The second set of speakers on Monday were nominally presenting de trinitate. First up was Guy Mansini, OSB. Fr. Mansini wanted us to be clear at the start about his monastic vocation, perhaps because he wore clerics rather than his Benedictine habit. (The Dominicans in habit were quite self-evidently monastic.) And it was quite relevant for his analysis of humility and obedience in the second person of the trinity. Using the Rule as a means of demonstrating humility and obedience (and creating and enforcing it -- quite a bit of coverage of the function of the Rule as a practical social means), Fr. Mansini approached the question of Christ's subordination to the Father. He opened with a paraphrase of a passage on repentance in Lewis' Mere Christianity:
In fact, it needs to be a good man to repent. And here comes the catch. Only a bad person needs to repent: only a good person can repent perfectly. The worse you are the more you need it and the less you can do it. The only person who could do it perfectly would be a perfect person – and he would not need it. (57)God can share only what God has, and repentance God has not -- so God needed to take on human nature. The moderns, of course, find Lewis naïve; it is too superficial to say that there is no such thing as divine repentance or divine suffering. [Here, of course, is the debate on impassibility. And perhaps the Fathers are naïve, but perhaps they simply have other epistemological commitments than we do. Augustine is quite sophisticated, as were Plato and Aristotle.] At any rate, Fr. Mansini sets up the typology between a view of God as lacking human nature, and an integral view of the humanity of God. And attempts to stand between them.