UNBORN WORD of the day


Where Christ Can Be Found (and loved) This Christmas And ThroughOut The Year
December 28, 2009, 11:58 pm
Filed under: Pro-life, Unborn Jesus

The following article was written by Veteran Rockford pro-life witness Kevin Rilott. It was first published in the Rockford Pro-life Initiative. Some of you may recall the shocking video that detailed the happenings at the Rockford Abortion Facility.

One of the saddest lines in all of human history is “and there was no room for them in the inn.” Humanity could not find a place for it’s God and savior in the world that God Himself created.

In our city of Rockford we say weekly to approximately twenty of God’s children “there is no room for you in the inn of our hearts” and these twenty children’s lives are brutally destroyed at the Northern Illinois Woman’s Center.  We again reject the gift of God’s life and love.

During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Luke 1:39-44

When we pray at the Rockford abortion mill we join the Blessed Virgin Mary as she visited her cousin Elizabeth by serving those who need us. We can be the cause of these forgotten and betrayed children’s joy as Mary and Jesus were for John the Baptist. Every aborted child will know when they reach the heart of God that they have experienced human love on this earth.  Someone cared enough to stand in the cold and pray for them, plead for their lives, and offer love and support to their mothers.

If here and now we stand publicly in solidarity with the unborn and their mothers in the endless eternity that all will face we will know every time we have prayed for and loved God’s precious infants in the womb we gave them cause to “leap for joy” in their mothers womb because they have experienced the love and presence of their Christian family at the place of their death in Rockford.

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18

Jesus was threatened with a “furious” attempt to kill Him when he was still in the womb and an infant. Herod mocked God and murdered innocent children and we see the same “furious” assult on God and innocent human life at the Rockford abortion mill with countless hate filed displays and signs mocking God and the murder of well over 50,000 of God’s children.

When Jesus and Mary were in danger St. Joseph listened to the Angel when he was told, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” We join St. Joseph in His love and protection for an innocent child facing death and His mother every time we pray at the Rockford abortion mill.  Countless times the prayers and presence of Christians at the Northern Illinois woman’s Center have been able to “take the child and his mother and flee to safety” away from a place where the city of Rockford kills it’s children.

This Christmas and as long as this killing center is open in Rockford please join Mary, Joseph, and many of your Christian sisters and brothers as we pray for and do what we can to protect these “holy innocents” facing death at the hands of our culture of death.



YET A FEW MOMENTS AND THE ETERNAL WORD WILL COME
December 24, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Advent, Christmas, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

I have been really looking forward to being born in Bethlehem – just as Micah prophesied. I know my parents have been anxious. I wanted to take the same nine month journey in the womb that other unborn children take, in solidarity with ALL unborn children (and their mothers). Its all about love really…and I know my parents love me with a love beyond all telling. And my Father so loved the world that He sent me, His only Son… This will be a sign of great joy! But there will be a shadow – the shadow of bad politicians and bad judges who should know better – they have sent their forerunner Herod to destroy me, but they will all fail! My birth will signal a great victory for Life and Love!

Meditation

The sun sets on the twenty-fourth of December on the low roofs of Bethlehem, and gleams with wan gold on the steep of its stony ridge. The stars come out one by one. Heaven is empty of angels, but they show not their bright presences up among the stars. Rude men are jostling God in the alleys of that Oriental village, and shutting their doors in his Mother’s face.

Time itself, as if it were sentient, seems to get tremulous and eager, as though the hand of its angel shook as it draws on towards midnight. Bethlehem is at that moment the veritable centre of God’s creation. Still the minutes pass. The plumage of the night grows deeper and darker. How purple is the dome of heaven above those pastoral slopes duskily spotted with recumbent sheep, and how silently the stars drift down the southern steep of the midnight sky! Yet a few moments, and the Eternal Word will come.

Rev. Frederick W. Faber, Bethlehem, Chapter Two, page 97.



