“A mere intellectual grasp of the faith is not enough!” said my friend. While I agree with that in principle I wonder why should that be applied to me so indignantly.
So, someone thinks my faith is in my head and only there. Although I doubt it, that may be true. But then, why the indignation? Why not correct the wayward with kindness? The Pharisees had a similar problem with Jesus. They thought he was at fault somehow, they question his doctrine but their motivations were not clean and their indignation gave them away. In time, their bad motives moved them to commit the greatest crime. They vanished from history after that.
The indignation of Jesus’ enemies reveals the origin of their anger. That anger is prefigured by the envy of Cain. There is something very revealing in Cain’s name. The literal meaning is “fashioned, formed, created” from the Hebrew word Qayim. But the ancient Hebrew spelling strongly suggests qina. The word reached Spanish as inquina [aversion, ill will] through the Mozarab or perhaps directly from Hebrew. Qina means “envy” and it is close to our word cane. An old joke makes use of that similarity: “Why are Adam and Eve the oldest sugar planters? Because they were the first to raise Cain.” A very appropriate play of words: canes are light in weight, empty, and deadly when the end is sharpened to a point. I am sure that sharpened canes were among the first weapons of mankind. Similarly there is a sort of vanity in envy, a sort of emptiness that mimics the inner part of a cane. Just like a cane, envy darts fast, sharp, and deadly from the innermost parts of the soul.
More or less at the same time, I was conversing with a more agreeable most talented friend, someone whose insights have often inspired many good posts in the past. I do not remember why I read him one of Bl. Ana Catarina Emmerich’s visions. It had to do with the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt when they encountered a group of thieves. Emmerich relates that the thieves took Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus to a cave. There they were supernaturally struck with awe and the wife of the Chief Thief offered Mary a basin with fresh water to wash the baby. The poor woman had a baby of her own that had been struck with leprosy. After washing little Jesus, Mary instructed the poor mother to use the water left over to wash the sick baby. That resulted in the instant, miraculous cure of the infant. The boy’s name was Dimas whom we also know as the Good Thief who entered Paradise the day of the Crucifixion. This is what my good friend wrote:
BTW I have been thinking a lot about the “ordered water” in the baby in the bathwater tradition that you noted in your post. I suspect that Christ, being outside of the realm of sin in His person, “projected” (poor word for the thought) order. His miracles could have been the re-ordering of the disordered metabolism, or blood chemistry, neurology, or whatever. This is apart from the water into wine or the feeding of the multitude where direct command over the elements is shown. Sin perverts the natural order. Both Mary and Jesus would have not been affected by the disorder of sin. “Evil” in the environment such as destructive storms, disease, and even death are said to be some of the effects of sin — disorder in the cosmos. The calming of the storm could have been the projection of proper order on the local low pressure imbalance.I don’t mean to be too mechanistic in my speculations since the subject is transcendence, however at some point the natural and the supernatural have to touch (as it might be said). Resetting the order intended prior to sin, to cure a condition causing suffering, is an interesting model to contemplate — or seems so to me.
I agree with that idea of the Logos “projecting”, or perhaps “emanating” order as a sort of involuntary act since all His being is in perfect consonance with ordered creation. Remember the case of Mark 5:25-34 and how Luke adds in Luke 8:46:
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
That also seems to happen in the calming of the storm. The astonished disciples add: “the wind and the sea obey Him!” Creation in order is Creation in obedience to Logos. Now think of this: in the present disordered state of the Church, wouldn’t it be natural to expect an increase of disorder in the world over which the Church is supposed to reign? Wouldn’t all that evil torture the mystical body of Christ in a form of replay of the Passion that is the Passion of the Church?
This certainly deserves to be studied in depth. I always thought the suffering of Christ in Calvary is actually Him “touching” or entering into direct contact with the suffering part of creation and forcing His Divine Goodness to enter disordered creation. If I am right, it was at that moment that the world began to heal from the wound of original sin.
After His Resurrection, Christ appears to Mary Magdalene as a gardener thus pointing at Him being the first fruits of this re-creation of the damaged world.
Now, comparing the Redemption by Christ with the Fall of Adam, we can glean a few things. What initiated the fall was the envy of the satan touching mankind through Eve. The devil envied his Creator and found no better way to hurt God than to cast doubts about the genuineness of His creatures’ love for Him. That first sin of envy was generously reverted by Christ on the Cross. Divine love defeated envy when His Precious Body touched the Cross of envy and hate. Later in the garden by the empty tomb, he allowed the Magdalen to encounter Him and cling to His body in a holy reflection of the moment when the devil touched the heart of Eve with the poisoned darts of envy. In that act darkness and hate began to be defeated forever.
Excellent… as always!
