Tag Archives: Genesis 2-4 to 3-24
[This was written ten years ago. Today, precisely, is a good day to repost it. Padre Pio’s feast day. /// BTW, today marks 25 years in prison of Fr Gordon MacRae. Hail Mary… St Michael the Archangel… ///]
You can read things dozens of times over the years and just not “get it” at all. That’s me. But this year when I read the following letter of Padre Pio, I was mesmerized. I now know a bit more just how much I absolutely don’t know anything about the spiritual life. I have written academically about that of which he speaks, the flaming sword. I am vindicated on that academic level at least, for I am alone across the millennia in what I have written. But on a spiritual level, well, I am thrust to the ground in deep humiliation, for I obviously know nothing of the spiritual life. But at least I know that I know nothing. These days, that’s something. And it’s way more than enough to ask for this great saint’s help. Apologies are given in advance for the inadequacy of [my comments] below. You can see from my Coat of Arms (thanks to Elizdelphi! No words on the banner yet) that I am grateful to have written about the sword of which Padre Pio speaks…
From the Letters of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, priest (Epist. I, 1065; 1093-1095)
I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him
“Out of obedience I am obliged to manifest to you what happened to me on the evening of the 5th of this month of August 1918 [Vigil of the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus] and all day on the 6th [Feast of the Transfiguration].
“I am quite unable to convey to you what occurred during this period of utter torment. While I was hearing the boys’ confessions on the evening of the 5th [making them saints!], I was suddenly terrorized by the sight of a celestial person [an angel, a cherub] who presented himself to my mind’s eye [So, not an apparition, but entirely spiritual. People think angels are all fluffy chiffon pastels and cutesy cutesy. Pio speaks of torment and terror, and this angel is from heaven!]. He had in his hand a sort of weapon [“weapon”] like a very long sharp-pointed steel blade which seemed to emit fire. [This is the sword mentioned in Genesis 3:24. It is the sword which “turns into its contrary by way of the fiery grace of enmity against Satan and by way of friendship with God whatever is presented to it.” This is the sword with which the Carmelites depict Elijah. This is the sword of Saint Michael. This is the sword of Saint Teresa of Avila…] At the very instant that I saw all this, I saw that person hurl the weapon into my soul with all his might. [Seeing that a cherub could crush the entire universe if given permission from the Most High, this is saying really a lot…] I cried out with difficulty and felt I was dying. I asked the boys to leave because I felt ill and no longer had the strength to continue. [What an understatement of all time. They must have been scared for him.] This agony lasted uninterruptedly until the morning of the 7th. I cannot tell you how much I suffered during this period of anguish. Even my entrails were torn and ruptured by the weapon, [“weapon”] and nothing was spared. [“nothing” – and here I try to hang on to this and that. And in doing that I am totally lacking in generosity. I’ve done nothing in my life. I’ve not laid down my life as so many have done. Pio is going through his purgatory all at once, 40 some hours for him. And what would I do, I who surely have a purgatory lasting until the end of the world?]
“From that day on I have been mortally wounded. [And this is no longer his wound, but that of humanity, with Pio now being in solidarity with Jesus on the Cross even as Jesus is in solidarity with us, loving us while we are yet sinners, drawing all to Himself as He is lifted up on the Cross. And we watch with Him…] I feel in the depths of my soul a wound that is always open and which causes me continual agony. What can I tell you in answer to your questions regarding my crucifixion? My God! What embarrassment and humiliation I suffer by being obliged to explain what you have done to this wretched creature! [For we do nothing to save ourselves. Jesus is our Savior. We come to realize this. We are nothing. He is all. He shows us what He has saved us from, and not just us, me, but we see how He has saved all of us as we gain some heightened perspective on the cross.]
