Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blessed Virgin Mary

An Apologetic Treatise 
Our Ever Blessed Virgin Mother

I would like to discuss a little bit about the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Let’s first begin with some history.  At the beginning of Genesis there was woman God made of Adam’s rib, her name was Eve, I am sure you know who she is.   She was the first woman.  We all know how that story ends right?  It ends with Eve being tempted by the serpent, and eating from the forbidden tree.  As a punishment to all for the first man and woman’s disobedience, God punished them both with having to leave a Garden of Eden and experience death and loss of eternal life.  This death I am talking about is not just death of the body but it is death of the soul.  Adam and Eve and all their descendants had no chance at Heaven after Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  God had meant for them to live forever because He loved them so very much, even more than we can humanly comprehend.

This brings me to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she had to be conceived without the stain of original sin,she had to be a sinless pure vessel. Orginal the sin that all of us have when we are born because of the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve. The Blessed Mother did not have this sin. She had to be and was the perfect vessel for Jesus to be placed, the Word made flesh.  This was done so that we, fallible sinful humans could have another chance at eternal life. That is why Jesus came and died and was raised from the dead for.  

God made a perfect vessel just like the people of Israel made for Tablets of the Ten Commandments to be kept safe in.  This gold vessel precisely made, carried the hand written Word of God. This vessel was called the Arc of the Covenant. 

The Blessed Virgin Mary was immaculately conceived, precisely made, according to Gods Holy plan just as the Arc of the Covenant had been made thousands of years before.  This Arc, the Blessed Virgin Mary, contained the hand written Word of God made flesh, Jesus.  This handmade Word of God would come in another perfectly made vessel. This vessel would be a young Jewish Virgin Girl, Mary the daughter of St. Ann and St. Joachim. The New Arc of the Covenant would contain the Son of the Most High, the word made flesh Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

The reason I have gone into so much detail,is to explain why we Catholics pray for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary the mother of God made flesh. If for no other reason we should respect and love her for that reason alone.  She with her “YES” to the Holy Ghost the night of the Annunciation gave us once again the chance at eternal life, something that had been lost when the forbidden fruit was eaten many many years before in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. 

Now in defense of the veneration honor and love for our Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God, the Mother that Jesus gave to us while He was dying on the cross. Jesus gave His Mother not only to John His favorite disciple but to all us, His brothers and sisters. He entrusted the care to St. John of His Mother and His Mother to John and us. Even in today’s society who doesn’t want their mother loved and cared for and treated with the utmost respect, protected and loved?  

Our mothers carried us for nine months and then cared for us until we were old enough to take care of ourselves, am I correct? With that being said, for those of you who are Catholics and who have not had the Dogma of our faith explained or for those of you who are of a different faith, we do not worship the Blessed Mother we love and respect Her and we ask for Her help in difficult times to pray for us just as you would your own mother or family member who you love and care about.  Who better to ask for intervention than the Mother of God the Word made Flesh? Instead of asking for prayers from a sinful human you can ask the sinless Mother of Jesus.

I had a Catholic ask me the other day “Why do you feel you need to ask for prayer from the Blessed Mother and the Saints, why don’t you just go to God?” I explained this to my 11 year old son not too terribly long ago.  If you had gotten in trouble with your father for doing something wrong, who did you go to for help to ease things, maybe your mother? This is similar; we go to our mother because we are in need of her help here intervention, she would intercedes for us.  Do we have to go through the Blessed Virgin Mary no,because scripture tells us that we do not have to, but I know for a fact that it has helped me more times than I can remember. I think an intercessor might be a good idea and maybe God will be easier with our punishment, when the Mother of His only Son intervenes for us
Remember God picked her, she is something very special.

Let’s tackle the prayers of intercession to Our Ever Blessed Mother and to the Saints.I also look up to them as role models for the virtuous lives they led. I do pray and ask for intervention from Our Blessed Mother by way of the Rosary. The Rosary that I feel will lead us to the salvation our Lord God wants for all His Children. After praying the Rosary and really meditating on what it means (the life of Christ) it is the best prayer we can pray besides our Holy Mass, the Mass is the ultimate prayer. I believe in my heart that the Rosary will be the chain that will bind satan one day forever.

I hope that helps people understand the reason most Catholics ask for the help and intercession of the Most Blessed Ever Virgin Mary Mother of God.

The words of the Angel Gabriel in the book of Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. Luke 1:42 Elizabeth said: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 

This translates into the Hail Mary which is scriptural:
Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed if the fruit of thy womb Jesus, holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Homily for a Soldier

I would like to start my blog a new way from now on, I would like to start it with a Psalm.
Let GOD arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;

Let all who hate Him flee before His Holy Face.
~Psalm 67

I received an email today from a friend. The email contained a homily given at a fallen soldier's funeral. This homily touched my heart so very much, I wanted to share it. It was posted yesterday, Veterans Day.

