Monday, February 3, 2014

Same Picture, Different Theme! ... On True Spirituality

Alright, so honestly part of the reason I'm using this picture again for this post is because I really like it! How often do you see two streets named Mary and Joseph at an intersection?

Rarely!

So here it is again though, this time, for the purpose of inspiring a related albeit different topic than yesterday.

I'd like to talk about true spirituality.


I spoke before of the "intersection" of two humble paths, two humble lives wherein the Way - Jesus Christ - was led through life unto adulthood.
I noted how Jesus entered our world in the context of a family.
True story.

If we "zoom in" a little bit with our meditation we see (still of course with a backdrop of family/communal life) one person in particular who models "true spirituality" not just for Christians but actually all of humanity.  That person is Mary.

Blessed Pope John Paul II speaks of a "feminine genius" located in the person of "woman." Woman is by her very nature the exemplar of humanity in relation to God. Why is that? Because it is of the nature of woman to receive the gift of self which man offers to her.  This receptivity, when it is authentic, is naturally fruitful and a child results.

Mary, as the perfect woman, the New Eve, is THE model to look to for what true and authentic human spirituality is all about because she is the one who perfectly received the gift which God offered to her, namely, His Word (i.e. the Son.)  Because of Mary's full yes to the full gift of God we have been fully redeemed.  In the fullness of time God took on a full human nature in the womb of a woman "full of grace."

The human heart (spiritually speaking) is analogous to woman's womb as it i is the "place" of receptivity and fruitfulness.  God is always giving, always offering Himself to us.  He knocks, so to speak, incessantly at the door of our hearts and desires (akin to a husband propositioning to his wife) that the person invite the gift of Himself which he offers.  This is why marriage and human sexuality (when it is authentic!) is the best "icon" we have (the Bible makes ample use of the marital image) of God Who is madly in love with the beautiful people He has made in His image (He Who Is perfect beauty itself sees Himself reflected in us, His image.)

Mary, who makes a full and constant yes to God becomes the perfect exemplar of what a human being ought to be: God's beloved.  She is the one who shows us "true spirituality" because she always receives what God offers, always says yes to His will (which is always in our best interest,) and is maximally fruitful based on her union with God.In other words, in Mary we see an authentic human being.  No wonder God chose her to be the one who would give humanity to His Son and raise Him to be the New and Perfect Adam (with the help of the just man Joseph of course.  Imagine how holy and manly Joseph must have been!  He was the man who taught the God-man how to be a man!  That's powerful!)

A question to ponder: If Mary had not said yes to God would Jesus have entered into our world?
Further, if you don't say yes to God then how many lives, how many "worlds" will Jesus not be able to enter through you? Through your love? Your prayers? Your positive influence?

"God created you without your consent 
but He will not save you without your consent." - St. Augustine

What would happen if you gave God your full consent? Your full, uncompromising, unlimited "yes?"  What happens if you say yes to God's Will?

I predict miracles.  At least, that's what happened when Mary said yes.  What could God do through you if you let Him has His way in you?

"Be it done unto to me according to your word...and the Word became flesh."

-Matt