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Some hold that in the place of bliss, God is visible in His brightness but not in His nature. This is to indulge in overmuch subtlety. For in that simple and unchangeable essence, no division can be made between the nature and the brightness (‘Moralia’, 18.54.)

“He that is signified by the shepherd is also meant by the woman. Jesus is God; He is the Wisdom of God. And because good coin must bear the image of the king upon it, therefore was it that the woman lost her groat when man, who had been created after God’s image, strayed from that image by committing sin. But the woman lights a lamp; the Wisdom of God hath appeared in human flesh. A lamp is a light which burns in a vessel of clay; and Light in a vessel of clay, is the Divinity of our flesh. It is of the vessel of His Body, that this Wisdom says: ‘My strength is dried up like a potsherd’ (Ps XXI. 16). For, just as clay is made hard by the fire, so His strength was dried up like a potsherd, because it has strengthened unto the glory of His resurrection, in the crucible of sufferings, the Flesh which He (Wisdom) had assumed…Having found the groat she had lost, the woman calleth together her friends and neighbors, saying: Rejoice with me! because I have found the groat which I had lost. Who are these friends and neighbors, if not the heavenly spirits, who are so near to divine Wisdom by the favors they enjoy of the ceaseless vision? But we must not, meanwhile, neglect to examine why this woman, who represents divine Wisdom, is described as having ten groats, one of which she loses, then looks for, and again finds. We must know, then, that God made both angels and men, that they might know Him; and that having made both immortal, He made both to the image of God. The woman, then, had ten groats, because there are nine orders of angels, and man, who is to fill up the number of the elect, is the tenth groat; he was lost by his sin, but was found again, because eternal Wisdom restored him, by lighting the lamp, that is, by assuming his flesh, and through that working wonderful works, which led to his recovery.”

~ Homil. XXXIV. in Evangelia

Is there anything more inspiring than the Fathers commentating on Scripture (other than St. Thomas, of course)?

Peter

What if someone should say:  God has merely threatened sinners with eternal punishment to keep them from committing sins?

Gregory

If He makes use of empty threats to keep us from injustice, then the promises He makes to lead us to justice are likewise worthless. But no one in his right mind would entertain such a thought. If God threatened us without ever intending to fulfil His threat, we should have to call Him deceitful instead of merciful. And that would be sacrilegious.

– St Gregory the Great, Dialogues, Book IV

By the awful course of the secret dispensation, before this Leviathan appears in that accursed man whom he assumes, signs of power are withdrawn from holy Church. For prophecy is hidden, the grace of healings is taken away, the power of longer abstinence is weakened, the words of doctrine are silent, the prodigies of miracles are removed. And though the heavenly dispensation does not entirely withdraw them, yet it does not manifest them openly and in manifold ways, as in former times. And this is so caused by a wonderful dispensation, in order that the divine mercy and justice may be fulfilled by one and the same means. For when holy Church appears as if she were more abject, on the withdrawal of signs of power, both the reward of the good increases, who reverence her for the hope of heavenly things, and not on account of present signs; and the mind of the wicked is more quickly displayed against her, who neglect to pursue the invisible things which she promises, when they are not constrained by visible signs (Commentary on Job 41:13, ‘Want shall go before his face’).

Domine, Quo Vadis?, C. 1602' Giclee Print - Annibale Carracci | Art.com

But can the Roman Pontiff juridically abrogate the Usus Antiquior? The fullness of power (plenitudo potestatis) of the Roman Pontiff is the power necessary to defend and promote the doctrine and discipline of the Church. It is not “absolute power” which would include the power to change doctrine or to eradicate a liturgical discipline which has been alive in the Church since the time of Pope Gregory the Great and even earlier. The correct interpretation of Article 1 [of Traditionis custodes] cannot be the denial that the Usus Antiquior is an ever-vital expression of “the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.” Our Lord Who gave the wonderful gift of the Usus Antiquior will not permit it to be eradicated from the life of the Church. It must be remembered that, from a theological point of view, every valid celebration of a sacrament, by the very fact that it is a sacrament, is also, beyond any ecclesiastical legislation, an act of worship and, therefore, also a profession of faith. In that sense, it is not possible to exclude the Roman Missal, according to the Usus Antiquior, as a valid expression of the lex orandi and, therefore, of the lex credendi of the Church. It is a question of an objective reality of divine grace which cannot be changed by a mere act of the will of even the highest ecclesiastical authority.