“On the morning of the 20th of last month [two weeks later], in the choir [making the traditional thanksgiving prayers after Mass], after I had celebrated Mass I yielded to a drowsiness similar to a sweet sleep. All the internal and external senses and even the very faculties of my soul were immersed in indescribable stillness. Absolute silence surrounded and invaded me. I was suddenly filled with great peace and abandonment which effaced everything else and caused a lull in the turmoil. All this happened in a flash. While this was taking place I saw before me a mysterious person similar to the one I had seen on the evening of August 5th. [We entertain angels and even the Son of Man and do not know it. How much the angels reflect the Son of Man! And the fiery love of God, issuing from the throne of the Most High, from the Heart of Him who loves us so much, is just that fierce on that sword which transforms us utterly in God’s love.] The only difference was that his hands and feet and side were dripping blood. This sight terrified me and what I felt at that moment is indescribable. I thought I should die and really should have died if the Lord had not intervened and strengthened my heart which was about to burst out of my chest. [We are utterly weak. It is all Jesus.] The vision disappeared and I became aware that my hands, feet and side were dripping blood. Imagine the agony I experienced and continue to experience almost every day. [He speaks also and especially of his embarrassment, for he, as all of us from Adam until the last man is conceived, caused those wounds in our Lord. How is it that he, Pio, or any of us could share such wounds of love for all those Jesus has redeemed and wills to save?] The heart wound bleeds continually, especially from Thursday evening until Saturday.
“Dear Father, I am dying of pain because of the wounds and the resulting embarrassment I feel deep in my soul. I am afraid I shall bleed to death if the Lord does not hear my heartfelt supplication to relieve me of this condition. Will Jesus, who is so good, grant me this grace? Will he at least free me from the embarrassment caused by these outward signs? [The embarrassment, mind you, is more than enough to end his life on this earth.] I will raise my voice and will not stop imploring him until in his mercy he takes away, not the wound or the pain, which is impossible since I wish to be inebriated with pain, but these outward signs which cause me such embarrassment and unbearable humiliation. The person of whom I spoke in a previous letter is none other than the one I mentioned having seen on August 5th. He continues his work incessantly, causing me extreme spiritual agony. There is a continual rumbling within me like the gushing of blood. [This Hebrew description of this sword in Genesis 3:24 (which I think I am the very first to translate pedantically, as it really is just that difficult), the sword which the angel is mashing around inside Pio is variously and wrongly translated as the twirling sword, the sword which moves about this way and that, etc., is, instead, “the sword which causes that which is presented to it to be transformed into its contrary.” Thus, we don’t take from the Tree of the Living Ones, though we can humbly receive its fruit (the Eucharist from the Cross).] My God! Your punishment is just and your judgment right, but grant me your mercy. Lord, with your Prophet I shall continue to repeat: O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger; do not punish me in your rage! Dear Father, now that my whole interior state is known to you, do not refuse to send me a word of comfort in the midst of such severe and harsh suffering.” [If it were I who had to respond to him, knowing I know nothing, but despite that, I would say that in our very reception of mercy we must show mercy to the rest of the members of the Body of Christ, those whom Jesus has redeemed and wills to save. Our suffering is occasioned by the lack of others, lack of faith, etc., but it is not their cross we carry, but instead we come to know what we would be like if we ourselves were to be without the grace of our Lord in therefore our lack of faith, etc…. and our remaining in friendship by the grace of God in such horrific circumstances acts as an intercession for those who are truly without faith, etc. This is drawing all to Christ on the cross in solidarity with Jesus, who does this by His grace. He, the Head of the Body does this, but we are members of that Body and we are with Him. If we only knew! If we only knew! Now Pio had his eyes opened, his soul torn open, his hands and feet and heart torn open. But it’s all Jesus. Jesus’ love taking on our lack. Embarrassing to us? Yes. And we run away. Pio couldn’t run any more. The angel presented himself, and, fiercely raising his weapon of God’s love… I know nothing. Saint Pio: help this donkey-priest to come to know Jesus! Help all of us priests!]
It’s now been 12 years since I defended my thesis on Genesis 2:4–3:24 in Rome, and ten years since I completed my foreseen sojourn as a permanent chaplain at the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. It seems I am to be damned because of that thesis. What’s in the thesis is criminal according to the prevailing political correctness. Let me play Saint Jerome and rant about this a bit:
- I am to be damned because this thesis sets up a dialogue between the Holy See and Israel such as has never been seen before, blowing out of the water as irrelevant all previous dialogue, and that’s according to the chief rabbi for dialogue with the Holy See, who spoke to me at length in the King David Hotel about setting up such a dialogue. Why did he say that? Because the thesis actually takes religious matters seriously, and not as a flippant occasion to make ever so magnanimous and therefore condescending dialogue that all sides despise but tolerate for the sake of the curriculum vitae involved. What has taken place up to this point with dialogue initiatives are “themes”, which, of course, are an invitation to do up manipulation of religion for whatever motivation one wants at the time. The thesis is disturbing as it inescapably places all parties before the inspired text.
