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제목 BVM with the most perfect humility is Immaculate(2016-12- 08)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2016-12-09
















BVM with the most perfect humility is Immaculate (2016-12- 08)


Divine Providence had postponed the full light on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception until the 19th century because more than ever this Dogma was important for our modern times. Modern man thinks that he does not need God, that his natural reason is sufficient for all. By contrast the Immaculate Conception reminds us that we were born with the original sin, and still have the four wounds of sin. Hence, we NEED the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.


When we contemplate the immaculate beauty of our Lady, we understand better our sinfulness: one sees more one’s darkness when put close to the full whiteness. But far from discouraging us, this contemplation also shows the power of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore lifts our soul with confidence that, yes, God is capable and most willing to save us from sin and sanctify us, as St Peter says: “he hath given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature: flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world” (2 Pet. 1:4).


The more one considers his human condition, the more evident it becomes that we are but little creatures: we did not establish the laws of gravity, the laws of physics, the laws of the atom, the laws of life. Scientists find these laws; they do not make them; and no one can escape them. We depend on the sun for light and warmth; we depend on the rain for farming and on the availability of food and on so many things. We are tiny little creatures, on a tiny planet, in a tiny solar system in one of the millions of galaxies of the world. Hence we burst in admiration with the psalmist: “What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?” (Ps. 8:5). Yet God would not be God if He did not know ALL things, all what He has made, including these little tiny human creatures on that tiny planet Earth. As creatures we DEPEND on our Creator: He did not only set all things in motion, giving them a start; but He also conserves them in existence, and is the Prime Mover, the One who guides them by His laws to their proper actions for the common good of the universe.


From our condition of creatures flows a double dependence on God: we depend on Him for our existence, our being: all what is good in us comes from Him and relies on Him as on its First Cause. We also depend on him for our actions: we could not move our little finger without the First Mover: unless indeed He would give us our strength, our health we would be paralysed. Sometimes we only realise this dependence when God withdraws His gifts, and in sickness we become unable to do what we had taken for granted before.


Some people do not like to hear the Church speaking about “dependence on God”, they feel that it detracts from the “dignity of man”, but such fear is most unreasonable and only manifests a great pride. Indeed does the fact that a baby is dependent on his mother hurt the baby? Not at all! And a baby is much happier in his mother’s arms than left alone! So are we so much greater and better when we are in God’s arms. Why? Precisely because God is the source of all goodness: everything good in us comes from God; God really cares about us, and thus it is good for us to be and live in that dependence on God, in God’s arms, on His heart!


But these people would say: “we are Free! Hence we should be free from God! Dignity of man consists in this freedom!” Here we touch the very heart of sin: pride; such pride blinds the mind by giving a wrong understanding of true freedom. Humility goes with truth: to put ourselves at the right place, according to truth. Thus our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, could say: “Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls” (Mt. 11:29). Why is He humble? He is true God and true man: as man he fully acknowledged the dependence of His human nature upon the Divine nature; that acknowledgement went with obedience to the commandment of the Father who asked that He would immolate Himself on the Cross for our salvation (see Jn. 10:18). Tough command! But precisely by this obedience He became the Redeemer of the world!


To understand true freedom, it is good to consider that all material creatures, from the largest galaxy to the smallest sub-particle in atoms perfectly obey the commandments that God has set to them: gravity, electromagnetism, etc. There is not a single particle in the whole universe that does not perfectly follow the laws of God. But you might say: they are not free; they obey out of necessity. Indeed. Yet their obedience makes the beauty of that material creation, from the beauty of a sunset, to the beauty of a flower, beauty of a rainbow, etc. But God has created spiritual creatures, and endowed them with freedom, so that they may obey out of love and not out of necessity. And this is even more beautiful, when we obey God out of love. But it is most important to remember that God did not give us freedom in order to disobey His Law, but in order to obey His law out of love.


Sin is precisely this refusal of submission to God, refusal of obedience to God’s Law, refusal of the truth of our being creatures. This rebellion against God is summed up in the shout of Satan: “I shall not serve!” (Jer. 2:20). And how many people today repeat this shout of rebellion! Such rebellion is the cause of all the sufferings and evils that afflict mankind: selfishness, violence, thefts, murders, all kinds of uncleanness, and the sicknesses of the body that follow, etc.


But it is foolishness to think that we could escape God’s law. Indeed St Augustine says: either you obey and you will be rewarded according to the Law of God, or you disobey and you will be punished still according to the law of God. It is not possible that God would leave the last word to evil; He is Goodness, and will restore the order broken by sin. Thus all sins must come under the order of God, either the order of mercy or the order of Justice: God gives us the choice: either we punish ourselves here below by penance and true conversion, and then He will spare us in the next world, or we stubbornly refuse to return to Him here below and then He will punish us in the next world. So it is utter foolishness to rebel against God, but such is the blindness caused by pride!


Now the Immaculate Conception is the opposite of pride: by the fullness of grace she received from the beginning of her conception, she fully submitted to God’s Law and always strove to practice it with the most perfect humility, which is manifest is her answer to the Angel: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word” (Lk. 1:38). And this is the reason why she has been exalted above all others, as our Lord said times and times again: “everyone that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted” (Mt 23:12, Lk. 14:11, 18:14).


