For fuller reference and prerequisite, see the essays before this one similarly titled this week, daily installations.
STUDENT: But then, correct me if I am wrong, but your comparison of the Church’s history to the Way of Saint seems to be suggesting something profound that is hitting me: are you saying that the very historical trajectory of the Peoples of God, both of Old and New, follow the Way of the Saint in a historical sense?
TEACHER: Yes! Absolutely! You are very perceptive! I am saying exactly that. And the way the ages are set up, we already have it, three darknesses for each people, just as three days or beast kings are delineated for the New Testament.
For the Jews, the dark night of the senses, or purgative way, was Egypt; for the Church, pagan Rome.
For the Jews, the illuminative way was the Exodus and age of the prophets; for the Church, it was the age of doctrinal development post-Constantine.
For the Jews, the dark night of the soul was the pre-Exile wickedness of the Jews; for the Church, the modern minor apostasy.
For the Jews, the unitive way of light was the repentance in the exile, the restoration to the Holy Land and rebuilding of the Temple; for the Church, it will be the imminent repentance of the world, whether preemptively or through chastisement, the great restoration of the world to the spiritual Holy Land, the Church, and the rebuilding of Catholic Christendom in the age of peace.
For the Jews, the martyrdom was the Maccabean ordeal with Old Testament Antichrist Antiochus; and for the Church, it will be the great apostasy and persecution under New Testament Antichrist.
And In the Way of the Saint, after martyrdom, the saint crosses the threshold into the “age to come”, heaven, just as after the final way of the Jews, a “new age,” a new dispensation, enters in, the First Coming of Christ, just as for the Church, it is ultimate new age, the Second Coming.
STUDENT: Wow! Astounding! It all fits. However may I add, when we look at our ages of history, the New Testament has three, yes, like these ways. And there are three for the Old Testament way. However, our model, both in days of creation and beast kings, is FIVE for the Old Testament, not THREE. How do we understand that? For that matter, you began the way for the Jews not with fall and Noah but with Egypt. So perhaps there are, dare we conjecture, two ages before the Jews start the “Way.”
TEACHER: You are right. The Old Testament actually has 5 stages instead of merely 3 because, in addition to the three Ways of the Saint for the Hebrew People, two phases of sin must necessarily precede it. This is because, when humanity falls in the beginning, it is so privy to the fallen nature and this world, that it will give itself over completely to what we can call, “the lies of the fall”, and in such a manner that God will not even be able to break through their stubbornness without chastisement.
STUDENT: Sounds reasonable. Might I ask then, what are these lies of the fall?
TEACHER: Yes, the lies can be derived by twisting the two great reasons we exist: the two great reasons we exist, that summarize all we are called for can be derived even from one great reason we exist, which works out in two dimensions: Per Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, the ultimate reason God creates is to share the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity with creatures, De Fide. The two dimensions which this takes place are this life, and, hopefully, the next life. Hence:
1) To share in the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity in this life
2) To share in the Divine Life, Love, and Knowledge of the Trinity in the next life, in fullness and forever
The Baltimore Catechism then rephrases:
1) To know, love, and serve God in this life
2) To be happy with Him forever in the next
Note, each set of principles are equivalent: knowing and loving God is the same as sharing in the Life, Love and Knowledge of the Trinity, since serving and loving God is only done by the presence of sanctifying grace (a finite, created participation in the Divine Life and Love of the Trinity), and knowing God is to partake of the Knowledge of the Trinity. Too, we will be happy in heaven forever with God precisely by growing in love and knowledge of God, which will never be exhausted.
Now, it happens that the signs or dispositions of Baptism and Marriage perfectly fulfill these principles:
The first condition, to know, love and serve God, is the disposition of Baptism, since knowing God is faith, and love and service is good will, or repentance, the two primary dispositions that we must have for Baptism and to remain faithful to our Baptismal vows.
And the second condition, to be happy with God forever in the next life, is like Marriage to God, since, collectively, we shall all be caught up as the Bride who weds Jesus, receiving the Divine Knowledge, Love, and Life into our inner souls and offering praise and rejoicing back to Him.
Hence, Baptism and Marriage summarize, in their ultimate signs, or dispositions, the two greatest principles of our reason to exist, and hence, of all that has ever been good, or will be! In other words, these two remnant sacraments for heretics truly are special: they are the basic summary of all life, of all goodness!
But then, what else can we conclude except that, if we fully deny these principles, we get the supreme lies that summarize all evil, that ever has been, or will be—in other words, the very lies of the fall themselves, perpetually recycled in every age of sin!
Indeed, this is exactly what we will argue, as follows:
Anti-Baptismal Spirit: The first lie of the dragon is, have no regard for the Baptismal disposition--no faith, no repentance: believe what you want and do what you want, and you will be better off, more satisfied; and there will be no consequences, whether in this life or any presumed afterlife.
Anti-Marital Spirit: The second lie is like it: don't live for the Marriage with God in the next life but live for superficial "intercourse", or fornication, figuratively, with the world, the counterpart to God, in this life. That is, seek not to marrythe Creatorin the next life, but spiritually fornicatewithe Creationinthis life, MATERIALISM. Seek your fulfillment not in the Uncreated goods of love, truth, beauty, and gift, but the merely brute created goods: pleasures, possessions, and egotistical accomplishments.
STUDENT: I see what you are saying, and It makes good sense. In response, I am assuming now that you are arguing that these two great lies that summarize the whole fall, that is, all that is evil, are what is pursued by humanity before the Hebrew People can be formed to walk the Way of maturation.
TEACHER: Yes. Let us work it out. In fact, Solomon completely supports our exploration: Solomon said in Scripture "all wickedness came before Abraham was." So then, this would seem to imply that all lies of the fall and the practice thereof came before Abraham was. And that corroborates our theology above:
The two greatest stages of sin before Abraham were the Wickedness of Noah's day and the Tower of Babel.
Noah's day was clearly Anti-Baptism: The world was wicked (no repentance) and had no faith (they mocked Noah's revelation of flood). So then God Baptized the world, the Flood.
The Tower of Babel was clearly Anti-Marriage toward God: man was gathered together as one woman, but not a spouse to God, the People of God; rather, a whore, joining herself in selfish materialistic glory with the world, a tower, rather than seeking God's glory and Him as the spouse. So God divided them up through language confounding and Married one nation, the Hebrews, His first Bride.
How appropriate then, the two great first falls of man are against the basic principles of life, against the basic sacraments of all, and they were healed spiritually by the basic sacraments' signs. And note, these two ages described above are in fact the same as our historical delineation in the days of creation, the beast kings, and Augustine’s layout in the “On the Catechising of the Uninstructed”.
STUDENT: Awesome: yes, this also agrees with what we saw with St Augustine on the five ages: he singled out the first two as preeminent, and then the latter three as those declared In the Gospel, as though the Gospel itself, which leads us to righteousness, might mysteriously reveal the path of righteousness. Consequently, these two great lies of the fall digested and chastised, followed by three stages for the way of the Old People of God, form the five ages of Old. Then the Church walks the same three ages. Bingo, five in old, three in new, just as the days of creation have five days in old, three in new, and the beast kings are five in old and three in new.
(for full reference, see Theology of the Ages - The Joyful Mysteries as Image of the Whole of Salvation History)