Saturday, December 24, 2005

Mary Holy Silence & Wonder



The angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger."..."Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." ....So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart."

Mary's silence lay not in timidity but rather through wisdom, for what words could Mary have said to explain the enormity of God's Gift to His children. That through her, God became man, with both human and divine nature, and how much God had given to her as He had filled her with Grace.

This most Holy Mother had much to ponder on, in that God chose to become less to save all, how can anyone explain the Way's of God? The Love of the Father is over and above man's ability to reason, so holy silence speaks in and of itself.

God chose to reveal this most wondrous of Miracles to the people who mattered little, in the society of that day. These people were not rich nor did they carry much influence in society, yet it is to these social outcasts that the Angels appeared to bring the Good News.

The shepherds were treated as the lowliest of people; they were seen by many as social misfits who eked out a living by caring for their livestock, even to sleeping with them. One can imagine their awe at the seeing the resplendent and tranquil beauty of Mary and admire the admirable way Joseph protected and shielded both Mary and the baby Jesus. As these humble shepherds kneeled before the Promised Messiah, one can imagine their hearts were near bursting at whom they had come to pay homage.

Mary was silent for there is no explanation as to why God would make Himself vulnerable and suffer the indignities of all men for the sake of Love. The Son of the Most High, was born in a stable a most humble abode, there was no royal crown to wear nor servants to tend his every need. Yet our Lord chose to be one among His people, and to be born of humble, meek and virtuous parents. Mary who is full of Grace, in that sin could bear no part in the birth of the Saviour who had been born to overcome the sting of death and bring Salvation so all men can be saved.

So Mary due to her own humble nature, was chosen by God from the beginning and therefore was 'full of Grace' for within her there could be NO sin, in that God could not live in a soul that had the stain of original sin, which was incurred by the rebellious act of Adam and Eve. So within her most pure soul and virginal womb God was enfolded in human flesh with both human and divine nature. And Mary herself is The Immaculate Conception, which allowed God through the Incarnation to be born of a Virgin.

We also have in Joseph true father to Jesus, a most holy spouse whose virtues compliments that of Mary, in that they were humble, meek, and charitable and trusted in God with full confidence. It was to Joseph that the Angels would appear in that God recognised Joseph as head of the home and ennobled the role of father which Joseph truly was.

It is the little one's that witness God's splendour, for God did not come to save the high and mighty He came to give hope to the lowly and the outcasts. It is the humble in spirit who see God and it is to them that our Heavenly Father reaches out.

The birth of our Lord and Saviour in this humble abode, teaches us that our True Wealth lay in the Heavenly Kingdom, and it is for those who obey His Word that the Promise of Heaven awaits...

God through Mary became man, what a wondrous event to behold, or have we lost that sense of Awe?

The true meaning of Christmas is not making sure we give the right present, or receive presents, it is acknowledging that what we have was never ours to begin with....give of yourselves, be love for one another…that is Christ in action.

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL

Peace of Christ to you.

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Mary and Joseph A Perfect Union



Mary and Joseph had a unique quality that meant they were made for each other, for both loved God and placed Him at the centre of their lives. This meant that their daily lives revolved around God and not their whims. They could both discern the Will of God through their own inner souls and so they lived out God's Will with perfection, they never questioned God's Good order but with simplicity of trust and confidence they obeyed it.

Even when the Archangel Gabriel shared with Mary the Good news, Mary did not question God reasons but in her purity she inquired how this could happen to her when she knew no man. Then upon understanding Mary accepted God's Will that indeed it can be done, and so it was and Mary through the Mystery of Mysteries, became the Mother of God. For the Incarnation was not a creation of a new life, but the enclosure in human flesh of the Life that gives Life to all, through the Son of God who had both human and Divine nature.

Joseph too had his own questions and upon receiving his answers he too from a filial love and devotion to Almighty God accepted his place at Mary's side to be a good husband and a true father to, their son Jesus. Both Mary and Joseph were obedient to God, even if at times they did not fully comprehend the whys and wherefore's they simply trusted in God's Wisdom, and that sufficed for them.

This did not mean that they did not have their own concerns and difficulties to overcome as I am sure that times do not change and people can be very quick to judge, wrongly! But this Holy couple paid no heed to any 'whispers' that may have been gathering in their wider community, but instead with silence, they obeyed God's Will as their hearts and souls were pure.

It is this aspect of complete 'oneness' that both Mary and Joseph shared that makes them unique and sublime; they took God at His Word with full knowledge that God would fulfill it in His time. But God also acknowledged Joseph's role in the upbringing of Jesus and that it was Joseph who was the head of their household, but this did not negate Mary in the least bit. It simply ennobled the family unit as God created it to be, with the man as head of the home and the wife as his helpmate and support.

This does not denigrate either couple, but simply compliments the exquisite differences that made this Holy Union so blessed, in that their love did not revolve around themselves but was centred in doing the Will of the Father. This then generated mutual respect, devotion and love for God and for each other, as they both lived a chaste life of fulfilling the role that God had willed for them.

Through this Holy couple we can see how much God esteems the family unit and it is also through Mary and Joseph we glimpse how all marriages should reflect that displayed by this most devout union. For a couple that is totally committed to God are also totally committed to each other.

The union of Joseph and Mary is not only God's gift to them it is also God's Gift to each of us, as we look to their example of placing God as the foundation of their union and from that springs eternal happiness.