Today is Veteran's Day and I was thinking of a Funeral Mass that I offered a few years ago for a young soldier who was killed in action.  Thank you to him and to all who have served our country in the Armed Forces.  This is the homily that I delivered at his funeral.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
At the very founding of this Nation, our forefathers recognized and acknowledged what was — in their words — self-evident. Namely, that every human life is sacred. And, that these inalienable rights — of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — are given not by an act of law or by man-made decree, but rather are given as a gift from the Creator. The Founders declared that it is the role of government to secure and protect these inalienable and self-evident rights. Today — at home and abroad — the sacredness of human life is everywhere under attack. Today, what was self-evident to those who came before us is often obscured by ideology, by a culture of death and by evil.
 Today we mourn the death of Stephen Fortunato. Stephen was a soldier. The soldier does not primarily exist to take human life, but to protect human life. What inspired Stephen to enlist in the Army was when he saw the inalienable rights of his fellow Americans threatened in the terrorist attacks of September 11th. In order to defend and to protect the life, liberty and happiness of others, Stephen voluntarily surrendered his own freedoms. He gave up the right to be with his own family and friends so that others could enjoy that right. He gave up the warmth of home and familiarity, so that others could enjoy such things. He gave up the right to come and go as he pleased so that others could enjoy that right. And last week, on a roadside in Afghanistan, he made the supreme sacrifice and surrendered his own right to life in order to secure and to protect the lives of his countrymen. Our Lord tells us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's own life for a friend.
On an October morning in 1983, it was actually October 2nd — the Feast of the Guardian Angels — a baby boy was carried by his family into this church and he was baptized. In that moment, Stephen Fortunato was given the promise of immortality; the promise of eternal life. From that moment on, he belonged to Christ. Christ, the Good Shepherd, was forever at the side of Stephen.
 Today, we — who live half a world away — cannot help but wonder what the last moments of Stephen's life were like. Perhaps you wish that you could have been there with him as he breathed his last; with him to comfort and console him; with him to express your love and affection; with him to say goodbye. But this was not possible. In this way, Stephen's sacrifice is also your sacrifice. You have given a husband, a son, a brother, a grandson, a friend to a grateful nation. That nation and its citizens owe you and Stephen a debt of gratitude. Stephen was rightly outraged when others attempted to steal the God given rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from his countrymen. Stephen's response to that outrage was to sacrifice his own rights to protect and defend the rights of others. All of us who are gathered here today might well learn from his example. Imagine how much our nation would benefit if there were more persons who — like Stephen — were dedicated to protecting the inalienable rights of others — the right to life, to liberty and to the pursuit of happiness.
 Although you are undoubtedly consoled by the military honors that Stephen deservedly receives today, our gathering here in this church reminds us that when the volleys have all been fired and the sound of the bugle has faded, there is something that lasts forever — something that remains.
 When Stephen entered into the valley of the shadow of death on a roadside in a faraway land, he was not alone. You — his family — made sure of that. You gave him something that lasts forever. When you carried him into this church 25 years ago, you introduced Stephen to the Good Shepherd. And Christ has never left the side of Stephen. "Even though I should walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. With thy rod and thy staff, thou givest me comfort." Christ, the Good Shepherd, has led the way through the valley of death and in his resurrection, he has conquered man's greatest enemy — death itself. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, went ahead of Stephen to prepare a place for him in the Father's house. When Stephen closed his eyes to this world, Christ was beside him. And it is our Christian hope that when Stephen opened his eyes again, the Good Shepherd welcomed him to life eternal.
 On an October morning 25 years ago, you carried your son into this church, and entrusted him to Christ the Good Shepherd. You trusted that Christ, the Good Shepherd would stay forever at his side and guide him beside restful waters and would refresh his soul. This morning, your family, your community, your parish, your country, carries your son again into this church. We ask God to have mercy on the soul of Stephen and to purify him. We give thanks to Almighty God for Stephen's life and for his devoted and complete service. We also ask God to give to each one of us a deep and abiding friendship with Jesus Christ — for he is the way to the Father's House. And apart from him we can do nothing.
 Stephen began his journey to eternal life here in this church — dedicated to Mary, Star of the Sea. Today marks the end of Stephens mission; of his journey. May Mary, Star of the Sea, now guide him from the troubled waters of Earth to the safe harbors of heaven. May Christ, the Good Shepherd, now open to Stephen the doors of the Father's House, and may Stephen discover within its halls what he so willingly and valiantly sacrificed for others — true life, true liberty and everlasting happiness.