Monday, March 26, 2007

Teaching Moment

A bishop's three-fold mandate is to teach, sanctify, and rule (cf Compendium 326). The late Fulton J. Sheen shows his mastery of the first of these:
There never can be a birth without love. In this the maiden was right. The begetting of new life requires the fires of love. But besides the human passion which begets life, there is the "passionless passion and wild tranquility" of the Holy Spirit; and it was this that overshadowed the woman and begot in her Emmanuel or "God with us." At the moment Mary pronounced Fiat or "Be it done," something greater happened than the Fiat lux (Let there be light) of creation; for the light that was now made was not the sun, but the Son of God in the flesh....

Children come into the world not always as a result of a distinct act of love of man and woman. Though the love between the two be willed, the fruit of their love, which is the child, is not willed in the same way as their love for one another. There is an undetermined element in human love....But in the Annunciation, the Child was not accepted in any unforeseen way; the Child was willed. There was a collaboration between a woman and the Spirit of Divine Love. The consent was voluntary under the Fiat; the physical cooperation was freely offered by the same word....

As the fall of man was a free act, so too the Redemption had to be free. What is called the Annunciation was actually God asking the free consent of a creature to help Him to be incorporated into humanity.

Life of Christ

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.


Literally and truly awesome.

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