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE NINTH MONTH
December 24, 2009, 12:13 am
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


The Virgin and St. Joseph Refused Shelter in Bethlehem by Jan Massys 1558

We showed up at the Inn in Bethlehem but there was no room. The Innkeeper turned us away – my mother (nine months pregnant) and me, a little ‘preborn’ baby! I was rejected by humanity, so we sought shelter with animals, rodents and insects in the cave manger near the fields. I forgave this Innkeeper because he didn’t know what he was doing. Everyone should be more welcoming to pregnant mothers and unborn babies. Lk 2:6-7

Meditation

We come now to another aspect of the Unborn Christ Child’s solidarity with many unborn children of our day, His rejection in His time of need. Caesar wanted a census taken throughout the Roman Empire for utilitarian purposes concerning power and wealth. Everyone’s lives got caught up in his imperial desire, including Joseph of Nazareth and his family. Mary was probably in her ninth month when they made this evangelical journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

According to scripture, and a star in the sky, Bethlehem is where the Messiah would be born. But the welcome the pregnant woman and her husband received in the City of David was disappointing. All that scripture relates is that Mary’s baby was placed “in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:7). For two thousand years Christians have wrestled with this scene and it always seems to spell ‘rejection’ loud and clear. Rejection by the local inn keeper, implied rejection by unmentioned relatives in the vicinity and rejection by humanity in general, since they end up with animals (and angels) marginalized in a manger of rejection.

But who is rejected? A pregnant woman and her unborn child! Mary and Unborn Jesus are rejected. The Unborn Christ Child is rejected before He is even born. He shares with hundreds of millions of unborn children through the years, rejection before birth. A sad, unborn solidarity in human rejection. But, of course, baby Jesus had loving parents and was born. The birth occurs in subdued seclusion in a manger with animals, probably some rodents, lots of insects, and so on. Welcome Savior, into our human community.

Continue reading



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE NINTH MONTH
December 22, 2009, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Census at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel (1566)

The Journey with Joseph

Setting the flask of water down,
he gave his arm to Mary,
and gently, cautiously,
helped her up.
Then her smile…
for she had remembered…
and now held thoughtfully
the swaddling clothes.

Together they had prepared….
her hands moving deftly to weave them;
he, cutting, plying, sanding wood… a cradle crib.
Now, fastening water flask, a little sack of food
bread, a few figs, he sensed
the sadness of her smile for him; they’d leave
without the crib.

One glance back; he untied the beast of burden,
privileged to carry her, and he began the psalm
“My heart is ready…Lord.”;
their prayer of trust,
their prayer of assurance.
Hoofbeats clicked the rhythmic clod
for God’s prophet had readied them…
‘twas Bethlehem.

Mi- cah; Mi-cah;
Town – of – Da – vid

yet…. was BETHLEHEM prepared?

(Sister M. Linus Coyle PBVM)



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE EIGHTH MONTH
December 21, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus
Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Mary and Joseph carved by Jacques Bourgault

The prophet Micah had prophesied as to where I would be born. So when the news came that Caesar had called for a worldwide census and my mother and adoptive father realized that we would all have to travel to Bethlehem, they rejoiced, knowing that God’s ancient promises were about to be fulfilled. Here we are on the way to Bethlehem. This was the third long journey my poor mother had to take while pregnant – she had a much harder time of it than I did. (Lk 2:1-5)

Meditation

We can picture Mary, now in the final trimester of her pregnancy, perhaps working at home or on an errand out in the town center, when she suddenly hears the news ‑ a census decree by Caesar requiring Joseph and her to travel to Bethlehem. A wave of joy and relief breaks upon her soul as she sees God intervening not only in her life, not only in the history of her own people, but with one universal sweep of His Almighty Hand in the history and destiny of the entire world! She is in awe, realizing that yet another prophecy is to be fulfilled ‑ not abstractly or disinterestedly, as some “head count” might be ‑ but intimately in her own life, in her own person and body and family, in the city of David.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
who are little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.

Therefore he shall give them up until the time
when she who is in travail has brought forth;
then the rest of his brethren shall return
to the people of Israel.       Micah 5:2‑3

The words of this prophecy could now be more fully appreciated by four Israelites; Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah. Particularly the more obscure words ‑ “whose origin is from of old, from ancient days” now held a remarkable meaning. God’s Son, eternal like God His “Father”; together their origin reaches back through time, beyond time’s beginning, into some old ancient unknown “days” before days were defined or numbered, before the earth existed. Eternally uncreated! (As the Nicene Creed states: “…eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.”)

