Concerning the Anti-Christ
The fate of mankind is bound up with Original Sin, the Fall through Sin is not only of Adam, but also of Eve. With these two begins the course of the human race, in these two was revealed the Image of God, in them both was manifest the gift of freedom and they both were vanquished by the serpent of old. The human image was given them both quite entirely in their difference and their common sameness.
The curse of Original Sin hangs over the world in its twofold aspect, both as lust, and as mortality.
And insofar as the human image was manifest in the world, as a twofold image, insofar as in the two there was revealed Sophia, -- it was also darkened in two in all creatures.
From the time of the Fall through Sin up to the time of the Incarnation of God within the created world there was alike the Wisdom of God, and the impairment of human nature. In various measure and variously there was combined the sanctity of the Wisdom of God with the lasciviousness of the corrupted nature, the immortality of the Image of God in man with its creaturely mortality.
And in the Incarnation of God there was first faced by human nature the surmounting of the curse of Original Sin. The primordial concupiscence of the nature was surmounted by the personal sanctity of the Mother of God, yet however not having surmounted the mortality of the nature.
The mortality was thereafter surmounted by the Resurrection of Christ, having eradicated the sting of death.
The Redemption of Creation from the curse of sin occurred and was realised through this twofold aspect, -- through the Mother of God and through the God-Man, through the Ever-Virgin and Ever-Mother Mary and through the Praeternal Cross of the Son of God.
The Mother of God, overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God having been incarnated of Her, -- represent a twofold fullness of the human image in the heavens, -- the plenitude of the revealed Sophia, the icon-image of Mother with ChristChild, of motherhood and Sonship. By this was broken the curse of the serpent.
And it seems to me completely inevitable, when we speak about the Anti-Christ, to think about his deed not only as a deed against Christ, but also as a deed, directed against every manifestation and revealing of Sophia. He -- in not only the Anti-Christ, he -- is also Anti-Sophia.
This means, first of all, that insofar as the Incarnation of God realised the possibility of the existence of the creature outside beyond the curse of sin, outside beyond concupiscence and death, to that extent the appearance of Anti-Sophia would have to manifest at the far limits sort of realisation, without admixture, the fullness of concupiscence and death. It -- to the maximum extent is lustly and death-bearing. And secondly, this means, that having manifest in itself the features of the Anti-Christ, it would have to be manifest also as an Anti-Mary. In it there would have to be the full contrariness to the image of God in man, to the icon-image of Mother with ChristChild. This means, that he is Anti-Mother, Anti-Mary, and Anti-Child, Anti-Christ. In other words -- only in his twofold manifestation is he shewn also as Anti-Sophia.
From another side he is also Anti-Adam.
In a certain sense it can assuredly be said, that he is manifest under a twofold aspect, as anti-sonship and anti-motherhood. If the Son of God, Christ, vanquishes death by the Cross, by His being crucified, by His execution and death, then the opposite to this would be the absolute affirmation of death, within it would have to be incarnated the principles of execution and executioner.
In the executionism is manifest also its true essence as anti-sonship, and in this is also an anti-Golgotha.
And this executionism, the putting to death of the living is not perhaps in the given instance an one time and accidental act, when someone has deprived another of life, -- herein there is a sort of praeternal aspect, the inner mystery of which is also an hidden mysticism, a black mysticism, directly conveyed us in each separate instance of murder, of execution, of spiritual killing, of spiritual extirpation of life.
Executionism, the murdering of life, as the opposite to the vanquishing of death by the Cross, -- is an exhaustingly real trait in the final reality of anti-sonship, i.e. of the Anti-Christ. The Anti-Christ arises from non-being, as an assertion of non-being, of death, as manifest executioner. And together with this it is fully evident, that one such, even with an unlimited assertion of the one consequence of Original Sin -- death -- is not perhaps the exhaustive manifestation of Anti-Sophia, set against God's creature, and thus the outrightly perceived Anti-Christ would be proven powerless in the matter, and hence does not reveal himself before the end [...]does not take up arms against all the whole image of Sophia in man, against the icon-image of Christ and Mother. There has to be also his revealing, as Anti-Mother, as Anti-Mary. The Mother of God in vanquishing sinfulness is manifest in that She is Ever-Virgin and Ever-Mother. By this the Creation at its summit is brought out from beneathe the curse of sin, is set free from concupiscence. Against the Woman, enveloped in the Sun, against the Praeternal Mother stands opposite "the great prodigal, sitting upon many waters", "the woman, sitting upon the purple beast", "clothed in porphyry and purple, adorned with gold and precious stones and holding in her hand a golden cup, full of abominations and vile impurities" [Rev. 17: 3ff.]. And this woman has to assert herself as anti-virgin and anti-mother, as an absolute expression of the lustfulness of the world, as arising from nothing and enveloping her whole world with a prostitution of the Creation.
Yet all the same the talk here cannot involve some sort of partial appearances, about occasional lapses of lustfulness in human nature. The talk here involves but the most essential essence of evil, its principle, possessing an absolute reality in its incarnation. It is about its innate and resolute opposition to the Mother and Virgin. Only thus can be apperceived the Anti-Mary in its actuality. Certainly it would be essentially [...] incorrect to say, that capital punishment and prostitution -- that this is a realisation of Anti-Sophia in the world. Both the one, and the other might be considered, so to speak, as by essence a lineal projection [...] and of the essential lasciviousness of evil [...] not needing further simplification in the given instance.
Moreover, just as it is perfectly clear, that once having accepted the affirmation of the Sophia image in man, we inevitably will stumble upon the negation of this image, the denial of Motherhood and Sonship, as the ultimate expression of the Anti-Sophia. It will become incarnate in the world, as Anti-Christ and Anti-Mary, as perfected executioner in the absolute broad sense of the word and as the great prodigal, sitting upon the many waters; and otherwise -- as death-bearer and lust, as a negation of resurrection and as a negation of birth. And, insofar as the black mysticism of executionism is perceivable by us in each separate instance of execution and murder, so also such a black mysticism of lasciviousness and anti-motherhood, undoubtedly, can readily be sensed in the quite real and concrete settings of life in whatever the large city, in whatever its chance occurrences.
If one tends to think
thus upon the Anti-Sophia, then this twofold image of evil in effect engulfs
within itself and conceals within itself every concrete instance of evil
in the world and thus represents the greatest insult to the Mother and
ChristChild icon-image, simultaneously incarnate as both Anti-Christ, and
Sv.(St.) Monachina Maria (Skobtsova)
© 2006 by translator Fr. S. Janos
Ob antikhriste. Article included in Tom 2 of the 2 volume
"Mat' Maria (Skobtsova): vospominaniya, stat'i, ocherki", by YMCA Press, Paris, 1992, p. 167-170. Tom 2 is sadly lacking bibliographic information on its included articles, some which definitely were published, -- hence the date of this article and whether it was a mere draft or not, is uncertain.