https://www.cardinalburke.com/presentations/traditionis-custodes

I suppose that an alternative interpretation of the sixth trumpet would be to see it as announcing the French Revolution, and, more generally, the advent of secularisation.  On this account, the loosing of the angels at the Euphrates, that is, the elimination of the protective shield between the Church and the World, would be identified with the dissolution of Christendom.  The precise ‘day and hour’ when everything kicked off might be identified with the decision of King Louis XVI not to break up the self-appointed tennis-court assembly, or perhaps with his own execution. 

On the other hand, while the Revolutionary wars, and the wars of national self-aggrandizement which they spawned, killed a large number of people, it does not amount to ‘a third of mankind’, at any rate, not yet.  There is also the point that secularisation is a logical consequence of Protestantism, and in that sense M. Robespierre and his friends would seem to pertain rather to the fifth trumpet than to the sixth.  Gregory XVI implies this in Mirari vos:

This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. “But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error,” as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. 

Dialogue page

I’ve often wondered why there isn’t more commerce between the living and the dead. Not that I’m advocating necromancy, you understand; just wondering why it is that our Lord in His wisdom does not command or allow the souls living in what St Augustine calls the hidden receptacles to manifest themselves more often to mortal men.  The bishop of Hippo himself used to ponder the same question.  There is a touching passage in one of his earlier works in which he argues that departed souls must be ignorant of what passes on earth, for otherwise why did not his mother come to comfort him when he was feeling downcast, as she had always done while she lived?  But later he changed his mind.

It might seem that such transactions would be highly beneficial for us on earth.  Would we not be comforted and inspired if a blessed soul were to appear? Would we not be fitly chastened to see a soul come up from some purgatorial chamber, dim or twilight? And what more effective way to terrify unto salvation those still in deadly sin than the apparition of a soul from hell?

Yet we know that all these things are rare.  Not unheard of, true: we have only to read the Dialogues of St Gregory to find examples, or, if you prefer something more modern, you could turn to Aardweg’s Hungry Souls. Yet, they are rare. Why is this?

Miracles, of course, must be infrequent, since otherwise they would not be recognisable as miracles.  But such apparitions are perhaps not miraculous.  For a spirit to move to some new location and clothe itself briefly with a small portion of visible matter as with a garment does not obviously exceed its natural powers.  And even if it be a miracle, its usefulness to mortals would not depend on this, but would come from its being a reminder or revelation of great truths.  So why does not God will such apparitions to be frequent, as He wills that sermons about these same truths should be often preached by His ministers, who have not experienced that of which they speak?

I think that visions of this kind would not be as useful as we suppose.  Quidquid recipitur, after all, ad modum recipientis recipitur.  Suppose someone were scared out of mortal sin by seeing a lost soul.  That would do him no good, but just the opposite, unless he persevered in his new way of life.  Then is he to be helped to do this by a constant series of such grim visitations?  In that case, he would live in a constant state of horror, hardly propitious for growing in spiritual liberty and love.  But perhaps he could be given just one such fright to start him off?  But it is better for his conversion to be effected by human preaching, since that is meritorious for the preacher.  And if the man is so hard-hearted that he can be converted only by such a visitation – or, to speak more exactly, if among all created means, only such a visitation would tend to produce in him those serious thoughts and desires which God normally wills to be a precondition for conversion – how likely is he to persevere when once the initial shock has worn off?  Would he not be more likely (again, without prejudice to the freedom of divine grace – I do not want Aelianus to tax me with Molinism) to write the whole thing off as an hallucination, or as a strange experience best forgotten? Our Lord implies that this would be the case for the rich man’s five brothers. 

