Filed under: Biblical Reflections, How are we to honor Unborn Jesus, Papal Quotes, Pope Benedict XVI, The Incarnation
The 3 wise men honored Unborn Jesus from afar by seeking Him and searching for Him, passionately and diligently, and by rejoicing in anticipation (Mt 2:1-10).
“Why did the Magi set off from afar to go to Bethlehem? The answer has to do with the mystery of the “star” which they saw “in the East” and which they recognized as the star of the “King of the Jews”, that is to say, the sign of the birth of the Messiah (cf. Mt 2: 2).” Pope Benedict XVI, Friday, 19 August 2005
“What amazes us each time when we listen to these words of the Magi is that they prostrated themselves before a simple baby in his mother’s arms, not in the setting of a royal palace but, on the contrary, in the poverty of a stable in Bethlehem (cf. Mt 2: 11).” Pope Benedict XVI, Saturday, 6 January 2007
Like the Magi, let us recognize that Christ came into the world as an unborn baby and a child. The Vatican Council in Gaudium et Spes points out ”For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man”. We honor our unborn and child King when we teach respect for each unborn child and pregnant mother by our example. As they fell down and worshipped – we should approach these little ones and their mothers with awe and respect no matter where we find them. As they offered gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ child, we should offer our love, support, and financial assistance as needed.
Filed under: Adoption, How are we to honor Unborn Jesus, Incarnation, Papal Quotes
After the dream (Mt. 1:20-24) Joseph honored Unborn Jesus by welcoming Him and His mother into his home, by his obedience to the angel of the Lord, his doing God’s will, and especially by loving Unborn Jesus as his own Son (Mt 1:.24).
When Joseph woke from sleep ‑ we read in Matthew ‑ he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him’ (Mt 1:24). In these few words there is everything. The whole description of Joseph’s life and the full characteristic of his holiness: ‘He did’. Joseph, the one we know from the Gospel, is a man of action.” Pope John Paul II, General Audience, March 19, 1980
“Today, I want to direct our gaze toward the figure of St. Joseph… The one who gives the most importance to the putative father of Jesus is the Evangelist Matthew, emphasizing that thanks to him, the Child was legally introduced into the lineage of David fulfilling the Scriptures, in which the Messiah was prophesied as the ’son of David’.” Pope Benedict, Angelus address, December 18, 2005
“Joseph’s adoption of Jesus is effected in the two acts with which the account (Mt 1:24 25) closes, and which are in fact its most essential elements. ‘He took his wife…. And he called his name Jesus.” Cardinal Danielou, The Infancy Narratives
“During the nine months the accumulation of grace upon him must have been beyond our powers of calculation. The company of Mary, the atmosphere of Jesus, the continual presence of the Incarnate God, and the fact of his own life being nothing but a series of ministries to the unborn Word, must have lifted him far above all other saints, and perchance all angels too….Our Lord’s Birth, and the sight of His Face, must have been to him like another sanctification.” From Bethlehem by Father Faber
On this mosaic Joseph is depicted as taking the Virgin Mary to his home. This is one of the world famous mosaic depictions of Chora museum.
It pleased God to bring the beauty of human adoption into the heart of the Incarnation mystery. St. Joseph is a model for all those in the pro-life movement. He took unborn Jesus and Mary into his heart and life. He took care of them, saved them from disgrace and even death, supported them and helped them find shelter. Father Faber talks about the grace Joseph received in this ministry – think of all of the graces you receive in your ministry to the unborn and their mothers.
No sooner, in fact, “is the Word made flesh” (John, 1:14) than he shows Himself to the world vested with a priestly office, making to the Eternal Father an act of submission which will continue uninterruptedly as long as He lives: “When He cometh into the world he saith. . . ‘behold I come . . . to do Thy Will. (Heb. 10:5-7) This act He was to consummate admirably in the bloody Sacrifice of the Cross: “It is in this will we are sanctified by the oblation of the Body of Jesus Christ once.” (Heb.10:10) Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei #17
“Everyone is called to love God with their whole heart and soul and mind and strength and to love their neighbor out of love for God. But on the night, before he died, Jesus gave us two great gifts: the gift of himself in the Eucharist and the gift of the priesthood to continue his living presence in the Eucharist.
