Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin to Elizabeth

"And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! (Luke 1:41,42) These words from Sacred Scripture have formed the beautiful prayer the Hail Mary. From these words we honor not worship Mary. There is something else that happens at the Visitation. It is fitting to call Mary blessed because she bore Christ, however it is her faith that is at the center of why we can call Mary blessed.

Our Protestant brothers, who proclaim salvation by faith alone, should also honor Mary because at the heart of Mary is her faith in her son Jesus Christ. As Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio at The Crossroads Initiative explains:
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).  (read more)

Mary's entire life is based on faith. This is why she is considered the first disciple and in many ways, the way we come to Jesus. The evidence is drawn from Sacred Scripture and we should, with the help of the Holy Spirit, call Mary blessed as Elizabeth did so many years ago.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Prayer


 

The Jesus Prayer

I am writing a research paper for my Christology course. My professor wanted to present Christ in His person and the economy of salvation, the way in which Christ saves humanity. Ultimately he wanted us to draw near to Christ and increase our faith and spirituality. Pope Benedict XVI wrote Behold The Pieced One, it is an Approach to a Spirituality Christology. His first thesis states, "According to the testimony of Holy Scripture, the center of the life and person of Jesus in his constant communication with the Father." Using this as a jump off point I am writing my paper on the Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." In this statement we can pray like Jesus by calling on Jesus the mediator  constantly. In The Way of a Pilgrim, the unknown author talks about the Jesus Prayer as a summation of the Gospel in the first part and an acknowledgement of our sinful nature that must call for God's mercy in the second part. The shortness of the prayer lends itself to being constantly prayed throughout the day. It is a prayer of the heart so it requires setting aside some quiet time, locating the heart and saying the prayer 33, 50, or 100 times. To say that I am a novice at this prayer would be an understatement but a certain joy has begun in my life. It is not a prayer that has replaced my daily Rosary but has increased the contemplative aspect of my Rosary. We must always remember that the Rosary is also a Christological prayer and has its own fruits but is admittedly a difficult prayer to pray constantly throughout the day. When I polish up my paper I'll post parts of it here.

God Bless