- I am to be damned because of the brutally unrelenting and inescapable scientific analysis of the text – with an emphasis on historical philology reaching into cuneiform impressions – which analysis leaves no wiggle room for escape into more comfortable reading of self into the text. That latter bit of merely reading oneself into the text is an affront against the Holy Spirit, who wants to introduce us to The Word of God, and does not want us to replace The Word of God.
- I am to be damned most of all because by the time the analysis runs its course, all that which is Jewish is all that which is Catholic, or better, all that which is Catholic is all that which is Jewish. Jesus said “Salvation is of the Jews.” Saint Paul says: “I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1-5) Just because Catholics and Jews call each other brothers doesn’t mean we are leading each other to Auschwitz. No. We stand together, also in Auschwitz. Count the priests who were exterminated with our brother Jews. So very many.
- But even more than this, I am to be damned as it is demonstrated from the Hebrew text just how it is that the transmission of original sin is by propagation, not by imitation. This drives all involved around the bend. Why? This sets up the need for redemption, for the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the One who is to come into the world, and has come, and will come again to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. Everyone hates that. And this has never been done before. It has up to this very day been mocked as childish myth. “Original sin is an invention by those damned Fathers of the Church”, they say. So, let me repeat that: everyone hates the demonstration in the text of how it is that original sin is by propagation, not imitation. It’s never been done. The hatred one encounters is so very great. Truly. In all my years in Rome and Jerusalem I didn’t meet even one academic actively teaching who accepted the reality of original sin. Not one. Not even one. Instead, I was mocked and ridiculed at every turn. Fully six Pontifical Universities were closely examining the progress of the thesis, chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph. They all knew what it meant to have such a demonstration. Not one, no one, could come up with arguments against what is provided in the thesis. And this is over years.
- But even more, this brings us to the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15, she who is apart from original sin, and that, my friends, it is the final motivation of why I should most of all be damned, for the thesis and a subsequent conference demonstrate how it is that she is free from original sin, that is, immaculate. There is much hating on Jewish Jesus, but even more at who is considered a soft target, His Immaculate Mother. But why this rage from anyone?
As one Rabbi, perhaps the most famous in the world said to me after reading the thesis: The problem is that, you know, we rabbis, we don’t look at the Scriptures as any kind of primary text. They are historical creations of the communities of their day. We look to other things, you know, rabbinic exhortations and the like, through the centuries and we use religion in conjunction with the politics of the day to get what is needful at the time. And that attitude is parroted entirely and wholeheartedly and with enthusiasm by those in the upper echelon of the Catholic hierarchy and generally the machine of dialogue. It’s gotta be all about us, not God dealing with us, only us alone, all relative to us: damned be anything else; damned be those who would have us look to God; damn you, Father Byers!
Here’s a PDF of the thesis. Note that footnote number one, as published and as it stands in the volume in the general stacks of the Genesis section of the general stacks of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, needs severe revision. I’ve only understood more recently all that which Jacques Marie Vosté, O.P., was getting at. That note has been revised in the PDF of this link below. Explicating that note, as I say elsewhere, is my next life project. That will, please God, be published as a volume all on it’s own. I am now indebted to Vosté for his gentlemanly sarcasm.
To those who are interested in citing these, do it with full references. You’ll be black-listing yourselves. But – Hey! – that’s the only way to more forward with the truth, indeed, with Him who is the Living Truth, about whom the thesis was written. That truth will one day be seen, “videbitur”, as it is said. That’s a “not yet”. But it will come about. The thesis was only privately published according to the rules of the University. The PIB is afraid to publish it. That fact alone requires a volume all on its own.
Today’s 8 December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and… and… it’s set to snow today, perhaps a lot. A good re-post.
Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes, France, I took this picture with my el-cheapo digital camera. It was February, the first day following weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the grotto. Here’s a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold for weeks:
Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had something to do with water and temperature.
Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!
Monstra te esse matrem!
Perhaps this theme of co-redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow, enough, methinks, to finally start writing. [I know, I know, I just have to do it. Time goes on. Life is short. Yikes!]
