The First Baptism of Blood
On Christmas day the editor found a bit of the 'bah humbug' in his e-mail box - a letter from an embittered, hurting woman expressing feelings that seemingly sum up the discontent of so many who have trusted in mammon for the answers and always end up unfulfilled and bitter. If only they would understand that everything Our Lord did or underwent, including His Circumcision, had a specific purpose for us.
Though modern Rome has abandoned the feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord on January 1st, eternal Rome has not. Many might wonder why this feast is so important in the liturgy of Holy Mother Church. Father Louis Campbell in his sermon today points out why this feast is significant with his outstanding sermon Love and Sacrifice
Last week a seemingly angry woman wrote me, most likely not even Catholic for she expressed bitterness between the lines. She wrote in part,
After having spent many years studying and researching pre-christen [sic]
sites and the abuse women took from organized patriarchal monotheistic
religions currently claiming power and purpose (and I add also giving
credence to war on the planet) I applaud any source that has people
question the power and abuse of the sacred ------. [EDITOR'S NOTE: she used here the medical name of the male organ, which in today's vulgar society is used so liberally, yet offensive to virtuous ears save between a husband and wife and their medical doctors. Therefore, I shall not repeat it but refer to the reproductive body parts as what they are: "organs" - for the harmony of reproduction.] Women make up over one half of the population and yet have been chided with subservient roles in history. Slowly things are changing on the planet and rightly
so. I would not wish on any woman the abuse that organized religion
has systematically ladened on them. Freedom and personal power are for
both genders. Old systems are imploding and not a moment too soon.
Short, but definitely not sweet, for you can taste the sourness of her feelings. Though I have been swamped with transferring all 2003 files into 2004 directories and formatting in preparation for returning to daily publication beginning today, I felt a tug by my guardian angel to put that aside for a moment and respond to this troubled soul. And so, following Christ's charge to leave the 99 and seek out the one lost sheep, I tried to assuage her what freedom and personal power really mean.
I wrote hoping to show her the abundant graces which she could receive by taking comfort in her role as a woman created for that very purpose by Almighty God. I wrote her in fact on Christmas day extending to her the blessings of the new-born Infant Child born of a WOMAN, a pure, immaculate WOMAN who was the Co-Redemptrix chosen by GOD from all time to be the second EVE who knew that "freedom and personal power" could only be gained by submitting to the Divine Will of God and, in cooperation with the CREATOR, effect for all of us the priceless unimaginable gift of everlasting life.
However, to attain this ultimate Prize, we must go through the trial of fire - our fleeting moment on this planet earth compared with the unending billenniums of Heavenly bliss or eternal damnation. The choice is ours. We have each been given a free will to choose God or His adversary. That is why God endowed the first man Adam with a "sacred organ" and from his rib fashioned the other equal component in His most loving creation - His greatest miracle - that of the human being, namely the first woman Eve, also gifted with a sacred receptive organ in order to be fruitful and multiply the earth with the miracle of life so man, made in the image and likeness of God, could reap the benefits of God's gift. If one reads the Book of Genesis one will see that it was only through the "sacred organs" intended by God that a life could begin and husband and wife begot offspring who subsequently followed the same process producing abundant families that spread throughout the earth. Note, also that this was blessed only through the marriage bond God made between man and woman, body and soul, equal partners with different roles but the same goals. With the privilege of the marriage bed came the responsibility of both partners to fulfill their roles as God so deigned. To divert from that path only beckons ruin and unhappiness.
Because of the fall of our first parents Adam and Eve, thereafter all contracted Original Sin at our conception. Only one was ever conceived without Original Sin - the Blessed Virgin Mary whom God deigned to be the Mother of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity - Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. This was necessary in order to complete the Old Covenant made with Abraham and the early Patriarchs of the Church. Through Christ's birth, passion, death and resurrection all those from Adam and Eve on were released from Limbo where they had been sent after death due to Original Sin. Christ established the New Covenant instituting the seven sacraments, beginning with the Sacrament of Baptism in which the saving water of Baptism both cleanses us from Original Sin and makes us Children of God, members of the Mystical Body of Christ, a member of the Communion of Saints. In Heaven it is the Church Triumphant, in Purgatory the Church Suffering and here on earth we are the Church Militant.
