Sweet Hope (An Advent Reflection)

O sweet Night!

How the prophets wished
to hold you still.

O sweet Virgil!

Hope of hopes let your face
shine upon us.

O sweet Night!

Make way for the boy King
and let the heavens declare:

Divinity has kissed the Earth!

O sweet Virgil!

Let that joyful cry
proclaim for all eternity,

Emmanuel!

Caleb

Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary today December 8.

For a great article by Journey towards Easter, about the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary please read:

The Root of Jesse and the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady

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7 thoughts on “Sweet Hope (An Advent Reflection)”

  1. I believe Caleb, as the Scriptures confirm, that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was conceived in her by The Holy Spirit but where does it say in Scripture that she remained a virgin and that we are to pray to her?

    Why do I ask, it’s not to be divisive, I have a lot of respect for you as a man of deep faith and Love but I ask because we are to be of one mind not have opposing views, this is why there is division in the Church today which Paul warned against it, some did not have God’s Truth as confirmed in Scripture but Trusted in their own understanding, they did not follow Jesus but man and so the Church became polluted.

    The Holy Spirit does not say one thing to one person and something different to another when it contradicts, although He may tell us something we can share in The Body of Christ but it will always be confirmed in Scripture.

    We are not to argue or even to agree to disagree both cause division, we are to resolve our differences with God’s Truth, as confirmed in the Bible and not by what man thinks is True but by what God tells us and by His wisdom and the empowering of The Holy Spirit we will understand His inspired words as Jesus leads us into all Truth.

    Colossians 2 :2 -3 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in Love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

    Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

    1John 2:26-28 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you but as the same anointing Teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath Taught you, ye shall abide in Him.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV) perhaps our Computers.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

    1. Dear Anne,

      First so sorry for a such a late response. I haven’t had time to be on Word Press lately.

      I know that you are coming from a loving place and I treasure that so very much! I don’t think that you are trying to be divisive, quite the opposite, you are looking for unity, which can only be found in Christ and truth. That is why our dialogue is so important.

      In answering your questions I would like to start with the common ground that we both shared about the Blessed Virgin Mary. She holds a unique and privileged role in the history of salvation by giving birth to our Savior Jesus Christ.

      Scriptures are very clear about this point, as we hear it in the lips of the Angel Gabriel during the annunciation:

      “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women”.

      Luke 1:28

      We can also hear it in the lips of the Blessed Mother when inspired by the Holy Spirit she says:

      “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed”.

      Luke 1:48

      We both can agree that all generation shall call Mary blessed because of the great things that God did for her. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that Mary conceived Christ but first she had to say yes and in doing son she gave herself completely and unconditionally to God’s will:

      “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her”.

      Luke 1:38

      She is a great example for all of us. As Christian we should do what Mary did, give ourselves completely and unconditionally to God’s will. That is why Christians through out history has always venerated her.

      Where we part ways is in the fact that Protestants have forgotten that the Body of Christ is whole, that there is only One Body of Christ that we all belong to:

      “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another”.
      Romans 12:4-5

      There is not a Body of Christ on Earth and another in heaven but only one Body and not even death can separates us from that union with Christ:

      “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord”.

      Romans 8:38-39

      That is why Christians from the time of the Apostles to today believe that death cannot separate us from the Body of Christ and thereby those who are in heaven are in a unique position to ask Christ mediation for us. In order words we are not cut off from the Body of Christ after death on the contrary we are more perfectly united with him.

      The intercession of the Saints in Heaven is very biblical and clearly express in the Book of Revelation:

      “When he took it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones”.

      Revelation 5:8

      Here we see the elders in heaven presenting the prayers of the holy ones on Earth. Thereby death cannot separate us from Christ, quite the contrary we will be far closer to Christ in heaven than we are here. We will be perfected in the presence of God’s love in perfect charity. How much more do you think that we will be compelled to pray to God for the intercession of those who are here still carrying their crosses on Earth?

      I strongly believe that the love for Christ will move us ever more deeply to pray for those who are still on their journey towards God. Christian love for each other does not end when we get to heaven. It grows even deeper as it is perfected.