As an old dear friend has so very graciously reminded me, today is the tenth anniversary of the defense of my thesis on Genesis 2:4–3:24, which demonstrated for the first time, with all due analysis of historical philology and unrelenting scientific rigor the text’s reasoning for original sin by propagation not by imitation, and how it is that the mother of the redeemer in Genesis 3:15 is not the wife of Adam but rather is someone future to the writer of the account and who is free from Adam’s sin, that is, from the moment of her conception, she who is the great warrior in the most far reaching battle of the most far reaching war, that conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan, in which the Divine Son of the Mother of the Redeemer is victorious by laying down His life for us, standing in our stead, having the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. I’m thinking that a bit of prayer at the hermitage this very day is in order. Please say a Hail Mary for yours truly. I’m going to ask our Lady for the wherewithal to write about her.
Montra te esse matrem!
The now famous Brake Man, symbol of Adam after original sin, has been chained up for his own security subsequent to the fear of theft by a reader. He’s chained to a metal grate of a tiny opening that vents the crawl space under the rectory.
Think of it this man. It might seem that we are chained down by the effects of original sin, weakness of mind, weakness of will, emotions all over the place, sickness, death. But no. With our redemption, with saving grace, we can use those very weaknesses not as a source of our insecurity, but rather as occasions to assent to the solid grip our Lord has on our souls as draws us to Himself across Calvary to where He is lifted up on the Cross (see John 12:32).
We are unchained by being chained. Don’t fret about chains. Used them as the cross which our Lord commands us to carry[!] as an encouragement to follow Him, that other command of His. Don’t fret about chains. Let them encourage you to let the risen life and joy of our Lord shine out to others.
Having said that, I hope to get to heaven, as do we all, where all chains fall away.
This is great Judeo-Christian pedagogy about Genesis: “Male and female He created them.” The men’s restroom at the Methodist Church here in Andrews is labeled “MEN” and “ADAM” even while the women’s restroom is labeled “WOMEN” and “EVE”. You can’t argue with that, can you? I took this picture from my crowded table at the reception after the Noon Good Friday ecumenical service at which I was the preacher. Our Catholic schools could learn from this, making sure everyone understands that while this is a biological and religious issue, not simply a topic to be forced on others by way of specious social engineering.
Some readers of the blog and some people in town here in Andrews are terribly appalled at the appalling “thing” next to the front steps of the rectory. Be not afraid. It’s just you.
My hermitage neighbor back in Transylvania County, a master welder and mechanic, gave me one of his creations for a house warming gift when I moved into the new rectory (65 years old).
Brake Man is made up from brakes, because of which he simply had to be situated within reach of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. Brake Man is a symbol, of course, in so many ways, of Adam and his original sin, which put the brakes on all of us, having us rust away, as it were, until we fall into the grave. But we have hope, what with redemption and the Mother of the Redeemer interceding for us.
Brake Man, who is to continue to till the garden even if he is outside of the paradise aspect of the garden in this world, often has a garden hose hooked to his shoulder, continuing to toil and labor in the garden of this world as he does. Of course, that water provides refreshment to the flowers for the Immaculate Conception. How could she not accept flowers from such as Adam?
My spirit is as light as a fluffy dandelion being given to Jesus for the Immaculate Conception. Our Lady has granted me this very day a great favor, two, in fact. I feel like a little kid before her, my spirit rejoicing. I’m bursting with joy, smiling from ear to ear.
Mentioned in the conversation with the Bishop, who called me up, and with the Bishop bringing up the topic, was my thesis on the Immaculate Conception and my need to make a popular version of it. This is a sign, I believe from our Lady, that NOW’s the time! This will be the little flower I give to her through Jesus, if this is made possible by the providence of her Divine Son. I again dance with joy. Do I ever stop?
But that was just one thing. The other is… well… what a gift! I’ll write about that as time goes on. I’m speechless. I too, must be loved by the Immaculate Conception, and by her Divine Son. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Mary.
Dance dance dance dance dance…
The citation from Acts 9:20 above is the end of my opening salvo (intro and thanksgiving) to the thesis on the reception of enmity (Genesis 3:15) in its context (Genesis 2:4a to 3:24), which was handed over in final form on January 25, 2007, ten years ago. It was defended a few months later. Doing up a popular version is a necessity.
