Filed under: Fathers of the Church
FEAST DAY Of ST. JUSTIN MARTYR, June 1
St. Justin Martyr (Died c. 155 A.D.) taught that it was Jesus who appeared to Moses in the burning bush.
“These words (of the Prophets), then, have become the proof that Jesus Christ is the Son and Apostle of God, being of old the Word, appearing at one time in the guise of fire, and at another time as an incorporeal image…formerly He appeared to Moses and to the other prophets in the form of fire and as an incorporeal image…” First Apology, 127
St. Fulgence of Ruspe (467-527 A.D.) seems to see the burning bush as prefiguring the Incarnation when he observes:
“From the very beginning of the virginal conception a unity of Person so remained in Christ, and the unconfused reality of both natures so perdured, that neither could the Man be torn asunder from God, nor could God be separated from the Man assumed. Nevertheless, the divinity did not consume the humanity, nor did the humanity change the divinity into something else…” The Trinity, 2248
Fr. Richard F. Clark, S. J. in a pamphlet published by the Catholic Truth Society in 1964 sees the expectant Madonna (see above statue) in terms of the burning bush.
“The flame of fire in the burning bush was a figure of Jesus in Mary’s sacred womb…. So He still speaks as if concealed in Mary’s womb…”. The Coming of Christ, p. 38
“Perhaps the difference between the bush ablaze and the mother expectant is that the former is a spectacular miracle, whereas the latter is mystifyingly tender and meek. Moses was frightened by the spectacle (Ex 3:6), but who could be frightened of this young and thoughtful handmaid, Mary? She did not obscure the presence of the Son of God within her by arrogance, vanity, or any peculiar personal characteristics. Her naturally simple human ways were ideally matched with these supernatural divine ways of God’s providence. ” Unborn Jesus Our Hope
Filed under: Unborn Jesus
When we speak of the Visitation we usually refer to Mary’s journey to the hill country to visit her cousin Elizabeth. In fact, that is how Luke’s Gospel recounts the event (Lk 1:39). But we can also view it as God journeying to the hill country to visit His people, or more specifically, to visit an unborn baby. St. Peter Julian Eymard sums up the visit this way:
“The Word was in Mary’s womb. He inspired His mother to visit Elizabeth; Mary carried to John his Master and King. John could not come, for his mother was too old to undertake that journey; Jesus Christ went to him. He did the same for us: we could not go to God; God came to us.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church carefully explains what happens next:
“John was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb’ by Christ Himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.” (717)
Maybe many of us have had a tendency to picture this whole scene in a different way, thinking of this just-conceived Christ as passively hidden within the womb of Mary while the dynamic Holy Spirit descends upon John and Elizabeth both, causing the unborn John to leap and the pregnant Elizabeth to exclaim in wonder. But the just-conceived Christ is not passive! First He inspires Mary to journey to Elizabeth (and unborn John). Then, as the Catechism says, He causes the Holy Spirit to fill John.
Just think, the Annunciation/Incarnation occurs, Jesus Christ is now officially an unborn baby, and He travels “with haste” (Lk 1:39) – where?, to whom? – to another unborn baby! Then, as if to leave no doubt as to His Holy intentions, He dramatically pours forth His Spirit upon the unsuspecting unborn baby John. Suddenly, definitively, Grace rushes upon one chosen person – John the Baptist. We see the redemption of humanity and the New Creation in Christ prefigured here, encapsulated as it were, in the womb of Elizabeth. Here is a concrete living example of the words from the Prologue of John’s Gospel: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace “(Jn 1:14,16).
This is a marvelous prophetic event for the Church and for the world. When Blessed Teresa of Calcutta gave her Nobel Peace Prize Lecture in December 1979, she reminded the world of this Gospel event, focusing on these two unborn babies. And John Paul II refers to this same event several times in his prophetic encyclical letter The Gospel of Life (issued in 1995).
Filed under: Unborn Jesus
“When we cast the mysteries of His Life into great groups and masses, we make His Life threefold, Joyful, Suffering and Glorious. The most complete form is that which distinguishes eight lives in Him, His Unborn Life, Infant Life, Hidden Life, Public Life, Suffering Life, Risen Life, Ascended Life, and Sacramental Life. Into these moulds the Incarnation pours itself, and comes out in forms and shapes of the most surpassing beauty.” Father Faber (Bethlehem, p.242)
You might wonder why we would have a blog that focuses on the Unborn Christ Child. We want to show the beauty of His Unborn Life and what this teaches the Church about the Incarnation. We live in a time that completely devalues unborn children, but the Unborn Christ Child reveals the Father’s great love for these unborn children. The Unborn Christ Child, is for us, a champion of the Culture of Life.