For Joseph and Mary had a role to fulfill in bringing forth and raising, their beloved son, Jesus, they did this with typical simplicity and practicality. As they lived their lives centred on their Faith and in their day to day lives; they lived the Divine Will with perfection, which would be the fulfillment of the Promise of God, through their son and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

"Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has visited and brought redemption to his people. He has raised up a horn for our salvation within the house of David his servant, even as he promised through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old: salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to show mercy to our fathers and to be mindful of his holy covenant and of the oath he swore to Abraham our father, and to grant us that, rescued from the hand of enemies, without fear we might worship him in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give his people knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God by which the daybreak from on high will visit us to shine on those who sit in darkness and death's shadow, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Mary and Joseph Living the Divine Will




And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

When we look at the lives of Mary and Joseph many tend to think that what happened to them was singular and in a way it is, but it is also a lesson for each one of us to emulate.

For in the lives of both Mary and Joseph we see two ordinary people who with their whole hearts, minds and soul allowed God to work within them and transform them both to reflect the Divine. These two holy souls became so incorporated into the Divine Presence that when we study them we see the reflection of God in their lives, their words and their actions.

Mary as we know was chosen from the beginning to cooperate with God to help undo the sin of Adam and Eve, where our first parents were expelled from the Kingdom through sin. This would be achieved through Mary giving her Fiat to bear the Son of God, and Jesus Salvific death and Resurrection whereupon man regained his dignity and also his place in the Kingdom of God through the Sacrifice of both mother and Son. For our Lord had removed the sting of death and our Lady shows us how to live with perfect conformity to the Will of the Father, thus undoing the sin of Adam and Eve, which was caused by their rebellion.

But it is the holy lives of this couple, Joseph and Mary that show us that we too are called to give our fiats to God in order for the indwelling Spirit to transform us into living reflections of the Divine. Through Mary and Joseph we learn what it is to live the Divine Will without needing an explanation, as if God had to explain Himself to His creatures.

Joseph and Mary also through their actions teach us what true humility is and also to trust in God's Wisdom, even if it seems bizarre to do so. How many of us would follow a dream if we were told by an angel to rise and leave? Would we not consider it 'just a dream' and fall back to sleep.

Joseph was a great man, indeed a man after God's own heart and was also true father to Jesus and a noble and loving spouse to Mary his beloved wife. It is through the extraordinary humility and meekness of Joseph that shows all men what it is to be a man.

It is through the life of Joseph, Mary and the young baby Jesus we see how it should be for all of us. How family life should be centred around God and their Faith and not a longing to gain 'things', for what profit is there if one gains a mansion only to lose his/her family?

It is this holy couple who exemplify what family life can be if we live our Faith, honour and esteem one another and validate the other through respect and love. Joseph had immense respect and love for Mary and his beloved Mary esteemed and honoured her devout husband, as they both raised Jesus in the Traditions of their Faith. Each of them had their chores to do, Joseph needed to provide a living for his holy family, Mary needed to keep house, cook, clean and nurture her growing son Jesus. And the infant Jesus learnt from his parents to place God first, pray much, and to earn a living by working hard, by the example shown by his parents, Joseph and Mary.

The example provided by the Holy family is to simplify our lives and to enjoy our families, and first and foremost to place God and our Faith at the centre of our family unit. The lives of Joseph and Mary should not be out of the ordinary in that we should all be trying to emulate them within our own lives.

Until we truly embrace the shining examples given to us by this loving and Holy family then it is we who miss out, in that by rejecting the example given us by Joseph and Mary we also reject God's invitation to live His Divine Will.

For both Joseph and Mary lived the Divine Will, even if they at times did not fully comprehend the Way's of God, still they simply Trusted in God's Goodness, because God is Good.

It is through the first Christmas that we see how God dignifies the lowly and allowed the humble to see the face of God. Do we see the face of God in today’s society?

Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mary Beloved of God



Mary, was chosen by God to help bring Salvation to all men, through the birth of her son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The most singular feature in this is that God loved Mary for who she was and not for what she would give Him. This is why understanding Mary's unique place in the Salvation of man is integral to the depth of our own Faith.

For our Heavenly Father so loves His children, that He would never contemplate 'using' one as pure nor as noble as Mary to simply bear His Son and then discard her, as if she was of no more use.

Mary's part in the Salvation of man is of the utmost importance for each of us, for through Mary, we also learn to live the Divine Will with perfection, as did Mary most Holy. It was never God's intention to consign Mary to the history books as if she had no more to offer in and of herself.

Through Mary we also glimpse the workings of the Divine, for it is God who ennobles man and it is also God who grants man his dignity. It would be anathema to our Heavenly Father to use a creature and then ignore the role played by one so Holy as Mary, as if her Fiat meant nothing.

God is a delicate and sensitive Father who Loves us with a depth that the human mind will never comprehend, if this is so, then how can so many disregard the role that Mary played in the Salvation of mankind, as if she were of little consequence?

Can any truly comprehend the Mystery of Mysteries that touched Mary, when she conceived the Son of God and upon giving birth remained eternally a virgin, yet also a mother with a mother’s heart?

When we ignore Mary we then deprive ourselves of the gift that our Heavenly Father gave us in the form of Mary who lived His Divine Will without blemish. For it is through Mary's love of God, that we too can glimpse what perfect love is and should be within each of our hearts towards the Triune Spirit.

It is Mary that teaches us true humility in that she drew no attention to herself but instead always points to her Son, who is also her God. Our Blessed Mother looked for no earthly titles in that God loved her for herself, what need would she have had for grand palaces or worldly titles?

Mary knew what was important in life and it was not in a gaining of things but in a giving of herself, an emptying of herself for love of all mankind. And through her Fiat, God became man with both Divine and human nature. But it is not only Jesus who loved us unto Death upon a Cross, but also our Blessed Mother, who loves each of us unto a sword pierces her very soul.

God chose Mary for who she was and loved her for herself, how can we not do the same?

Peace of Christ to ALL
Copyright © 2005 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.