Based on her astonishing experiences thus far and those words of the prophet Micah, Mary understood that her pregnancy (and unborn child) was different from all other pregnancies: a constant mystery of faith to her. This pregnancy of her’s had been the subject of prophecy, explained in scripture; angels had come to earth to reveal its holy hidden meanings. Her baby, in some sense existed before King David was conceived, before Abraham was called. As her now unborn child would explain it thirty years hence: “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” (Jn 8:58)  From Unborn Jesus Our Hope



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE SEVENTH MONTH
December 19, 2009, 12:25 am
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus
Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth and got ready for my birth. Like most parents they  prepared their home to receive a new baby but they were also being prepared for the unique mission that God had set before them.  As St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, Mary and Joseph needed to be instructed concerning Christ’s birth before He was born, because it devolved on them to show reverence to the child conceived in the womb, and to serve Him even before He was born.”

Meditation

“We should like to penetrate into those remaining months, which Mary and Joseph spent together, before the birth of the Holy Child. Scripture is silent about them, but it is not difficult for a sanctified imagination to picture something of what was taking place…

The house at Nazareth was in very deed God’s Sanctuary, containing the Altar of Repose, where the Savior of the world was resting. Angels were in constant adoration before their King. The faithful consisted of Mary and Joseph, whose thought and conversation could be about nothing else but the Child Who was coming into the world. And who shall measure the graces and blessings, which that Child was showering upon Mary and her faithful spouse, during those months of waiting and prayer and holy converse,while they planned and arranged with such care and minuteness, as parents are wont to do, every detail connected with the birth of the firstborn?” Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE SIXTH MONTH
December 16, 2009, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father…And from His fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:14,16).

Detail on fresco of Virgin Mary “of the Sign”: she is carrying Jesus in her womb found in The Mezquita of Cordoba, a Roman Catholic cathedral and former mosque, situated in the Andalusian city of Córdoba, Spain.

Meditation

“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



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE SIXTH MONTH
December 15, 2009, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


I am now beginning the third trimester of my development in the womb. Here is a 14th or 15th century sculpture discovered in a German Cistercian convent (founded in 1248 A.D.). See how the sculptor emphasized that I was a distinct Person by hollowing out the womb area so devout Christians could see me before birth and have their hearts lifted up in thanksgiving for the mystery of the Incarnation. It’s amazing that people living 600 years ago could demonstrate such profound respect for my prenatal life and yet many people in the 21st century have no respect at all for my life in the womb of my mother.

Meditation

“What was the essence of His (Christ’s) prayer (during those nine months)? What was it which lay behind all? It was the intention. And what was that? We have meditated on it many times: “Behold I come to do Thy Will O my God.” (Hebrews 10:7)

Naturally there are many different ways of doing that Will, and many different degrees in the perfection with which it is done; and that is why we are quite safe in picturing to ourselves Jesus in the womb of His mother forgetting no single detail; or perhaps a truer picture would be a union with His Father so perfect that there was no need to talk about what was so evident.

Now let us apply this to myself and I will find that instead of being discouraging , it is most encouraging, instead of making my prayers harder it will make them far easier.

What is the intention in my prayers? Is it not to please God and to do His Will? …Now let me see how this works out in practice. I pay a visit to our Lord, perhaps I am too tired to think about Him, I may even sleep in His Presence; perhaps I am so busy that I find it impossible to keep away distracting thoughts…the time is up and I go, thinking, perhaps, what is the good of paying Him a visit like that?

There is great good even in that visit which all the same might have been so much more perfect. What was my intention in paying it? Certainly to please Him. Then I have pleased Him. It was a pleasure to Him to see me come in and sit with Him, even though I was occupied with my own concerns most of the time. We are too much taken up with asking how we say our prayers, but the important question is why do we say them.

To go and sit in His presence because He is lonely or because I am tired and I would rather sit with Him than anyone else is prayer even if I say nothing. What God is doing for me is of far more importance to my soul than what I am doing for God; and all the time that I am there, whether I am thinking of Him or not, He is impressing His image on my soul…”

Mother St. Paul, Ortus Christi, pp 92-93



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE FIFTH MONTH
December 12, 2009, 11:28 pm
Filed under: Adoption, Advent, Biblical Reflections, Evangelium Vitae, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

The Dream of St. Joseph (with unborn Christ Child) by Francisco Rizi (1608-1685)

My mother was betrothed to Joseph the carpenter, but he was unsure of what to do about me. Here is a picture of him sleeping and an angel of the Lord explaining everything to him in a dream. You can see my mother and I in the background. Joseph awoke from the dream and adopted me while I was still an unborn baby! (Mt 1:18-25)

Meditation

In Joseph’s midnight angelic revelation John Paul II sees Joseph’s “personal Annunciation” and the moment of his “Divine election….His place in the history of salvation is defined”. The Pope, continuing his observations, points out that the response of Joseph was exemplary: “’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

“In these days of Advent, the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, who lived with a unique intensity the time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus. Today, I want to direct our gaze toward the figure of St. Joseph… The one who gives the most importance to the adoptive 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

It pleased God to bring the beauty of human adoption into the heart of the Incarnation mystery. Adoption is a noble institution and has been a major theme of the Pro-Life message, but it was God’s idea and He relayed it to us. So we can find here another experience of solidarity, that is, a solidarity between God the Father and adoptive parents – His blessing upon their commitment to embrace a little one and, like Joseph, raise the child to the best of their abilities to fullness of life.



