Saturday, 23 August 2014

Father! Father! Why have you abandoned me.


Jesus cried out from the Cross, "Father! Father! Why have You abandoned Me?"  In this cry from the depths of His Heart He incorporated the cry of all humanity who felt the same torturous ache, which is now reaching its climax.  Within Jesus' Heart crucified however this cry reached explosive proportions since they reverberated throughout all Creation and especially within the Heart of His Eternal Father.  The Eternal Father's response was to flood the world with His Divine Mercy and Its Grace to enable "fathers to turn their hearts towards their children and children towards their fathers." (Malachi) 

There is a global cry of "Father! Father! Why have you abandoned me?" from every abused child, every abandoned and or desolate soul, everyone who feels betrayed by the religious, political, scientific and biological fathers of the world.  This cry is all the more desolate because men themselves are crying it from deep within their own beings longing to rediscover the fullness of their masculinity - longing to rediscover what was in Adam in his state of Original Innocence - in the fullness of that integrity in which the Blessed Trinity breathed into him Their Life. 

Awaking to himself Adam looked into the face of his Father and knew himself as Son of God.  In this first realization of his humanity, he experienced being loved in a divine way.  This Divine Father gifted Adam with a unique gift which the other creatures did not have  - a free will.  He was free to return to His Divine Father the love which animated him and could do so because within himself was the flaming love of His Father's own Spirit.  So Love unfolded upon Love and the reciprocal undulations of Love were unceasing; the Joy never ending moved in a continuous innovation of creative acts that are only possible with a Divine Love and Will.  So Adam became a just custodian of the universe, and when Eve was created from his own body - a faithful spouse.  He saw in her not only "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" but the reflection of his own soul.  Hence this reflection of his innermost desires was truly beautiful to him and formed a perfect union of heart and mind with him.  She could reciprocate him in a way the other creatures could not because she was a kindred spirit.
The five offices of Man gifted first to Adam need to be restored in men today that they may once again live in the happiness originally intended for them - the Divine Will.  As a consequence all women and children will be the beneficiaries of this restoration of the Essence of God in Man. The surest way of obtaining this great gift is through consecration to  Abba Joseph and in him to the Immaculate Mother of God.  Consecration means to surrender all of oneself to the intended other to enable that 'other' to do for oneself what one cannot otherwise do alone.  It is a covenant of love with a unique kind of abandonment.  So then, the Five Offices of Man which Adam lost are:-
May all these Offices of Man be restored to him within the Original Innocence and Divine Love with which they were originally gifted Adam and above all as they excelled in Saint Joseph

Man as "Son of God" recognizes first and foremost that he is son of a Divine Father who created him out of nothing.  He is able to recognize this in himself because the Father's own Spirit and Will is in him giving him the wisdom to do so.  In this he wants only to live in the Will of his Father so that they will always be united and at peace with each other.  In this union with His Father's Will he achieves the Divine Fecundity of his Father Who instructs him to "Be fruitful and multiply".  His Son sees in all the other creatures the evidence of his Father's fecundity, as all the creatures are multiplying their own kind.  Everything around him is crying out in one chorus, "Your  Father's Love for you generates this life in us and He wants to generate His Life in You, but in an altogether superior manner.  If you do this we all will be the beneficiaries of your life lived in the Eternal Creator's Will." 

This command to 'be fruitful and multiply' has often been thought of in terms only of biological generation.  The Divine Persons when giving Their command to 'be fruitful and multiply' want so much more from Their beloved sons and daughters.  They want above all spiritual fecundity, because in Their Will, this fecundity creates eternal generations of Love that multiply to the infinite and create happiness for all.  The Eternal Trinity did not want only the limited form of physical generation; but, the infinite dimensions of Their own Creative Act to abide in their sons and daughters.  However Man could only practice this fecundity if he lived within the Single Creative Act of God - that is in His Divine Will.  Separating from this Will he lost the infinite and eternal dimensions of Divine Fecundity and was left only with the limited fecundity of biological generation.  Man was to remain in this limited fecundity until it was to be restored to the earth once more through Jesus Christ and in a unique prerogative gifted to His Mother Mary and father Joseph before He, Himself, was born.  Hence the exquisite Joy of the Trinity to see the Advent of Joseph and Mary - for in them they could experience once more the Joy of giving birth to a true Son and Daughter of God as with Adam and Eve.
Seeing so much fruitfulness and diversity of beauty around him Man cannot fail to admire this and wants to be part of this ongoing fecundity.  He delights in the other creatures and becomes brother to them.  As St Francis' great hymn of praise of Creation proclaims ... "Brother Sun, Sister Moon" and so on.  The deep interior knowledge planted in him by the Holy Spirit, Who breathed in him His Life; tells him that his life on earth depends on the wellbeing of these other beautiful creatures and he must be their faithful custodian; reverencing them and learning from them the script written in their nature.  Learning this script he is able to live in harmony with all creatures.  They in turn seeing Man as a true custodian of Life are willing to respond to him since the Spirit of God dwells in him; and what keeps them alive - the Will of God - is also in him and safeguarded by his fidelity to It.  Mankind's unfaithfulness to this covenant has brought untold destruction to our world as we know and the natural world as a consequence is rebelling against Man who has abused this gift so precious; for as soon as Adam and Eve renounced their Love Covenant with their Creator - Creation Itself could no longer serve them as 'king' and 'queen' of Paradise; but, were forced to make them struggle with the elements to achieve their sustenance and shelter.  Adam and Eve had become servants of the Divine Will rather than 'son' and 'daughter'. 

