UNBORN WORD of the day


JPII revealed heartfelt pain about abortion to his countrymen
July 13, 2007, 10:28 pm
Filed under: John Paul II

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The Tomb of the Unborn

On June 4, 1991 in Radom, Warsaw, John Paul II spoke from the heart to his countrymen. In reading the following paragraph, one senses that this is not the normal formally prepared text that we typically receive from a Pontiff at a formal gathering. Rather, John Paul expresses anguish as he shares a personal memory with his beloved countrymen.

“Forgive me, dear Brothers and Sisters that I will go further. The cemetery of the victims of human cruelty in our century is extended to include yet another vast cemetery, that of the unborn, of the defenseless whose faces were not known by their own mother, agreeing or yielding under pressure to take their lives before they are born. And yet they had the life, they were conceived, grew under the hearts of their mothers, not sensing their deadly threat. But when the threat became real, these defenseless human beings tried to defend themselves. A film camera registered this desperate defense of an unborn child in the mother’s womb against aggression. Once I saw the film and until today I cannot get rid of it, I cannot erase it from my memory. It is hard to imagine a drama that is more horrible in its moral human expression…”

“…Let us also notice that the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ does not only contain a command. It calls us to assume certain attitudes and positive behavior. Do not kill but rather protect life, protect health and respect the human dignity of every man, regardless of his race or religion, level of intelligence, level of awareness or age, health or illness. Do not kill but rather accept another being as God’s gift – especially if it is your own child.”

For the complete text of his homily in Polish.

For an English translation of four paragraphs.



Mary’s pregnancy – no longer “too holy” to talk about, now too relevant to ignore.
July 13, 2007, 12:10 am
Filed under: Unborn Jesus

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The Annunciation painted by Maurice Denis

The following quotes about the pregnancy of Mary are from Cardinal Pierre De Berulle, ( 1575 – 1629) who founded the French school of Spirituality. St. Vincent de Paul said of him: “He is one of the most saintly priests I have known”

“The period of this mystery invites us to reflect carefully on it often. For it is the period when he is and will be nine months in the Virgin…He is in her as in a temple where he praises and adores God; where he offers his respects to the eternal Father, not only for Himself but for every creature.”

“He wished to share the mystery of the Incarnation with her, by drawing forth from her this body with which he is clothed and by willing that, as his mother, she was involved through her cooperation in this work, which is incomparably greater than the creation of the world.”

This third quote from De Berulle was of interest to me because I had never thought about Mary being the first one to know about and experience the IncarnationThe Messiah, (her people had longed for his coming for centuries) had just come into the worldShe realized that God Himself was the Messiah and she carried Him in her womb. De Berulle explains what she must have thought and how she must have felt:

“The Virgin is involved with Jesus and she is the only one in the whole world involved with Jesus. Thus she is the only one in the whole world adoring the mystery of the Incarnation, which was brought about on earth for the earth but unknown to the earth. She is the only one adoring Jesus. The more that she is the only one captivated by such a great subject, the greater is her involvement. She is devoted to it with all her faculties. All her senses are brought to bear on it, for it is a tangible mystery and tangible within her. All her senses should pay homage to her God made tangible for human nature. Her whole mind is concentrated on it. And the Spirit of Jesus, which enlivens this little divinized body, enlivens the spirit and body of the Virgin as well, through grace, love and a holy, gentle influence.”



“The shape that the slime of the earth was given was intended with a view to Christ, the future man.”
July 11, 2007, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians

 

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The intriguing quote above is from Tertullian (155/160 A.D. – 240/250 A.D.), De Carnis Resurrectione. St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) elaborates:

“…if someone intends to build a house or a palace he must first consider whether it is to be a lodging for a vine dresser or a peasant or if it is for a lord, since obviously he would use entirely different plans depending on the rank of the person who is to live there. Now the Eternal Father did just that when he built this world. He intended to create it for the Incarnation of His Son, the Eternal Word. The end or goal of His work was thus its beginning, for Divine Wisdom had foreseen from all eternity that His Word would assume our nature in coming to earth.” The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Advent and Christmas

 

 

 

 



The silence and worship of Christ in the womb
July 10, 2007, 10:02 pm
Filed under: Unborn Jesus

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Today June 11 is the feast day of St. Benedict. Benedict (born c. 480 -d. 547) was known as the patriarch of western monasticism. Here are some quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict (Chp. 6, Of Silence):

“Let us do what the Prophet saith: ” I said, I will take heed of my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I have set a guard to my mouth, I was dumb, and was humbled, and kept silence even from good things” (Psalm 38(39): 2-3).”

“For it belongeth to the master to speak and to teach; it becometh the disciple to be silent and to listen.”

The reflection below is from Father Faber. Faber shows us how Christ taught us the power of silence and worship even from His mother’s womb:

“So that, in the first moment of the Incarnation, not only were the amazing decrees of everlasting wisdom fulfilled, and creation with incredible magnificence completed, but the creation thus completely turned round as it were to the Face of the Creator, and worshiped Him with a worship equal to Himself….”

