Archive for category Salvation

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.

There Can Be Recovery From Perpetual Adolescence

Part II of II

 

A week or two after a giving a talk on the consequences of abortion and on the resources availab e for healing after an abortion, I was approached by a woman who had an abortion well over a decade ago.  She expressed deep interest in what I described as the halting of one’s maturing process at the point of having an abortion or beginning to rely on contraception.  The phrase that stayed with her was “perpetual adolescence” as a consequence of abortion.

 

She expressed how she felt that perpetual adolescence best expressed how she had lived and that she had recently realized that it was unhealthy for herself to live this way.  She told me wanted to begin to  grow-up with the ability to care for others in an adult and truly caring manner.

 

I explained that I received the teaching on this concept from Dr. Theresa Burke and I still needed to find more resources that addressed recovery from perpetual adolescence.   As I understood the topic, there simply were not many resources then available.

 

I did ask her if she has admitted honestly to herself her responsibility in the abortion.  She said yes.

 

I asked her if she understood that it was wrong for her to have the abortion and why it was wrong.  She explained to me that she did understand it was wrong and why it was wrong.

 

I asked if she had sought to make it right with God and her child.  She told me she had.

 

She was then asked if she was now including her child in her prayers, thoughts and life.   She said yes while telling me that her child is with her always.

 

I then asked if she had begun to see other areas of her life that have been adversely affected by her failure to take responsibilities for her actions and she said she had.

 

I noted that she had also been involved in outreach to help those who are vulnerable to abortion.   I finished with telling her that I didn’t have any professional’s documentation for recovery from perpetual adolescence but that I felt she had returned to that point when she had the abortion.  She had taken responsibility for the abortion where she had not taken responsibilities for her child.  And she had begun to make amends for her lapse that had cost her child’s life.  I didn’t have the professional there to back me up, but I assured her that she had begun to grow the moment she returned to the abortion to take responsibility for her role in it.  It was then that she had already achieved considerable healing and she was on the path of growth that now has her even practicing outreach for others.  She had unwittingly been doing all the right things and was growing into a true adult mother and woman.

 

The same can be done by many others of us who have turned away from responsibility and turned instead to rely on contraception, an addiction, relying on an unhealthy relationship, remaining silent when asked to be accountable for what you did, turning to pornography, or one of countless other ways of dodging  the consequences of our actions.

 

We need to ask for the grace to see in what ways each of us may have lapsed in our accountability for our own actions.  We must then ask for the fortitude to return to the point of our earlier lapse with a renewed determination to make amends for its harmful consequences.  Our salvation and our life depend on our returning to shoulder our true responsibilities.    Perpetual adolescence can be overcome by grace and real growth into adulthood.

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

Healing While You Sleep

Having a strong and faithful relationship with and in Jesus Christ is what this life is all about for us.  It is our loving and trusting relationship in Jesus Christ with a  contrite heart for any and all sins we have committed that is what matters when we face death.

 

Relationships through life can be good, but even the best relationships can have unhealthy aspects that can limit our trust in others, particularly in Jesus Christ.  He wants us to be wise in our relationships, but also to be healed of the unhealthy harm we suffer.  All such hurts and relationships need to be brought to prayer along with our own examination of conscience.  A truly contrite heart will recognize our own short-comings and may prompt us to make amends to do better.  Yet, the injuries we suffer can often only be healed by Jesus Christ, whereas time may dull the pain the injury that remains.

 

One prayer for healing, the author is unknown to this writer, that can be offered at night before bed is the following:

 

Healing Prayer At Bedtime

 

Lord Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, go back into my memory as I sleep.

Every hurt that has ever been done to me, heal that hurt.

Every hurt that I have ever caused another person, heal that hurt.

All the relationships that have been damaged in my whole life that I am not aware of, heal those relationships.

But, Lord, if there is anything that I need to do;

If I need to go to a person because he or she is still suffering from my hand,

Bring to my awareness that person, I choose to forgive and I ask to be forgiven.

Remove whatever bitterness may be in my heart, Lord, and fill the empty spaces with your love.

Amen.

