Ave Maria, Gratia plena!

This blog is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is my hope that all Christians who visit this site - Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or evangelical - will be encouraged, filled with joy but also challenged by the fact that they have not just a Father, but a Mother in Heaven.

For all who are seeking the deepest possible intimacy with God, with our Lord Jesus Christ, may we look nowhere else, in the end, than the one human being who has, since the Incarnation of Christ, experienced the most superlative closeness - physically and spiritually - to God-in-human-flesh. She is the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of Jesus Christ herself: the Daughter of God the Father, the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of God the Son.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

No enemies except. . . myself

Haven't opened up the Psalms all that much since deciding to become Catholic. . . randomly opened up to Psalm 57, in which King David rails against his enemies:

Let death take them by surprise; let them go down alive to Sheol, for evil is in their homes and hearts.
But I will call upon God, and the LORD will save me. -Psalm 55:16-17

I must say that since becoming devoted to Mary, it's hard to relate to Psalms like this one in the sense that I can't see anyone around me as an enemy anymore - that is, nobody can separate me from the love of God nearly as much as myself.

This is such a precious gift from the Blessed Virgin: the awareness of such a deep sinfulness within us owing to the disordered state caused by inborn Original Sin, which baptism only starts the removal of. Everything becomes quite simple when the struggle is largely, indeed more and more exclusively with our own flesh: the traitor within who God must necessarily put to death over and over again, often by surprise and unexpected afflictions. At some point, we get so accustomed to these little deaths - the painful mortification of our wills - and we see that God is so faithful to rescue us from them that we can actually put ourselves to death of our own free will!

Such is the way of the Cross. . . the only way to the ultimate, beatific vision of the Holy Trinity.

And yes, if we are our own worst enemies, it follows that everyone around us - whether they treat us well or badly - is by comparison a good friend!