The advent of Joseph and Mary however, allowed the most Holy Trinity to begin the great drama of Redemption in two human beings who by special predilection were gifted with freedom from the stigma of "Original Sin".  Mary of course in a unique manner becoming "The Immaculate Conception".  Joseph at the moment of his conception in the womb.  Eventually these two unique human beings would become the married couple whose double 'Fiat' formed the ground of the 'new terrestrial paradise' (Cardinal St John Neumann) into which Jesus was born.   (see 'The Glories of St Joseph' by Edward Healy Thompson; re the teaching of the Church Fathers and Doctors on St Joseph at Council of Constance)
Feeling within himself the desire to have one of his own kind and spirit to share his life with, Adam receives from God the gift of  the beautiful Eve.  "Aah! At last bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh ..."  he proclaims.  None of the other creatures could reflect Adam back to himself as Eve could, since she came out of him - born of his body and his own will to have her.  His Father loving him provided for his innermost desire - a desire that existed first within His own Paternal Heart.  As the Holy Spirit effuses from the Father's Heart for the sake of His Son, so Eve from Adam for the sake of his future children.  Because she is of his own body and spirit, he is obliged to take care of her, provide and protect her and always be alongside her to be one with her.  In this he lives out his office as faithful spouse.  Should he reneg on this office he wounds himself immeasurably, since she is part of himself and mother of his children.  When a man wounds his spouse he wounds himself most of all and also all of creation since she contains within her the spirit of the Divine Maternity.  Her womb gives birth to his children.  If a man cannot protect this 'womb' of life; he becomes lost to himself and is no longer attractive to woman.  She becomes afraid and sees him as a threat to her essential being.

Joseph on the other hand was chosen by God with these words, "Joseph, don't be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for what is conceived in Her is of the Holy Spirit!"  These words reveal the absolute trust of the Eternal Father in Joseph as his own vicar on earth, to protect and nurture the fruit of Mary's Womb, the fruit of Her Union with the Holy Spirit, Jesus.  In this election of Divine Confidence, Joseph became the husband of Mary, the True Eve, the True Mother of all who live.  In his husbanding of Her, he makes sure Her womb is fully protected and the Life Who gives Life to all, who abides in that Womb is protected from His predators.  Joseph in this does what Adam failed to do and in this he can be said to be the new Adam.
Generating his children through his life companion, Adam (Man) is given his fourth office as father.  If he has fulfilled the other three offices well and according to God's Will, he will be ready to pass on his wisdom and love to his children.  He will know how to do that.  And doing that they will feel secure in the home of their father.  A wise person once wrote that the best gift a man can give his children is to love their mother.  And this is the truth.  Under the canopy of such a love children feel secure. 

The restoration of this holy fatherhood is a mission given to St Joseph to fulfill.  So all who consecrate themselves to him or turn to him in any way will not be disappointed, for his help is swift and always according to God's Will.  The Spirit of the Eternal Father was infused into Joseph for the sake of his fatherhood of Jesus and it is this 'divine paternity' he wants to share with all men.  And he wants to teach them how to espouse themselves to the Immaculate Conception, Mary, as he did; so that She may work Her amazing miracle of transforming hearts into living tabernacles for Her Son.  Joseph loved Mary as no other has or could excepting God Himself.  We know this because God chose him out of all mankind to be Her husband.  His nuptials with Her were 'virgin' and his fatherhood of Jesus was 'virgin'.  This means full of integrity, full of love, full of grace and free from all concupiscence.  In his espousals of Mary he repaired the fractured espousals of Adam and Eve and because of the Graces She poured into him for the sake of Jesus, he became the model of all husbands and fathers of the new covenant.

Fulfilling all the above offices of Man, a man comes to the final phase of his maturity.  If he has been faithful, loving and prudent as Son, Brother, Spouse and Father, he is ready for the role of Patriarch of a large family.  In other words being a grandfather ... someone all the family look up to and respect as the generator of all the blessings that have come upon them.  He still in his old age is able to guide with wisdom, letting go of the immediate responsibilities but nevertheless watching carefully over his adult children's lives seeing where he can be of some help.  He cares for his wife in her old age with great tenderness, patience and love.  He participates where he is needed in his family gatherings and in other communities of life where the Spirit draws him and so on.  He may become known within society for his heroism, virtue, community leadership and so on; or he may be unknown by others but known only to his immediate family who prize his love and support. 

He prepares for death well in quiet and inconspicuous ways and this is the final lesson he gives to his family of his humility and his concern for their future wellbeing.  He witnesses to his faith in his Eternal Father not always in words but by his actions, his spirit and his demeanor.  In all this he becomes a true "king" - not the elected kind, but a true king - for his kingdom, like Christ's is "not of this world"; it is within himself.  He is king over himself and over his family.  He achieves this ruling with love and patience, wisdom and kindness; and the example of one who lives in Peace within himself and therefore generates Peace.
The priest is always an office within a man.  The true Priest, Christ, who reigns within a just man calls him to be continually offering himself in sacrifices of love for his family, community and the world.  This priestly office whether of the ordained or of the domestic Church is none the less complete if the man does those interior acts of sacrifice in union with Christ for the sake of those he loves.  It is always within him to do so if he is a true son of God, brother to creation, spouse of his beloved, father to his children.

Joseph achieved the fullness of these five offices with a humility and dignity known only to Jesus and Mary and to God Himself for he was self effacing and lived only for Them.  The generations of his children are of the Virginal Fecundity of Jesus, Mary and of himself as father to Jesus and spouse of Mary - they are the generations of Eternal Light and have Divine Fecundity such that they are only known in Heaven.  May he teach all men to be such spouses and such fathers as he. 
May all these offices of Man come to their fullness of maturity in Christ for the sake of the coming of His Kingdom on earth as in Heaven.  May we enter the Fiats of Jesus, Mary and Joseph so we may attain to their fruitfulness.  Amen.