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Sunday, 20 November 2011

To be numbered on the List of "Christ the King" in whom we can Trust!

Today is the feast day of “Christ the King” and last day in the Church’s year. The Scripture readings are on how Jesus as the Good Shepherd” of his sheep judges us at the end of this journey we call our “life” and is consequently an important one to fully appreciate. Here He outlines the fundamental laws upon which our eternity will be determined, in quite stark terms (Matthew 25:31-46).
I believe this message is particularly enhanced when taken with another verse of Scripture that says “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). The crux of the message can be interpreted to mean that our destiny is decided by the contrasting states of our hearts, being either full of compassion for people’s well-being and for social justice or full of contempt for your neighbour’s existence, for more self-centred reasons, e.g. greed.
This is dramatically and objectively symbolised in modern today terms through Thomas Keneally’s book “Schindler’s List” adapted by Steven Spielberg into film, based on historical facts in a period of particular anti-Semitic brutality during World War II.
The cold-blooded hatred by a nation’s community towards its ethnic minorities is disturbingly alarming. This is contrasted with hope beautifully, through the compassion shown by Oscar Schlinder, who eventually repents from his sinful ways and works against his Nazi party’s sinister agenda. When he decides to save as many of God’s chosen people he can by using his power and wealth obtained through political favour to make a difference for the sake of God’s righteousness and not against it.
This point is especially emphasised with the scene where as the Jews in Kraków are forced into the ghetto, a little girl on the street cries out, “Good-bye, Jews,” over and over again. She represents the open hostility often shown the Jews by their countrymen. After all, the little girl did not contain this hatred naturally—she learned it. Through her, Spielberg sends the message that the evil of the “final solution” infected entire communities. This is reinforced by another scene where bystanders knowingly wave at the cattle trains filled with despairing souls as they are mercilessly transported to the death camps to meet their presupposed fate.  
Applying the Gospel verses to this gruesome scenario of injustice presents an irony unknowing to the misguided, is that they might as well be venting their rage and anger upon a mirror! By remaining unrepentant, they take the risk of God turning the table upon themselves and returning the gesture on judgement day for their lack of faith in all that is Goodness and Truth.
Consequently the underlying message given to us on this special day to commemorate Christ's Majesty is that we should constantly cultivate and tend to our hearts with acts of compassion, similar to that of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and only then we will merit the full blessings and promises of God and thus avoid the total loss of His love and mercy we take each day for granted.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

JMJT: Is the “Little Way” a New Genesis or a Revelation!?

First posted by Simon Pickering 21st May, 2010 on 4Marks Social network;

Being a disciple and follower of St Therese of Lisieux this blog portrays “The Little Way” from a new perspective that could help us gauge the enormity and universality of her message!

This question has led me to ponder on the connection between St Therese’s “Little Way” and the Biblical book of “Genesis”, Sacred Scripture’s account on the creation of the whole world. We can be certain that St Therese’s message is substantially embedded in the Gospels but can its roots be traced back to the beginnings of time itself? Because if there is a strong connection between the two accounts of holiness, her reference to “little” should not be deemed in relation our views on littleness, but God’s view!  

St Therese gives us some clues when she mentions “keeping the ’Kings Secrets’ in the bottom of her heart” and “it is honorable to publish the works of the Most High”; also “how powerless I am to express in human language the secrets of heaven”.  Finally she says “There are so many different horizons, so many nuances of infinite variety that only the palette of the Celestial Painter will be able to furnish me after the night of this life with the colors capable of depicting the marvels He reveals to my soul”.  We can therefore surmise that St Therese holds a secret, a very big secret of the magnitude of God’s grace and how we can attain it.

Bible Study notes of the Book of Genesis compared to St Therese’s Little Way;

Chapter 1: The World at its Creation:

