The “Good NEWs” of a [National] Ideological Party reblogged from David Carlin

Dear friends in Christ, as I read this article I found myself to keep shaking my head YES!…. It explains much about the attack of our religious Freedoms [Inserted by Patrick Miron]

The “Good News” of an Ideological Party

David Carlin


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A distinction can be made between two kinds of political parties: pragmatic parties and ideological parties.

For most of its history the Democratic Party was a pragmatic party, not an ideological party. It was not interested in making a certain philosophy of life prevail in society. That’s what ideological parties do – for instance, the Communist Party in the old Soviet Union or the Nazi Party in Germany. They wish to transform society and culture so that a certain worldview prevails, a certain quasi-religion.

Pragmatic parties, by contrast, wish to distribute patronage to their friends, the patronage of jobs, contracts, tax breaks, and welfare benefits. They care little or nothing about ideology. To be sure, you will find ideologues and ideological elements in even the most pragmatic of pragmatic parties, just as you will find pragmatic elements in even the most ideological of ideological parties. But these ideological elements are minor elements in a pragmatic party, not major elements.

As noted, the Democratic Party throughout most of its history has been a pragmatic party; as have been its great rivals, the Republican Party and the earlier Whig Party.

But that is no longer true, and it grows less true with every passing year. The Democratic Party, I contend, is increasingly an ideological party, perhaps even predominantly an ideological party; and if it not yet predominantly ideological, it soon will be unless its current “progressive” trends are interrupted. In this regard, it resembles the Communist Party and Nazi Party.

Now I would not like to be misunderstood here. I am not suggesting that Democrats are like Nazis and Communists. Generally speaking, Democrats, even very ideological Democrats, are nice people. They are polite; they are often kind, sometimes very kind; they wouldn’t hurt a flea (notwithstanding the fact that they would cheerfully have unborn babies killed). But they are ideologues; or at least they are led by ideologues, and the rank and file follow these ideological leaders.

The great majority of Democrats, I concede, are not ideologues; it is not their intention to transform America’s traditional culture and replace it with a “new and improved” culture. But the Democratic Party is being led today by leftist ideologues who wish to do precisely that. These ideologues are the “brains” of the party, while everybody else provides the party’s “muscle.”

What do these intellectual leaders of the party believe? What is the new and improved culture they wish to persuade the American people to adopt? What is the “good news” they preach?

(1) They preach a metaphysics: There is no God, at least no God like the God of the Bible; no Supreme Being who created the universe and governs it. And if they sometimes say that they are agnostics, not atheists, their agnosticism is virtually identical with atheism; the two differ in name only.

(2) They preach a theory of knowledge: There is no knowledge other than sense-based knowledge, the kind of empirical knowledge upon which natural science is based. (They pride themselves on their respect for science even though very few of them are actual scientists or philosophers or historians of science.) Thus there is no such thing as Divine Revelation. And there is no such thing as trans-empirical intuitive knowledge – for example, intuitive knowledge of the existence of God, of the immortality of the soul, of the fundamental laws of morality.

(3) They preach a theory of morality, a morality of maximum personal liberty. We should be free to do as we like, and we should tolerate a like freedom in others. Of course certain practical limits must be placed on this freedom if we are to avoid a war of all against all: we should not be free to inflict direct and tangible harm on non-consenting others.

(4) Sexual freedom: While there are many other kinds of freedom, sexual freedom is, so to speak, the keystone of the arch. If sexual intolerance is permitted, many other kinds of intolerance will follow.

(5) Anti-Christianity: The most influential opponent of the above beliefs and values is Christianity, more especially old-fashioned Catholic and Protestant Christianity. Therefore old-fashioned Christianity must be marginalized, must be driven into a social corner where it can do little or no harm.

(6) Omnicompetent government. There is no problem, not even the problem of controlling the terrestrial climate for the next 10,000 years, that cannot be solved, at least in the long run, by the action of the U.S. federal government. Do we have problems of poverty or crime or education or health or drug addiction or global warming? There must be solution that Washington can find for it – a law, an agency, a spending program, a global treaty, etc.

With regard to ideology, Democrats can be divided into three concentric circles. The innermost circle is made up of the leftist ideologues I’ve been talking about; they are the ones who manufacture “progressive” ideas and distribute them at the wholesale level.

