Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’
The Annunciation. c.1655 by Nicolas Poussin
I was conceived in Nazareth. The Angel Gabriel appeared to my mother, the Holy Spirit came upon her and the Power of the Most High overshadowed her. (Luke 1:26-38)
“The Incarnation is as much the world in which we live as the globe on which we tread, with its earth, air, fire and water, its sun, moon and stars, its animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. If we look at our souls, their present wants and eternal expectations, their life, strength, health and maladies, the Incarnation is as indispensable to them, and as indispensable every hour of the day, as the heat and cold, the air and light, are to our natural subsistence..” We live and move in the Incarnation. We are what we are, through it. It covers us, underlies us, and is all around us. It is incessantly affecting us in almost numberless ways, both within and without. We cannot get beyond the reach of its blessed influence, even by disbelieving it or dishonoring it.” Father Faber (The Blessed Sacrament)
“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)
Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’
When you think about it – the Church has two special times of the year when it asks Christians to set a time aside for prayer and reflection (and fasting) -Advent and Lent-.
As John Paul tells us in Dominum Et Vivificantem:
- ” 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.” #52
- “The mystery of the Incarnation constitutes the climax of this (God’s) giving, this divine self-communication” #50
- “What was accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit “in the fullness of time” can only through the Spirit’s power now emerge from the memory of the Church. By his power it can be made present in the new phase of man’s history on earth: the year 2000 from the birth of Christ.” #51
- “But it must also be remembered that for us Christians this event (the Incarnation) indicates, as St. Paul says, the ‘fullness of time’, because in it human history has been wholly permeated by the ‘measurement’ of God himself: a transcendent presence of the ‘eternal now.’ ” #49
Advent is that time to get in touch with that ” divine self-communication”, to become aware of “human history that is permeated by the measurement of God himself” and the “powers of the Redemption, powers which fill humanity and all creation”. Right now in our world’s history we desperately need this power of the Incarnation to ” be made present in this new phase of man’s history on earth”.
We must realize that Advent and Christmas is a time where God is prepared to pour out anew many graces upon his children. Pro-lifers: in a special way this is our season. We who are pro-life should use this time when Christ came to our world first in a womb and then in a manger to renew ourselves to go out and build a ‘culture of life’.
Conception by Gabori Sandor
When Christ came into the world He was an unborn baby. If we could have seen Him in the womb, we would have seen Him in His littleness and vulnerability. Initially, He barely looked human. Around 18 days after His conception, His rudimentary heart began to physically pulsate with blood – this would be the currency He would use to purchase the salvation of humankind! Like a mint manufacturing the currency of a commonwealth, here we would see the production of a body and It’s blood for a future day in the Kingdom of God, a day when a supreme price would be paid (I Cor 7:23).
Pope Pius XII reminds us that the mystery of Christ’s love is deeper than the physical body we might have observed, explaining that from the first moment of His conception: “Immediately the Heart of Jesus, ever to be adored, has begun to pulsate with love, divine and human” (Haurietis Aquas). So His Love precedes His blood. The river that is God’s Love becomes the stream of blood coursing through this unborn baby’s primitive heart; and it beats a psalmody of salvific love for us. But no one hears it yet…or rather, only His mother hears it, feels it, indeed she surrounds it as a chamber holding a melody.
About thirty-three years later, as His final Passover drew near, Jesus sat in the temple one day – where the blood of lambs, goats and bulls had been offered for centuries – across from the treasury, and He watched as people placed money donations into it. Suddenly, He saw that poor widow who put in her two meager “copper coins” (Mk 12:41-44). His heart went out to her….”he called his disciples to him”… and His words went out to His disciples.
Finally Gethsemane. Now His blood begins to trickle down – He begins the messy business of paying for our salvation…paying for Mercy, paying for forgiveness, paying for our stubbornness, selfishness and stupidity, paying for the love we throw back in God’s face. From Gethsemane and all through that night and the following day His blood slowly trickles down…now from thorns, now from scourging, now from the abrasive cross laid upon Him. This is the currency of our salvation! Now on the cross. Suddenly we see it – His Sacred Body is the Treasury, the Mint which has been long producing the Mystical Currency of God’s Love for us. See in the open palm of each hand a crimson coin. Two coins. He has taken them out of the Treasury of His broken Body and holds them out for us; two small reddened coins. Worthless to the world, priceless to the soul.
Fra Angelico. Christ on the Cross Adored by St. Dominic.detail c.1442
Filed under: Pro-life
The Catholic Bishops have started a campaign to blanket parishes with information about the Health Care Bills going through Congress. They are asking Catholics to email and call Congress because it has become clear that abortion funding is a big part of these bills. The Catholic Bishops are joining their voices with others and are asking Catholics to tell their Senators and Congresspersons to remove Abortion Funding and Mandates from the Health Care Reform Bills.
Below are links from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website. If you know your parish Respect Life Coordinator please email this information to him or her. You can also click on the links for Bulletin Inserts and the Saving Lives Ad/Flyer and show these to your coordinator or to your Pastor.
Here is a link to email Congress:
- Letters from Bishops
- Catholic Teachings
- Action Alerts
- News Releases
- Issue Backgrounders
- Bulletin Announcements
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