Without priests, we have no Jesus. Without priests, we have no absolution. Without priests, we cannot receive Holy Communion.
Just as God our Father prepared a worthy dwelling place for his Son in the immaculate womb of a virgin — so it is fitting that a priest prepares himself to take the place of Jesus, the Son of God, by freely choosing priestly celibacy. Marriage and procreation are miracles of God’s love by which men and women become his co-workers, to bring new life into the world. But Jesus has clearly spoken to something even greater than that, when he said that in heaven people neither marry nor are given in marriage but live like the angels; and that there are some who have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of God.
Priestly celibacy is that gift which prepares for life in heaven. Jesus calls his priest to be his co-worker in the Church, to fill heaven with God’s children.”
Today, August 22 we celebrate the feast day of The Queenship of Mary. This special Liturgical Feast was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII on October 11, 1954 through his Encyclical Letter Ad Caeli Reginam.
The following is a quote from this Encyclical Letter.
“As We have already mentioned, Venerable Brothers, according to ancient tradition and the sacred liturgy the main principle on which the royal dignity of Mary rests is without doubt her Divine Motherhood.
In Holy Writ, concerning the Son whom Mary will conceive, We read this sentence: “He shall be called the Son of the most High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end,”[Luke 1:32,33] and in addition Mary is called “Mother of the Lord”;[Luke 1:43] from this it is easily concluded that she is a Queen, since she bore a son who, at the very moment of His conception, because of the hypostatic union of the human nature with the Word, was also as man King and Lord of all things.
So with complete justice St. John Damascene could write: “When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” Likewise, it can be said that the heavenly voice of the Archangel Gabriel was the first to proclaim Mary’s royal office.”
Filed under: Papal Quotes, Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus
God has always been reaching out to us! Today He is reaching out personally to you!
Michaelangelo captured the scene in his famous painting of God the Creator Father reaching out to Adam who represents humanity.
Mother St. Paul explains how God the Father reached down to touch each of us at our creation:
“Our Lord Touched us when He created us to His own image; He could have created us to the image of the angels but no, He created us to His own – it was a touch.” Virginibus Christi p. 25
Interior Of The Mezquita Cathedral Virgin Mary Icon
From Mary’s womb Unborn Jesus was reaching out to us, but we couldn’t see. Perhaps in a Michaelangelo moment, in Mary’s womb He extended His tiny unborn arm, hand, and finger towards each of us.
Pope Pius XII tells us:
“But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love” On the Mystical Body of Christ, #75
As we remember this sad anniversary of Roe v Wade, let us realize that in the silent cries of the unborn He is reaching out to touch our hearts.
Let us reach out to touch Him for as St. Mark tells us:
“As many as touched Him were made whole“ (Mk 6:56)
In three separate encyclical letters Pius XII commented on the life, identity and glory of the Unborn Christ Child. In our last post we quoted from Mystici Corporis (On the Mystical Body of Christ).
Today, we will quote from two other encyclical letters of this saintly pope.
From his November 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei (On the Sacred Liturgy): #17
#17: No sooner, in fact, ‘is the Word made flesh’ than He shows Himself to the world vested with a priestly office, making to the Eternal Father an act of submission which will continue uninterruptedly as long as He lives: “When He cometh into the world He saith….’behold I come….to do Thy will’.”(Ref. Heb 10:7; 10:5-7)
From his May 1956 encyclical Haurietis Aquas (On Devotion to the Sacred Heart): #’s , 57*, 63 .
57. “And finally – and this in a more natural and direct way – it is the symbol also of sensible love, since the body of Jesus Christ, formed by the Holy Spirit, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, possesses full powers of feelings and perception, in fact, more so than any other human body.”
