Sunday, May 29, 2016

Eucharist: Eschatological Itinerarium

“Then, in the fullness of time, when the incarnate Son of God sheds his blood on the Cross for our salvation and is raised from the dead, history enters, so to speak, a new and definitive phase: the new and eternal Covenant whose beginning and fulfillment is the crucified and risen Christ. On Calvary, humanity’s path, in accordance with the divine plan, took a decisive turn: Christ is put at the head of the new People to guide them to their definitive goal. The Eucharist, the sacrament of the Lord’s death and resurrection, represents the heart of this spiritual, eschatological itinerarium.” ---(Saint John Paul II, Corpus Christi Homily) 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Eschatology, Antiquity, and Kingdom of Virginity

And so I praise marriage, because it brings forth virgins. Thus do I gather the rose from the thorns, the gold from the earth, the pearl from the shell. ---(Saint Jerome, Letter to Eustacahia).

Introduction

Virginity is literally older than sin.  Virginity is also our Lord's plan for the future. It seems today that those who care in the Church are so focused on salvaging marriage, the family, sexual ethics and so on that we lose sight of the value, power and destiny of Virginity. As we will see we are all destined to be Virgins from the beginning. And Jesus clearly implies that there is no sex in the future New Heaven and New Earth. Regardless of one's state in this pilgrim worldly life, if one cannot come to accept this, eventually even if in Purgatory, he or she is not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. And it is only through avowed Virgins that this world has any possibility of changing for the better. This formula is proven by the coming of the two premier and perfect Virgins: Jesus and Mary who have clearly changed the course of history.

Eschatology of Virginity

The arrogant Sadducee's came to Jesus with their ridiculous challenge:


In that day, the Sadducees, who say there is to be no resurrection, approached him. And they questioned him, saying: “Teacher, Moses said: If anyone will have died, having no son, his brother shall marry his wife, and he shall raise up offspring to his brother. Now there were seven brothers with us. And the first, having taken a wife, died. And having no offspring, he left his wife to his brother: similarly with the second, and the third, even to the seventh. And last of all, the woman also passed away. In the resurrection, then, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” 
But Jesus responded to them by saying: “You have gone astray by knowing neither the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection, they shall neither marry, nor be given in marriage. Instead, they shall be like the Angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:23-30)

The implication in this teaching is that there will be no sex, whether moral or immoral post Resurrection. The new resurrected bodies of the just will be virginal like those of Jesus and Mary. They are not conceived in a sexual act. NO. They are miraculously formed by the power of God via Christ Jesus. Our first bodies, conceived through sexual act or now even the most hideous of laboratory processes will be dissolved and forgotten. It will be as if they never existed. We are all destined to be Virgins . . . forever. And this has always been the case even from the very beginning. 


It would seem, God's original plan for conceiving a holy posterity via Adam and Eve was so lofty that He decided to not even reveal it in Sacred Scripture. It is the type of idea so controversial that knowing God he would not even bother to open this box of Pandora. We are so fallen and sinful that God's original plan would simply be misunderstood or laughed to scorn til kingdom come.

Now in New Testament times we have the Sacrament of Marriage instituted by Jesus and this will sustain us until the Resurrection. But even with this Sacrament of Marriage the most mature and enlightened view is that the husband and wife are helping God create virgins for the Kingdom of Heaven, regardless of whether or not they eventually grow up, fall in love and get married.  In Baptism we are set on a new course to be Virgins forever. Can we possibly be mature enough to understand and accept this?

In the future Second Coming of Jesus, he will be accompanied by a multitude of Virgins when he stands on Mount Zion. These Virgins will have endured the reign of Antichrist without falling into any sexual sin let alone any other sin. They are called the First Fruits. Those who are last will be first. They will be premier Saints. Here is the description in Revelation:

And I saw, and behold, the Lamb was standing above mount Zion, and with him were one hundred and forty-four thousand, having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.  And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of a great thunder. And the voice that I heard was like that of singers, while playing on their stringed instruments.  And they were singing what seemed like a new canticle before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to recite the canticle, except those one hundred and forty-four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth.  These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are Virgins. These follow the Lamb wherever he will go. These were redeemed from men as the first-fruits for God and for the Lamb.  And in their mouth, no lie was found, for they are without flaw before the throne of God. (Revelation 14:1-4)

Another stimulating teaching to consider is Jesus' Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13). In the Gospels this Parable is placed at the tale end of Matthew chapter 24, which is sometimes called his eschatological discourse. Jesus says that then, presumably in context of the Resurrection, "the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom". All are like Virgins in the Resurrection only some will not have their lamps lit meaning they will not have died in the state of grace and so cannot enter the banquet of the New Heaven and New Earth.  The door will be shut to them.  And after the Resurrection, God will prevent them from committing sexual sins which they may have once committed in their first pre-Resurrection lives, having died without any sort of final repentance in the sin against the Holy Spirit.  Yet again this is significant and striking that Jesus uses the word Virgin to describe us in this eschatological parable.

Finally Jesus said unless we repent and become like little children we cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.  
From this we can draw out similar conclusions about a future of Virginity.  