It is a project which is every in front of me, but which I never quite seem to get to accomplish. However, I must say that if I am reckoning correctly about a certain recent event in the life of this priest, I may just be able to get to work on this work in honor of the Immaculate Conception and have the hope of getting it published. That would be very cool altogether.
For a thousand historical reasons, it is the first time a serious study of historical philology has been made of these chapters with a most pleasing and far-reaching result about the unity of Jewish-Catholic faith, about the why and wherefore of the physical propagation of original sin and therefore the why and wherefore of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer in Genesis 3:15, rightly called the proto-Evangelium, the very first Gospel, Good News, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:7 we read how YHWH Elohim breathed the breath of the living ones into the formed dust, with the inescapable conclusion that there is to be life concomitantly supplied to Adam so that, then – Adam now being the subject of the verb – so that Adam might become a living individual. Adam has an agent intellect to draw and keep together that which cannot possibly work together, namely, that which is material and that which is spiritual.
That this is the case is demonstrated by how it is that this would come to an end, that is, when Adam, instead of eating from the tree of the living ones, choosing that which is consonant with the living ones, instead eats from the tree of knowing good with evil, that is, a choice which has his intellect dumbed down into a lack of appreciation for that which is good because it now suffers the admixture of evil, that is, in the very perception. Having lost the power of his intellect he also loses the power to keep body and soul together (as he doesn’t know what he is keeping together) and he begins to turn to dust once again.
In this catastrophic state, he is tempted to reach out to eat from the tree of the living ones, but will only hurt himself in doing this since he cannot possibly appreciate what it is that living ones choose, for he now sees everything good with an admixture of evil, that is, in an egotistic manner, not with love, but just what he can get out of whatever or whoever for himself. Should he raise his hand to grasp after the fruit of the tree of the living ones, he will be routed by the Cherubim with their flaming sword, the flames of enmity, God’s love, with the sword being that which turns whatever comes to it into its contrary. If he wishes, Adam can be routed to where he can receive from the tree of the living ones, no longer wanting to stupidly grasp after it himself.
Meanwhile, grasping at living forever is saying, “Cogito ergo sum,” “I think, therefore I am,” Descartes’ horrific aggression, ever so lonely, ever so individualistic, only hurting himself with his “thinking” which cannot possibly truly perceive what he is doing. Adam didn’t become a living individual by means of his thought, for he could not yet think with nothing yet having come to his senses (as he was not yet alive). Adam became a living individual because he was provided with an agent intellect which necessitated body and soul coming together. Adam was immortal, unless he sinned. He did. The temptation after is to think like Descartes. How sad.
But the very Creator, YHWH Elohim, said he himself, as the incarnate Son of the Woman of Genesis 3:15, would put enmity between ourselves and the evil one, that is, changing us with friendship with himself, grace, which he could provide to us in his own justice because of taking the initiative to stand in our stead, taking on the death we deserve, stomping on the head, the power, of the evil one, but he himself being crushed for us in doing this.
The question should be asked as to how it is that we can assent to the gift of enmity when we cannot possibly appreciate the fullness of the goodness of God. But God isn’t asking us to plumb the mysteries, to have the beatific vision while on this earth. He is only asking us to have humble thanksgiving. His grace enables us assent by faith, not by demonstrable thought. We cannot put God’s love in a Cartesian test-tube, but we can assent by God’s grace to the fruit of the tree of the living ones, the Eucharist from the Cross.
P.S. Thanks to elizdephi for the great art-work for the coat of arms…
If it be God’s will, the successful completion of the Immaculate Conception Project will begin at the beginning. I’ve begun the popular version. So far, I’ve set up a new computer dedicated solely to the project (the two right screens below). I’ve started setting up a workstation, consolidating files from a half dozen broken down computers, installing a new version of WordPerfect, installing a new version of BibleWorks, and have an auxiliary computer dedicated to extra stuff.
I can’t give you anything of the popular version of the Immaculate Conception Project yet, but here are summary file and audio conference of the same, the thesis and, as an extra on this glorious feast day, the Flos Carmeli:
Here’s a picture of the computer screen with the cover edited this morning. A little busy, but it gives you some idea of what the Immaculate Conception Project is all about…
Today in the Roman Rite there are two titles of the Mother of God assumed soul and body into heaven which we celebrate, (1) the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Extraordinary Form Calendar, and in some communities by way of indult also in the Ordinary Form Calendar (e.g., Missionaries of Charity), and (2) the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven and earth, angels and men, in the Ordinary Form.
