Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Holy Innocents

Tonight at a Holy Hour of Adoration I heard a priest, preaching on the evil of abortion, use the readings from the feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec. 28th), the baby boys in the area of Bethlehem who were massacred at the order of King Herod, who was bent on destroying the newborn King of the Jews. The gospel for that feast is, of course, Matthew 2:13-18, which tells this story. My attention was caught by the quote from chapter 31 of the prophet Jeremiah at the end of this Matthean pericope. With the thought that the Holy Innocents must be the key to interpreting an inspired meaning of this word of the prophet, I turned to this place in his book, where he proclaims the salvation of the Lord, the return of the exiled people to the land of Israel.
I wrote a poem of sorts about verses 15-20:

The Holy Innocents

The prophet Jeremiah says, "Thus says the Lord:

In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping! Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more."

If she refuses to be consoled, why then does the Lord, through the mouth of the prophet, immediately then say:

"Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes"?

Her children are no more!

... Yes, her children are no more, but behold, the Lord has the power to bring them back.

As the Lord says through the prophet: "They shall return from the enemy's Land."

Although the innocents were born in sin, by their witness to the Christ Child they will be reborn in heaven. Though they were "untamed calfs" they will return, if the Lord allows them.

... And for His part, He says,

"My heart stirs for them, I must show them mercy."

My thoughts are that with the story and the feast of the Holy Innocents as the context for Jeremiah 31, we are presented with a scriptural witness to a solidly founded hope for the salvation of unbaptized infants and children through their witness to Christ, who experienced the frailty of being a child, and who experienced the wrath of man under which children in all ages have suffered and often died. This is, of course, not to deny original sin, but to rhetorically ask, 'Who is more open and responsive to the love of others than a child?...What then about the grace of God?' and 'Who is more "invincibly ignorant" than an infant?'

What do you all think? Tell me especially if you think that I apply the scriptures wrongly. The question of unbaptized infants/children has recently resurfaced again (See Archives, December 2, 2005: "Theological Commission Studying Limbo")--what are your thoughts?

Are you a heretic? The Quiz.

Check out the "Are You a Heretic? Quiz."

This is how I was scored:

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with

It seems that I have some serious Nestorian tendencies. Thom Peters of American Papist thinks that there are a few problems with the quiz--in the wording, etc. Ask him for the specifics. It seems hard to understand how I can have such strong Nestorian tendencies and be Chalcedonian compliant at the same time.
AmericanPapist: Are you a heretic? The Quiz.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lets Open Our Hearts to Jesus

The Christmas season having come to an end, and the season of ordinary time now beginning, it is important to stay faithful to our calling, and to prayer. In Christ, the ordinary, while remaining in some sense ordinary, is truly extraordinary. The work and the leisure, the joys and the sufferings of ordinary days lived in Jesus, are days pierced through with the eternal. Heaven begins now, because "this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ" (Jn 17:3). Lets pray so that we might know our God, and that he might dwell within us.

From the Imitation of Christ, Book Two, Chapter One:

The kingdom of God is within you" (Lk 17:21), says the Lord.

Turn, then, to God with all your heart. Forsake this wretched world and your soul shall find rest. Learn to despise external things, to devote yourself to those that are within, and you will see the kingdom of God come unto you, that kingdom which is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, gifts not given to the impious.

Christ will come to you offering His consolation, if you prepare a fit dwelling for Him in your heart, whose beauty and glory, wherein He takes delight, are all from within. His visits with the inward man are frequent, His communion sweet and full of consolation, His peace great, and His intimacy wonderful indeed.

Therefore, faithful soul, prepare your heart for this Bridegroom that He may come and dwell within you; He Himself says: "If any one love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will make Our abode with him" (Jn 14:23).

Give place, then, to Christ, but deny entrance to all others, for when you have Christ you are rich and He is sufficient for you. He will provide for you. He will supply your every want, so that you need not trust in frail, changeable men. Christ remains forever, standing firmly with us to the end.
Lets open our hearts to Jesus.