Archive for category Mary

Devotion as Mother to Christ As Old As The Church

The first affirmation Jesus Christ intended for those who do the will of the Father to be His mother is found in the Gospels.  Three of the Gospels recount when Jesus once being informed that His brothers, sisters, and mother are outside.   Jesus responds by raising His hand over His disciples while stating that, “Anyone who does the will of the Father are my brothers, sisters, and my mother.”  See Mark 3:31-35, Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 8:19-21

 

Blessed Isaac of Stella (ca. 1100AD – 1169) entered the Cistercian Monastery of Citeaux of France.  Isaac be became an abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Stella.  He was known for his holiness and the teachings he gave his monks on the spiritual life. (See http://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/library_author/90/Isaac_of_Stella.html and the Liturgy of the Readings)

 

Blessed Isaac of Stella is one who later highlighted this statement of motherhood to Jesus when in a sermon of his he wrote the following:

 

In a way, every Christian is also believed to be a bride of God’s Word, a mother of Christ, his daughter and sister, at once virginal and fruitful. These words are used in a universal sense of the Church, in a special sense of Mary, in a particular sense of the individual Christian. They are used by God’s Wisdom in person, the Word of the Father.
     This is why Scripture says: I will dwell in the inheritance of the Lord. The Lord’s inheritance is, in a general sense, the Church; in a special sense, Mary; in an individual sense, the Christian. Christ dwelt for nine months in the tabernacle of Mary’s womb. He dwells until the end of the ages in the tabernacle of the Church’s faith. He will dwell forever in the knowledge and love of each faithful soul.  

 

Here Blessed Isaac of Stella relied on what Jesus said.  Blessed Isaac of Stella saw the reference in physical terms for the Blessed Virgin Mary while he saw this comment in spiritual terms for the rest of the members of the Body of Christ, the Church.  Clearly this is further validation for a devotion to the Preborn Christ who Christians bear Liturgically and Sacramentally and are destined to become the on-going incarnation of Jesus Christ.

Magnificat: A Common Prayer

Mary is the Mother of God and any reference to our being a mother to Christ cannot be equated.  Mary  carried the fullness of God’s grace before the Incarnation of Jesus Christ within her womb.  It was through a grace particular to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she is the Immaculate Conception, conceived without sin.  No other human person was so conceived, and no other human person has lived without sin.  Mary was the Bearer of Christ throughout her entire life.  Her heart has always been in total uniformity with the Father’s Will for her.

 

The Blessed Virgin Mary understood and was deeply grateful for this blessing singular to her.  In response to her cousin,  Elizabeth’s declared recognition of this blessing Mary expressed with joyful humility her gratitude in words that we now know as the Magnificat.

 

It is through the Blessed Virgin Mary, our common spiritual mother, that we encounter Jesus and find union with Jesus who then dwells in us

 

It is through the Blessed Virgin Mary, our common spiritual mother, that we encounter Jesus.  Within her we conceive of Jesus with Him dwelling within us.  It is within the Motherhood of Mary that we are able to share in the mothering of the Preborn Christ.  It is Mary who can teach us to bear her Son as the Master whom we obey.  Her joy of being Mother to God can be shared with each of us bearing Christ if we but do the Will of the Father.  Her words in the Magnificat are words that certainly honor Mary’s particular grace and role, but they ought to give us also a glimpse into the proper attitude we ought to seek for ourselves in bearing Christ within.

 

In the Liturgy of the Hours, the Common Prayer of the Church, the Magnificat is offered every evening.  The Church and Mary invite you to offer this prayer fo the Magnificat for her singular glory, but also to give expression to your own gratitude for God’s calling for you to bear Christ within the womb and care of Mary.

 

Magnificat from the Liturgy of the Hours

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.  Amen.

Greater Than The Nursing of Christ

Mary was definitively declared the Mother of God in 431 A.D. during the Council of Ephesus of the Catholic Church.[1]  The Incarnation of Jesus Christ in human form through conception and born of Mary is clear.  But all that is physical has a spiritual origin and meaning that is much deeper.  Mary physically conceived of Jesus Christ in bodily form because she was filled with grace from before birth and she always had done the Will of the Father.   The deeper reality is that the blessedness of Mary derives from her obedience to the word of God as Jesus pointed out in Luke 11: 27-28:

 

While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.”

 

Jesus replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

 

Relationships with Jesus are not drawn from biological lineage, rather by one’s adherence to the Word of God.  This understanding of who are relatives of Jesus Christ in a spiritual, in a more real sense, makes it clearer to understand how we have become spiritual brothers and sisters to Jesus and adopted sons and daughters of the Father.

 

To emphasize the importance of hearing and obeying the word of the Father as establishing family relations with God, we have two  scriptures of the same scene.  The first is found described in both Mark 3:31-35 and the second is in Luke 8:19-21.  In both accounts, Jesus is interrupted and told that His mother and relatives are outside.  Jesus responds that, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

 

Here we find Jesus inviting us all to not only see Him as our brother, but also to bear Him within us as a mother bears a child.  If we each hear and do the Will of God, Jesus is clearly telling us that He will dwell within each of us.