The next circle, a larger circle, is made up of semi-ideologues; they are consumers and retail distributors of these ideas.

The outermost circle, the largest circle of all, is made up of non-ideologues. If they accept, or at least don’t oppose, “progressive” ideas, this is not from love of these ideas but from party loyalty. In this outermost circle can be found many blacks, Latinos, labor union members, and family heritage Democrats.

The Democratic Party isn’t the only crucial place where anti-Christian ideologues and semi-ideologues have won control. They have also won control in the entertainment industry, in the news media, and in our leading colleges and universities (including law schools).

A relatively small number of smart and well-organized fanatics can re-shape a culture. It’s happened many times in the past, and it’s now happening right under our noses. END QUOTES

“My Will, NOT your’s be Done” reblogged from Jesus is a Safe Harbor

by Jesus is a safe harbor

Someone has said that these words of Jesus are the most difficult—and most important—words that we can learn in any language:  yet not my will, but yours be done.” To say these words sincerely and from the heart takes conviction, courage, and faith. It means trusting that God really is wiser than you are and really does love you more than you love yourself. It means trusting, like Jesus trusted, in the perfect wisdom of God. I hope you have an amazing day as you remain in His presence. Love you all.

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”  Luke 22:42

Although Jesus’ will was always in perfect harmony with His Father’s (John 6:38-39), ours often is not. The things that we assume would make us happy and contended He seems to withhold from us at times, and the things we seek to avoid are the very things that He frequently allows into our lives.

Is there some sickness, heartache, pain, instability, demotion, or tension that you are facing at the moment? Rather than looking for the nearest exit from your trial—by whatever means you can devise—turn to God first and take your need to Him in prayer. The same God who created your world can certainly sustain, heal, strengthen, and direct your life.

Pray for deliverance; pray for strength; pray for direction… and pray, “Not my will, but Thine, be done.” These words are difficult, because they hand the most precious parts of our life over to God. But they are liberating, because they recognize that we are in God’s hands anyway and, if we understood the situation perfectly, we would certainly want whatever God wants for us.

Dear believer, there is no prayer (outside, of course, a prayer for something that is already revealed in God’s Word as sinful) that you cannot take to God with these precious words:  yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Jesus is a safe harbor | December 29, 2016 at 10:55 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

Prayer to Saint Monica for our Children’s Return to Christ: Reblogged from Elizabeth Scalia

Prayer to St. Monica: Help my child turn to Christ!

“Your son, Augustine, wandered, too…”


Beloved Saint Monica, Mother of the great saint, Augustine of Hippo — Father and Doctor of the Church — had her hands full with her son who was both a brilliant student and something of a youthful hedonist, fathering a child out of wedlock at the age of 19. A Christian woman married to a Pagan, Monica watched her son’s journey and prayed faithfully for his conversion to Christ. For many years, she prayed that Augustine’s heart and mind would finally become open — that he might have an authentic encounter with Christ and thus be re-formed, and re-oriented toward the will of God.

Her faithfulness was gratified, and in one of the most moving portions of Augustine’s Confessions, he related how clearly Monica identified her life’s mission as delivering her children into the life of faith. In Ostia, she said to him in wonder, “Son, as far as I am concerned, nothing in this life now gives me any pleasure. I do not know why I am still here, since I have no further hopes in this world. I did have one reason for wanting to live a little longer: to see you become a Catholic Christian before I died. God has lavished his gifts on me in that respect, for I know that you have even renounced earthly happiness to be his servant. So what am I doing here?” Days later, she fell ill with a fever and told Augustine and his brother to bury her there — to take no concern over her earthly remains, but asking for one favor: “…That you remember me at the altar of the Lord wherever you may be.”

Saint Monica is the patron saint of people in difficult marriages, difficult children and the conversion of relatives, particularly one’s own children. She is the consoling friend in heaven who wholly understands the despair of parents who feel helpless and confused as they watch their children drift away from the church. As Monica prayed and fasted for her children to come to know Christ Jesus, she is our powerful companion and intercessor to all who feel confounded by the “journeys” of their sons and daughters.

“In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

Under the weight of my heartful burden, I turn to you, dear Saint Monica and request your assistance and intercession.

From your place in heaven, I beg that you will plead before the Throne of the Holy One, for the sake of my child/ Children [Name{s}], who has {have} wandered from the faith, and all that we have tried to teach.

