Archive for category Womb

A little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

A structure of sin or social sin is first described by Blessed John Paul II in #36 of his 1987 Encyclical, “On Social Concern.”   He introduces the concept that an accumulation of personal sin creates social structures and norms that trivialize and depend on continuing this sin in the lives of countless succeeding individuals.  These structures of sin are exceptionally difficult to remove.  Created by individual sin, they can only be removed through personal acts of virtue and these are born from a pursuit of personal holiness.

 

The culture of America, as we now know it, is very dependent on people’s reliance on contraception, sterilization, and surgical abortion.  Fear of over-extending oneself in family size leads many to disregard or reject altogether the notion of God’s Providential care for those who honor and obey His laws.  The consequences of losing sight of God include the malady of a people who have now lost sight of the value of man.  This concept was also first advanced by Blessed John Paul II.

 

The “imperfect” person is not only seen as without value, but is actually not to be tolerated by many in our society.  This attitude, encouraged by our medical, legal and political communities, put a sense of stigma or blame on parents for bringing such “imperfect” people to term and birth.  In the precise cases where the greatness of a people who value all people for whom they are, we now find America failing severely with fatal consequences for truly countless numbers of human persons.  It is common knowledge that 90% of persons diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome are surgically aborted in the womb.  Parents who stand-up to these betrayals from those in these professional fields who maintain the structures of sin will soon enough contend with family, friends and strangers who see selfishness in the parents fulfillment of their God given calling and duty in preserving the life of their child.

 

One couple, Lacey and Chritian Buchanan, are among those of us who are “imperfect” and they saw the perfection of God in their child and have grown in their sharing of divine love for him and others.  Children really do teach us and give us the opportunity to practice love for another person.  This couple’s story is shared with us via youtube.com.  We can be grateful for their practice of virtue over fear.  Please take the time to see and read the sub-titles of this video, because it is worth it.  Let’s keep in our prayers all parents with such trust in God’s wisdom and Divine Providence.  And let’s pray there are as many such parents as there are persons conceived because we all know everyone but God is a little bit imperfect.

The Buchanan’s original youtube.com link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWCbkyR0cy0

Their posting and contact information include the following:

Published on Mar  9, 2012

This is my plea to anyone considering abortion. Rethink your decision, no matter the circumstances. I am so glad I chose life!
The Buchanans can be reached via blog (http://christianbuchanan.blogspot.com/) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lacey-a…).
Music: Fernando Ortega “Give Me Jesus”; Chris Tomlin “How Great is Our God”

There Is Always A Prayer Offered For You

In talking with a middle-aged Catholic the other day, I was sharing with him some brochures that I collected while visiting Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.   He saw a picture of a sister kneeling before an altar that I explained was where the Eucharist was exposed.  I continued to explain that at all times there is at least one Sister is before the Eucharist interceding for us.  There is never moment that anyone of us is without prayer.

There, adjacent to Viterbo University are the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration who have a convent that includes a chapel that is open to the public.  The chapel that is situated behind the main  Church altar is  Eucharistic Procession that has been on-going, continuous, and without interruption for over 135 years.  The Sisters knew of a 24/7/365 presence well before select McDonald’s or other fast food restaurants decided to operate the 24 hour drive-up window.  These Sisters hold the nation’s record for the nations longest continuous prayer.  Such can only be done in the context of a community and every member’s dedication to the cause.  Like the Preborn Christ who intercedes from the womb of His mother, Mary; the Franciscans of Perpetual Adoration offer their adoration and intercession to the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist within their convent.

This young man was surprised at such dedication and slowly came to admit the need for such continuous prayer.  He’s not alone in being slow to understand the value of, or rather need for such a prayerful presence.  It seems so difficult for so many of us to understand that our health and prosperity are provided by God’s bounty and not of our hard work, though it is by our hard work that we can harvest God’s bounty.

The greatest threat to the future of this Perpetual Adoration is the decline in vocations and the decline in support for the religious by the lay people.  A life-long vocation of prayer is simply not encouraged by most parents because such a life is so often misunderstood.  This lack of understanding is growing about all of the religious.  The mission of these Sisters and so many monasteries and convents around the world seem to escape so many in the secular world.  These religious communities are not merely praying for themselves but are actually joining with Jesus in His ministry of intercession for all mankind before God the Father.  In prayer, they offer praise, reparation for sin, intercession for the good of all  and thanksgiving on behalf of all men, women and children for His Divine Providence.

Imagine a world lacking such religious intercession before God on our behalf.  What would such a  world be like?  Hopeless and in despair.  Looking at the world we live in, is it any surprise that there are less religious engaging in adoration than in the past and more who are choosing to cohabitate than in the past?  Cohabitation is only one of the alternative life styles that are competing with a religious life, but it is one with consequences that will certainly become inter-generational.    Not to mention the rise in violence, illicit sexual relations, and decline of general morality.  These religious are dealing in an economy that many are not even aware exists, that is the economy of salvation.  In the economy of salvation it is grace that serves as currency, if you will.  It is those who pray who are the equivalent to the capitalist producer in our market economy.  It is those who pray who help with begging for God’s grace and they also help to direct that needed grace.