There is hardly disparity here, for she is Queen because she has an Immaculate Heart, for with that purity of heart and agility of soul she assented to be the Virgin Mother of God and also of us, for just as she is the Mother of God because she is Mother of the Divine Person of Jesus, whose human nature she brought to the light of day, so also she is our Mother in that Jesus is Head of the Body of Christ while we are the members of that Body.
At the risk of being discounted as a terribly unsophisticated and naive little boy, I should like to dare you – double dare you even – on this very day to pick some actual biological flowers wherever you might find them, say, along the roadside, put them in a bitty vase with some water, and put these in front of an image of our Lady in your local church or oratory. And if there are candles which you can light, why not light one. I am indeed reminded of going with my mom to pray before an image of our Lady at our Cathedral crypt side chapel of a hand carved Pietà at two and three and four years of age. Perhaps I should just grow up, but I don’t want to do that, not ever.
Had I been more sophisticated (politically correct) in my life, I would never have been able to write about our Lady in Genesis 3:15 as being free from the sin of Adam and therefore the Immaculate Conception. I would not have been willing to be the odd man out, being the only one in the world to demonstrate how it is from the Hebrew text and against every one else that the transmission of original sin is by propagation and not imitation. During my decades in Rome I must say that I never met even one active professor who believed in the doctrine of original sin. Instead, even the most orthodox “hammer of heretics” caved on this and said it was an invention of Saint Augustine (though Augustine actually opted for sin by imitation, just at a very early age just after conception). Anyway:
- The above is a very short summary of the thesis with added points about the Immaculate Conception of Virgin Mother of the Redeemer
- The following audio is the recorded conference itself:
- The above is the thesis in which all this was demonstrated from the Hebrew text.
- This took the interest of Benedict XVI, who, while in Lourdes at the Angelus address on 14 September 2008, reversed a lifetime of thought about original sin and the immaculate conception.
Update: So, following my own advice:
Hard to see, but there are two Palestinian donkey’s drinking water in the background.
Exorcising infused intelligence with the frustration of suppressed wisdom. Torture and interrogation revisited.
The irony is excruciating: extreme intelligence, infused, angelic, coupled with an utter lack of wisdom. This is Satan’s punishment forever.
In an exorcism, the idea is to make Satan admit his utter lack of wisdom in front of the exorcist, who is incomparably Satan’s intellectual inferior. Such an admission is all too much for Satan, at which point he simply leaves, which, of course, is the admission!
It’s rather simple how this works. Satan stomps on someone loved by God not because Satan cares about bothering us, but because Satan hates God; this is Satan’s way to demonstrate his hatred of God to God. Then, hopefully, the person ends up turning to God all the more, which is rather frustrating to Satan: such a person became closer to God because of the occasion provided for this by Satan.
Satan sees this countless times, but continues to do his work of hatred all the same even though the torment of the frustration increases all the more. This is a hatred and darkness we had better not be with for all eternity. Much better to go to heaven. There is no middle way. No compromise. In the end, there is only heaven or hell. Choose life!
By the way, the artwork above is a bit modern, a bit non-scriptural. The flaming fiery sword is held by the cherubim at the end of the Garden of Eden account, not by any archangel like Michael, though, of course, all those who are with God wield this sword. The sword is meant for Adam and the children of Adam, to turn their arrogant grasping for the fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones unto a humble reception of the fruit of the Tree of the Living Ones. To use this “turn-whatever-comes-at-it-into-its-contrary-sword” on Satan is terribly sarcastic, as Satan can only become more frustrated. That, mind you, is good art. The fiery bit is God’s love, and that love is provided to Satan, but it is precisely this love which makes him suffer, as he rejects such love. His frustration is ineffable. Such a sword of ardent love, of truth, cannot be put in any sheath, but is always drawn, always at work with good effect in those who accept it’s purging effects in all humility.
Why bother putting this up? Because today it seems that we think that God won’t do whatever it takes to get us into His love, which includes providing us with His love, which brings with it the purging effects of its ardent flame, which brings with it a torture as intense as being crucified to this world so as to live for Jesus, so that we might carry about His death within us that His resurrection might be manifested. Some think that this is mean and cruel. But it is not. This torture, if you will, does bring with it an interrogation more ferocious than anything ever provided by the ISIS crowd, as ferocious as Jesus asking: “Do you love me, Peter, more than these?”