I know, dear Monica, that our children belong not to us, but to God,
and that God often permits this wandering as part of one’s journey toward Him.

Your son, Augustine, wandered, too; eventually he found the faith, and came to believe, and in that belief became a true teacher.

Help me, therefore, to have patience, and to believe that all things — even this disappointing movement away from the faith — work ultimately to His {their} own good purposes. For the sake of my child’s soul, I pray to understand and trust in this.

St. Monica, please teach me to persist in faithful prayer as you did for your son’s sake. Inspire me to behave in ways that will not further distance my child from Christ, but only draw [Name{s}] gently towards his marvelous light.

Please teach me what you know about this painful mystery of separation, and how it is reconciled in the re-orientation of our children toward heaven.

O Saint Monica, lover of Christ and His Church, pray for me, and for my child [Name {s}], that we may acquire heaven, joining with you, there, in offering constant and thankful praise to God,


– See more at: christ/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en#sthash.D8oy2cot.dpuf

A Brief [4 me] Christmas Refection by Patrick Miron


A Brief Christmas refection

By Patrick Miron


“It is in Christ, “the image of the invisible God,” that man has been created “in the image and likeness” of the Creator.”

Catechism of the RCC

1705 “By virtue of his soul and his spiritual powers of intellect and will, man is endowed with freedom, an “outstanding manifestation of the divine image.

BUT not without God’s expectations:

Isa.43: [7] everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” & [21] the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.”

Have you ever pondered just why, Christ [GOD], choose to become “Incarnate man.”

The reasons [plural] are many, complex and profound, I’ll list a few in the hope that you will choice just ONE of them to give some consideration to as your gift to Jesus.

Before doing so though, it is of critical importance to recognize that GOD [“All good things perfected”], could have chosen another, and alternative way.

GOD choose to become a mortal man because:

“The Apostle Paul wrote, ”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh . . . ” (I Timothy 3:16). Confessedly, by common consent the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is outside the range of human natural comprehension and apprehension. It can be made known only by Divine revelation in the Holy Scriptures, and to those only who are illumined by the Holy Spirit. It is a truth of the greatest magnitude that God in the Person of His Son should identify Himself completely with the human race. And yet He did, for reasons He set forth clearly in His Word”

John.1 Verses 1 to 10

[1] “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] He was in the beginning with God; [3] all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. [4] In him was life, and the life was the light of men. [5] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. [8] He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. [9] The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not”

Gal.4 Verses 4 to 5

[4] “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, [5] to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

 So here then is the FIRST reason:

Because shortly after the Creation of man; Adam, co-opted by Eve freely choose to deny God’s Sovereignty, which resulted in heavens access being closed even before it was used, and was paramount amongst many other justified penalties.

 Secondly: In all of Creation with its Billions of stars, planets, and living things; only one thing; only man, created in the very image of our God [Gen.1:26-27] was gifted with the ability to Know, Love and Serve God; therefore that became our primary reason to exist.  Because we alone could; we alone SHOULD.

 Thirdly:  The form and the manner of Christ Incarnation was and is nearly incomprehensible.

Luke.1 Verses 26 to 35

[26] In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, [27] to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. [28] And he came to her and said, “Hail, FULL OF GRACE the Lord is with you!” [29] But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. [30] And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. [31] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. [32] He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, [33] and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” [34] And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” [35] And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.


[7] And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. …. [12] And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” …. [16] And they went with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

So our third point of consideration rest in the fact that God choose this form of humanity for at least two reasons:

  1. Because in all of creation, only man is created in His very own image & likeness
  2. We know from the Old Testament that God never appeared in person to His Old Testament Chosen people; rather as a voice, a cloud, a burning bush, and the wind. [Those instances where it is termed to have God appear “in person”, are metaphorical, and refer to His Angels, [“messengers”] who are at times identified, and at times not so.]
  3. God therefore choose the human form because it was and remains the pinnacle, the most complex and most exalted of all of His creations.
  4. God choose to “become a mortal man” so as not to frighten us. Hence the birth in a manger, and the peasant-poor parents. So that we COULD actually know God, and not simply of God. So that we could actually identify with God, and love Him and not fear Him. We are to have AWE of God, but not actually “fear” Him, as His Love and Mercy exceed our failures, when, like Him we have humility, and repent and convert.