As religious practice and faith in our society decline, are we prepared to take up the slack in prayer that is bound to occur with the decline of the praying religious?  What can we do to do better?  What can we do to encourage such a vocation of life-long prayer?  Please offer the religious who pray for us a prayer in return.  Consider sponsoring them financially.  Encourage young adults and children to consider such a  vocation.

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.

The Power of the Preborn

It is correctly said that babies are defenseless, and they are.  Yet it is wrong to conclude that babies are powerless.   In their weakness and dependency they can exert considerable power over those who rightly see the true value of a person, even if  this person is presently incapable of tending to one’s own needs.  Parents and guardians have changed and reordered their entire lives so as to tend to the needs of a baby.   That is real power.

 

This power over others possessed by the baby does not begin upon birth, but begins upon conception, the presence of the zygote – a single cell, human person.  The mother is the one most immediately influenced by this power.  Once aware of this new person’s presence, she will begin to make changes in response.  Tragically, in America more than 25% of all pregnancies end in a mother-elected surgical abortion.  For those who embrace motherhood and accept this new person, changes abound.  It may begin with morning sickness, more sleep, eating more, putting on weight, and purchasing new clothing to accommodate the growing size of this mother and child body-sharing experience.  The changes will also include new responsibilities, a re-ordering of both a day’s schedule and the home furnishings in anticipation of the child’s birth.

 

Once on a retreat, the retreat master posed two questions to the assembly: 1) How does Christ come to you?  2) How does He change you?  These are  two, very good questions for the Christian to ponder.  These two questions can assist a Christian to break-out from the rote of obedience to the tenants of religion and liturgy to the intimacy of a relationship with Jesus Christ Himself.   Like the mother who first realizes she is carrying a new person within, the Christian must begin to focus on the Christ who comes.  In what form does He come?  In what ways must the life of the Christian be re-ordered to accommodate the dependencies of the presence of Christ?  Is the Christian prepared to appear to others as pregnant with Christ?  As the present Christ stretches the Christian beyond comfort zones, is one prepared to let Christ take the lead?  These are the substance of a relationship between the Christian and the Christ Who is borne.

What is the latest, most important concern?

A priest from Iowa once said during a talk in Medjugorje, “It is a historical fact that Christ died two thousand years ago.  But if you think He is off that cross and no longer suffering, it is you who is ignoring the blood from the aborted babies that runs through the streets of America.”

 

There may be many crisis, threats on our freedom and lives, and even realized attacks on our freedom and lives, but none of these concerns change the fact that tomorrow the bodies of persons in the womb will be destroyed by abortion and many others will suffer these losses for a lifetime.  Jesus has not let any of these persons die alone.  Jesus entered the womb Himself, and it is true when He says, “Whatever you do to the least, you do to me.”  Love is not loved in the abortion centers.

When a spirit that will destroy the most innocent of us and harm so many women and men is unleashed on a country and protected by that country’s government, what can be considered safe from spoilage, harm of destruction?  Nothing.

 

We are each called to enflesh the Spirit of Christ with our bodies.  Many of us are called to bring Christ’s presence to the sidewalk outside abortion centers where we offer prayers and help to these persons of the womb, their parents, and the abortion providers.  .  The invitation is a standing invitation.  Come and meet the suffering Jesus.

Responding to the Call of Love

By Patrick A. O’Donnell

When I kneel in prayer,
I am without the use of my feet
as you, Jesus, suffered in the womb.
When I fold my hands in prayer,
I am without the use of my hands
as you, Jesus, suffered in the womb.
When I silently pray,
I am without the use of my voice
as you, Jesus, the very Word of God,
remained silent in the womb for nine months.
When I close my eyes to pray,
I am without the use of my sight
as you, Jesus, suffered in the womb.

When I kneel in prayer,
I am without the use of my feet
as you, Jesus, endured while nailed to the Cross.
When I fold my hands in prayer,
I am without the use of my hands
as you, Jesus, endured while nailed to the Cross.
When I silently pray,
I am without the use of my voice
while I hear you speak your consoling Last Words of
abandonment, forgiveness and love.
When I close my eyes to pray,
I am without the use of my sight
as you, Jesus, endured after you uttered, “It is finished,” and
gave up your ghost.

When I kneel in prayer,
I am surrendering my feet to you, Jesus,
in the Eucharist.
When I fold my hands in prayer,
I am surrendering the use of my hands to you, Jesus,
in the Eucharist.
When I silently pray,
I am surrendering the use of my voice to you, Jesus,
in the Eucharist.
When I close my eyes to pray,
I am surrendering the use of my sight to you, Jesus,
in the Eucharist.

Jesus, my body becomes
your tabernacle.
Jesus, my body becomes
your monstrance.
Jesus, my body becomes your body,
purchased at the price of your blood,
and becomes “another Christ”.

© 2011 Patrick A. O’Donnell

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?

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.

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!