Archive for category Houselander

Who is the Preborn Christ?

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 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.”

 

Also, in order to explore more deeply whom 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 the same spirit, and as the many we 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.

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

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.

Perpetual Adolescence

Today we read that the steroid-based so-called contraceptive Plan B/Morning After Pill/Emergency Contraceptive is soon to be available to those who are 15 years and older without a prescription.  We are being assured that these pills are rather harmless to any person conceived or woman ingesting the pills – no pregnancy, no death, no harm done.

It is this very lie of no consequences beyond the “liberation of women” that is so insidious.  There are plenty of harmful consequences including affecting yes the cultural standing of women in society.  According to Dr. Theresa Burke, founder of the post-abortion ministry Rachel’s Ministry, contraception is a person’s attempt to deny the responsibilities of their action on a matter so serious that it will stunt their maturation process.

True adulthood is measured by one’s capacity to be responsible for another, not merely age.  A child is naturally dependent on another, an adult who will care for the child.  An adult is one who can attend to one’s own needs and the needs of another.  An adolescent is one who is growing from the child stage to the adult, but is not yet capable, or at least fully capable, to care for another.  There is often the mistaken notion that when an adolescent successfully cares for oneself, the adolescent has achieved adulthood.  Encouragement for that notion is particularly strong among other adolescents who revel in avoiding the full responsibility of another.

Choosing to use contraception is nearly a metaphor for saying, “I don’t want to grow up.”  Or at least for saying, “I don’t want to grow up yet.”  There is an element of fantasy as there is the sense that one can act without consequences or responsibility after hearing otherwise throughout childhood.  One really can play house.

Unfortunately, this fantasy is not reality and certainly does have real consequences beyond not succeeding in its primary purpose of preventing pregnancy.  More on that later in this nine-part series.  For now, consider the loss of personal boundaries that occurs when one falls asleep to the consequences of one’s actions.  Consider the loss of the sense of the other that occurs when one loses one’s own sense of personal boundaries.  There is a true disintegration of the contracepting individual from others and society in an even greater sense than from a naturally conceived child.

Caryll Houselander, an early 20th century English mystic of the Catholic faith, recalled it said that the first victim of a tyranny are the young.  The tyranny of contraception is most certainly being foisted on the young, both in the womb and outside the womb.  The toothpaste cannot be returned to the tube, but we can respect the danger of what has been loosened to man only after the danger is really known.   Respect for the holiness of purity must be restored.  The Preborn Christ is Christ’s way of demonstrating the dignity of returning to the Original Innocence of dependence – dependence on  God Our Father and Mary our Mother in setting proper boundaries so as to set us free to see and serve the other.

Glory to the Preborn Christ.

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. .