Archive for category Enwombment

He Did Not Spurn The Womb, We Shouldn’t Either

Job said, “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there.

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!”  Job 1:21

 

Enwombment is the term proposed in this blog and the prebornChrist.com website that suggests that we are conceived in a physical womb and birthed into spiritual wombs of family, faith, and other circumstances and relationships in order to grow and prepare for life beyond death.  St. Thomas Acquinas had once suggested the family as a spiritual womb.  St. Francis of Assisi wrote in his well known Peace Prayer  of “death is birth into eternal life.”  They seem to agree that we have time and this enwombment between the physical womb and our birth into eternal life to prepare.

 

Enwombment may be in reality a wonderful life-line God has provided each of us in our working out our salvation with Him, but the womb is also a concern that is not given much time or attention from others.  In fact, such benefits of the womb seem to many people as interferences or distractions, if not outright unpleasant.  But why?

 

As the prayer entitled, Te Deum , expresses, Jesus did not spurn the womb but instead entered the womb with all of its circumstances and limitations.  Fear again overtakes the average human with many unwilling or unable to imagine returning to the confines of the womb.  Those enwombed are dependent on others, own nothing but rather are stewards of all received and are both exposed and accountable for their life.  Who would want to seek solidarity with those in the womb?  Ignorance seems preferable to so many who are called to make their needs naked for others to meet; naked with neither distraction nor interference from God’s purpose for their life, and accountable to constituencies, not yet even known.  The unknown challenges that enwombment or solidarity with the child in the womb is unpleasant and may unearth responsibilities of which we are not yet aware,

 

Job, an Old Testament figure, understood well before the New testament was written, “Seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, 19 and all these things will be given you besides.”  Matthew 6:33

 

Regardless of what we seek to do, we will face God naked and vulnerable as we are in the womb.  We pray Christ will dress us in His mercy and sacrifice.  What now seems so important will seem so much more distant when facing death.  And fearfully, much and many whom we dismiss will prove to have been the challenges sent to us by God to strengthen us in trust in Him and to better understand the gifts and blessings He has bestowed on us.  We must use the time now to build that relationship with Jesus Christ that we will have a Happy Death where we trust Jesus Christ with our very souls, which He has in His hands always.

Enwombment

I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.  John 14:20

 

With these words spoken, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Jesus was conceived within the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  As contained within the hymn, Te Deum, it is said of Jesus, ‘you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.’

 

The womb is where Jesus assumed human flesh “to be like us in all ways except sin.”  Jesus entering the womb, God with us in the womb, affirms our dignity beginning in the womb, from a single cell person, or zygote, onward.  And yet, there is even scandal for Jesus to enwomb himself in flesh.  Such condescension of God to share in humanity so that man may share in divinity was seen by the prideful Satan as to be so scandalous that he would declare, “I will not serve,” and hence his fall.  God’s plan was not Satan’s plan.

 

Further, there remain many people even of today who view the womb as a place of scandal and view those persons present within the human womb as less than fully human, less than a person.

 

A person conceived within another is a complete and fully human person who has been enwombed.  The womb allows a person space to be implant and it means life because it is there that the person who exists as a total person from the start – even as a zygote or rather a single cell person – will expand and develop in preparation for life after birth.  It is in the womb that the person is given the time, nourishment, protection and space necessary to  grow so as to eventually live autonomously outside the womb after birth.

 

Interestingly, we read in John Chapter 3, even after birth from the womb we find that Jesus challenged Nicodemus to understand that we must also be born of the spirit – What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit.  Nicodemus had asked a very pertinent question, “How can a person once grown old be born again? Surely he cannot reenter his mother’s womb and be born again, can he?”  Jesus never specifically addressed the matter of one’s presence in another womb, though the Church and saints have.

 

The Church teaching explains that the Baptismal font, along with being the tomb for those who die spiritually with Christ is also the womb for those reborn spiritually in the Church.  St. Augustine goes further when he explains in his Summa Thelogica that parents form a spiritual womb when they take the responsibility to raise a child to the age of reason.  And St. Francis of Assisi alludes to a womb of mortal life or faith in the Church when he concludes his Peace Prayer with “…and in dying I am born into eternal life.”  As St. Francis alludes to, we are enwombed until we die.

 

And during that life of the Baptized, we bear Christ’s Holy Spirit within that makes us members of the Body of Christ.  As we make room for his Indwelling Presence and surrender ourselves to the life of Christ it is in our body, we complete what is lacking in the suffering of Christ and birth Christ into this world.  In the dying of the faithful, where the two become one in this one flesh is perfected, they are birthed into eternal life with the Father as the Body of Christ with Jesus as our head.