Author Unknown

 

St. Gregory’s Parenting of the Preborn Christ

St. Gregory of Nyssa (330 – 395) was a Father of the Church who recognized that the Church did teach that the Christian is a Christ-Bearer who must be concerned with the growth of Christ Who dwells within.  A passage from his writings address the importance of this concern as he explains failure to cultivate Christ within the Christians results in not only the loss of Christ’s interior presence, but the spiritual self-abortion of the individual.  St. Gregory’s passage from a homily found in the Liturgy of the Readings that explains just this understanding is as follows:

 

Birth is likened to salvation by the prophet Isaiah. Salvation reaches its full term

and is not stillborn when, having been conceived by the fear of God, the soul’s

own birth pangs bring it to the light of day. We are in a sense our own parents,

and we give birth to ourselves by our own free choice of what is good. Such a

choice becomes possible for us when we have received God into ourselves and

have become children of God, children of the Most High. On the other hand, if

what the Apostle calls the form of Christ has not been produced in us, we abort

ourselves. The man of God must reach maturity. Hom. 6:PG44, 702-703

 

St. Gregory describes the need to become like one’s own parent, speaking particularly in terms of the practicing the spiritual disciplines in life.  These disciplines lead to the forming of Christ within each of us, or rather lead to Christ becoming greater while I become lesser.  These are not only to be described as the means to parent or mother the preborn Christ, but also for one to grow in Christian maturity.

 

This is a very good passage to read every day as a means for one to re-focus on the responsibilities one has as a Christ-Bearer to the Preborn Christ and to oneself.

He Took the Form of a Slave

For our Salvation, Jesus Christ emptied himself, taking the form of a slave. Phil 2:7  From Heaven, He left His Father’s side and assumed the likeness of sinful flesh and for the sake of sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, Rom 8:3 being hung on a tree as God’s accursed because of sinCf. Duet 21:22-23

 

Paul’s Letter to the Philippians full seventh verse reads:

 

But emptied himself,

   taking the form of a slave

   being born in human likeness.

 

St. Paul’s writing is clearly guided by the Holy Spirit as we see that Jesus is described as taking the form of a slave before He is noted as being born in human likeness.  Certainly God chose in what manner Jesus would take on human nature.  He could have appeared on earth in the manner Adam appeared, but God chose to spare no one from His grace.  More importantly, He wanted no question among men that God’s grace extended to all human persons.  Jesus was no less the person of Jesus even as He was taking the form of a slave.  He was a complete person with the dual natures from the conception of His single cell, human body. And each human person is like Jesus, Who became like His brothers in every way, except sin. Heb 2:17, Heb 4:15

 

If Jesus is born in human likeness, what could be meant by saying that before birth Jesus had taken the form of a slave? 

 

Consider again that Jesus became like His brothers in every way as we also consider the near universal treatment of the preborn around the world by the laws of each government.  There are few, if any,  countries that recognize the preborn person as on par with the person born.  In many countries,  they are held lower than chattel, personal property.  In many countries, there are no protections extended to the preborn from the mother’s or father’s choice.  In many other countries, the preborn is not safe from a government’s choice.  An aborted person’s body parts are most likely collected and sold on the open market.  Those preborn persons who are formed in a Petri dish by joining the egg with sperm are without any protection in law.  Unless such a person is placed in a womb and implants within a woman, they are subject to required destruction prior to their twentieth day development, or rather when the cells begin clear differentiation.   Such people are certainly slaves as they are valued for their body parts, not their inherent dignity.  Into just such a state Jesus entered the world.  Any questions what that means?

The Seed of the Devotion to the Preborn Christ

The devotion to the Preborn Christ did not begin with St. John the Baptist leaping in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, when Jesus came near during the Visitation. And it began before St. Gabriel offered his words of praise expressed within his message to Mary asking her to accept and bear Jesus as her Saviour and Son.

The Preborn Christ devotion begins with Genesis 3 when, in order to remedy the Fall of Man, God promised to send a redeemer with these words, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 RSV

With these words, God revealed Our Saviour and referred to Him as ‘her seed’. It may have been unclear then as to how this Redeemer would come, but the use of the word ‘seed’ is a clear allusion to not only His sonship, but also of the pathway of the womb. In this passage, we have been told by God that the Redeemer will come through the womb, unlike Adam and Eve’s appearance on earth. Far clearer in hindsight for those who know of Jesus Christ’s Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity; it wasn’t clear at all to those of the Old Testament until God told the prophet, Isaiah, that a virgin birth was the sign He is sending. Therefore, the Lord himself was giving us the sign and the promise from Genesis 3 was to be fulfilled. “Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

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. .