But it would console us, at least, if someone whom we loved, and about whose salvation we were fearful, were to come to us from purgatory, to reassure us, and it would be good for both of us if that soul should move us to prayer.  Yet, if that were the rule, and not the exception, what if the soul did not appear to us?  Would we not have to conclude that that soul was lost?  How could we bear such knowledge?  If it is hard for us wayfarers to think of the eternal loss of souls in general, and to unite in our minds this part of revelation and the divine love, how would it be if we learned of the loss of some soul whom we had known and loved?  Would not such knowledge be an obstacle for the spiritual progress of all but those already perfect?

But if a blessed soul were to appear – surely that would be only encouragement for the beholder, and no obstacle?  But again, what are his dispositions?  If he is an incorrigible scoffer, he has now one more thing to scoff about.  If he lacks faith rather from thoughtlessness than from scorn, such a visitation would perhaps make an impression, but need it lead him to conversion?  It might lead him to pride as easily as to humility; or, if he is the sort that would tend to be humbled by it, then he could be humbled also by a good sermon.  But at least if he were already in the right path, would not the apparition be helpful?  Yet we have St John of the Cross, doctor of the Church, to contradict this.  Any such extraordinary manifestation, he insists, is liable to lead the beholder away from the purely spiritual path of faith, hope and charity, and to alloy his motives thenceforth with curiosity and the prospect of sensuous delight.

Yet we know that such manifestations do occur, and so they must be sometimes useful.  There are some souls whom God wishes to help who are, so to speak, not likely to be helped in other ways; and for the human race as a whole, or at least for the elect as a whole, it is useful that such things happen sometimes and be recorded.  But it is also good that they be rare.

Yet perhaps many people have some lesser experiences: not apparitions, but, as it were, something imperfect and rudimentary within the same genus.  Often those who have been bereaved speak of an awareness of the presence of the departed soul, and we need not suppose that these things are usually just imagination.

I once knew an old man, very simple, cheerful, and pious.  He had never learned to read and write, having hardly been schooled.  His father, I think, must have been mad: at any rate, when the old man was a boy, his father had once branded him with a red-hot poker.  He served in the War as a conscript, and the example of some Catholic led him to convert. He had never married, and lived alone.  His conversation was often hard to follow, and yet he was the sort of person whom it raised your spirits to hear speak.  Then I went to live in a foreign land and forgot him.  One morning in that foreign land, between sleep and waking, I had a sort of sense of that old man’s soul ascending and that he greeted me as he went, disburdened of all the troubles of his long life. 

That very day a message came from my own country to say that he had died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The habitual austerity of the Cordatian regime is always softened a bit in Easter Week, and so in recent days I have watched two Alfred Hitchcock films from the 1940’s, Spellbound and Notorious. In each, the heroine was played by Mrs Petter Lindström, better known by her maiden name, Ingrid Bergman.

One can see why this actress stood out in her generation: the particular cast of her beauty, at once wholesome and vulnerable, and the intelligence of her acting. She was ‘not like’ the other Hollywood stars, so the papers said, implying that these others were no better than they ought to be. She had a happy home life wholly separate from her career, and was glad to regard her Swedish husband, a neurosurgeon, as the head of their household.

Then in 1950 she revealed that she was leaving him for an Italian film director whose child she was carrying, and a nation mourned. Perhaps in America the 1960’s began in 1950.

The habit grew on her. The Italian was divorced after a few years, and then she ‘married’ another Swede. They divorced as well. She died officially unmarried in 1982, although her real husband, who had also married again invalidly, lived till the year 2000. They burned her body and threw the ashes into the sea.

Reading all this made me wonder about the dangers of acting. It’s not just that some of the scenes, even in films from 75 years ago, could not be performed without violating the virtue of modesty. But the very practice of mimicking romantic love, attentively and at length, is bound to make the reality of it sometimes spring up. Then what happens to the domestic life, especially if that has grown monotonous? ‘There are some occupations’, says St Gregory the Great, ‘which either hardly or never can be followed without sinning’.

Her husband revealed later that the Italian had not been the first man. It seems that Ingrid too had all along been no better than she ought to have been. But then who is, I wonder? In later life she came out with some sad stuff about having been true to herself. Rousseau is probably at the bottom of it all. I suppose she was simply trying to be happy.