Antiquity of Virginity

Not only is Virginity a harbinger of things to come, Virginity is older than sin. Adam and Eve were formed as Virgins. Their descendants were also intended by God to be Virgins. Now you might say how is this possible? Yet with God all sublime things are possible even a Virgin Mother of Jesus named Mary.

More than once Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, in her visionary teachings clearly states in so many words that if it were not for Adam and Eve's sin every human conception would have been miraculous and virginal. First in her descriptions of Adam she mentions almost as a side note:

The glittering beams on Adams head denoted his abundant fruitfulness, his glory, his connection with other radiations. And all this shining beauty is restored to glorified souls and bodies. Our hair is the ruined, the extinct glory; and as is this hair of ours to rays of light, so is our present flesh to that of Adam before the Fall. The sunbeams around Adams mouth bore reference to a holy posterity from God, which, had it not been for the Fall, would have been effectuated by the spoken word.---(Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich) 

Without additional information I will leave the rest to a grace filled imagination, but the point is that had it not been for the Fall, children would have be generated by NOT a sexual act, but by a word of mouth between Adam and Eve. Virginity is more 'natural' to mankind than marriage and sex. Perhaps this is why there is some sort of shame associated with sex even if this act is done morally, i.e. naturally between a married man and woman open to life (unitive, marital, procreative) with good intentions and good consequences outweighing bad.

Later Blessed Anne goes on to mention that this holy and virginal manner of procreating children was not revealed to Adam and Eve because before God would have revealed this to them they sinned. She even goes as far as to say 
that if Adam and Eve had been taught by God and understood how the Blessing of posterity was to enact in this holy manner between them, before their sin, Redemption would have been impossible. As a result of their sin we could assume God decided not to reveal to them the secret of how children would be procreated in a holy manner. Instead, well we know now how this happens and all the trouble associated with this. Sex is a result of the Fall. Saint Jerome said that marriage is a result of the Fall in his letter to Eustachia, however I would modify and perhaps say that sex was a result of the Fall. Now we have the Sacrament of Marriage which is an improvement since Jesus mystically participates in the marriage. And all the pastors are quick to say that moral sex should not be understood as a "necessary evil". But still not quite the original and sublime Divine Plan and Revelation which it would seem has been bottled up so to speak, only to be mentioned to a mystic German nun many years later. 

Later in Blessed Anne's works we find that much of secret goings on of the Old Testament were to prepare for the coming of this Virgin who was promised to Adam and Eve and their descendants. In order to prepare for the birth of this Virgin two extraordinarily pure and holy Jews were needed to be bred.  After many generations, God eventually found his elect in Saints Joachim and Anne. Anne was the most pure woman ever to live. When Mary was conceived in the womb of Anne this was not accomplished by a sexual act but by a miraculous and supernatural act of God in which Joachim and Anne freely participated. She describes that under the Golden Gate of the Temple:



I saw Joachim and Anne embrace each other in ecstasy. They were surrounded by hosts of angels, some floating over them carrying a luminous tower like that which we see in the pictures of the Litany of Loretto. The tower vanished between Joachim and Anne, both of whom were encompassed by brilliant light and glory. At the same moment the heavens above them opened, and I saw the joy of the Most Holy Trinity and of the angels over the Conception of Mary. Both Joachim and Anne were in a supernatural state. I learned that, at the moment in which they embraced and the light shone around them, the Immaculate Conception of Mary was accomplished. I was also told that Mary was conceived just as conception would have been effected, were it not for the fall of man. ---(Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich)

All Joachim and Anne do is embrace each other in ecstasy and God miraculously does the rest.  We could assume that God miraculously acted to fuse the gamete of Joachim to that of Anne in her womb without the need of a sexual act.  This was extraordinary.  Mary's virginity encompasses even her conception. But again the point is that the manner in which Mary was conceived is as all human conceptions would have happened were it not for the Fall. This relation is so sublime that it seems to me that God has not even intended to clearly reveal this to us, except perhaps in the examples of Jesus and Mary. This makes me sad and reminds me just how lowly we have made ourselves in this world.

Kingdom of Virginity


Everyone who cares seems to be looking for some sort of solution to make the world and the Church better. Everyone has an opinion whether this or that. Well my opinion is that we need more avowed Virgins of quality. Those who have freely consecrated their Virginity to Jesus in a life long commitment, a sort of mystical marriage if you will are powerful. Think of all the Virgin Martyrs of the early Church. They stirred up the Roman Empire. They inspired many.  Many of them were from noble families. They angered the Roman emperors and authorities, especially since many of them were beautiful and refused to be given in marriage or have sex with the lusty Roman powers that be. Some scholars even speculate that this was the cause of Saint Peter the first Apostle and Pope's martyrdom. He inspired so many young and noble Roman women to consecrate their virginity to Jesus that the Roman authorities hated and envied him culminating in his execution.

Later, men and women religious and priests who took vows of Virginity or Celibacy all played a crucial role in the development of the Church and culture, but this seems to have all waned today.  After a false and devious sexual revolution society is now hypersexualized to their own ruin.  Sexual sins result in untold evil consequences and lead to so many other sins.

