Friday, December 22, 2017

The Birth of Jesus

Excerpts from Chapter XIX "The Nativity," from the book 

      While Luisa was in her mystical state, she felt that she went outside of herself, and saw the Blessed Mother in a cave in the act of giving birth to the little Baby Jesus. It seemed that both Mother and Son were transmuted into most pure light in a wonderful prodigy. In that light she could clearly discern the human nature of Jesus as containing the Divinity within itself. His Humanity served as a veil to cover the Divinity, in such a way that in tearing the veil of His human nature, He was God, while covered by that veil, He was Man. This is the prodigy of prodigies – God and Man, Man and God! He comes to dwell in our midst to take on human flesh, without leaving the Father and the Holy Spirit, since true love never separates.

      It seemed to Luisa that both Mother and Son, in the happy instant of His birth, remained as though spiritualized. Without the slightest difficulty Jesus came out of the Maternal womb, while they both overflowed with an excess of love. Their most pure bodies were transformed into light, and Light Jesus came out of the Light of the Mother without the slightest impediment. Both remained whole and intact, as they returned to their natural state. Then, the Most Holy Virgin, as though stirred, received her Son in her arms from the hands of an angel. In her ardor of love she squeezed Him so tightly that it seemed as if she wanted to draw Him into her womb again. Wanting to let her ardent love pour out, she placed Him at her breast to suckle.

      Who can tell the beauty of the Little Baby who at the moment of His birth, transmitted the rays of the Divinity? And who can tell the beauty of the Mother who remained all absorbed in those divine rays? As for St. Joseph, it seemed to Luisa that he was not present at the act of the birth, but remained in another corner of the cave, while engrossed in that profound Mystery. He was enraptured in sublime ecstasy, and if he did not see with the eyes of the body, he saw very well with the eyes of the soul. 

      As Luisa continued to look at the Holy Baby, she saw the Queen Mother on one side with St. Joseph on the other, both profoundly adoring the Divine Infant. The were all intent on Him, and it seemed that the continuous presence of the Little Baby kept them engrossed in a constant ecstasy. If they could do some action, it was due to a prodigy that the Lord worked in them; otherwise they would have remained motionless and unable to attend to their external duties. 

      While Luisa was in her usual mystical state, the Blessed Virgin appeared to her carrying her Baby on her lap. He was wrapped in a little cloth and was shivering. Placing Him in Luisa's arms, Mary asked her to warm Him with her affections, because this her Son was born in extreme poverty, with the highest mortification, and abandoned by men. Luisa saw that He was so pretty, with a Celestial beauty. She took Him in her arms, clasping Him to herself to warm Him, since He was almost numb with cold, having only one little cloth to cover Him. When the Queen Mother wanted her Baby back to nourish Him with her sweet milk, Luisa complied. His Mother then uncovered her breast to place it in the mouth of her Divine Baby.

      Luisa looked at this Little baby, of rare and enrapturing beauty. From all of His little Humanity, from His eyes, from His mouth, from His hands and feet, came most refulgent rays of light. These rays not only enwrapped Him, but extended so much as to be able to wound the hearts of all creatures. He gave hearts this first greeting of His coming upon earth – the first knock to invite all hearts, to make them open and to ask for a shelter within them. That sweet but penetrating knock of light made no clamor, yet it made itself be heard strongly, more than any noise. So, on that night, all felt something unusual within their hearts, but very few were those who opened their hearts to give Him a little shelter. And then the tender infant, in feeling His greeting not being returned, and that no one opened at His repeated knocking, began His crying. With His lips livid and shivering with cold, He sobbed, wailed and sighed.

      Thus He received His first rejections as He came forth from His Mother's womb. But while these things were happening with the light which came out from Him, He threw Himself into the loving arms of His Mother, giving her His first hugs and kisses. Although His little arms could not reach to embrace her completely, the light which came out of His hands surrounded her, in such a way that Mother and Son remained invested with the same light. When the Queen Mother requited her Son with her own embrace and kiss, they remained clasped to each other as if they were fused within each other. With her love, she compensated for the first rejection which Jesus received from the hearts of creatures. The little baby Jesus placed His first act of being born, His graces, His first sorrow, into the heart of His Celestial Mother, so that what appeared in the Son could appear in the Mother.  