Consider we are the Church Militant by reading Our Lord's words in Matthew 10: 34-43,
"Do not think that I am come to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he that loveth son or daughter more that Me, is not worthy of Me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth Me, is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that shall lose his life for My sake, shall find it. He that receiveth you, receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me, receiveth Him that sent Me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive the reward of a prophet; and he that receiveth a just man in the name of a just man shall receive the reward of a just man. And whosoever shall give to drink to these little ones, a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple: Amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward."
So also, I wrote to offer this poor soul a 'cup of cold water' in refreshing her psyche and beliefs.
Just as Christ left the 99 sheep to help the one lost sheep, I took the time on Christmas day away from my own family to answer the call of one so hurting.
Perhaps because her cry came on Christmas that I was moved to respond immediately. I reminded her that when Christ in Sacred Scripture says "his" or "he" He is not referring to man as the male species but to homo sapiens - mankind - meant to include both man and woman for one is unfulfilled in God's Divine plan without the other. So also in any reference I make to "his", "him" or "he" except when I differentiated for the two sexes are unique and different as God so deigned.
Christ the God-Man established for all time His Church and Sacraments as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic with the New Testament between God and man and bequeathed the governing of His Mystical Body to Saint Peter (Matthew 16: 18-19) and passed down through his successors which were, of course, the Popes of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
He founded an infallible Divine Institution on earth to be governed by fallible men in their God-given roles, supported and encouraged by fallible women in their God-given roles. Christ did not rid the world of His adversary lucifer or satan. Rather, to test our staying power, our will to love Him, serve Him and be happy with Him in this world and the next, He stayed the privilege of choice to test us. It is our choice, we can choose God or we can choose mammon, made manifest in the world, the flesh and the devil. To parrot the pro-abort anthem, PRO-CHOICE. Yes, God is pro choice. You can choose Him and everlasting life or His adversary and everlasting doom. It's one or the other.
And it wasn't meant to be easy. Christ Himself said wide is the path that leads to damnation and straight and narrow the way that leads to everlasting salvation and few there are who find it. Why is that? Perhaps because it means subjecting our stubborn wills to God's and foregoing the impulses that lead us into temptation and consequential sin. That is why God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments, why Christ said that those who do not believe and are not baptized shall be condemned (cf. Mark 16: 15-16).
I reminded her that it was not I saying that, but Christ Almighty. That is why Christ came to provide a vehicle to help us stay on that straight and narrow, yes difficult path. But if we but trust in Him and let go of our own concupiscence and be willing to focus on the greater goal, then our burden is light for Jesus promises such and bestows the graces to sustain whatever crosses we are entrusted to carry for Him in this life. That is part of the price. After all, look at what He did for us, becoming like us in all things except sin, and undergoing the ignominy of the Cross. No greater love does anyone have than to give his life for another. And Christ did not need to do that. He did it because He loves us so.
And how do we return that love? Over the centuries it is obvious. While there have been many saints known and unknown who submitted to God's holy will, for the most part human pride, the lust for power and flesh, greed, and all the seven deadly sins were exposed to man/woman by the fallen angels who, in the manner of 'misery loves company', sought to capture as many souls as they could.
There were indeed bad men who misused their powers in kingdoms, in churches, in the courts, in the town-squares, in the homes and families. Turning their backs on God, man/woman thought they had a better idea than the Divine. Tempted, just as our first parents, they succumbed to the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil and a new enlightenment empowered them, albeit a false and fleeting one. The more sated with power, the more they strayed just as the chosen people of the Old Testament did. Remember free will? God allows punishments, wars, schism, heresies, so that man could, if he so chooses, wallow in the mud of his own making full of muck and perversion...and, most of all, extreme unhappiness.