One great idea on which all tragedy builds is the idea of the continuity of human life. The one thing a man cannot do is exactly what all modern artists and free lovers are always trying to do. He cannot cut his life up into separate sections. The case of the modern claim for freedom in love is the first and most obvious that occurs to the mind; therefore I use it for this purpose of illustration. You cannot have an idyll with Maria and an episode with Jane; there is no such thing as an episode. There is no such thing as an idyll. It is idle to talk about abolishing the tragedy of marriage when you cannot abolish the tragedy of sex. Every flirtation is a marriage; it is a marriage in this frightful sense; that it is irrevocable.

I have taken this case of sexual relations as one out of a hundred; but of any case in human life the thing is true. The basis of all tragedy is that man lives a coherent and continuous life. It is only a worm that you can cut in two and leave the severed parts still alive. You can cut a worm up into episodes and they are still living episodes. You can cut a worm up into idylls and they are quite brisk and lively idylls. You can do all this to him precisely because he is a worm. You cannot cut a man up and leave him kicking, precisely because he is a man. We know this because man even in his lowest and darkest manifestation has always this characteristic of physical and psychological unity. His identity continues long enough to see the end of many of his own acts; he cannot be cut off from his past with a hatchet; as he sows so shall he reap.

This then is the basis of all tragedy, this living and perilous continuity which does not exist in the lower creatures. This is the basis of all tragedy, and this is certainly the basis of Macbeth. The great ideas of Macbeth, uttered in the first few scenes with a tragic energy which has never been equalled perhaps in Shakespeare or out of him, is the idea of the enormous mistake a man makes if he supposes that one decisive act will clear his way. Macbeth’s ambition, though selfish and someway sullen, is not in itself criminal or morbid. He wins the title of Glamis in honourable war; he deserves and gets the title of Cawdor; he is rising in the world and has a not ignoble exhilaration in doing so. Suddenly a new ambition is presented to him (of the agency and atmosphere which presents it I shall speak in a moment) and he realizes that nothing lies across his path to the Crown of Scotland except the sleeping body of Duncan. If he does that one cruel thing, he can be infinitely kind and happy.

Here, I say, is the first and most formidable of the great actualities of Macbeth. You cannot do a mad thing in order to reach sanity. Macbeth’s mad resolve is not a cure even for his own irresolution. He was indecisive before his decision. He is, if possible, more indecisive after he has decided. The crime does not get rid of the problem. Its effect is so bewildering that one may say that the crime does not get rid of the temptation. Make a morbid decision and you will only become more morbid; do a lawless thing and you will only get into an atmosphere much more suffocating than that of law. Indeed, it is a mistake to speak of a man as `breaking out.’ The lawless man never breaks out; he breaks in. He smashes a door and finds himself in another room, he smashes a wall and finds himself in a yet smaller one. The more he shatters the more his habitation shrinks. Where he ends you may read in the end of Macbeth (G.K. Chesterton, ‘The Macbeths’)

May the divine mercy have released her from it before the end.

IotaChi

The admirable Peter Kwasniewski is always worth reading. He has written an article on OnePeterFive which is the exception that proves the rule. For this particular article, although I could hardly agree less with its central tenet, is certainly extremely stimulating. Dr Kwasniewski seeks to extol the virtues of monarchy as a system of government and insinuates that this claim is somehow connected to the Social Kingship of Christ. No such connection exists. The dogma of the Kingship of Christ should emphatically not be confused with the non-doctrinal question of which form of regime ought to be preferred, because this is specifically an indifferent matter on which the laity are free to chose whichever governmental form they consider best in itself and/or most suited to the character and customs of their particular society. As Leo XIII explains:

What amply justifies the wisdom of the Church is that in her relations with political powers she makes abstraction of the forms which differentiate them and treats with them concerning the great religious interests of nations, knowing that hers is the duty to undertake their tutelage above all other interests.

