Archive for September, 2012

Roots of Praising the Preborn Christ

There is a rich history within the Church of its saints and people giving honor to Christ in the womb. Such honor began with St. Gabriel’s appearance to Mary to announce His coming and to seek her fiat. He began calling, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28

It was followed with the Visitation of Mary and Jesus to St. John the Baptist and Elizabeth. Upon realizing the proximity of Jesus by Mary’s greeting, John the Baptist leaped in his womb and Elizabeth in turn praised both Jesus and His mother, Mary. Elizabeth exclaimed, “Most bless are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.” Luke 1:42

Between the two, they have provided us with great praise to Jesus and His mother, Mary.  John the Baptist demonstrated the joy one can feel when Christ is near.  And Elizabeth has provided us with the first half of the Hail Mary.  Every offering of a Hail Mary by us brings anew to Mary the Annunciation and the Visitation, two moments of great mystery and joy for her. We share in her joy and praise for her Son whenever we pray the Hail Mary.

We further acknowledge our creatureness and dependence on God when we turn to the conceived, but yet Preborn Christ as our Master who we obey because he can save souls.  Let’s offer Hail Mary’s today with a renewed fervor for the one who loves us first.

Consequences of and Healing from Sin

For all human beings, the following consequences of sin (beginning with Original Sin) are the following:
1. confusion of the intellect;
2. malice of will;
3. disordered passions and appetites; and
4. weakness, sickness and death.

We are all fortunate to have the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation which is when we receive from the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that remedy our maladies from Original Sin and all sin. The Gifts and their effect are as following:
1. Prudence addresses our confusion of the intellect;
2. Justice addresses our malice of will;
3. Temperance addresses our disordered passions and appetites; and
4. Fortitude addresses our weakness, sickness and death.

Because each of us do sin, along with our Acts of Contrition, it is helpful to ask anew for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit each day. Such a prayer could be as follows:
Come Holy Spirit,
I pray for the graces to heal and overcome all consequences of sin.
I pray for the grace of Prudence to resolve all confusion of my intellect.
I pray for the grace of Justice to extinguish malice of my will.
I pray for the grace of Temperance to balance my disordered passions and appetites.
I pray for the grace of Fortitude to overcome my weakness, sickness, and death.
Come Holy Spirit, help me live in these graces of virtue that you so readily
supply when called on in order that I may live the life that fulfills my true
nature as created by God the Father and redeemed by Jesus Christ. Amen.

As each sin affects all of Creation, you may also consider expanding the scope of this prayer to include all peoples, not yourself alone.

First Things First: The Morning Offering

Giving honor to the Preborn Christ and due meaning to your own life is to begin each day addressing the very purpose of your life. Every human being is a creature of God, a contingent being whose very existence is dependent on God. His purpose for creating us is to know, love and serve God here in this world and to be happy with him in eternal life. This may seem basic, but a reminder each day helps give proper perspective to our assessment of all opportunities and occurrences through the day.  It is also important to begin to live your purpose from the moment you arise onward. This is best served with the Morning Offering. Though there are variations, one common offering is:

O Jesus,
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins, conversion of souls,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Amen.
Making the offering each morning puts first things first and will give the proper purpose and meaning to your whole day and life.

Spiritual Adoption Leads us to Divine Life

Saint Gregory of Nyssa once wrote: “Man, as a being, is of no account; he is dust, grass, vanity. But once he is adopted by the God of the universe as a son, he becomes part of the family of that Being, whose excellence and greatness no one can see, hear or understand. What words, thoughts or flight of the spirit can praise the superabundance of this grace? Man surpasses his nature: mortal, he becomes immortal; perishable, he becomes imperishable; fleeting, he becomes eternal; human, he becomes divine”.

The importance of our adoption by the Father through the Sacrament of Baptism can not be overstated. It is our salvation, the hope and means of eternal life for each of us. This is made possible and certain for the faithful by means of Jesus sharing our human life through His assuming human flesh in the womb of Mary and beginning as a single cell person. Jesus claims solidarity with us all and shares the Divine life of the Trinity with each of us.

Who is the Preborn Christ?

Third in a Three-Part Series

Any one of us who are Baptized may find it difficult to believe that we are truly adopted by God the Father as his children. It is reasonable to ask for proof of this dimension of Baptism. This proof that one reasonably asks for is cited in Scripture as available to each of us. “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child.” Gal 4:6-7

How do we ourselves hear our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”?  The process is much the same for each of us, silence, prayer, listening, and waiting. Find a quiet place to sit, maybe in church. While in this quiet place, wait while listening for God. Ponder the Scripture that calls us to, “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10 Each of us is capable of hearing Him if we are willing to set so much in our life aside for say thirty minutes a day. While sitting, wait and listen. Offer to God the prayer, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 Ponder this scripture and what it means that God is willing and wants to speak to each of us. God wants to hear us speak to him. God wants a relationship with each of us. God is truly present and close to each of us.
One final point for this writing, we must be ready to hear what He has to say to us, even if it is something we may not want to hear. We are to take counsel and courage in our Baptismal adoption by God as his children, his beloved sons and daughters. We are to, in the words of Christ Himself, “Be not afraid.” Luke 2:10 and 12:4.  Truly realizing the fullness of our adoption will give us the courage to do as he asks, to share in Christ’s life.

Who is the Preborn Christ

Second in a Three-Part Series

Again, who is the Preborn Christ?

He is Jesus and us.  As Caryll Houselander cites in The Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross, it is the salvation of each of us for we are each destined to be ‘another Christ’ in this world. Houselander continues, “Jesus is not content in living a human life, He lives every human life.” His call for each of us to be ‘another Christ’ in this world is what He meant in His Great Commission, “…make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.“  Matthew 28:19

Devotion to the Preborn Christ is devotion to Jesus, who “is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews” 13:8 It is a devotion recognizing Jesus as The Way for each of us, for as we live The Way, we each become a member of The Life in the Body of Christ and realize our salvation. .

Who is the Preborn Christ?

First of a Three-Part Series

This ministry is committed to developing and promoting devotion to the Preborn Christ and it begins with answering the question: Who is the Preborn Christ?

In obvious terms, the Preborn Christ is Jesus during His nine months in the womb of His mother, Mary. This time in the womb, is often related to His Incarnation as a whole. Yet the experience Jesus had within the womb is not often pondered as the intimate source for prayer and meditation that it truly is. As scripture concurs, with the account of “The Visitation” (when Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth), we are told that Elizabeth’s baby, St. John the Baptist, acknowledged Him and “leapt with joy” within the womb.

Also, in order to explore more deeply who the Preborn Christ is, we must consider the Sacrament of Baptism – both its purpose and effect. Sin has orphaned us and death will orphan many of us. It is through Baptism that we are adopted by God as our Father. This adoption also makes us brothers and sisters of Jesus and of each other. This is emphasized by Jesus when He instructed us to pray to God as He does, “Our Father, who art in heaven….”

However, Christ does not stop there. As temples of the Holy Spirit not built by human hands, Jesus has sent us His Holy Spirit to reside within us. We are bound together with this same Spirit and the many of us form a single body of Christ. Jesus is Christ’s head and we are Christ’s body. We, the body of Christ, share in the divine life of Jesus and the Holy Trinity, and in the tri-fold mission of Jesus as priest, prophet, and king. If we live and die in the Lord, then we are co-heirs of the Kingdom as the body of Christ with Jesus as our head. It is through His people, living The Way, that the Incarnation of Christ is on-going.