Thursday, 8 December 2011

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

As  St. Teresa and Teilhard remind us, the journey to the divine centre - to the Christ child- is a journey which involves a purification of our hearts: burning away all that gets in the way of our journey.   And it is appropriate that today we are reminded of the Virgin Mary as a person who was wholly and completely open to the God's love.   Mary is the second Eve who gave birth the the second Adam, whose heart literally beat within her body and soul: two hearts as one.   For this reason we keep in mind that the hearts of Mary and Jesus have a unique relationship.  And as we journey to Bethlehem for Jesus to be born again in our hearts we ask for her to pray for us this Advent.

I like the painting by Bracceso ( in the Louvre)  very much.  The Blessed Virgin is shown  looking rather anxious about what is taking place, but despite her fears she places all her trust in the will of God.  That seems to me the essence of a pure heart. (Click on pictures to enlarge.)

In December 1916, Teilhard reflected on today's feast: 

For me [it is].. the feast of ‘passive action’, the action that functions simply by the transmission through us of divine energy. Purity, in spite of outward appearances, is essentially an active virtue, because it concentrates God in us and on those who are subject to our influence. In our Lord, all modes of lower, restless, activity disappear within this single, luminous, function of drawing God to oneself, of receiving him and letting him penetrate one’s being. To be active in such a way and such a degree, our Lady must have been brought into existence in the very heart of grace, - for no later justification, no matter how immediate, could replace this constitutive, in-born, perfection of the purity that watched over the birth of her soul. It is thus that I see the Immaculate Conception. May our Lord give you and me too a little of her translucence, which is so favourable to God’s action. (Making of a Mind : 149 ) 

Earlier in April 1916 he completed his work 'Cosmic life'. In this essay he refers to Mary as ' the pearl of the cosmos and the link with the Incarnate Absolute.. Queen and Mother of all things, the true Demeter' (The Prayer of the Universe, Fontana, 1973: 91) .  Mary is the ‘unmoving light between the universe and God’ and shows the way to the divine centre ( aka the Sacred Heart) of creation through her utter openness – her active passivity - to the energy of God’s love. It is through the example of Mary that we can be united with the fullness of God.

He prayed, in December 1918,  that it is his dearest wish is that: 

God, through our Lady, may grant us to share in her purity and to have so ardent a passion for her, that we may be able to serve, in our own small way, to regenerate the world. We must have absolute faith in the power of this divine virtue to transform souls and spread itself; and we must see to it too, that the greatest interest of our life is to feel that we are growing a little more within her, and are serving to radiate her influence. (MM: 262)

On this day, Teilhard's prayer has a special resonance. 

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