 Luke.2: 11 “for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Have a Blessed, Holy, Healthy and God-centered Christmas dear friends. Enjoy your loved ones, and keep the Christ Child in mind.


“God is the Giver of Life” reblogged from a Safe Harbor in Jesus”

New post on A Safe Harbor is Jesus

God is the Giver of Life!

by Jesus is a safe harbor

We need to realize that we need God more than the next breath we take. If everything were gone tomorrow, He is enough. The “stuff” we obtain is nothing. The relationships we build are meaningless, if we don’t know the Lord. Without Him we are empty, because He is the giver of Life. We need to ask God to fill the empty place in our souls and build our lives according to His will, and to fulfill His purpose.

 “Yet, indeed I also, count all things loss, for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:8

Whenever everything we have placed so much importance on in our life, has been stripped away, we are not left empty, and we are not poor, or desolate and alone. God is always enough. Realization of His sufficiency becomes evident, when everything else is removed. When we come to a point in our lives, when truly in our hearts, nothing else matters. Deep down in all of us, there is something that cries from our souls, that we need more; it’s more than a new car, great job, etc.

While all of those things are great, they don’t fulfill the longing within our souls. It doesn’t matter how well we have planned our lives and how many of our dreams have come true, the things in this world were not designed to fill the empty place. The space inside our souls, that longs for our Creator, Who is more than enough and all that we actually need. We attempt to question our existence, rationalize our life and evade our purpose, but sooner or later we realize it is all about God. He is our purpose, He is the reason we exist, He is Life itself and He is always enough.

Jesus is a safe harbor | December 21, 2016 at 9:19 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

“The Obedience of Faith” reblogged


“The Obedience of Faith”

Fairy tales frequently begin “Once upon a time” – presenting a never-never world where anonymous princesses are always enchanting and princes always charming. What a far cry from the gritty world of the Bible!

Biblical stories are always fraught with specificity – this time, this place, the interaction of these determinate individuals. They are not cloaked in risk-free anonymity. The Biblical protagonists are identifiable: these poor and powerful, these prophets and rulers. We know their names: Isaiah and Ahaz, Paul and Nero, Mary, Joseph, Herod. We encounter in the Bible the stories of concrete men and women, summoned, often peremptorily, to “the obedience of faith.” (Rom 1:5)

The coming of God’s Messiah is sheer grace – a grace that disrupts established patterns and powers, not to destroy, but to repair and make whole. “The obedience of faith” is the one possible response to the awe-filled deed God has wrought in Jesus Christ: “descended from David, according to the flesh, but established as Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, through resurrection from the dead.” (Rom 1:3-4)

These verses from Romans help broaden our appreciation of “Incarnation.” For the Incarnation is not reducible to a bare point without extension. The flesh-taking of the Son of God comprises the whole life, death, and new life of Jesus Messiah. Incarnation culminates in resurrection: the full realization of God’s likeness in man, the divinization of the flesh.

We are summoned, as Paul’s Letter to the Romans urges, to belong totally to this Christ who comes now in the everyday of life. Paul himself, in the very first verse of his letter, introduces himself as slave (doulos) of Jesus the Messiah. One can hardly imagine a more radical “belonging.”

But this belonging to Christ is no forensic fiction, nor a merely moral alignment of wills. It is a new reality: a union so deep and intimate that it can rightly be termed “mystical.” It is grounded, of course, in the life-changing experience of baptism. Paul reminds the Romans: “We were buried with Christ by baptism into his death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” (Rom 6:4)

And the consequence is striking: a servile enslavement gives way to a life-giving dispossession. Paul presses his case: “Do you not know that if you yield yourselves to any one as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:16) Christians belong, spirit, soul, and body, not to sin, but to Christ who has been raised from the dead, whose service is true freedom.