Yes, Jesus does interrogate, and it seems like the very fires of hell are cast at us inasmuch as we resist such fiery love. Peter was grieved to death, death of himself so as to live for Jesus. Is that not, then, love which is provided by Jesus to Peter? Yes. It is. With all that torture, with all that interrogation, with all that… that… that… fiery love! Not so bad after all! Unlike with Satan, we can receive the fiery love of God with all its truth within us.
UPDATE: See important exchange in the comments box. Yikes!!!
Today’s the day. Genesis 3:15 is fulfilled. Mary Immaculate is The Warrior in her virginal motherhood, by way of Her Seed, The Redeemer.
While I do put this up from time to time, forgive me, it is not bragging. It is Mary’s gift to me to give back to her. I say that in all humility (I hope). But it must be said. What I write here (based on a rather intense thesis) followed by six Pontifical Universities in its writing (also by enemies of my conclusions), with no one, including enemies, able to provide any correction or demonstrate that anything is mistaken in any way, presents for the first time (and there are historical reasons for that) that the transmission of original sin by propagation is demonstrated from the Scriptural text, and, therefore, also the Immaculate Conception of the Virginal Mother of the Redeemer.
We cry: “Monstra te esse Matrem!” (Show yourself to be a Mother!) Today’s the day she shows herself to be a mother, the Mother of the Redeemer and our Mother. She’s the warrior, the one who is singled out in Genesis 3:15 as going into the battle that is itself the war against the ancient dragon, the fallen Oracle, the deadly serpent whose power will be crushed by the heel of the Redeemer, with that Redeemer Himself dying because of this initiative of love.
In honor of the Immaculate Conception on this day of days, in this hour of hours, I offer you the bullet points of the argument and the thesis on which it is based, as well as the audio for the conference given to the IVE in Washington, DC, a few years back.
Here’s the full PDF version of the thesis: Father George David Byers: Genesis 2,4a-3,24 – Two Generations in one day
- Yes, the Immaculate Conception is to be found in Genesis 3:15
- Yes, there is original sin by propagation, not imitation
- Yes, there is a promise of a Redeemer, the how and the why.
I don’t know how else to say it, but it needs to be said:
- This is what Blessed Pope Pius IX was looking for from his exegetes in the early 1850s before declaring that Mary was immaculately conceived… and didn’t get it.
- This is what the Venerable Pope Pius XII was looking for from his exegetes in the 1940s before declaring that Mary was assumed soul and body into heaven… and didn’t get it.
After my Licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Jerusalem and Rome), I stayed on in the library to write an STD, though at another University for political reasons. Six pontifical universities were following the progress of the thesis. I gave it to enemies of the conclusions so that they might attack the logic, the method, whatever. Nothing, they couldn’t do it. This was a massive undertaking of historical philology, a truly brutal, unrelenting, historical critical work. In honor of Mary. It’s her gift to me to give back to her.
On this occasion of the opening of the Year of Mercy, 8 December, 2015, the best thing I can do as a Missionary of Mercy is to offer this research to the Church. I hope this will be a long and detailed series. This is biggest thank you I can give to Pope Francis for his act of governance on my behalf on 24 June 2015.
Why open the Holy Year on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception?
- Is it because it’s the 50th anniversary of the close of Vatican II? Yes.
- Is it because it’s the feast of the Immaculate Conception? Yes.
Don’t forget, the most emotional moment for the entire assembly of bishops was about Mary, Mother of the Church, a title pronounced by Venerable Pope Paul VI. The applause went for something like 10 to 12 minutes. It’s really hard to clap for two full minutes. This was 10 to 12.
Mary is also Mother of Mercy
In her immaculate conception she has clarity of vision, that is, purity of heart and agility of soul, transformed in grace from the first moment of her conception. In looking at her Divine Son tortured to death on the Cross, she can perfectly see the need of every man from Adam until the last man is conceived. Just for being in solidarity with her Son, she can perfectly intercede for us for what we need. She is mediatrix of all graces, co-redemptrix as one of us who asks for what we need from God, from Jesus. These are her labor pains for us. This is where she becomes our Mother of Mercy.