The Holy Scriptures;
  • Light sustains life in the world (1:3-4)
  • Adam & Eve’s meekness and simplicity in their state of “Original Holiness or Justice” to serving God’s will is deafeningly silent. It is sufficient only for God to describe them and the scenario as “very good” (1:31).
  • God states that what He saw was “good” seven times in Chapter 1 (1:3,10,12,18,21,25,31); Harmony and perfection presides over all God’s creatures, with Man as their shepherd.
  • Man was made in God’s own image, to shepherd over His creation (1:26).
  • God’s orders His creatures to be fruitful as God intended them to be and fill the world with their presence to quell earthliness (1:28).
The Little Way (LW):
  • Jesus through the Virgin Mary provides the light to our spiritual darkness; Therese promises to shed a shower of roses from Heaven; Charity is a cornerstone of holiness: 
  • Life for all of God’s creatures was straightforward and their task was only to fill the world with their goodness; Glory was only attained through God and not from ourselves:
  • Everything was “good”; the power of goodness cannot be overlooked or underestimated; everything was made and done out of Love of God from His Love; God expects us to do and be good to honor Him in everything we do, no matter how small; Jesus says “Little Children, love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34):
  • We are children of God born in His own image, which means we can only feel complete and contented being one with God, by doing His will (e.g. Virgin Mary’s “fiat” and “Thy will be done”); Therese says you need to be little and weak to have habitual fusion with Jesus (refer to Mt 18:4).
  • St Therese’s autobiography “Story of a Soul” fulfills this divine order by bearing fruit from all over the world by using Christ as its vine (John 15:1).
Chapter 2: Adam & Eve (Original Holiness):
The Holy Scriptures;
  • God breathed life into the soil or dust to create Man (2:7):
  • God created a special place for Man called the Garden of Eden, where He created a variety of trees; Central to the Garden were two trees, one of life the other of knowledge between good and evil (2:9).
  • God instructs Man to tender the garden (2:15) but must not touch or eat from the tree of knowledge or else death becomes him (2:16); Note that there is only one condition (commandment) for living in paradise, Man’s original utopia!
  • God sees that Adam’s loneliness and seeks a suitable companion for him (2:18,20).
  • God empowers Adam to name His creatures and authorizes his decision (2:19).
  • God creates a partner for Adam from one of his ribs, so that there can become one together (2:22;24)
  • Adam and Eve were completely shameless and thus were looked upon as perfection in the eyes of God as He intended them to be so (2:25).
The Little Way (LW):
  • God demonstrates the simplicity and power of His grace to create the wonder of life; The LW by design can harness the same breath of divine air that fills our lives with God’s grace as His “Spiritual Children”.
  • God reserves a special place for His people, today we call this salvation in Heaven; LW is a straight path to Jesus Christ who represents the Tree of Life (John 1:23); Life’s simplicity naturally creates harmony and perfection, which draws God’s presence and mercy; Therese loved nature and animals, particularly roses, so she would of loved immensely being in the Garden of Eden and fitting perfectly within this idyllic habitat, without distraction!:
  • God’s commandment became Jesus “He says listen to Him!”(Luke 9:35); LW encourages us to be virtuous to all God’s creation because we are blessed and we should avoid to sin:
  • God provides, as a father for his children, to those who please Him and who rely on Him, even without request or petition, for He knows their needs and He through love will satisfy them;
  • God gives man authority over his kingdom, this is why praying and caring for each other is expected by Him;
  • Zelie and Louis Martin were model parents, as St Therese describes them as “Being more worthy of heaven than of earth”; This I am sure inspired her to understand the natural relationship of people with God:
  • Holy purity and innocence comes from “simplicity” and “spiritual poverty” and not through deeds or accomplishments:
Chapter 3: Original Sin:
The Holy Scriptures;
  • The serpent hoodwinks Adam and Eve and their eyes are opened to understand the difference between good and evil, the effects of disobeying God and eating from the tree of knowledge (3:1-6).
  • They became ashamed and noticed their nakedness covering themselves with plants or fig leaves (3:7).
  • God called for Adam who was in hiding ‘Where are you?’ (3:8). Adam confesses to his state of being to God (3:10). God then accuses him of wrong doing and enquirers as to how they knew that they were naked? (3:11). 
  • God says “What have you done?" indicating the hurt, the grief He felt by the betrayal (3:13)
  • A trial ensues and God discovers the instigator the serpent’s guilt of the three parties He questions (3:12-13);
  • God punishes all parties involved for retribution. The devastating stain of “Original Sin” enters the world. (3:14-19).
  • God said to the condemned Serpent, that his descendants including people in-spirit will always be opposed and yet powerless against God’s people, whom are faithful to Him: (3:15). 
  • God gave man the garments of his fallen nature, so his image on the outside portrayed the skin of an animal or beast (contrary to this verse, Gen 2:20) rather than the image God intended him to have. Indicating that animals were to be sacrificed to cover or pay for man’s sins and to display his demoted status (3:21).
  • Adam & Eve were banished from paradise and eternal life, to survive in the harshness of the wilderness, the price they paid for having the capacity to be Godly, acquired through Original Sin (3:22-24).
The Little Way (LW):
  • LW is obedience simplifies and directs us towards the “Tree of Life”, Jesus Christ, through the Gospels; Jesus tells us “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me”(John 14:6):
  • It is sufficient for us to put our trust and confidence in Our Lord Jesus Christ who doesn’t cover but takes away our sins in the sight of God, the Father:
  • Fear and disunity enters the original parents consciousness so they look for excuses; Their lives in effect becomes complicated and harsh, not simple and peaceful:  
  • What have we done? To show thanksgiving to God’s grace, this in the world means everything!
  • God “Loves the sinner, hates the sin”; God’s is only comforted through our prays and by doing penance for those who offend Him:
