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  • Sarah Raad

Providence

How awesome is our God! He provides for us in all our necessities. We truly have nothing to fear!

The Temptation of Eve (Michaelangelo)

Today, while I was praying for your private intentions and two or three (or a million) of my own, it occurred to me that our God is so wonderfully glorious that He provides for us in all our necessities.


Saint Bernard of Clairvieux, told us that God loves us so much that He gave us His own mother so that if we could only think of Our Blessed Mother and call upon her, she would shelter us and protect us in all our needs.

Though her womb nourished Christ, her arms held Him, and her lips kissed Him – the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the Handmaid of the Lord – is God’s CHILD as much as she is God’s MOTHER.

As I was praying the Rosary with my children, it occurred to me that the words of the Hail Mary that we repeat over and over and over again in the Rosary are not mere words. They are a recount, a retelling of the conversation between Our Lady and the Angel Gabriel, who appeared on behalf of God the Father to ask her permission to send God the Holy Spirit so that she would conceive God the Son.


Ours is not a pagan god!


The Ancient Greeks and Romans had many myths that told stories of young virginal girls becoming mothers of demigods through their interactions with the gods. In those stories, the girls were often virgins of exceeding physical beauty, and the gods deceived them by appearing in animal form, to overpower and compel them against their will to conceive of their children, who were minor reflections of the god’s own power.


In the ancient myths, the fruits of these interactions – the children of these gods – often brought catastrophe for humanity. Their mothers suffered – often dying during childbirth. The children themselves, though powerful had inherent weaknesses that ultimately destroyed them. Those gods envied their own children and sought to diminish their power.


These myths were the contemporary theology of Christ’s ancient world – though Christ was a Jew.


Though His mother was a virgin – like the girls in the myths – Our Blessed Mother’s virginity is where the similarities between the story of the incarnation of Christ and those myths ends.


While the mythical girls were physically beautiful, Our Blessed Mother’s beauty was not physical – it was glorious moral and spiritual perfection through the Grace of a conception free of sin – and that purity was stunning to behold.


While the mythological gods were deceptive, using disguise to overwhelm and rape their victims, denying them their autonomy, choice and free will; God – the ONE TRUE God – overwhelmed nobody!


In fact, God so respected Our Lady’s free will and autonomy, that He sent His Angel to ASK HER PERMISSION to submit to His purpose – so that Christ (God the Son) could save the world… AND HER!


God, in His infinite humility, asked His creation’s permission to SAVE her (and us). It would surely be like a mother asking her infant child’s permission to move them away from a burning fire because they are too young to walk or crawl.

And yet, God – the Almighty Creator of the Universe – submitted HIMSELF and all HIS infinite power to the power of OUR free will for love of us!

In an earlier time and place God had asked another woman to surrender to His will. She said, “NO.”


She ate the fruit.


God respected that – though it pained Him and destroyed the world.


And do not be deceived or flatter yourself with false pride… Eve was the best of us – not the worst! We would not have lasted half as long as she did under the onslaught of the Serpent. We do nt last half as long right now!


And yet – though it doomed His only Son – for love of us, in respecting Eve’s wishes, God delayed the salvation of souls until Our Blessed Mother was born to be our protectress, as a perfect example of surrender to the Will of God.


God deceived nobody! Our Lady’s initial fear at being confronted by the Angel was a result not of a disguise, but of an enlightenment – a growing awareness and appreciation of the infinite POWER and MAJESTY of God. In seeing the Angel, Our Blessed Mother gained insights of God – she grew closer to Him – not further away. And because – in our humanity – we are so far removed from perfection, that perfection confounded even Our Blessed Mother who was free from sin.

In placing Himself – through the incarnated person of God the Son – into Time and Space, God made Himself more familiar… not less so!

Unlike those mythological girls, the incarnation of Christ left Our Blessed Mother not with LESS – but with MORE!


God helped His beloved child – His mother – in her vocation. He made a difficult path easier for her because although her task was necessary, God so loved her (and He loves us) that He helped her (as He helps us)…


Our Blessed Mother did not suffer the pangs of childbirth. She did not die of old age or illness – but of LOVE. She did not suffer the indignity of bodily decay. She was assumed body and soul into Heaven.


God, in His infinite mercy and compassion, did MUCH to ease the burden of His beloved handmaid, just as He does much to ease us.


And His Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, consubstantial with the Father, was exactly that! Consubstantial – of equal substance – with his Father.


For our God is a loving God – he is not jealous. He is LOVE. Pure LOVE. And everything that He does for us is for LOVE. So, when the catastrophe resulted from the interactions of the Divine with the sins of humanity, our God – unlike those mythological ones from the stories – took the burden of that catastrophe onto Himself. Onto His own glorious flesh, God assumed the punishment of sin, which by its very definition is an offence against God. Bearing the wounds of our sins on His own sacred Body – though He was without sin, which offends Him more than we could ever know – because He loved us and only out of Love for us.


How could we ever be afraid when God provides – providing His Blessed Mother for our every need – even when we betray Him – over and over and over again?


Our God is an awesome God!


For with a Hail Mary – or ten – everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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