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE FOURTH MONTH
December 11, 2009, 11:41 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Mary Contemplating (click here to find out about this design)

My mother  returned home to her parents and to Joseph. This was a time when she opened her heart to me. So often she told me of her love for me and of her concern for Joesph. Oh, how I opened my Heart to my beloved mother. And of course, I was praying to my Father for Joseph and my Father would soon be sending an angel to announce His plans to him.

Meditation

Here is a wonderful quote from Mother St. Paul (1861-1940) about Mary’s life with Jesus during her pregnancy.

“She was ever holding colloquies with her God within her, pondering things over in her heart, that is, talking them over with Him from Whom she had no secrets and between Whom and her soul she put no obstacles.

Her life was spent with Him; whatever her duties might be, everything was done with Him, which is prayer. If duties or conservation demanded all her attention for a while, did it matter? No, for He was there all the same. 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…

…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. We think of Him, and quite rightly, as talking over with His Father all His plans for man’s salvation, praying for each individual thing that would be connected with it through all time. We love to think that He prayed particularly for each one of us.

From Ortus Christi:Meditations for Advent (1921) by Mother St. Paul




MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE THIRD MONTH
December 9, 2009, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Mary Taking Leave of Elizabeth and Zacharias by Lorenzo Salimben

My mother took leave of cousin Elizabeth, Zacharias and newborn John. It had been a wonderful visit but she felt it was time to leave now that John had been born. She wanted to get back to her life in Nazareth and Joseph.

Meditation

“It seems not unlikely that, during the course of this prolonged journey by foot or donkey back to Nazareth , Mary’s thoughts would wander to Messianic scripture passages ‑ searchingly, expectantly.  Granted, we can not know the exact nature of Mary’s thoughts and reflections in these circumstances, but we know she loved the scriptures and knew them well. They were alive for her! She was living out age‑old prophecies. That is, she was physically, maternally linked to the One in her womb fulfilling all prophecy! To guide our reflections let’s consider some of the Messianic texts from the Prophet Isaiah which were widely known throughout Israel.

Her mind would have naturally gravitated  to chapters 7‑12 of Isaiah which  form a distinct section ‑ the Book of Immanuel ‑ in which we find repeated references to the Messiah.  Within  this “Book of Immanuel”, there are a number of references to the Messiah as a baby and small child. This unique prophetic perspective on the Child Messiah would have fascinated Mary, and should be of great interest to our modern world. Let’s consider some of these verses:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NAB)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”…. Isaiah 9:6

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

Isaiah, under the influence of the Spirit of God, focuses on a “child” (a son) who is the Messiah and more, he is Immanuel (God with us), Mighty God and Prince of Peace. And in some real way, this “little child shall lead” us. Not by mere coincidence has the Church come to love these prophetic passages with a tender passion. The Church sees the incarnational mystery revealed here in beauty, hope and peace.

Now if Isaiah was attracted by this “child”, Mary was completely mesmerized. A shiver probably ran up her spine whenever she recalled the words: “…the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and name him Immanuel”. For Mary was the virgin chosen by God to fulfill this prophecy and her unborn baby was the promised One.  But all Christians should share in that same prophetic shiver of anticipation at hearing “to us a child is born” and “to us a son is given”. To us Unborn Jesus was sent as a sign of hope ‑ and for every vulnerable unborn child: He is their only Hope.

Curiously, in this same passage from Isaiah we are once again given His “name”: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”! Actually these four words speak to the identity of this most special Child. Mary, the pregnant mother, would have meditated on these words often, perhaps recalling as she did, the singular Divine titles given to her Son by the Angel Gabriel, Elizabeth, Zechariah, and yes, even by the great prophet Isaiah! These witnesses unfold the Divine Identity of the tiny Person she carries within her womb. She was overcome by this reality ‑ peacefully overwhelmed by the Prince of Peace.”