“Such was the existence which began that night in Mary’s (womb). If we look at it in the general, so as to get a view of the characteristics, it seems to us, first of all, a life of oblation. Worship was the predominant idea. Adoration was the mold in which it was cast. It continually reflected God….”

“Worship alone is power, intellectual power and moral power, the power of world-wide change and of all beneficent revolution. We not only learn this lesson from the life of confinement, which the Incarnate Word led in Mary’s (womb), but it is that life which gives our life power to become universal like itself.”

“It was a life of silence also. The Great Teacher, the utterer of the marvelous parables, the preacher of the world stirring sermons, the oracle whose single words have become vocations, institutions and histories, finds silence no bar to the fertility of His action. Silence has ever been as it were the luxury of great holiness, which implies that is contains something divine within itself. So it is the first life which He, the eternally silent-spoken Word of the Father chooses for Himself.” Above quotes from Father F. W. Faber, Bethlehem.



“the Magna Carta of the pro-life movement”
July 9, 2007, 10:24 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae

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Father Frank Pavone says that the Gospel of Life has been called “the Magna Carta of the pro-life movement”.

On the Fifth Anniversary of the issuance of the document Pope John Paul II made the following reflections on his encyclical letter The Gospel of Life.

“I greet all of you, participating in this reflection on a document that I consider central to the whole of the Magisterium of my pontificate and in perfect continuity with the Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” of Pope Paul VI of venerable memory.” #1

Every person of good will must feel called to mobilize for this great cause, and must be sustained by the conviction that every step taken in defense of the right to life and in the concrete promotion of it is a step toward peace and civility.” #6

“In a particular way I turn to youth, who are sensitive to the need to respect the values of the human body and, above all, the value of conceived life itself: may they be the first architects and beneficiaries of the work that will be carried out in the context of the pastoral of life.” #6

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Gloria in Excelsis Deo
July 8, 2007, 9:31 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation

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It’s hard not to notice that most of the blogs are talking about the Holy Father’s Motu Proprio on the Latin Mass, using the 1962 Missal. I thought that for today I would pick up on that theme. So I found the Collect for the Annunciation, said at Mass every day during Advent from the Latin Mass. It may not be quite the same since the book I am taking it from was published in 1921.

Deus, qui de beatae Mariae Virginis utero, Verbum Tuum, Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti; praesta supplicibus Tuis ut qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus ejus apud Te intercessionibus adjuvemur.

O God Who didst please that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an Angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant to Thy suppliants that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession.

From Ortus Christi : meditations for Advent by Mother St. Paul, published in 1921.

 



Mary as the first “evangelist”
July 7, 2007, 10:54 pm
Filed under: John Paul II

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In today’s Gospel, Sunday, July 8, 2007, St. Luke recounts the Lord’s appointing of 72 others sent off, two by two, as evangelists. These 72 prefigured the great missionary journeys, years later, of the Apostles, St. Paul and others proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But in the first chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, Mary (pregnant with Unborn Jesus) is presented as the “first evangelist”! Pope John Paul II explains:

“In the Visitation episode, St Luke shows how the grace of the Incarnation, after filling Mary, brings salvation and joy to Elizabeth’s house. The Saviour of men, carried in his Mother’s womb, pours out the Holy Spirit, revealing himself from the very start of his coming into the world…. St Luke also seems to invite us to see Mary as the first “evangelist”, who spreads the “good news”, initiating the missionary journeys of her divine Son.General Audience, Pope John Paul II, October 2, 1996



GOD “HAD INFECTED THE HUMAN RACE, AS IT WERE, WITH HIS DIVINITY”
July 6, 2007, 11:51 pm
Filed under: The Incarnation

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The Gospel reading today, Saturday, July 7, 2007, is from Mt 9:14-17. Jesus explains to His disciples that “People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst…”

 

He could have very well been speaking, of course, about His own Sacred Humanity which was all Holy and Wholly New at His conception. The above quote in our heading is from Ronald Knox’s book The Hidden Stream, and he is discussing the marvelous impact of the Incarnation upon humanity. God did not put the new wine of His redemption into an old wineskin, He instead became Incarnate. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn explains it well:

 

 

“Can we imagine a human existence that is free, from its inception, from implication in guilt? Can we imagine a life that is holy, sinless, right down to its roots? This is precisely what Jesus’ conception by the Spirit affirms…here is one man whose existence is entirely new, right from its root. In the midst of a world where anything new simply replaces something old, only to become old in its turn, there is now a new humanity, a human life which does not, at its conception, have the germ of death in it, but comes forth entirely out of God’s newness.” (from The Mystery of the Incarnation)

 

 

Vatican II comments: “Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him, has been raised in us also to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” (The Church in the Modern World, #22) This is accomplished at the one-cell stage of His earthly life, for He is then, true God and true man.

 

 

So, at His conception, the Incarnate Word establishes in Himself a New Humanity that is fresh and free of sin, having the unique capacity to refresh, redeem and renew humanity. St. Paul sums it up perfectly: “…if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come” (II Cor 2:17) And Jesus sums it up, well, even more perfectly: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit…” (Jn 15:5) The new wineskin is then, a new Vine, and we are invited to abide in Him.