Journey to Bethlehem (c. 1320) [Church of the Holy Spirit, Chora, Turkey]
Journey to Bethlehem (c. 1320) [Church of the Holy Spirit, Chora, Turkey]

In one of the most lyrical passages he ever penned, the liberated apostle exults: “None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord of the dead and of the living.” (Rom 14:7–9) The Lord of all demands our all.The obedience of faith commences with baptismal surrender: “branded” as Christ’s, not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. But it also entails free consent to ongoing transformation. So the Apostle urges: “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Rom 12:1-2)

The Apostle’s call to transformation can be easily muffled by the dismal din of our contemporary therapeutic culture. And the widespread appeal to “my experience” risks canonizing an individual’s present condition and foreclosing authentic change. In this context, the increasingly rote rhetoric about “pastoral accompaniment” can reinforce, rather than counter, this cultural declension. Pastoral accompaniment needs clearly to incorporate and be governed by the challenge to conversion, an imperative that lies at the very heart of the Gospel: “metanoeite!;” i.e. repent. (Mk 1:15)

For the telos of pastoral accompaniment is not a gradual approximation to an “ideal,” however sublime. It is the entrance into a new life, defined by a new, life-altering relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Paul, who urged the Romans to ongoing transformation, is the Paul who witnessed to the Galatians the radical scope of such transformation. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:19-20) Disruptive grace conspires to fashion a new self, transforming Saul the persecutor into Paul the apostle.

But the apostle of pastoral accompaniment does not set himself apart from the community of believers. He freely confesses that he is their companion on the journey of transformation in Christ. Indeed, he has not yet been fully transformed, is not yet perfected (teleios). But “I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Phil 3:12)

We all, who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, belong to him. Like Paul, we are not our own, but Jesus Christ’s, for we have been purchased at the price of his Incarnation unto death and new life.

This same Jesus continues to come in the everyday of life. Just as he came in the fear-ridden days of Herod and the frenzied days of Nero, so he comes in the dwindling days of Obama and the uncertain days of Trump – and calls to the obedience of faith. He comes to dwell within us, to make us his own, so that we may have true life, and have it to the full.”


God’s Beautiful and Perfect Will 4 humanity…

FROM: The Magnificat Advent Companion

Advent 2016, December 16th


“Pope Benedict XVI addressed the amazing beauty of God’s plan when he wrote



So dear friend, what is our attitude for this gift; this grace in this advent Season?

God Bless you!


“God Delights in you” reblogged from a safe Harbor in Jesus

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New post on A Safe Harbor is Jesus

God Delights in You!

by Jesus is a safe harbor

Do you believe God is watching over you, smiling and delighting in the fact that you are HIS child as a born-again believer? Close your eyes and picture God watching over you at this moment. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, God’s love reaches down to hold you in His arms. Bow your head and tilt your heart to listen to Him whisper, “You are precious in my sight and I love you.” (Isaiah. 43:4,) Now rest in the promise that He loves you, He knows your needs, and He’s constantly by your side. Have a wonderful day as His delights in you.

“The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

My friends, our heavenly Father, is watching over you. He calls you His treasured possession, the apple of His eye. There have been times when I have felt as if His hand is upon my head, letting me know that He is watching over me. To be in the loving arms of my ABBA Father is safest place of all. He takes great delight in you, just because you are His son/daughter. When you feel afraid or even a little scared, He will quiet you with His love. He says to you, “Everything is going to be alright. Your ABBA Father is here just for you.” His words are so soothing to me. They bring me peace. He rejoices over us by singing songs of His never-ending love for us.

You know, God loves to be with us and watch over us. It’s not because we are doing anything for Him, but simply because we are His. We might have even disappointed Him that day, but it doesn’t change how He feels about us.

I sense God wants you to know today that He delights greatly in you my friends. And with His love, He is there today to quiet your fears, concerns, insecurities and doubts. I have a feeling the joy-filled songs He sings over you are written just for you, describing the beautiful person He’s created you to be, while gently leading your heart to know and rely on His love more and more each day.

What a great reminder for times when nothing’s going right; when we feel like the whole world is against us and nobody understands what we’re going through. I hope the next time you have one of those days you’ll imagine Your Heavenly Father loves and delights in you even more then you can imagine!

Jesus is a safe harbor | December 8, 2016 at 11:22 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

“Mary’s Wild Tranquility” by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Mary’s Wild Tranquility

Note: Today’s feast, the Immaculate Conception, refers to the conception of the Virgin Mary (not, as is sometimes thought, to Christ’s conception at the Annunciation). But Archbishop Sheen, perhaps better than anyone else, explains here why a woman conceived without sin was necessary to salvation. A reminder: I’ll be on EWTN “The World Over” this evening in a taped panel discussion with former USCCB President Joseph Kurtz about Amoris Laetitia(consult local listings for rebroadcasts.) – Robert Royal


Every civilization has had a tradition of a golden age in the past. A more precise Jewish record tells of a fall from a state of innocence and happiness through a woman tempting a man. If a woman played such a role in the fall of mankind, should she not play a great role in its restoration? And if there was a lost Paradise in which the first nuptials of man and woman were celebrated, might there not be a new Paradise in which the nuptials of God and man would be celebrated?