“The pregnancy of Mary – no longer “too holy” to talk about, is now too relevant to ignore.” Unborn Jesus Our Hope
“I see how just as the errors of radical feminism challenged us to develop a true Christian sense of womanhood, so can the scourge of abortion bring forth new wonder about the unborn person in the light of the life of the unborn Jesus.” Ronda Chervin, Foreword, Unborn Jesus Our Hope
REMINDER: MAY 31 IS THE FEAST OF THE VISITATION
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae
“…In this great endeavour to create a new culture of life we are inspired and sustained by the confidence that comes from knowing that the Gospel of life, like the Kingdom of God itself, is growing and producing abundant fruit (cf. Mk 4:26-29). There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the “culture of death” and the means at the disposal of those working for a “culture of life and love”. But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26)”
“…a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.” Evangelium Vitae, 100
Please note our page entitled Please Pray. This page is for prayer intentions.
Here are some websites with pro-life prayers:
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae
Today is the Feast day of St. Senator, Archbishop of Milan, Italy, and papal legate, St. Senator was sent as a papal representative to the Council of Chalcedon (451). The Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D. was one of a number of Councils that took a stand against a world that wanted to minimize the Incarnation.
Recall how in the early centuries of Christianity the issue of Jesus having a human physical body was challenged again and again. The Fathers of the Church were constantly pushing back against confused heretical theories claiming that Jesus was some kind of phantom. For example, St. Cyril of Jerusalem once echoed the sentiments of St. Paul regarding the reality of the resurrection (see I Cor 15:17) when he countered these falsehoods about the Incarnation by stating: “For if the incarnation was a phantasm, so too is salvation a phantasm.”
Today factions within society challenge and question the personhood and identity of unborn children, just as in the early centuries of Christianity the Personhood and Identity of Jesus Christ was repeatedly called into question. The Church is now taking a leading role in proclaiming and clarifying the unique personhood of each unborn child.
“Endowed with a spiritual soul, with intellect and with free will, the human person is from his very conception ordered to God and destined for eternal beatitude. He pursues his perfection in “seeking and loving what is true and good” (GS 15 § 2). The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1711.
“Some people try to justify abortion by claiming that the result of conception, at least up to a certain number of days, cannot yet be considered a personal human life. But in fact, “from the time that the ovum is fertilized, a life is begun which is neither that of the father nor the mother; it is rather the life of a new human being with his own growth. It would never be made human if it were not human already. This has always been clear, and … modern genetic science offers clear confirmation. It has demonstrated that from the first instant there is established the programme of what this living being will be: a person, this individual person with his characteristic aspects already well determined. Right from fertilization the adventure of a human life begins, and each of its capacities requires time-a rather lengthy time-to find its place and to be in a position to act”. Even if the presence of a spiritual soul cannot be ascertained by empirical data, the results themselves of scientific research on the human embryo provide “a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of the first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person?”. Evangelium Vitae, 60
“… which expresses our appreciation for life and that human individuality, human personality is present from the first moment (of life). “LifeNews.com Pope Benedict XVI, May 9, 2007
Filed under: John Paul II
“The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are in fact the greatest work accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the history of creation and salvation…”
Pope John Paul II
The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World (#50)
“Creation is thus completed by the Incarnation and since that moment is permeated by the powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation.”
Pope John Paul II
The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World (#52)
“The Holy Spirit filled Mary with new life at the Annunciation, and Mary gave birth to Jesus. The Holy Spirit filled the Apostles with new life at Pentecost, and they immediately gave birth to a new era through their preaching and example.Turn the world toward Christ!” June 11, 2000, from a reflection given at the John Paul II Center.
Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap
Come Holy Spirit, help us to comprehend with wonder that first moment of the Incarnation, help us to perceive and be part of that new era begun at Pentecost.
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae
Welcome to UNBORN WORD of the day. Each day you will find an inspirational pro-life quote of the day, with special emphasis on the Unborn Christ Child and the great hope we have in Him. Feel free to participate with comments, suggestions, and ideas!
This blog will begin posting on May 27, 2007 Pentecost Sunday. For more information, or to acquire books and prayer cards on the Unborn Christ Child, visit our sponsor’s website: UnbornWordAlliance.com.
The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message…
At the dawn of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed as joyful news: “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). The source of this “great joy” is the Birth of the Saviour; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the Birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfilment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. Jn 16:21). Evangelium Vitae Point 1
For truly it is one of life’s great secrets: every newborn child is a witness to the Prince of Peace, and every birth day a little Christmas. George Peate Unborn Jesus Our Hope.