('milk') intended for the children of God, who are following the way of Jesus, the man. As a Neo-platonist thinker Augustine had no access to the grace, that Wisdom had prepared. But should he embrace Jesus, he would then be fed by her grace.