Grace is the remedy for sin, and the antidote for sin. It always goes with willingly and lovingly submitting ourselves to God, acknowledging our dependence upon Him, acknowledging the truth of our place with regards to Him: first of all the truth of our past sins, which we – by the grace of God – detest from the depth of our heart and for which we are willing to make reparation. That submission to God leads us to faith, which is the submission of the intelligence to the revealed word of God; it also leads us to hope by which we rely on His help and follow His path with docility in order to reach eternal life; and it finally leads to charity, by which we fully submit our will and all our love to Him, giving to God the very first place in our heart: we do not let any earthly consideration interfere and keep us from Him.


Such willing submission to God does not take away freedom at all, on the contrary: it makes us free from sin, free from slavery to earthly attractions and bonds, free from evil that can no longer reach our soul – and even if our body suffers, that grace of God transforms these sufferings in great gems of love with tremendous reward, as St Paul says: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).


We see that in our Lady: by her fullness of grace, our Lady was perfectly subject to God: that did not suppress her liberty at all: she always most willingly did what pleased God. Obedience to God is not against liberty: this is one of the great misconceptions of the modern world. On the contrary loving obedience implies first light in the intelligence that sees what is right and love in the will that wants to do it. Disobedience to God on the contrary implies the rejection of light in the intelligence and evil will – pride – in the will. By disobedience to God one becomes slave of sin.


God is Supreme; hence God’s liberty is supreme and subject to none. We are creatures and therefore subject to God; hence our liberty is that of a creature, which therefore is not its own rule, but receive its ultimate rule from God. But it is good for us to be obedient to God! Our obedience does not profit to God, who cannot become better or happier: it profits to us and to our fellow men, as it is evident in our Lady, who became Queen of Heaven and earth for her greater happiness and our greater benefit – all of this turns into the Glory of God: that glory does not make God better in Himself, but it is the shining of His Wisdom in His creatures. That glory of God makes His creatures happy, of an eternal happiness! The Immaculate Virgin manifests the power of grace by the sublime elevation of the perfection she was given, above all angels and saints in Heaven! Hence she inspires us with a great confidence in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. She has become the channel of grace for us, Mediatrix of all graces.


The power of grace is also visible when God has mercy on great sinners such as St Mary Magdalen transforming them into great saints. But whether God loves innocent souls like the Blessed Virgin, whether He loves sinners like Mary Magdalen, He always wants to make them saints! Precisely because He is merciful, God does not want us to remain in sin but rather He wants to heal our souls from sin, so that we live no more in sin. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ said to the woman taken in adultery: “Neither will I condemn thee. Go, and now sin no more” (Jn. 8:11). Jesus also said to a cripple whom He healed at the pool of Bethsaida: “Behold thou art made whole: sin no more, lest some worse thing happen to thee” (Jn. 5:14).


Luther and today’s modernists such as Cardinal Kasper forget this admonition of our Lord: “Sin no more!” The result is: the sinners remain in their sins, and thus cannot go to Heaven! Hence Luther’s “salvation by faith alone” is very much opposed to salvation. Kasper’s mercy is very much opposed to God’s mercy: both are deceivers, leaving the sinners in their sins and thus leading them to Hell.


Our Lady is Immaculate and she is the Mother of Mercy; she has received mercy from God to the highest degree, precisely in this that she was redeemed in a higher mode, being preserved from all sin. Her Immaculate Conception manifests to us that the Mercy of God would never leave one in sin, the Mercy of God is so opposed to sin that God’s masterpiece is completely preserved from sin! She has received mercy and in turn she now distributes the Mercy of God to us: but being Immaculate, she would not leave us in the dirt of sin; she rather removes us from sin. Which mother would see her child in the mud, in the mire of sin, and leave him there? No! She rather will clean us, will “washed their robes [=their souls], and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Apoc. 7:14).


Now all the marvellous graces that made our Lady Immaculate and that heal and sanctifies countless sinners, all these graces come from the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross: this is the supreme manifestation of the Mercy of God. The Son of God took upon Himself the penalty due to our sins, paid off our debt to the Father, and obtained for us all the graces of sanctification. This is how far God’s love for us has gone! Now that Sacrifice is offered daily on our altars, and hence the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the channel of God’s mercy. There, the sinner obtains the grace of repentance; after our Lord’s death on the Cross, St Luke notes that “all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts” (Lk. 23:48). Striking their breast, they were touched by the grace of God, having attended the Supreme Sacrifice!


In that Sacrifice was offered “the pure Victim, the Holy Victim, the Immaculate Victim” as the Roman Canon says: the Immaculate Victim is the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is the source of all immaculate life: it cleanses the souls and keeps innocence. Our Lady Immaculate was Immaculate in order to be a worthy receptacle of our Lord on the day of the Incarnation; she was also Immaculate in order to be fully united with Him as the Immaculate Victim. She is thus deeply united with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


Being thus cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb each time deeper at every Mass, we are prepared for everlasting life in Heaven, where “there shall not enter into it anything defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb” (Apoc. 21:27).


May the Immaculate Virgin obtain this grace for all of us! Amen.
 

Fr. F. Laisney (sspxasia)