Happiness - true happiness and contentment, peace of mind, I reminded her, cannot be found in using our "sacred organs" with whomever we choose because we think we have "freedom and personal power," but only by using these God-given sacred tools of procreation for the pleasure of the marriage bed. None other. The glut and smut of lust - from the instant gratification of adultery or sodomy that saturates society today is a sure sign of the fall of civilization. History always repeats.
Woman was never meant to "take abuse from organized patriarchal [sic] monotheistic religions" but rather, in the manner and exemplification showed by the Blessed Mother of God as a role model for all women, to elevate her. I asked her to read Luke 7: 44, and would recommend the reader does as well to realize what love Christ had for women in the purest sense.
Keep in mind that it must needs be by God's will that the world be made up of over "one-half the population" by women. Yay, it would be more were it not for the vile sin of abortion - the holocaust in the womb which has taken the lives of over 50 million souls - souls that might have grown in grace to become great leaders who would follow God's will and gain in knowledge because of it and have contributed to the good of this society. However, there's that great catch-all clause: free will. The child in the womb never had the chance to exercise that free will. We all do, as well as those women who CHOSE to have an abortion - to murder their own living flesh. Is that solely the responsibility of the mother? No, it is shared equally by her partner in procreation who used his "sacred organ" to unite and commit. He made a commitment to father a child when he dropped 'trou' - if you will, just as did the mother. We must all face the consequences of our actions and take responsibility for them. That is something society today flees from and thus the bitter fruits that are reaped for it is not blessed by God.
So also with His Church today. From the fifteenth century on man broke away from what God had declared and formed their own churches to accommodate their pride, their own ideas of what they thought were better than what the Almighty had deigned for them. Thus you had one church splitting from another creating the Reformation which ushered in the Age of Enlightenment orchestrated by the fallen angel of light - lucifer. This led to the French Revolution - "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Tolerance" - rightly forming the acronym LEFT. Man by choice took a left turn and left the safe harbor of God's graces, opening wide the gates for the devil to claim more territory. This disintegration has continued and intensified up to today, aided and abetted by the most recent defectors of the True Faith - the agents of Vatican II who discarded the Truths and Traditions of the Church Christ founded by allowing even the savor of heresy - though we know it smells much worse than that! - in entertaining the idea of possible new doctrines in the "evolving of the mystery of man" which the Apostle St. Paul warned of in Galatians 1: 8-10,
"But even if we or an angel from Heaven should preach to you a gospel other than that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema! As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone preach a gospel to you other than that which you have received, let him be anathema! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I should not be a servant of Christ."
Therein is the answer to "organized religion" - that which has remained faithful to the Gospel and the seven holy sacraments instituted by Christ - are few and yet remain true to the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church passed down and preserved from St. Peter through Pope Pius XII. The institution that usurped this at Vatican II during the time of John XXIII has borne no good fruit, but is barren. Christ said it best in Matthew 7: 15-20, "By their fruits you shall know them."
I asked her to judge not what was deigned by God by the fallacies of man. I challenged her statement "woman has been chided with subservient roles in history" and ;the fact that she had supposedly spent "many years studying and researching pre-christen [sic] sites and the abuse women took" and I questioned the veracity of her sources and their bias for man/woman has an inherent tendency to overlook the truth of the situations and exaggerate the negative.