In the fullness of time an Angel of Light came down from the great Throne of Light to a Virgin kneeling in prayer, to ask her if she was willing to give God a human nature. Her answer was that she “knew not man” and, therefore, could not be the mother of the “Expected of the Nations.” There never can be a birth without love. In this the maiden was right.

The begetting of new life requires the fires of love. But besides the human passion which begets life, there is the “passionless passion and wild tranquility” of the Holy Spirit; and it was this that overshadowed the woman and begot in her Emmanuel or “God with us.”

At the moment that Mary pronounced Fiat or “Be it done,” something greater happened than the Fiat lux (“Let there be light”) of creation; for the light that was now made was not the sun, but the Son of God in the flesh. By pronouncing Fiat Mary achieved the full role of womanhood, namely, to be the bearer of God’s gifts to man.

There is a passive receptiveness in which woman says Fiat to the cosmos as she shares its rhythm, Fiat to a man’s love as she receives it, and Fiat to God as she receives the Spirit. . . .

There is an undetermined element in human love. The parents do not know whether the child will be a boy or a girl, or the exact time of its birth, for conception is lost in some unknown night of love. Children are later accepted and loved by their parents, but they were never directly willed into being by them.

But in the Annunciation, the Child was not accepted in any unforeseen way; the Child was willed. There was a collaboration between a woman and the Spirit of Divine Love. The consent was voluntary under the Fiat; the physical cooperation was freely offered by the same word.

Immaculate Conception by Francisco de Zurbarán [National Art Museum of Catalonia]
Immaculate Conception by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1632 [National Art Museum of Catalonia]

Other mothers become conscious of motherhood through physical changes within them; Mary became conscious through a spiritual change wrought by the Holy Spirit. She probably received a spiritual ecstasy far greater than that given to man and woman in their unifying act of love. As the fall of man was a free act, so too the Redemption had to be free.

What is called the Annunciation was actually God asking the free consent of a creature to help Him to be incorporated into humanity. Suppose a musician in an orchestra freely strikes a sour note. The conductor is competent, the music is correctly scored and easy to play, but the musician still exercises his freedom by introducing a discord which immediately passes out into space.

The director can do one of two things: he can either order the selection to be replayed, or he can ignore the discord. Fundamentally, it makes no difference which he does, for that false note is traveling out into space at the rate of more than a thousand feet per second; and as long as time endures, there will be discord in the universe. Is there any way to restore harmony to the world?

It can be done only by someone coming in from eternity and stopping the note in its wild flight. But will it still be a false note? The harmony can be destroyed on one condition only. If that note is made the first note in a new melody, then it will become harmonious.

This is precisely what happened when Christ was born. There had been a false note of moral discord introduced by the first man which infected all humanity. God could have ignored it, but it would have been a violation of justice for Him to do so, which is, of course, unthinkable.

What He did, therefore, was to ask a woman, representing humanity, freely to give Him a human nature with which He would start a new humanity. As there was an old humanity in Adam, so there would be a new humanity in Christ, Who was God made man through the free agency of a human mother.

When the angel appeared to Mary, God was announcing this love for the new humanity. It was the beginning of a new earth, and Mary became “a flesh-girt Paradise to be gardened by the Adam new.” As in the first garden Eve brought destruction, so in the garden of her womb, Mary would now bring Redemption.

For the nine months that He was cloistered within her, all the food, the wheat, the grapes that she consumed served as a kind of natural Eucharist, passing into Him Who later on was to declare that He was the Bread and the Wine of Life. After her nine months were over, the fitting place for Him to be born was Bethlehem, which meant “House of Bread.”

When the Divine Child was conceived, Mary’s humanity gave Him hands and feet, eyes and ears, and a body with which to suffer. Just as the petals of a rose after a dew close on the dew as if to absorb its energies, so too, Mary as the Mystical Rose closed upon Him Whom the Old Testament had described as a dew descending upon the earth.