      The fact that the saints in heaven can pray for us does not take away Christ unique mediation between God and man because all of their prayers are offer to God through Christ the one mediator between God and man:

      “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
      1 Timothy 2:5

      One last point about Mary and that is that she always points towards Christ. Remember that it was through her intersession that Christ began his public ministry at the Wedding of Cana. What she said to the servants at the wedding she says to us:
      Go and do what ever he tells you:

      Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

      John 2:4-5

      This is a central point in Catholic theology about Mary. That is that it really centers on Christ.

      The biblical foundations for the Blessed Virgin perpetual virginity are plentiful and we have discussed some of them before. However our dialog will always end in a discussion between whose interpretation is the right interpretation? I believe that the Holy Spirit guided the Church as Christ promised and that there is a historical record of how the Christians have interpreted the bible since the time of the apostle until today.

      The idea that the Blessed Virgin Mary did not remain a virgin is a historical novum. This means that all the early Christians until post reformation believed that the Blessed Virgin Mary remained a virgin all her life.

      I understand that you do not give much weigh to extra biblical references but I do think that they are important since they served as an historical record as to what the early Christian believed.

      The early Christian historical document, the Protoevangelium of James written around 120 A.D. attest that the early Christian Church believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. According to the patristic scholar Johannes Quasten: The principal aim of the whole writing (Protoevangelium of James) is to prove the perpetual and inviolate virginity of Mary before, in, and after the birth of Christ” (Patrology, 1:120–1).

      I hope that, at the very least, this clarifies the biblical reasons for the Catholic understanding of the communion of Saints and the intercession of Mary.

      Cheers,

      Caleb

      1. Yes you are right Caleb, I’m looking for Unity in the Body of Christ, this is very important without it Jesus is not glorified in The Father but it can’t come from the flesh but needs to be empowered by The Spirit.

        The Scriptures show clearly that Mary had Children by Joseph, I shared the Scriptures with you before that confirmed this and as you have no Scripture to confirm the opposite, than we need to accept what is confirmed as God’s revealed Truth.

        When I pray for you Caleb, I do not pray to Angels or those who are dead, I pray to Jesus who is our only Intercessor between God and us, He also tells us not to pray to the dead.

        Caleb you are right I do not accept anything that man or woman says that contradicts the Scriptures and as you do, we cannot resolve our differences, God tells us himself what is written in Scripture must be accepted not what man says that contradicts.

        Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne

      2. Dear Anne,

        I understand your point about Mark 6:3 however if you look closer at the scripture you will noticed that these two brothers James and Joseph who are referred as brothers of Jesus have another Mary as their birth mother. This is very clear in Matthew 27:56 and in Mark 15:40:

        “And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children”.

        Matthew 27:55-56

        There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

        Mark 15:40-41

        So, James and Joseph have a different Mary as their mother that was not the Blessed Mother. This is not a question of interpretation but it is clear biblical evidence. Moreover in neither instances thus the inspired author mention that James nor Joseph were the sons of the blessed mother. I hope you can study these passages and pray about it.

        One more note the term brother, adelphos in Greek, has a broader meaning that can include extended family members. The passage in Genesis 13:8 is a great biblical example in which the term brother is used to refer to the relationship between Abraham and Lot, who were not biological brothers but uncle and nephew.

        There are many other reasons why the early Church through out the centuries from the time of the apostles until today believes that Mary was ever virgin.

        When I pray to the Saints I am not praying to dead people, as Jesus said:

        I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

        Matthew 22:23

        The Saints in heaven are more alive that we can ever imagine because they are so much closer to God! That is the beauty of the fullness of faith as shared by Catholics, Orthodox, Coptic Christians (who have churches that trace back from the time of the apostles) and the testimony of the very early Christians. If Mary had other children then such evidence would have been recorded in their writings but it is completely absent.
        Thank you for sharing that song! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, full of many blessing and joy!

      1. That is very kind of you to say! I hope that the reverse happens and more people discover your blog through the pingback on mine, as yours is a very good one indeed 🙂

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