Jesus praying for nine months to His Father
July 5, 2007, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Unborn Jesus

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Mother of the Incarnate Word
by Fr. William McNichols

 

O JESUS, living in Mary,

Come and live in Thy servants,
In the spirit of Thy sanctity,
In the fulness of Thy strength,
In the reality of Thy virtues,
In the perfection of Thy ways,
In the communion of Thy
mysteries.

Dominate over every opposing
power

In Thine own Spirit, to the
glory of the Father.
Amen.

Prayer of Venerable Father Olier

 

“He, in her, carried on the blessed converse with His Father; there was never any separation between Mary and the Blessed Fruit of her womb, Jesus. She would come back to Him with all the more joy, and tell Him what she had been doing and saying…When we think of Jesus praying for nine months to His Father, when we think of Mary’s nine months’ colloquy with Jesus, we begin to think that there is something wrong about our methods of prayer, that they need re modeling. Let us try to understand something of what His prayer was.

Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christ

 

 



No one is nameless in God’s sight!
July 4, 2007, 11:24 pm
Filed under: John Paul II

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“The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name” (Is 49:1).

“From my mother’s womb you called me” (Responsorial Psalm)

“Today we can make our own these words of the Psalmist. God knew and loved us even before our eyes could contemplate the marvels of creation. At birth all men and women receive a human name. But even before that, each one has a divine name: the name by which God the Father knows and loves them from eternity and for eternity. This is true for everyone, with the exception of none. No one is nameless in God’s sight! All have equal value in his eyes: all are different, yet all are equal, and all are called to be sons and daughters in the Son.”

From a Homily given by Pope John Paul II, Chayka Airport, Kiev – Sunday, June 24, 2001



a perverse idea of freedom: Cain’s answer “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9)
July 3, 2007, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Evangelium Vitae

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Cain and Abel by Pietro Novelli

At another level, the roots of the contradiction between the solemn affirmation of human rights and their tragic denial in practice lies in a notion of freedom which exalts the isolated individual in an absolute way, and gives no place to solidarity, to openness to others and service of them. While it is true that the taking of life not yet born or in its final stages is sometimes marked by a mistaken sense of altruism and human compassion, it cannot be denied that such a culture of death, taken as a whole, betrays a completely individualistic concept of freedom, which ends up by becoming the freedom of “the strong” against the weak who have no choice but to submit.

It is precisely in this sense that Cain’s answer to the Lord’s question: “Where is Abel your brother?” can be interpreted: “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9).

Yes, every man is his “brother’s keeper”, because God entrusts us to one another. And it is also in view of this entrusting that God gives everyone freedom, a freedom which possesses an inherently relational dimension. This is a great gift of the Creator, placed as it is at the service of the person and of his fulfillment through the gift of self and openness to others; but when freedom is made absolute in an individualistic way, it is emptied of its original content, and its very meaning and dignity are contradicted. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life #19

On this 4th of July let us all pray that our country returns to the path of true freedom.



“I will feel your pain as long as it is politically correct to do so.”
July 2, 2007, 10:33 pm
Filed under: Pro-life, Quotes from Great Christians

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“The worlds of philosophy and humor often intersect so that philosophers can sometimes be mistaken for comedians and vice versa. To the age old question “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” one might not be certain whether to respond with a frown or a smile. A contemporary variant of the question leaves no doubt about the appropriate response: “If a husband says something and his wife is not there to correct him, is he still wrong?”

“But there is decidedly nothing humorous about the question, “Does a human fetus feel pain during an abortion if no one is there to verify the pain scientifically?” We like to think that we citizens of the 21st century are compassionate people. …It is rather curious, then, that the subject of fetal pain, rather than activating the springs of compassion that exist in all of us, is often politicized, depersonalized, trivialized, and relativized. If a person is truly compassionate, it would seem that his sensitivity to another’s pain would not be subject to ideological compromise. It appears disingenuous to say, “I will feel your pain as long as it is politically correct to do so.”

From Fetal Pain: Real or Relative? by Dr. Donald DeMarco Adjunct Professor, Holy Apostles College and Seminary



“I am above all on the side of the Infant God”
July 1, 2007, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus

“I put myself on the side of childhood – on the side of the assassinated child, Abel as well as on the side of the victorious child David; of the child Joseph who reigned in Egypt and of the Hebrew children who sang their joy in a furnace and were subjected to lions and flames. I am above all on the side of the Infant God who promised happiness to the meek.” From The Son of Man by François Mauriac who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1952

When He came into the world as a tiny unborn baby, Jesus placed Himself squarely “on the side of childhood”. He demonstrated His solidarity with all unborn children, and later with children at every stage of life. Would that all were pledged to be “on the side of childhood” ‑ with the Infant God ‑ throughout all of its many stages, from conception and early life in the mother’s womb to late adolescence when the child prepares to go out on his own. If the world were truly on the side of childhood, we would live in a much more innocent and receptive world.” From Unborn Jesus Our Hope