Taken from Unborn Jesus Our Hope by George Peate

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MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE THIRD MONTH
December 8, 2009, 9:30 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Finally, Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist. Here is a picture of Elizabeth after giving birth. My mother is seated in the foreground holding newborn John. (You can’t see me.) Lk 1:57

Meditation

The first three months of Jesus’ life were spent with unborn John. He stayed till John was born.

What does that say to our world?

Could it be that Unborn Jesus was sanctifying the unborn state and hallowing the journey that all unborn infants take from conception to birth? For three months all appears ordinary even though the presence of Christ Unborn is extraordinary. It is precisely the ordinariness of their lives now and the nearness of the two unborn infants to each other that underscores the solidarity that exists between Unborn Jesus and all unborn infants. He is, in an incomprehensible way, a steadfast companion to this little one growing towards birth.

Finally, John is born. The end of his gestation brings celebration. The birth of a child is one of the most profound experiences a woman and a couple can undergo.  Unborn Jesus waited for unborn John’s journey to end and this new beginning.

And the Incarnate Word “saw that it was good”, the two hundred and eightieth day.



My nine month journey with my mother – the second month
December 7, 2009, 11:50 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


Mary Visits Elizabeth, Andrei Severetnikov

My mother and I stayed with cousin Elizabeth, Zechariah and unborn John for three months. Our parents spent this time in fellowship, prayer and reflection.

Meditation

The tone established for this ninety‑day visit might simply be stated as joy. Joy in the fulfillment of God’s promises! Messianic Joy!

The focus of the ninety‑day visit was preparation.  God had called all of these individuals to serve Him in a most extraordinary manner, and before proceeding further God prepared them for the months and years ahead. Elizabeth and Zechariah were well disposed, after six quiet months spent in large measure listening, praying and reflecting. Mary was young and eager to continue as the Lord willed. But all three needed this special time with the Word Incarnate. And paradoxically, unborn John would now be prepared by the unborn Lord to years later return the favor and “prepare the way of the Lord” (Is 40:3).

We can not say definitively what Unborn Jesus did while still in the womb of His mother. But we can ponder these events with faith and love. What was this Divine Presence like within Mary’s womb, nestled under the beacon of her heart? “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…”*

… Perhaps another analogy might help us to further appreciate the power of this Unborn presence. Consider how the fire in a fireplace within a small cabin draws all who enter towards its glowing warmth. In a similar spiritual sense, the Unborn Son of God would have attracted His hosts ‑ Elizabeth and Zechariah ‑ to Himself. For their part, remaining humble and receptive, they would sense the tranquility of His Being and their open hearts would be enflamed by His nearness. Similarly, recall how the woman who touched the hem of His garment, while a crowd bustled about Him, was instantly healed by the Power in Him. Crowds were attracted to Him. For those of good will, His presence was attractiveness itself, and no doubt His physical presence would have become the new focal point of this small home.  Excerpt from Unborn Jesus Our Hope, George Peate.

*This quote taken from Richard F. Clarke, S.J., “The Coming Of Christ”, pamphlet D446 (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1964), 38



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE SECOND MONTH
December 5, 2009, 7:49 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

Mary in the House of Elizabeth by Robert Anning Bell (1863-1933)

My mother and I visited with cousins Elizabeth (unborn John) and Zechariah for three months (Luke 1:56). Here are my mother and Elizabeth sewing baby clothes.

Meditation

“We live in an age of impatience, an age which in everything, from learning the ABC to industry, tries to cut out and do away with the natural season of growth. That is why so much in our life is abortive. We ought to let everything grow in us, as Christ grew in Mary….. No man should ever make anything except in the spirit in which a woman bears a child, in the spirit in which Christ was formed in Mary’s womb, in the love with which God created the world.”

“In this contemplation there is great virtue in practicing patience in small things until the habit of Advent returns to us.”

Caryll Houselander (1901 – 1954)
The Reed Of God



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE FIRST MONTH
December 4, 2009, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

From Salzburg Cathedral exhibit Mary Expectant with Child November 25, 2006 – January 7, 2007

My mother’s joy and happiness  could not be contained. She was filled with wonder and  began to rejoice in  God’s magnificent plan of Salvation.  Listen to her beautiful prayer the Magnificat.

