“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Temperaments of God

I often noted, and very much over the years tried to reconcile, the difference in temperaments between the God in the Old Testament (Yaweh), and the same God in the New Testament (God the Father).

Yaweh was a very stern God who would strike down your enemies down and let you wander 40 years in the desert if you made a mistake. The kind God in the New Testament - - who was the same exact God -- was a loving Father, and through his Son told us to love our enemies. He was a God who allowed what was most dear to Him to be sacraficed for our mistakes.

I once had a college professor try to offer an explanation. He said that in the Old Testament we were in our infancy stage with God and he treated us as such, like toddlers. Don’t touch the outlet, don’t go in the street, you will be severely punished and have to sit on the couch if you do what you are thinking. He said by the time the New Testament came along, we had grown up and our relationship with God advanced lovingly to where our parent became more of a trusted friend and confidant.

This made somewhat sense to me, but once again the words of St. Jean Vianney brought me closer to what was the true answer. He directed me to the exact beginning of the New Testament for the time when God’s temperament changed.

He said God’s anger was "hanging over our heads like a sword ready to strike us down, [but] as soon as the Holy Virgin appeared upon this earth, his anger was appeased." He saw the level of perfection that his creation could achieve, a creature than would never disobey, betray or disappoint Him; there the Virgin Mother stood in front of Him. Once again, His anger was "appeased." His temperament was changed.

Vianney tells of the special relationship that the Trinity has with this perfect human creation:

God views the Blessed Mother as the masterpiece of his creation that He made with his own hands. He takes great pride in her because it is His work done to absolute perfection.

The Son takes pleasure in the heart of Mary, from which He drew his mortal blood (the Blessed Mother provided the mortal makeup to Christ). He used this blood He received from her to "ransom" it for us so that we might be reconciled to the Father.

And The Holy Spirit considers the Blessed Mother His temple, a place of His dwelling, because He conceived with in her.

These beautiful insights from St. Jean Vianney really reinforces why we venerate the Blessed Mother, and why she will never be refuse any request she makes on our behalf in the presence of God.

So the next time you are watching The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston and see Yaweh striking down Israel’s enemies in the Red Sea, venerate Our Blessed Mother. Because of her we were not next.

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