The Visitation – Feast or Frustration?

Today is the Feast of the Visitation. The Anchoress’ God is Not Sophisticated Enough and David Mills’  Spirituality Without Spirits got me thinking about of this Feast day in the light of the thinking or befuddled thoroughly modern Woman of our Day.

The Visitation recalls that Mary is inspired by God to visit her older cousin Elizabeth now in her sixth month, carrying John who would one day be called the Baptist and be precursor to Mary’s own Son, now gestating in the paradise that is her womb. What wonders are unfolding in the secret of these holy wombs. Elizabeth prophetically greets the Mother of her Lord. Her child leaps at the Christ’s presence. Mary affirms Elizabeth’s utterance with her Magnificat. Mary exclaims with all humility and awe the saving works of God who at her “Fiat” is now enfleshed within her humble willing being.

Can the women of our age appreciate these moments in time and history? Has the history of our age made it impossible to grasp them beyond quaint story and mere myth. How can a thoroughly modern, maybe “spiritual” woman relate?  An untimely pregnancy – Mary’s or Elizabeth’s; how would the average working woman, school girl or college graduated woman proceed? Would wonder and awe best describe our modern attitudes.

The Anchoress writes:

“You can also safely assume that you’ve created a “spirituality” based on your own conscience (or your subconscious self) when it turns out that all God really wants of you is for you to do what makes you happy. Oh, and “love and forgive and stuff.”

David Mills writes:

“We want the spiritual-ish, because God made us to want him yet we do not want to want him, and we do not want him on his terms. If our hearts are restless without God, as St. Augustine argued, they can be tranquillized with substitutes, of which “spirituality” is easier to find and much less costly than the alternatives. Drugs and drink are bad for you, and wealth and sex are hard to get, and achievement takes work.”

Mary and Elizabeth were unabashedly “religious” woman who had the living faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They loved God with all their hearts, and souls and beings. Their faith made demands on them, touched the hearts and minds and when “choice” entered their mental framework,  it was prefixed with the word’s of Deuteronomy, “Choose life then that you may live.”  The “spiritual” Woman of Today is she free or frustrated?  Does she know Who is present in the gift of a child?

Screwtape Letters – Behind the Scenes

New Adam

I read these lines from the 33 Day of Total Consecration to Jesus by St. Louis Marie de Montfort:

Our Blessed Lady is the true terrestrial paradise of the New Adam, and the ancient paradise was but a figure of her. In this earthly paradise we have riches, beauties, rarities and inexplicable sweetness, which Jesus Christ, the New Adam has left here; it was in this paradise that He took His complacence for nine months, worked His wonders and displayed His riches with the magnificence of a God. It is in this earthly paradise that there is the true tree of life, which has borne Jesus Christ, the Fruit of Life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which has given light unto the world. There are, in this divine place, trees planted by the hand of God, and watered by His Divine Unction, which have borne and daily bear fruit of divine taste. It is only the Holy Ghost, Who can make us know the hidden truth of these figures of material things. The Holy Ghost, by the mouth of the Fathers, also styles the Blessed Virgin the Eastern Gate, by which the High-Priest, Jesus Christ, enters the world, and leaves it. By it, He came the first time, He will come the second, by it.

They inspired these thoughts, though I haven’t touched on Mary yet:

Where on this Earth has Jesus passed that flowers failed to bloom?
What on Earth has Jesus passed that succumbed to Adam’s doom.
When on this sad Earth did Jesus pass and desert’s dust remain.
Only if our fallen wills prevail, can Jesus come in vain.

When Jesus passed did flowers bloom and birds begin to sing?
When Jesus passed did children run to jump into his arms?
When Jesus passed did fallen men find strength to rise again?
When Jesus passed and left this world, once worst for Adam’s Sin,
Did Gates fling wide at Sin’s stemmed tide and Paradise begin again?

Joann Nelander

Adoration for Reparation for Sexual Abuses by Priests – Vatican

John Thavis posted in Catholic News Service:

The Vatican is hosting two hours of  Eucharistic Adoration “in reparation for abuses committed by priests and for the healing of this wound within the church.”The service in St. Peter’s Basilica this Saturday will feature an hour of silent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, an hour of prayer and meditation, and a solemn blessing at the end.

The unusual initiative was organized by Catholic university students in Rome. Sources said the event was originally planned for the small Church of St. Anne inside Vatican City, but that it was moved to St. Peter’s at the suggestion of Cardinal Angelo Comastri, who is archpriest of the basilica.

Mary, the Means by the Will of Godl

O Mary, living for Christ,
From the beginning, Immaculata,
As the Father willed,
Bring forth Christ for all mankind.

Make me the fruit of your holy labor.
Mary, the means and not the end,
Carry me within your bosom blest.

O Mary, living in me,
May I receive your thoughts and inspirations.
Let your heart beat with my own.
May your soul inflame my own.
May the soul of Christ,
One with yours
By His Holy Spirit espoused,
Be seed, substance and fruition in me.

May Christ, one with your soul,
Extend His victory in me,
As your protectorate,
That the Conqueror now conquer me.

May the angels wonder at my change,
As your light and inspirations
Become my constant delight.
O, you who are all grace by the Word of God,
Supply the grace for good to me,
As your heart received His holy orders
Obedient to Him who held all sway over your being.

Be in me, the gracious gift of God,
As is all grace.
All is grace and gratitude
To His glory and your merit.
I am abandoned.
You are adorned.
I am conformed.
Christ is adored.

©2010 Joann Nelander

Onesimus

Lord make this useless beggar useful.
Like the returning Prodigal
Nothing recommends me,
And everyone but You
Condemns me,
For my rags declare my misery.

You see me
But You do not turn away.
You rush to my side,
And embrace the little one
Who wanders from Your side.

I am to You
The lost and longed for
Child of Your Heart.
My provident possibility
Is all but destiny
Awaiting my “Amen”.

You draw the bath Yourself.
You allow Your angels the joy
Of tending to my wounds.
They touch me in consolation
As they once ministered strength
To You in the garden,
For they beheld me then in Your Holy Agony.

I am the child of Your sorrow
And Your glory.
Wash me and lovingly dress me
In Your robes of holiness and light.
You are creating me even now
While You gaze on me
For I am all “Yes”.

Your kindness and Your gentleness
Convince me beyond doubt.
I yield to You my sinfulness.
Every moment in Your Presence is gracefilled.
I have but to stretch out my hand
That You might place Your ring on my finger,
Put forth my feet to see them shod for
The journey to Your house.

I walk now in Your Kingdom,
For Your Presence makes light my steps
And sure the Way.
In Your embrace I find that I can dance merrily,
For the mysterious steps
Seem to come quite naturally
As long as I follow Your gentle persuasions.

Dance on my Father,
My Friend, my King, my All.
In Your arms I have found myself.
I have become Onesimus.

Joann Nelander