 and elsewhere

Again, it is not of itself wrong to prefer a democratic form of government, if only the Catholic doctrine be maintained as to the origin and exercise of power. Of the various forms of government, the Church does not reject any that are fitted to procure the welfare of the subject; she wishes only – and this nature itself requires – that they should be constituted without involving wrong to any one, and especially without violating the rights of the Church. Unless it be otherwise determined, by reason of some exceptional condition of things, it is expedient to take part in the administration of public affairs. And the Church approves of every one devoting his services to the common good, and doing all that he can for the defence, preservation, and prosperity of his country. Neither does the Church condemn those who, if it can be done without violation of justice, wish to make their country independent of any foreign or despotic power. Nor does she blame those who wish to assign to the State the power of self-government, and to its citizens the greatest possible measure of prosperity. The Church has always most faithfully fostered civil liberty, and this was seen especially in Italy, in the municipal prosperity, and wealth, and glory which were obtained at a time when the salutary power of the Church had spread, without opposition, to all parts of the State.

Undoubtedly the replacement of the original Feast of Christ the King was inspired by Maritainian errors, but the confusion of the question of regime with the non-negotiable question of the Social Kingship of Christ is itself one of the most fundamental of those errors. The list of royal saints supplied by Kwasniewski is not relevant. There is no question but that kings and queens can be saints, but what about St Severinus Boethius and St Thomas More and the multitude of non-aristocratic saints (such as St Francis) raised in the Mediaeval Italian republics? The Middle Ages were replete with polities of every shape and size. The transformation of them all into hereditary monarchies is an early modern and post-revolutionary phenomenon which coincided with the general secularisation of the West and precipitated the anti-Christian regimes of late modernity.

It is very odd indeed to claim that the rarity of saints under modern secular republics and constitutional monarchies indicates that these governmental forms themselves are detrimental to sanctity rather than that secularism is to blame (a secularism bred in the absolute monarchies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries). The theory of the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ is an anti-Catholic Protestant invention. It is dispiriting that Dr Kwasniewski lists the absolutist Charles I who died for the ‘protestant religion’ and the incompetent tyrant Nicholas II of Russia (both persecutors of the faithful) as saints.

The Angelic Doctor recommends a form of government composed in equal parts of monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. St Augustine says that the ideal form of government is one in which a virtuous people chooses its own rulers. St Leo the Great declares ‘he who is over all should be chosen by all’. This indeed is the primitive and apostolic structure of the Church herself and yet Kwasniewski writes:

In a fallen world where all of our efforts are dogged by evil and doomed (eventually) to failure, Christian monarchy is, nevertheless, the best political system that has ever been devised or could ever be devised. As we can infer from its much greater antiquity and universality, it is the system most natural to human beings as political animals; it is the system most akin to the supernatural government of the Church; it is the system that lends itself most readily to collaboration and cooperation with the Church in the salvation of men’s souls.

It was the mixed polity if anything which was the characteristic governmental form of the Middle Ages and Aristotle considers pure monarchy to correspond to the primitive stage of human development when the polis has not yet fully emerged from the family or tribe. Kwasniewski employs the traditional royalist tactic of equivocating on the ancient and modern meanings of the word ‘democracy’, claiming that Plato and Aristotle (neither of whom would have described modern western states as ‘democracies’) “maintained that democracy, far from being a stable form of government, is always teetering on the edge of anarchy or tyranny”. For Plato and Aristotle ‘democracy’ meant a polity in which there was no chief executive of the state, the college of rulers was directly elected on a one-year term and the laws were enacted by plebiscite. This has nothing to do with ‘democracy’ in the modern sense. But, as it happens, monarchy is the only form of government expressly critiqued in the Bible (1 Samuel 8:5-20).

And they said to him: Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have. And the word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king, to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them. According to all their works, they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day: as they have forsaken me, and served strange gods, so do they also unto thee. Now therefore hearken to their voice: but yet testify to them, and foretell them the right of the king, that shall reign over them. Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people that had desired a king of him, And said: This will be the right of the king, that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and put them in his chariots, and will make them his horsemen, and his running footmen to run before his chariots, And he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots. Your daughters also he will take to make him ointments, and to be his cooks, and bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your best oliveyards, and give them to his servants. Moreover he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give his eunuchs and servants. Your servants also and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses he will take away, and put them to his work. Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants. And you shall cry out in that day from the face of the king, whom you have chosen to yourselves. and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because you desired unto yourselves a king. But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, and they said: Nay: but there shall be a king over us. And we also will be like all nations.