When finally she did give Him birth, it was as if a great ciborium had opened, and she was holding in her fingers the Guest Who was also the Host of the world, as if to say, “Look, this is the Lamb of God; look, this is He Who takes away the sins of the world.” END QUOTES


The Immaculate Conception & Mary as the Model of Faith [reblogged by Dr. D’Ambroiso]



BY: Marcellino D’Ambrosio (Dr. Italy)

This post is also available in: SpanishItalian

The Gospel of Luke presents Mary, mother of Jesus,  as the model of faith, showing us what faith must include to be authentic and effective.  And imitating Mary’s virtue is key to an authentic Marian devotion and an adequate understanding of the deepest meaning of the Immaculate Conception — that’s it’s all about grace.

The Beatitudes rank high on the list of all-time favorite Bible passages. But what is beatitude, anyway?   In the bible, a “blessed” person is someone who has received gifts of the greatest value, gifts that lead to true fulfillment and lasting happiness.

If I were to ask you to name the first beatitude, you’d probably say “blessed be the poor in Spirit.”  According to Matthew you’d be right, but not according to Luke.  At the very beginning of his gospel, Luke reveals that the very first beatitude is uttered by a woman filled with the Spirit, speaking of another woman overshadowed by the Spirit.  Elizabeth says, “Blessed is she who has believed.” (Luke 1: 45).

Is Marian devotion important in Christian life?  This has been a bone of contention between Catholics and Protestants for nearly 500 years.

Let’s look at the evidence in just the first chapter of Luke.  First, the Angel Gabriel honors her with the greeting “Hail, full of grace” (Luke 1:29).  Then Elizabeth prophesies “blessed are you among women.”  Next the prophet John leaps for joy in his mother’s womb at the sound of Mary’s voice.  Then, in her response to Elizabeth, Mary prophesies “all generations will call me blessed” (Lk. 1:48).

But it is Elizabeth’s final words to Mary that hold the key to understanding why she is to be honored, namely, her faith.

One of the battle-cries of the Protestant Reformation was “Faith Alone!”  One key conviction that united the many disparate strands of the Reformation was that it is impossible to earn God’s favor by our good works, but rather we receive his love as a pure gift, a grace, through faith.

Now consider Mary.  Did she crisscross the Mediterranean planting Churches like Paul?  Did she give eloquent sermons like Stephen (Acts 7).  Did she govern the Church like Peter?  No.  Her claim to fame is that she simply said yes to God.  She believed He could do as he said and would do as He said.

But true faith is not just intellectual conviction that God exists or that He can do thus and such.  Faith involves entrusting oneself, abandoning oneself to God, willing to submit to his will.  That’s why Paul talks about “the obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26).  She surrendered her plan for her life, and yielded to God’s plan.  And she did this not once, but again and again, even when he left her to begin his public ministry.  And when that ministry led to the horror of Calvary, her faith stood its ground at the foot of the cross.

So Catholics honor Mary for being the perfect example of the greatest Protestant virtue.  Ironic isn’t it?  And the deepest meaning of that disputed doctrine, the Immaculate Conception, is that it was the grace of God working mysteriously from the moment of conception that made possible Mary’s exemplary life of faith.  Even her faith is a gift of His grace.  It’s all grace, according to Catholic doctrine.

Mary, of course, knew this.  That’s why she responded to Elizabeth’s praise with the humble, exuberant prayer known as the Magnificat: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”  She is like the crystal-clear pool that reflects the suns rays back to the heavens. So no one needs to fear that honor given her will detract from the majesty of Her divine Son.  She deflects all the praise given her right back to God, the source of her greatness.

So the answer is that Marian devotion is indeed necessary in Christian life.  But what is true devotion to Mary according to the fathers of the Second Vatican Council?  Not sentimental piety or gullible preoccupation with every rumored apparition.  But rather, imitation of her virtues, particularly her faith (Lumen Gentium 67).

This article on Mary as the model of faith as the source of Marian devotion is offered as a reflection on the Scripture readings for the 4th Fourth Sunday in Advent cycle C (Micah 5:1-4a, Ps 80, Hebrews 10: 5-10, Luke 1:39-45) and cycle B ( 2 Samuel 7, Romans 16:25-27, and Luke 1:26-38) and for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (Genesis 3:9-20; Psalm 98; Ephesians 1:3-12; Luke 1:26-38). END QUOTES