Meditation

“Mary also anticipated, in the mystery of the incarnation, the Church’s Eucharistic faith. When, at the Visitation, she bore in her womb the Word made flesh, she became in some way a “tabernacle” – the first “tabernacle” in history – in which the Son of God, still invisible to our human gaze, allowed himself to be adored by Elizabeth, radiating his light as it were through the eyes and the voice of Mary….”

“In the Eucharist the Church is completely united to Christ and his sacrifice, and makes her own the spirit of Mary. This truth can be understood more deeply by re-reading the Magnificat in a Eucharistic key. The Eucharist, like the Canticle of Mary, is first and foremost praise and thanksgiving.

When Mary exclaims: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour’, she already bears Jesus in her womb. She praises God ‘through’ Jesus, but she also praises him ‘in’ Jesus and ‘with’ Jesus. This is itself the true ‘Eucharistic attitude’. At the same time Mary recalls the wonders worked by God in salvation history in fulfillment of the promise once made to the fathers (cf. Lk 1:55), and proclaims the wonder that surpasses them all, the redemptive incarnation.

Lastly, the Magnificat reflects the eschatological tension of the Eucharist. Every time the Son of God comes again to us in the “poverty” of the sacramental signs of bread and wine, the seeds of that new history wherein the mighty are ‘put down from their thrones’ and ‘those of low degree are exalted’ (cf. Lk 1:52), take root in the world.

… The Magnificat expresses Mary’s spirituality, and there is nothing greater than this spirituality for helping us to experience the mystery of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has been given to us so that our life, like that of Mary, may become completely a Magnificat!”

John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, sectionz 55, 58



MY NINE MONTH JOURNEY WITH MY MOTHER – THE FIRST MONTH
December 3, 2009, 9:08 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’

STRUEB, Hans and/or Jakob
The Visitation
c. 1505

Cousin Elizabeth was in the sixth month of her pregnancy with John the Baptist. Here is my mother greeting Elizabeth. I blessed unborn John and he leaped for joy. (Luke 1:39-55)

Meditation

“Humble Elizabeth has an important role in this encounter; Fulton Sheen spoke of it in this way: “One of the most beautiful moments in history was that when pregnancy met pregnancy ‑ when child bearers became the first heralds of the King of Kings.” God moves in mysterious ways.  Fittingly, the elder of the two women present takes the lead in describing the great work God was doing in their midst. Most spiritual writers have held that Mary understood that it was not her mystery to reveal, but one God would make known.  Thus the need for discretion made it unfitting for Mary to proclaim her secret to Elizabeth. However, Mother Angelica notes that “Like all fathers, God could not keep the wonderful secret too long. He had to tell someone, and that someone was Elizabeth….”

Elizabeth seems to have been awestruck by the immediate revelation she received at this moment.  Some people would be similarly overwhelmed should a famous celebrity or world leader walk in their front door, but for Elizabeth there could have been nothing more momentous than the pregnant mother of the Messiah – carrying Him within her – entering her home. The Holy Spirit imparts to Elizabeth the gifts of knowledge and understanding, and she, who is full of good will and faith, is enlightened as to the meaning of what is occurring (Lk 1:42).

Archbishop Goodier notes that “… throughout His life the one desire of Jesus was that He should be discovered; that He should be discovered, and recognized, owned. For every step made in that discovery He was grateful; no man made it but met with reward overflowing. The one thread of interest running through the whole drama of His life is the growth of this discovery.” Unborn John and his mother Elizabeth share in this first discovery together, as if to remind us all that the first place Jesus should be discovered is in the family.”

George Peate,  Unborn Jesus Our Hope



My nine month journey with my mother – The first month
December 2, 2009, 6:02 pm
Filed under: Advent, Biblical Reflections, Unborn Jesus

Tis the Season of ‘The Gospel of Life’


After I was miraculously conceived in my mother’s womb, she went with haste into the hill country of Judah to visit her cousin Elizabeth (Lk 1:39). Here is a picture of us traveling by donkey and accompanied by angels.

Meditation

A Prayer by Caryll Houselander

Breath of Heaven,
carry us on the impulse
of Christ’s love,
as easily as thistledown
is carried on the wind;
that in the Advent season of our souls,
while He is formed in us,
in secret and in silence-
the Creator
in the hands of his creatures,
as the Host
in the hands of the priest-
we may carry Him forth
to wherever He wishes to be,
as Mary carried Him over the hills
on an errand of love,
to the house of Elizabeth.

From the Splendor of the Rosary by Maisie Ward

with prayers by

Caryll Houselander