UNBORN WORD of the day


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.



a silent night – Christ the word, loud and clear
December 24, 2008, 5:34 pm
Filed under: Christmas

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Here is a beautiful quote about Christ’s birth from the Council of Trent.

“The faithful should also consider the salutary lessons which Christ at His birth teaches before he begins to speak. He is born in poverty; He is born a stranger under a roof not his own; He is born in a lonely crib; He is born in the depth of winter!

For St. Luke writes as follows: ‘And it came to pass, that, when they were there, her days were accomplished that she should be delivered, and she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn’ (Luke 2: 6,7).

Could the Evangelist have described under more humble terms the majesty and glory that filled the heavens and the earth? He does not say, there was no room in the inn, but  ‘there was no room for him who says: mine is the earth and the fullness thereof. (Psalm 50:12)’ As another Evangelist has expressed it; ‘He came unto his own, and his own received him not.’ (John 1:2) …

We must also take care lest to our great injury it should happen that just as there was no room for Him in the inn at Bethlehem, in which to be born, so likewise now, after He has been born in the flesh, He should find no room in our hearts in which to be born spiritually. For since He is most desirous of our salvation, this spiritual birth is the object of His most earnest solicitude.”

Catechism of the Council of Trent For Parish Priests. Second Part of Article III, “Born of the Virgin Mary”. (Thanks to Father Paul Donlan for bringing the Council’s teaching to our attention.)



St. Joseph’s Advent
December 20, 2008, 3:15 am
Filed under: Christmas, Pope Benedict XVI, Quotes from Great Christians, Unborn Jesus

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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.*

“We should like to penetrate into those remaining six 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

“Joseph realized how great was the blessing which God had bestowed upon him, a poor carpenter, in decreeing that from his house and family should come the hope and salvation and remedy of all generations and that he should be guardian and putative father of the Savior and the spouse of His blessed Mother. When a heart so pure and holy sees itself enclosed and inundated by such mysteries, what must it feel? How astonished and enraptured it must be amidst such marvels and blessings, especially since the Holy Spirit usually gives to the just an experience or taste proportionate to the knowledge which He gives them. What must have been the state of Joseph’s will when his intellect was enlightened concerning the great marvels and mysteries?”   Venerable Louis of Granada (1505-1588)

“In these last days of Advent the liturgy invites us to contemplate in a special way the Virgin Mary and St Joseph, who lived with unique intensity the period of expectation and preparation for Jesus’ birth. I would like today to turn my attention to the figure of St Joseph…

The beloved Pope John Paul II, who was very devoted to St Joseph, left us an awesome meditation dedicated to him in the Apostolic Exhortation Redemptoris Custos, “Guardian of the Redeemer”. Among the many aspects it  highlights, particular emphasis is placed on the silence of St Joseph. His is a silence permeated by contemplation of the mystery of God, in an attitude of total availability to his divine wishes. In other words, the silence of St Joseph was not the sign of an inner void, but on the contrary, of the fullness of faith he carried in his heart, and which guided each and every one of his thoughts and actions…

Let us allow ourselves to be ‘infected’ by the silence of St Joseph! We have much need of it in a world which is often too noisy, which does not encourage reflection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior meditation to welcome and watch over Jesus in our lives.” Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Message, Dec. 18, 2005.

* The Chora (Museum) Monastery is located in the northwest part of Istanbul, in a district called Edirnekapi. The word “Chora”, as widely accepted, means land, country, a suburb, or suburban area, and countryside in Greek language. As the building  lay outside the city walls built by emperor Constantine, it was thus named Chora. Chora also means “womb” in ancient Greek. Some historians have thought that the church might have been dedicated to Virgin Mary who gave birth to Jesus from her womb.There are two etymological approaches to  the word “Chora”  1- Geographical (land, county, suburb), 2- religious and mystical (womb).



Advent prayer…Mary pondered these things in her heart
December 9, 2008, 8:35 am
Filed under: Christmas, Mary, Unborn Jesus

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Key to Christ’s Kingdom   Christine Granger

Here is a wonderful quote from Mother St. Paul (1861-1940) about Mary’s 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



‘Today I have begotten you’ – the three births of Jesus Christ
December 30, 2007, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Christmas, Incarnation, Quotes from Great Christians

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The Trinity with Mary and John the Baptist – detail from The Triumph of the Christian Faith fresco by Raphael – Stanzo della segnatura – Vatican

During Christmas season we meditate on the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem – but in fact, according to Cardinal Berulle (1575-1629), Our Lord had three births. In his book, Discourse on the State and Grandeurs of Jesus, he states:

“We find in the book of life three wondrous births of Jesus, who is the life of God and men. They are his birth in the womb of his Father in eternity, his birth in the womb of the Virgin in time, and his birth in the tomb to immortality.

The words “Today I have begotten you” (Ps 2:7, Heb 1: 5) are associated with each of these births.

1. St. Paul in the first chapter of Hebrews (Heb 1: 5 ) applies these words to the eternal generation of the Son by the Father. Cardinal Berulle goes on to explain: ‘Through a clever use of words, the present is joined to the past, Today I have begotten you. This expresses him who is forever born and is forever being born and whose procession is such that it is without end or beginning.”