I also reminded her, whether it was to her chagrin or hopeful anticipated joy, that "slowly things are changing on the planet and rightly so" only in so far as man lives in harmony with all God has created and governs himself/herself according to that order. Then, and only then, will there be true "FREEDOM AND POWER" for both genders" when man and woman recognize why they are on this earth and their purpose to pass on to their heirs the rewards promised in God's eternal paradise. "Old systems" may be "imploding and not a moment too soon" and rightly so if they are not of God, but I assured her that despite the "no rules" code of God's adversary the devil who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls, those systems which are of God - namely, His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Him on the Rock of Peter and preserved today in the catacombs of those underground churches which celebrate the infrangible Latin Mass - the Holy Sacrifice in which Christ is offered up by the priest - the 'alter Christus' - on our behalf in an unbloody manner on the altar to the Father and His bread and wine become His body and blood, soul and divinity - "Unless you eat My flesh, and drink My blood, you cannot have life everlasting" (John 6:54). Think of the Holy Mass - the Latin Mass - as like a video tape. Even though it only happened once - Calvary - it is replayed countless times and each time brings vividly to life the ultimate Sacrifice. No, the "Old system" of His One True Church will never implode for, as He promised in Matthew 16: 18, "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
I daresay ever since the 'liberation of women' through the ill-begotten feminist movement, many women have been confused in their role and have grown more miserable, forsaking their maternal, loving, warm instincts of being the heart of the family in their unholy quest to be the head of the family - seeking the forbidden fruits of "freedom and power" that were the downfall of her counterpart: man - throughout history. Whenever powers or privileges are abused, there will be a backlash of rebellion just as satan rebelled against God when he said "I will not serve" - "non serviam."
Just as Eve's confusion further confused Adam, so also today the 'feminist movement' has confused the male species where, sadly, not only are men feminized as a result of the whole political correct tolerance agenda and because they have forgotten or abandoned the absolutes of the Faith, but this phenomenon of Modernism has opened the door wide for sodomy to be exalted as a 'good thing.' God help us. Sodomy is a sin and that's it. No compromising, no rationalizing. The wages of sin, as St. Paul clearly tells us, is death: eternal death!
I shared with the embittered woman the loving "subservient role" which my own wife has fulfilled in caring for her family and husband in providing the maternal necessities for our family as God so wills. My Cyndi is not bitter or feeling unfulfilled but rejoices that she can have the opportunity to extend her love humanly and spiritually in molding our family and sharing with the world those values. I would hardly call that subservient. My role as husband, father, and soldier of Christ is to provide for the temporal welfare of my family and to spread the Gospel of Christ to all the souls I possibly can...including one sheep at a time, such as the letter I sent her on Christmas day. My wife supports me fully in this by being my backbone. Without her my strength is weakened. I would hardly call that subservient. I daresay there are many more women in Heaven than men because they have been given a kinder, warmer and more loving heart. I asked the woman to consider these thoughts as she does further research, and to pause on Christmas day and ask herself what Our Lord asks in Mark 8: 36 "What does it profit a man [or woman] if he [or she] gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of their soul?"
That brings us back to today's feast. While the hurting soul who wrote me has pent up emotions against the male and his 'weapon of destruction' in her mind, Christ created our reproductive organs for a purpose for everything was good in His sight. There is nothing ugly in what God has created. The ugliness comes into play only when mankind misuses what God intended. It is satan who seeks to turn beauty into ugliness and masquerade the profane as desirable. The significance of Christ's Circumcision remains significant today even when so many have forgotten that Mary and Joseph were obedient to the Jewish customs and laws, thus submitting the newborn Christ child to a most human and painful experience. It was meant to be, for it was the first shedding of sacred blood and through the clipping of the foreskin, which illustrated for all mankind not only the humble obedience of His Mother and foster-Father, but that the Savior of the world, the Son of God truly loved us so much that He experienced the shedding of blood soon after His birth. It was just a hint of the great suffering that was to come, but it signaled that He was willing - for He knows all - to undergo the procedure of Circumcision so that He might free all men from the Old Law and receive His children into His Mystical Body through the new Circumcision of the New Covenant - Baptism. Without getting into any controversy over Feeneyism, you could say, in a way that Christ's Circumcision was the First Baptism of Blood.
Michael Cain, editor