Jesus said that there would be those who freely choose not to get married (implying not have sex) for the Kingdom of Heaven. But if few are choosing this anymore then how could anyone possibly expect the Kingdom of Heaven to dawn on this Earth? It cannot for just as Jesus came through the Perfect Virgin Mary, the peace of Christ we all long for cannot possibly dawn without the help of avowed Virgins. The Sacrament of Marriage and the family is very special.  These are living symbols of Jesus commitment to the Church and the Trinity respectively, not to mention the very heart of the Church and society.  And everyone says we need to defend and promote Marriage and the family.  I wholeheartedly agree, but hopefully one day we can elevate this promotion and defense to a visionary end purpose in Christ Jesus.  Don't expect the Church and world to change without an abundance of avowed Virgins of quality.  

Very old, new and everlasting there is Virginity.       
    

Monday, May 16, 2016

Saint Jerome On Virginity (Letter XII to Eustachia)

Some one will say, “Do you dare to disparage marriage, which is a state blessed by God?” I do not disparage marriage when I set virginity before it. ... Marriage is honored when it is placed next after virginity.

“Increase,” the Lord says, “and multiply and replenish the earth.” He who desires to replenish the earth may increase and multiply if he will. But the flock to which you belong is not on earth, but in Heaven. … Let them marry who eat their bread in the sweat of their brow, whose land brings forth thistle and thorns (Gen. 3:18-19) and whose crops are chocked with briars. My seed shall produce fruit a hundredfold - the reward of virginity is hundredfold; of widowhood, sixtyfold, and of married life, thirtyfold. “All cannot receive the Word of God but only they to whom it is given” (Mt 19:11).

Let others be eunuchs of necessity, but I [am chaste] of my own will. … Let them sew robes who have previously lost the unsown robe. Let them take pleasure in the crying of infants who, at their first coming into the world, lament that they are born. Eve was a virgin in Paradise; marriage only came after the coats of skins. Your homeland is paradise. Keep, therefore, your birthright and say, “Return unto your rest, O my soul!” (Ps. 124: 7).

For you to know that virginity is natural to man while marriage is a result of the fall, consider that marriage produces virgins, returning in the fruit what it had lost in the root. “A rod shall go forth from the root of Jesse, and a flower shall arise from his roots” (Is 11:1). The rod is the Mother of Our Lord, simple, pure, unsullied, drawing no germ of life from without, fruitful in singleness like God Himself. The flower of the rod is Christ, who says of Himself, “I am the flower of the field and the lily of the valley” (Ct 2:1). And in another place, He is foretold to be “a stone, cut out of the mountain without hands” (Dan 2), by which the Prophet signifies that He is to be born a virgin of a virgin. …

And so I praise marriage, because it brings forth virgins. Thus do I gather the rose from the thorns, the gold from the earth, the pearl from the shell.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Quote of the Day from Wilfrid Stinissen's Into Your Hands, Father

This much is clear to any wise and holy man or aspirant. We live in especially depraved times. Now perhaps our fathers who went before us thought the same about their generation. And yet comparatively speaking it seems that the state of affairs is severely evil. I'm sure some of us could harp on this all day long. For example all the sexual sins, and the young abandoning the Sacrament of Marriage. So what to think? Perhaps there is some overarching and all-embracing Divine Plan in all of this. Jesus died and is risen. There is a store of merits built up over the centuries via all the Saints. Mary seems to have some secret plans brewing from Heaven. So perhaps God will take this exceptionally depraved situation, this evil, and turn it into something good, even something unique, holy, grace filled, excelling times past, even eschatological. All of these singles committing sexual sins and lost in all sorts of sins. What if God had mercy and they repented, and by God's grace they became mystics, priests, religious, in short Saints like never before. They would have a renewed purpose, and they would enrich the Church and the world. Undeserved to be sure, but possible with Jesus and Mary. I leave this reflection with a quote that inspired it from a Carmelite, Wilfrid Stinissen's Into Your Hands, Father:
God makes use of evil in such a superb way and with such skill that the result is better than if there had never been evil. For those of us who find ourselves in the midst of evil, this is not easy to swallow. We think that the price to be paid for these good results is far too high. But Saint Paul rejoices when he ponders the "mystery", God's magnificent plan, "hidden for ages in God" (Eph 3:9), where evil and sin also have their place. "God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy on us all"(Rom 11:32). In this daring passage, which, strictly speaking, seems somewhat questionable, since it seems to place the initiative of sin on God, Saint Paul assures us that even the greatest catastrophe, namely, sin, contributes to the revelation of love. Nothing falls outside of God's plan. That is why the tragedy of the world, despite all its terror, has no definitive character. All the absurdity of which mankind's foolishness and blindness are capable is caught up in God's loving omnipotence. He is able to fit even the absurd into his plan of salvation and thereby give it meaning.
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"There is indeed much done against God's will by evil men," Augustine writes, "but his wisdom and power are so great that everything seemingly contrary to it, in reality, works toward the good outcome or end that he has preordained." In other words "God accomplishes his good will through the evil will of others. In this way the Father's loving plan was realized . . . and Jesus suffered death for our sake." (Enchiridion, no. 26)