#63: The adorable Heart of Jesus Christ began to beat with a love at once human and divine after the Virgin Mary generously pronounced Her “Fiat”; and the Word of God, as the Apostle remarks: “coming into the world, saith, ‘Sacrifice and oblation thou wouldst not; but a body thou hast fitted to Me; holocausts for sin did not please thee. Then said I, “Behold I come”; in the head of the book it is written of Me, “that I should do thy will, O God!’”…In which will we are sanctified by the oblation of the body of Jesus Christ once.” (Ref. Heb 10:5-7, 10)
Pregnant Virgin Cistercian convent, St. Marienstern, in Panschwitz-Kuckau
In three separate encyclical letters Pius XII commented on the life, identity and glory of the Unborn Christ Child. He did not use the term “Unborn Christ Child” or “Unborn Jesus” as we typically do in this blog, nonetheless, he was speaking about Christ during the nine month period from His conception in the womb of Mary up until His nativity.
Today we will quote from Pope Pius’ June 1943 encyclical letter: Mystici Corporis (On the Mystical Body of Christ): #’s 30, 31, 48, 56, 75* (previously quoted on this blog several times), 98, 110.
#30: “…He (Christ) had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin…”
#31: “…at the first moment of the Incarnation the Son of the Eternal Father adorned with the fullness of the Holy Spirit the human nature which was substantially united to Him…”
#56: If we examine closely this divine principle of life and power given by Christ, insofar as it constitutes the very source of every gift and created grace, we easily perceive that it is nothing else than the Holy spirit, the Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and who is called in a special way, the “Spirit of Christ” or the “Spirit of the Son.” For it was by this Breath of grace and truth that the Son of God anointed His soul in the immaculate womb of the Blessed Virgin; this Spirit delights to dwell in the beloved soul of our Redeemer as in His most cherished shrine.
#75: But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the Beatific Vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love.
#98: “Now from the moment of His Incarnation, when He laid the first foundations of the Church, even to His last mortal breath, our Redeemer never ceased for an instant, though He was the Son of God, to labor unto weariness in order to establish and strengthen the Church…”
#110: …she whose sinless soul was filled with the divine spirit of Jesus Christ above all other created souls, who “in the name of the whole human race” gave her consent “for a spiritual marriage between the Son of God and human nature.” (St. Thos., III, q. 30, a.1, c) Within her virginal womb Christ our Lord already bore the exalted title of Head of the Church; in a marvelous birth she brought Him forth as the source of all supernatural life, and presented Him newly born, as Prophet, King and Priest to those who, from among Jews and Gentiles, were the first to come to adore Him
In our next post we will consider two other papal encyclicals in which saintly Pope expounds on Christ time in the womb.
Christians understand Jesus Christ as the answer and solution to our questions and problems. And He is that – the Way, the Truth and the Life for every human person.
But Pope Paul VI once made a telling observation: “Christ’s coming into the world creates for us the problem and duty of knowing Him” (General Audience, 12/28/66). In fact, the Pope said that knowing Christ is our “first duty”…that “we must set out to seek Christ…to study whatever we can know about Him.” He then directs our attention to the Gospel.
Thirty years later, John Paul II spoke about the Gospel of Life as consisting “in the proclamation of the very person of Jesus”, and that “Through the words, the actions and the very person of Jesus, man is given the possibility of ‘knowing’ the complete truth concerning the value of human life” (Evangelium Vitae, #29).
Here we are, in the midst of a ‘culture of death’ and we can see why Christ’s coming into the world is a sort of “problem”…. He is the fullness of Life and a champion of human rights and human life both – hence a champion of the human right to life! This message is not welcome in a ‘culture of death’. Christ’s message is part of who He is. So, in knowing Jesus Christ we come to know the fullness of human life and, as John Paul II says, we come to know “the complete truth concerning” human life.
For Christians, Christ is a problem if we love mammon more than God (Lk 16:13) or if we neglect prayer and the spiritual truths about life. It does seem to be a daily challenge to put Christ first in our lives. There is also a tendency for us all to superficially embrace our faith in Christ and falter in the demands of our faith.
Paul VI speaks of a spirit in the world promoting “systematic incertitude” and “systematic doubt and criticism”. This is precisely the anti-faith pseudo tolerance that is widespread today, which ‘tolerates’ the killing of unborn children while musing on the uncertainties of life and meaning in life. In Christ we find a great Truth, a Truth with certainty about the value of human life, a Truth that is compelling and problem-solving by nature. Christ’s Church has the duty to know Christ and His Truth, and is committed to hold on to this rock-solid Truth.
Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza
Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. Here are two beautiful quotes from Pope Pius XII which show us that right from the moment of His conception in Mary’s womb Christ our Savior embraced us with His redeeming love.
“But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love.” Pius XII Mystici Corporis , 75
“The Virgin Mary utters that generous word, “be it done”…Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored, has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human” Pius XII, On Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 63.
Filed under: Papal Quotes, Quotes from Great Christians, Thriving Not Just Surviving!
Toronto, Toronto by William Kurelek
“The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all.“Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations XX, Concern for the Church, “The Spirituality of the Church of the Future”, translated Edward Quinn (New York: Crossroad, 1981), p. 149.
“I have often had occasion to remember a saying of Pope Pius XI that was a favorite of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement. “Let us thank God that he makes us live among the present problems; it is no longer permitted to anyone to be mediocre.” Catholicism’s Bright Future Seven Signs in America That the End Is Nowhere Near By George Weigel
After some research I was able to find this quote in the context of part of the larger statement Pius XI made:Pius XI was even more insistent that the layman fulfill his function in the Church. He wrote: “It is absolutely necessary that in this our age all should be apostles: it is absolutely necessary that the laity should not sit idly by. . . . The crisis we are experiencing is unique in history. It is a new world that must burst out of a crucible in which so many different energies are boiling. Let us thank God that He makes us live among the present problems. It is no longer permitted to anyone to be mediocre. Everyone has the imperative duty to remember that he has a mission to fulfill, that of doing the impossible, each within the limits of his activity, to bring the world back to Christ.” Program of Action (Grailville, Loveland, Ohio, 1946)
Fresco of the Annunciation at the Pantheon, Rome, 15th century
“The silence of Nazareth should teach us how to meditate in peace and quiet, to reflect on the deeply spiritual, and to be open to the voice of God’s inner wisdom and the counsel of his true teachers. Nazareth can teach us the value of study and preparation, of meditation, of a well-ordered personal spiritual life, and of silent prayer that is known only to God.”
Thirty years later, when Pope John Paul II visited Nazareth he brought forth something else Pope Paul VI had said in that 1964 homily:
“Here in the town which Pope Paul VI, when he visited Nazareth, called ‘the school of the Gospel’, where ‘we learn to look at and to listen to, to ponder and to penetrate the deep and mysterious meaning of the very simple, very humble and very beautiful appearing of the Son of God’. “ Nazareth: Pope John Paul II (homily) Solemnity of the Annunciation 25th March 2000
Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical on Reparation To the Sacred Heart, (#2) explained how this devotion helped end the heresy of that time, Jansenism.
“As formerly Divine Goodness wished to exhibit to the human race, as it came from the Ark of Noe, a sign of the renewed covenant between them . . . so in our own troubled times, while that heresy held sway which is known as Jansenism, the most insidious of all heresies, enemy of the love of God and of filial affection for Him – for this heresy preached that God was not so much to be loved by us as a Father as to be feared as an unrelenting Judge – the most kind Jesus manifested to the nations His Sacred Heart .”
Today we need God’s love and help in fighting the most insidious heresy of our time – abortion. That is why Unborn Word of the day is dedicated to honoring the Unborn Christ Child. By honoring the 9 months Christ spent in Mary’s womb we want to show God’s love for and solidarity with each unborn child.
Because He completely identifies with all unborn children, indeed is one of them, when we lift up and exalt Unborn Jesus, in a real sense we lift up all unborn children with Him. Him we honor as God, they we honor as children created in His image and likeness, and for His glory.
We believe that just as the devotion to the Sacred Heard helped end the heresy of Jansensim – devotion to the Unborn Christ Child can help end abortion.
Pope Benedict XVI at Auschwitz concentration camp, May 28, 2006
In September 2006, Pope Benedict addressed a conference entitled “Stem cells: what future for therapy?” While Pope Benedict praised and encouraged adult stem cell research – he strongly denounced embryonic stem cell research. Here are a few quotes from his address:
“History itself has condemned such a science in the past and will condemn it in the future, not only because it lacks the light of God but also because it lacks humanity.