The Lord accedes to the demands of the people but brings good out of evil by Himself taking flesh from the seed of David so that now the Lord is once more the King of Israel. Doubtless, this is why He translated the seat of the covenant to Rome. For, as St Thomas reminds us, “the royal name was hateful to the Romans”. Indeed, the perfect mixed form advocated by Aquinas (ST IaIIae, 105, 1) was first attempted by the Romans and identified by Polybius. It is praised by no less an authority than Scripture itself (1 Maccabees 8:14-16).

And none of all these [Romans] wore a crown, or was clothed in purple, to be magnified thereby. And that they made themselves a senate house, and consulted daily three hundred and twenty men, that sat in council always for the people, that they might do the things that were right. And that they committed their government to one man every year, to rule over all their country, and they all obey one, and there is no envy, nor jealousy amongst them.

“Has not the Church simply been demoted to the status of a private bowling league that can be permitted or suppressed at whim?” the good doctor laments, but it is the ‘enlightened’ depots of the eighteenth century who effected this transformation and the republicans of the Catholic League who foresaw and strove to prevent it. Surely, the doctrine of the Kingship of Christ understood in the light of these passages precisely suggests that a non-regal governmental form is the most fitting for the temporal government of the Christian people? As St Gregory the Great reminded the Emperor Phocas “the kings of the nations are the lords of slaves but the Emperor of the Republic is the lord of free men”.

sobieski_detail_matejko

[Jan III Sobieski, by the grace of God and the will of the people, King of the Republic of Poland]

Do Muslims worship God? This question has long troubled me and I can never settle it in my head. I am not talking about supernatural and acceptable worship. Clearly, they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity so are unable to offer acceptable worship to God. Nor am I talking about the natural virtue of religion. Strictly speaking there are no true moral virtues apart from Charity. I am talking about material acts of religion that would be formal acts of the acquired virtue of religion in a state of pure nature. Do Muslims perform such acts. Do they worship God?

I have come across three basic views on this:

  1. No. Islam is Deist, a form of monotheistic paganism. Unlike the Jews their worship is not even naturally directed at the same entity as the true God adored by the Catholic faithful. They are idolaters.
  2. Yes. Muslims know God through natural reason (see: Romans 1 & Vatican I) they direct their material acts of religion to Him. They ascribe to God incorrect attributes (e.g. having revealed himself to Mohammed) but they know Him as creator and worship Him as such.
  3. Yes and no. The being who revealed himself to Mohammed is not God and acts of worship specified in this way are idolatrous. In the other hand Muslims are men like everyone else able to know the Creator by the light of human reason and when they worship the creator as such their incidental errors about His interventions in history do not transform their acts of worship into acts of idolatry.

There are good argument for all three. In regard to 1. this seems to be the testimony of a good many Muslim converts. They do not believe they worshiped God before they converted to Christianity. The Council of Florence seems to assume Muslims are to be placed in the ‘pagan’ column. Leo XIII and Pius XI in their formulae of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart seem to make the same assumption. In defence of 2. this seems to be the doctrine of Lumen Gentium 16 (although what theological note that has is obscure) and the opinion of at least some popes (including even St Gregory VII). Of course 3. seems easiest to defend and in some sense is probably the position of most adherents of 1. and 2. Unfortunately, in a way, it only bumps the problem down the road. For what would be the key factor determining whether one is worshiping the being who revealed himself to Mohammed or the Creator of the universe? This is the central enigma and the answer to it would seem to resolve the entire question. I find it hard to believe that Muslims if they discovered that the two were not one and the same would chose the former. If it were a marriage that would be enough to make the consent valid. I’m pretty sure the Mormons and the Gnostics don’t worship God. I’m not at all sure William Lane Craig does. The Muslims it seems to me ought to get the benefit of the doubt… but I ‘m not sure.