I always love how you manage to discern the balance and duality in symbology, and the perfect symmetry of God in all things. Thank you for the depth of your vision and the ability you have to express it in words. That’s truly the mark of the Holy Spirit at work!
I’m personally very fond of that passage… wherein the Lord felt the virtue leave Him when the woman touched Him. It was at that moment that my soul fell in love with Jesus. I thought I’d already had that happen, a few times before. But something in that moment melded my heart to this man, this God, this healer… in the very human way He experienced the draining of His supernatural battery in a surreptitious act, when He was already beyond that moment’s strength. I wept for His love, His compassion and His exhaustion. Such that, when l watch ‘Passion of the Christ’, I’m even more debilitated by the semi-witnessing of His beatings combined with the knowledge of all that He had already given of Himself during His life.
Thank you again for reaching up into these mysteries and finding a way to make them cogent, unifying the seemingly disparate, and illuminating things l miss. I’m very grateful for your work and inspiration!
God bless you!
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Thank you for your kind comment, Mark. I share with you the same feelings for Our Lord and Master. My favorite passage is the story of Our Lord’s encounter with the Syrian-Phoenician woman in Mark 7: 24–30. (cf. Matthew 15:21-28) The poor woman recognizes Christ’s lordship and the role of Israel in salvation when she says that “even the little dogs eat the crumbs falling from their masters’ table” — Her extraordinary show of humility moves Jesus to praise her even above Israel: “Not even in Israel I have seen faith like this!” Isn’t it true that those who humble themselves will be exalted! The scene never fails to make me teary eyed even after reading it many many times! What a great God we serve. How undeserving we mere human beings are of divine love.
It is the water in the vision of Blessed Catherine that attracts my attention. Having watched the 2008 YouTube video The Mystery of Water, I have come to understand that water is far more than we know and that blessed water the most powerful of all. If Mary blesses the water, then there is no more powerful substance on Earth (think Lourdes). Water was the first creation and it’s around at the end too. We think water is water, but it’s way more!
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Yes, Barbara! Water is an element that does not behave like other elements. H20 is essential to life but it works in ways that defy the laws of physics: expands as it gets cold, for example. The Fathers of the Church believe that Jesus “did something” to the water when He was baptized. Some say that since Jesus was without sin, the water was baptized by Him and thus became adequate enough to be used in the Sacrament of Baptism. The story found in Bl. Emmerich’s visions seems to show a preview of what Christian baptism was going to be, baby Dimas being the first to benefit from it. I took a look at the video you mentioned. It is remarkable and I recommend our readers to see it.
The more I learn about water the more I see it as a reflection of God. I am in the process of marking every mention of water in the Bible. I think I will learn something from this exercise.
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Please keep us updated of any findings, Barbara. I think you are on to something! Notice something Our Lady mentions to the people of the Holy Mountain in Puerto Rico (Santa Montaña). She prophesied:
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas.” Habakkuk 2:14
I am grateful to all for your excellent comments. Please share your thoughts this way always, it is fantastic!
I was raised to see water as the physical manifestation of the spirit/spiritual, and that is why Jesus is so closely associated with it in word and deed. Water, turned to wine. The fish, as a symbol since fish breathe in water and are denizens of water, they live and breathe in the spirit. Jesus, being the physical manifestation of the Logos, has power over water/the spirit and is this able to command it. And He doesn’t use water for baptism by mistake, since it is by the spirit that we are reborn. He could have used any substance to make the point, if it’s only an allegorical one.
Spirit behaves like a fluid, able to find its way into all things, vivifies life, cannot be withstood over time… the mountains melt by water, the canyons are carved by. And water is never lost, forever renewable, refreshed over and over, just as the Holy Spirit forever proceeds from the Father and the Son like a constant flow of water.
At the well in Samaria, He tells the woman (at Jacob’s well) that He can give us water that will give us life… the life of the spirit, and that if we drink it, we will never thirst again….a spring of water welling up forever.
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Wonderful post and a moving comment!
The hatred in the heart of man that looked on the beating, torture, mocking and execution of an individual who did nothing more dangerous than cure disease, feed multitudes and speak of a merciful God who drew the line at hypocritical virtue signalling and arrogance is echoed vividly in our time. This also is showing itself to be a stiff necked generation. It is becoming the norm to call exponents of self-control “haters”. The love of sin is now so great that even common sense suggestions of moderation are shouted down as outrageous. One suspects that the logic of their situation will lead them ultimately to violence. We already see the beginnings. “Give us Barabas!” is the cry. Save the murderous revolutionary and condemn the innocent. Abel makes a sacrifice. It is pleasing to the Lord. Cain takes up his cudgel. Age to age the cancel culture tries to make the world safe for sin.
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