I would like to repeat here what I already wrote some time ago: Here there is a problem that we cannot get around; no one can dispose of human life. An insurmountable limit to our possibilities of doing and of experimenting must be established. The human being is not a disposable object, but every single individual represents God’s presence in the world (cf. J. Ratzinger, God and the World, Ignatius Press, 2002).”
“Progress becomes true progress only if it serves the human person and if the human person grows: not only in terms of his or her technical power, but also in his or her moral awareness” (cf. General Audience, 16 August 2006).
Filed under: Papal Quotes
She is a garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride;
a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain. Song of Songs, 4:12
Here’s an interesting excerpt from Pope Benedict’s new book Jesus of Nazareth. We want to thank PhatCatholic for sending this to us. Following the excerpt I will make an observation.
“The mystery of God’s love is expressed with particular power in the Hebrew word rahamim. Etymologically, this word means “womb,” but it was later used to mean divine compassion for man, God’s mercy. The Old Testament constantly uses the names of organs of the human body to describe basic human attitudes or inner dispositions of God, just as today we use heart or brain when referring to some aspect of our own existence. In this way the Old Testament portrays the basic attitudes of our existence, not with abstract concepts, but in the image language of the body. The womb is the most concrete expression for the intimate interrelatedness of two lives and of loving concern for the dependent, helpless creature whose whole being, body and soul, nestles in the mother’s womb. The image language of the body furnishes us, then, with a deeper understanding of God’s dispositions toward man than any conceptual language could.”
We are shown here the connection between the power of Love and the mystery of Life, between the “womb-like” Heart of God and the “heart-like” womb of Mary (and every mother). In fact, part of the beauty of this intimacy which the Pope is mentioning is that the Heart should be understood as a Life-giving spiritual core of the human person while the womb should be understood as a nurturing sanctuary of embracing Love.
Of course, only the Woman has a womb. If we reflect on ‘the Woman’, that is, the noble woman who dedicates her brain to Truth, her heart to Love and her womb to Life, then ‘the Woman’ bears witness to a hidden spiritual triune mystery: Love-Life-Truth harmonized in her person.
Filed under: Papal Quotes
One hundred years ago St. Pius X, whose feastday it is today, was well aware of the struggle between the Christian and the State and wrote about it in an aptly named encyclical letter entitled Une Fois Encore (Once again). Today his words could be applied to our own struggle between those who want to excise God from state and culture and those who know that God is the author of all that exists. (The Culture of Life vs. The Culture of Death).
“Recourse to God, so infinitely good, is all the more necessary because, far from abating, the struggle grows fiercer and expands unceasingly. It is no longer only the Christian faith that they would uproot at all costs from the hearts of the people; it is any belief which lifting man above the horizon of this world would supernaturally bring back his wearied eyes to heaven. Illusion on the subject is no longer possible. War has been declared against everything supernatural, because behind the supernatural stands God, and because it is God that they want to tear out of the mind and heart of man.
The war will be bitter and without respite on the part of those who wage it. That as it goes on, harder trials than those which you have hitherto known await you is possible and even probable. Common prudence calls on each of you to prepare for them. And this you will do simply, valiantly, and full of confidence, sure that however fiercely the fight may rage, victory will in the end remain in your hands.” Points 4 and 5
St. Pius X, Une Fois Encore, Encyclical letter on the Separation of Church and State in France, January 6, 1907
Filed under: Papal Quotes
Look at the love of Jesus Christ – according to Pope Pius XII, He was loving us even at the first moment of His conception:
“But the knowledge and love of our Divine Redeemer, of which we were the object from the first moment of His Incarnation, exceed all that the human intellect can hope to grasp. For hardly was He conceived in the womb of the Mother of God, when He began to enjoy the beatific vision, and in that vision all the members of His Mystical Body were continually and unceasingly present to Him, and He embraced them with His redeeming love.”
Pope Pius XII
Mystici Corporis, The Mystical Body Of Christ And Our Union In It With Christ #75 June 29, 1943
When one sees this large crowd from the March for Life, one can almost picture Christ embracing them with His redeeming Love. Contrast the love that filled Christ’s heart when He was first conceived to the indifference of the world that wants to destroy newly conceived human beings soon after their conception for convenience and “research”. He embraced us with His redeeming Love, let us embrace these little ones with our love and commitment.