“In these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe…For to which of the angels did God ever say: ‘You are my son; this day I have begotten you‘ “ (Hebrews 1:2,5)

2. Cardinal Berulle explains that this phrase found in Psalm 2 and Heb 1 is also used by the Church in its ‘office’ for Christmas day. This Christmas 2007, the Heb. 1 passage was the second reading for Christmas Day Mass (see above). Thus the Church applies these words to Christ’s birth in Bethlehem.

3. He then points out that: “Again Saint Paul guided by the same Spirit of God, …in Acts, chapter 13, presents this same text (Today I have begotten you) and applies it to the resurrection of the Son of God, which is a type of birth for Jesus into immortality.”

“We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you that what God promised our ancestors he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my son; this day I have begotten you.’ ” (Acts: 13:32-33)

Cardinal Berulle concludes:

“…God who is fecund and fertile in his works and in his words, wished that that this same memorable word be applied in the same spirit to these three different meanings, to these three states and mysteries of the eternal Word: to the mystery of his birth from his Father, to the mystery of his birth from his mother, and to the birth from the tomb, from which he is reborn like a phoenix to new life.”



The First Christian Family
December 30, 2007, 12:09 am
Filed under: Christmas, The Incarnation

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This year the Vatican’s Nativity scene is in a huge house-like structure. Normally, the scene of Jesus’ birth is depicted in a traditional manger setting, but this time it’s a recreation of Joseph’s home in Nazareth. Perhaps by doing this the Holy Father wants to emphasize home and family.

 

Today, Sunday December 30 is the feast day of the Holy Family

“….I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named….” Ephesians 3:14-15

“If the Son of God had not come into our world we would not understand the Fatherhood of God, and if the Son of God had not been born into a family and lived so many years within His family we would not comprehend the full meaning of family life nor the compelling God‑given mission facing every family.

Adam and Eve, Mary and Joseph, indeed every married couple will together create a family culture, establish and develop its family “name”: identity, unique defining characteristics, emotional and intellectual traits, its own spirituality in relation to the Father in heaven. Discovering and building one’s family identity is a work in progress best attempted with a healthy focus on God, faith and devotion.

The First Christian Parents

Their family “name” or identity is hidden and will have to be discovered by a married couple, just as the unborn child too is hidden, and needs discovery by the parents. For around the child the family grows to become what it was destined to be. In the case of Joseph and Mary, their family was centered around Jesus Whom they learned to discover and love, day by day, even before He was born.

Many diverse consequences come in the wake of the revolutionary Incarnation of God ‑ a revolution of mercy. One of the major benefits was to the family as an institution, which was radically overhauled and strengthened from within, when this Divine Child entered into it. Redemption begins within the hidden recesses of Mary’s womb. Redemption begins in the family.”

From: Unborn Jesus Our Hope



IN THE GRACE OF CHRISTMAS – A HINT OF ALL THE GRACES TO FOLLOW
December 25, 2007, 12:07 am
Filed under: Christmas

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The plan for the life of Christ on earth, and for our salvation was, as St Paul says, “a plan for the fullness of time” (Eph 1:10). The birth of the Savior manifests this perfectly. But there is also a fullness in Christ Himself, as St John tells us in the prologue to his gospel: “And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace” (Jn 1:16). Surely His pregnant mother, Mary, received “grace upon grace” while carrying Unborn Jesus. And unborn John the Baptist received his full share of (Unborn) Christ’s Grace during Mary’s Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth (Lk 1:41-44).

At His birth Christ offers Himself as a gift to each person, and within this gift of Himself is contained an overflowing gift of Grace for each one of us. Figuratively speaking, we only need to go up to the newborn Christ and ask Him to give us our Christmas present of “grace upon grace”. It is ours to claim if we are Christ’s.

There are a 1,000 ways to understand the fullness of Christ and His gift of Grace for the Christian. In relation to the Church, St Paul refers to “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph 1:23). So in the Grace of Christmas we find a hint of all the graces to follow – if we will follow.

Here is an incomplete summation of that plentitude of graces Christ offers you while He is yet “a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). The following lists are expressions of the Graces God wants to pour into our lives. From Bethlehem Christ pours forth an endless wave of gentleness in the manner of supernatural Grace towards each soul. The following lists are not legalistic counting, rather they point to the “countless” ways God reaches out to us, to bathe us in His embrace of Grace:

7 sacraments of the Church – all of which were instituted by Christ Himself – beginning with Baptism which incorporates us into this beautiful Life of Christ. Also, Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.

7 gifts of the Holy Spirit – Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety and Fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:1-2).

12 fruits of the Holy Spirit – Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity (Gal 5:22-23 Vulgate trans.)

3 theological virtues – Faith, Hope and Charity (I Cor 13:13).

4 cardinal virtues – Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance (Wis 8:7 and numerous other scriptural references).

So the newborn Baby in the manger comes to offer us fullness of Life: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10).