      While in the Divine Will, Luisa saw the charming little Baby, after He came forth from the Maternal womb, fling Himself into the arms of His Celestial Mother. Feeling the need to make His first outpouring of love, He surrounded the neck of His Mother with His tiny arms, kissing her. His Virgin Mother also felt the need to pour out her love toward the Divine Infant. She returned to Him the Maternal kiss, with such affection as to feel her Heart come out of her chest. As Luisa contemplated this first outpouring of love between Mother and Son, Jesus told her about the great need He had to make this display of love with His Mother. Everything that has been done by the Supreme Being has been nothing other than a wellspring of love. In the Virgin Queen was centralized all the outpouring of love which the Divinity had in Creation. Since the Divine Will was in her, she was capable of receiving, with the kisses of the Baby Jesus, this great outpouring, and of returning it to Him. One who lives in the Divine Will centralizes within herself the continuous act of all Creation, and the attitude of pouring it back to God.  

      As soon as He came out of the womb of His Mother, He could not do without gazing at her, because in her was the enrapturing force of the Divine Will. The sweet enchantment of the beauty and most refulgent light of the Divine Fiat made Him remain fixed on His Mother, who possessed His very life by virtue of the Fiat. Seeing His life bilocated in her enraptured Him, and He could not remove His gaze from her, because the divine force compelled Him to fix it on the Celestial Queen. She often took Him with her most pure hands, covering Him with ardent kisses in order to warm Him and calm His crying. She nourished Him with her most sweet milk. 

      The birth of the Baby Jesus was the most solemn act of the whole Creation. Both heaven and earth plunged into a most profound adoration at the sight of His little Humanity, which kept His Divinity as though enclosed within walls. The time of His birth was a time of silence and of profound adoration and prayer. His Mother prayed while enraptured by the power of the prodigy which was coming out of her. St. Joseph and the angels prayed, and the Creation experienced the strength and love of the creative power being renewed in them. All Created things felt honored with true honor, because the One Who had created them would make use of them for what was needed for His Humanity. The sun recognized the One who had created it, and felt honored in having to give its light and heat to its true Lord. The earth felt honored and exulted with joy and prodigious signs, sensing Him lying in the manger with such tender limbs. Seeing their true King and Lord in their midst and feeling honored, all wanted to perform their office for Him: water wanted to quench His thirst; the warbling and trilling birds wanted to cheer Him; the wind wished to caress Him and the air to kiss Him. All desired to pay Him their innocent tribute.

      Only ungrateful men were reluctant. Experiencing an unusual joy and strength within themselves, they suffocated everything and were unwilling to move, although the Baby called them with tears, moans and sobs. The only exceptions were some few shepherds. Yet it was precisely for man that the Baby Jesus had come on earth! He came to give Himself to him, to save him, and to bring him back to the Celestial Fatherland. He was all eyes to see whether any would come before Him in order to receive the great gift of His Divine and Human life.
      He experienced cold in the Cave of Bethlehem, but it was not the cold of the air that chilled Him. No, it was the cold of the human hearts that made Him grow numb, and it was their ingratitude that made Him cry bitterly at His very first coming out to the light. Although the Blessed Mother also cried, she calmed the crying of her Son. Their tears blended together. As they exchanged their first kisses they poured themselves out in love. But their lives were to be sorrow and crying. The Baby had His Mother place Him in the manger, to go back to crying in order to call His children with sobs and tears. He wanted to move all to pity with His moans, so as to be listened to.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Grace is the Bilocated Life of God

There are entire books written on the subject of the grace of God. But have you ever wondered exactly what is meant by the grace of God?  Have you made any efforts to look up the definition of grace?  Have you ever found a definition that completely satisfied your curiosity and put to rest your need to understand the concept?

It is termed a favor, a gift, a participation in the life of God, a quality of the soul, a free and undeserved help.  One can search the catechisms to find these and similar terms and concepts.

The great Doctor of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas, discusses grace in his Summa Theologica in this series of topics : The necessity (109) and essence (110) of grace. The division (111) of grace. Its cause (112) and effects (113). Merit (114).

But the simplest and most concise definition that completely satisfies my need to grasp the concept is this statement:  "Grace is nothing other than the bilocated life of God."  More than a participation in the life of God, it IS the life of God! 

Who could be so bold, daring and innovative as to make such an elegant and simple assertion?  It was spoken by the Lord Himself, who revealed it to a mystic of the Church:

 ". . .  and my sweet Jesus told me: “My daughter, in each act that my Celestial Mama did for Me – and they were continuous – I repaid Her with a degree of graces, because I do not let Myself be beaten nor surpassed by the acts of creatures – I am insuperable. Therefore, if My dear Mama gave Me love, acts, steps, words - I, in each degree of grace, gave Her a divine life, because grace is nothing other than the bilocated life of God which gives itself to creatures. What a great difference between an act which a creature can give and a divine life which God gives at each of their acts. So, the Queen of Heaven was immensely rich, with so many divine lives which She received at each instant; and She used them to form the cortege, to honor, to love, with divine lives, Her Son, Her Jesus, Her All.
Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, Book of Heaven, Volume 22; September 14, 1927.

View my books on Luisa and others here.