Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Immaculate Conception

Since the Enlightenment period the only truth is that which can be empirically verified. Any form of truth which would seek to limit science morally cannot be tolerated and has to be denied as mere subjective opinion. In the pursuit of perfection, science is trying to develop the perfect person. We have mapped the human genome, we seek to stamp out every type of physical, genetic, emotional, and mental defect. With embryonic stem cell research, science seeks to unlock the secrets of life. Man makes man in man's own image. We have embraced eugenics again. Even though we have the Special Olympics to celebrate the achievements of those otherwise looked at with fear, we have no tolerance for letting them exist. Genetic testing for Downs Syndrome and other diseases has increased the number of abortions and decreased the number of mentally handicapped people we see in our society. Having to care for the weak, innocent, and different among us apparently makes us too weak and vulnerable.

Jesus calls us to become as little children, for to these belong the kingdom of God. We are called to "present [our] bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God." (Rom 12:1) Innocence and weakness are what he embraced as his cross and we are called to this also. Peter exhorts us to "be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace." (2 Peter 3:14).

Jesus gave himself up for the church "so as to present the church to himself in splendour, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish." (Eph 5:27). In short Christ seeks to make us in his image: holy, spotless, without blemish--a sacrifice acceptable to God.

"We offer unto your excellent Majesty, of your gifts and presents, a pure Victim, a holy Victim, an immaculate Victim, the holy bread of eternal life, andthe chalice of everlasting salvation.
Offerimus praeclarae Majestai tuae, de tuis donis ac datis, Hostiam puram, Hostiam sanctam, Hostiam immaculatam, panem sanctum vitae aeternae, et calicem salutis perpetuae." (Roman Canon)

Jesus kept his Mother Mary from any spot or blemish. She was conceived without sin in lieux of the merits of his Life, Death and Resurrection. This "immaculate" conception took place to offer sacrifice, The Sacrifice of God the Son, Incarnate to God the Almighty Father as an atonement for all the sins of the world. Mary is the Church par excellant on Calvalry offering the One, Holy, Immaculate, Acceptable Sacrifice once and for all in union with her Son the High Priest. Our physical and spriritual birth defects are made holy and perfect when they are offered in union with Christ on the Cross to the Father. Let us not forget to thank God for his plan of salvation that included so great a gift as Mary's Immaculate Conception. Let us never tire of seeking her intercession as she has never stopped offering her Son on our behalf.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Womb of Gettysburg

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants." (Deut. 30:19).

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:11-12).

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow -this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.

"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus." (Eph. 4:13-14).

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.

"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but happy is he that keeps the law." (Prov. 2:18).

The lives of those who have gone before us in the struggle and labor pains of bringing forth this nation conceived in liberty shall not have been in vain if we choose life in this upcoming election. The lives of all the aborted and euthanised shall not have been in vain if we realize that we "confirm our souls in self control and our liberty in law."

I have set before you this election day life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you and your descendants may live.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Humility: the ability to become small.

Jesus said at different occasions things like, "You must become as a little child to enter the Kingdom," or "Seek to enter by the narrow gate," and yet again, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." He is speaking about humility: the ability to become small.

This type of smallness is ironically something which we "shrink from" and find difficult. The smallness required is a humility that can receive a Love so great as the Eternal Father's love for the Son. In eternity the Son is so humble in receiving everything the Father bestows upon him that he seeks to grasp at none of it but rather "he empties Himself taking the form of a slave" although He is every bit the Heir, the Eternally Begotten Son. The Son completely, continuously, and dynamically empties Himself back to the Father. He reciprocates all Love to the Father through the Person of the Holy Spirit who is the Love so strong between the Father and the Son as to be another Person of the Trinity.

The Holy Spirit descended upon a young Woman who was very small and humble of heart.
The Eternal Word took on flesh in her by "emptying Himself and taking the form of a slave" in her womb becoming "like us in every way except sin". He became a tiny conceived human being that he might be born among us and save us from our sins.
We too must become small that we can receive so great a Truth as the Father wants to bestow upon us by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God must be conceived in us and be born of us that we might be conceived in Eternal Beggetting of Son by the Divine Father and be born into Eternal life.

May God's Holy Spirit help us to be small and humble to receive so great a Mystery. Amen.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hail Jesus

I have my entire life prayed Hail Mary's in a formal rosary or as prayers ushering forth in times of need or even woken up at night to find myself praying to the Blessed Mother for her intercession. Several months ago I started formulating in my head what a "Hail Jesus" prayer might look like set in parallel to the phrasing of the Hail Mary. I am posting it below and I'm not sure if I would say it in the same format of Credo, Paters and Gloria Patris' as the regular rosary uses.

"Hail Jesus, Fullness of Grace, You are the Lord, First-born are You among all creation, and blessed is the fruit of Your Cross, Salvation.
Holy Jesus, Son of God, intercede for us sinners at the right hand of the Father, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."

I welcome any comments regarding constructing an over all format for praying this to Our Lord, ie. following the layout of the current rosary and meditating on the same mysteries of Our Lord's and our Lady's lives.