[1] Catechism of the Catholic Church, #495

Touching Christ

Sympathy and compassion are each two different concepts, although as words, the two seem synonymous. Each has to do with understanding and the sharing of another’s feelings. The one expressing compassion is the one who breaks from the confines of emotions and places themselves in the circumstances of the one who suffers.

As Christ’s disciples who are being formed as Christ’s body, we are called to experience compassion with Jesus Christ and His body, the Church. As His body, we are to be more intimate with the sufferings of Christ than to have sympathy for Him. We are called and destined to share in His human suffering as we are called also to share in His Divine life. To do this, we certainly need a love for Jesus Christ, or Lord and head. But we are also called and destined to love humanity as Jesus loves humanity, enough o lay His reputation and life down for us.

The Blesser Virgin Mary understand this radical and dual love for Christ and humanity or one would ask how she had the ability to freely birth Her own Son giving Him over to His own creation so intent to turn on him as tormentors and killers of the innocent. Only in Chrit’s love for humanity could Mary do such a thing. St. Francis of Assisi recognized this radical calling of our dual love for Christ and all of humanity. This was probably best expressed by St. Francis in his prayer just before receiving the divine gift of the stigmata as written below:

Loving and suffering like Jesus

The day before Francis was imprinted with the marks of Christ’s passion, he turned towards the sun and prayed:

My Lord Jesus Christ,
two graces I beg of you
before I die:
the first is that in my lifetime
I may feel, in my soul and in my body,
as far as possible,
that sorrow which you, sweet Jesus,
endured in the hour
of your most bitter passion;
the second is that I may feel in my heart,
as far as possible,
that abundance of love with which you,
Son of God,
were inflamed, so as willingly to endure
so great a passion for us sinners.

(3rd Consideration on the Sacred Stigmata)

Making this prayer our prayer will help fortify each of us and the whole Body of Christ to stand up against the fury of distraction and intimidation that Christians face the world over.

A Simple Tribute and Appeal to Christ in the Womb

In Genesis 1:27 of the Bible, it is written that Man is made in God’s own image and likeness. In response to Man’s Fall, Jesus is sent by the Father in the likeness of sinful flesh and the sake of sin, He condemned sin the flesh. Romans 8:3. Philippians 2:7 states it slightly different with reference to Jesus took the form a slave, He came in human estate. However it is expressed, to save Man, God assumed human flesh with all of its vulnerabilities beginning as a single cell within the womb of a woman. The condescension that God accepted from the beginning of His life in the womb to the hanging on a cross as a curse condemned, the unconditional love God showed to gain our love beckons our response. Honoring God’s love can be as simple as offering a simple prayer known as the Angelus. In this prayer, partly composed by the Archangel St. Gabriel and Mary’s cousin Elizabeth, we also acknowledge and repeat for all Mankind Mary’s, “Yes” to God.

If you have not yet, please consider honoring the Preborn Christ and His mother by joining the Church in the offering of the Angelus once each morning, noon, and evening. A copy of this beautiful prayer is included below.

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary . . .

And the Word was made Flesh:
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen.
________________________________________
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28)
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb”
(Lk 1:42).

Welcome and thank you for visiting!

Here we begin to meditate, explore, develop, and promote a devotion to the Preborn Christ. It is truly right and just to give honor and glory and praise to Jesus Christ in the womb of His Blessed Mother Mary. This devotion in the honor of the Preborn Christ is a call to deepen our intimacy with our Saviour enabling us to grow, as His children, in His wisdom, grace, understanding, and right reason. Additionally, by honoring Jesus Christ in the womb, we learn more about Him – He, who is “the way, and the truth, and the life,” He, who humbled Himself to be born of the Virgin Mary and became man. He did His Father’s will and became one of us, in every way but sin, to teach us by personal example about His, the one and only, way. We come His chosen way, via the womb, into the world. During our earthly journey, we allow Him, to mold us as His spiritual children, and to lead us, out of this world, via natural death, to our eternal home.

With love and knowledge of Jesus Christ incarnate from the moment of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s fiat “YES” to God, we can, with God’s grace, become holy, like Our Heavenly Father, expounding upon the Truth and allowing Him to nurture us, just as He was nurtured in the womb of His Mother. As His growing spiritual children with a deepening of love and prayer, may we serve God willingly,with the heart of a child, in His honor and with love and service of our neighbor.

There will be prayer, study, and sharing of individual community actions done in union with and in service to the Preborn Christ. Sources, beyond prayer and experience, will include:

the teachings and Traditions of the Catholic Church,
Holy Scripture,
writings of the Early Church Fathers and Saints of the Church, and
turning to other fields of study such as embryology, psychology and even art for examples.

Please be sure to visit our website www.prebornChrist.com and know that we pray for all who visit here.

Please feel free to share with a family member or friend so that devotion to Preborn Christ may be made well-known and loved throughout the world! God bless you!