  • Therese embraced joyously suffering “I have learned to find joy and sweetness in all that is bitter”(refer to Col. 1:24); By carrying her cross she knew that she was following Jesus and would find Him in all His glory; She also says “Let us offer our sufferings to Jesus for the salvation of souls.”
  • Pray for those who are on the wrong side of this divide between good and bad; Pranzini was Therese’s first child, saved by her intercession; She enters Carmel to fulfill this vocation of saving souls and making Priests saints:
  • We clothe ourselves in Jesus’ wounds who is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and restores us to our original image, so that God the Father can elevate us back to Him:
  • Humbleness is virtuous and our armor (our combat jacket) which will help us survive the dangers of our spiritual wilderness; Avoiding and being detached from the snares, pride tempts us towards through having knowledge and intellectual status, as being Godly opposes our route to holiness; St Therese teaches us, all that really matters is letting Jesus be your elevator to Heaven; Jesus says “Unless you be converted and become as little children you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 18:3):
Chapter 4: Cain & Abel:
The Holy Scriptures;
  • Cain a descendant of Adam & Eve, questions God’s favor and fails to understand the consequences of doing what is wrong compared to doing what is right (4:6-7). God’s advises him “you must master it (sin)” (4:7):
  • Cain ignores the advice and kills Abel out of jealousy (4:8):
  • God exclaims “What have you done?” for the second time to man (4:10). Again, God shows His hurt,  His grief and annoyance of what man was doing:
  • Cain struggles with his exposure to the danger and despair of being an outcast from God’s presence (4:14).
  • Cain’s appeal drew sympathy from God and He issued a protection order promising His wrath to anyone who should harmed Cain (4:15). And so God withdraws his presence from Adam’s descendant (4:16), due to the hurt caused to God’s heart.
The Little Way (LW):
  • Cain seems lost, but if we abandon ourselves to God we will find peace; LW focuses very much on doing right and avoiding sin, everything else to left to God’s providence and mercy;
  • LW makes us look internally and not externally, to compare ourselves against Jesus’ model and not against each other; Therefore avoiding any negative emotion of being less well off as loving God makes it impossible to be so; Therese says “Since Jesus has gone to Heaven now, I can only follow the traces He has left behind.”:
  • What have we done? To show our belief and our love for God; God
  • looks for acts of virtues constantly:
  • Pray to God and offer Him our problems like a child running to their parents for comfort, protection and sympathy; Therese says of the Eucharist “I desire Him to come for His own pleasure, not for mine”:
  • God cannot help Himself but to show his love for us, who are weak and timid; His mercy is so vast that He is sure to respond to our call if we turn to Him like a beggar with outstretched hands:
Chapter 6: Noah and his Ark
The Holy Scriptures;
  • With the increase in people, God says “My Spirit will not contend with [a] man forever, for he is mortal” (6:3).
  • God saw the level man's wickedness had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time (6:5):
  • God grieves and is distraught at what we have become. His heart is filled with pain to such a extent that He decides to destroy the very things He created (6:7,11,12):
  • Except Noah who was righteous and blameless (6:9):
  • God tells Noah to build an ark so to avoid destruction (6:13-21).
  • Noah obeyed all that was expected from him (6:22):
The Little Way (LW);
  • Therese says that “We only have this life to prove our love for Him”:
  • Pray for sinners and do penance as the very smallest act of virtue could open their hearts to God’s love, to change their ways:
  • LW helps us to be what we truly are “God’s children” with a destiny of life and promise; Not a destiny of sin that leads ultimately to death and dust from where we came:
  • Noah’s example is rewarded by God; this is part of God’s promise, His Truth if you like; That He will always save His people, who have faith in Him and who obey His laws:
  • LW helps us build or construct our lives in the way God intended us to; So that we too may be saved from His wrath; Therese said to her spiritual Brother Fr Belliere “When I will be in port, I will teach you, dear little Brother of my soul, how you should sail the stormy sea of the world with the abandonment and the love of a child who knows his Father cherishes it and would be unable to leave him in the hour of danger. Ah! How I would like to make you understand the tenderness of the Heart of Jesus, what He expects of you.”:
  • LW helps us obey all that is expected from us by God, through His Son, Jesus Christ:
Chapter 7: God’s Covenant:
The Holy Scriptures;
  • God requests Noah to use the ark to save clean and righteous creatures only (7:1-4):
  • God establishes a covenant with Noah and his descendants to populate the earth as He will never again use floods to cause mayhem. Rainbows would be God’s sign of this bond with mankind (7:14-17).
The Little Way (LW);
  • The awesomeness of God’s mercy is shown through giving us His only begotten son, Jesus Christ and the Immaculate Mary, Our Mother who is today’s Ark; she provides a refuge to all God’s people by leading us down the path of Truth and Salvation through her Son.
  • The Cross is our “rainbow” and covenant, the sign that promises everlasting salvation; the genius of St Therese’s Little Way is that the path she outlines is open to every one of us to follow; as we have only this life to prove our worthiness. She says "We have only the short moment of this life to give to God, and He is already preparing to say: 'Now, my turn'."
Summary – What can we learn from this comparison?

+ God is Love and mercy; He is goodness. He only expects the same from us;

+ A sister at her Carmel made the comment what has Sister Therese done we can write about in her Obituary? I am sure that this was a completely innocent remark from a visibly enthused Carmelite nun. However, she raises an excellent point upon reflecting upon the answer. Especially when one compares her life with the lives of Our Blessed Virgin Mary and St Joseph whose roles are mentioned fleetingly in Holy Scriptures, the Bible’s New Testament. But through their love of God and fortitude of duty to serve through the eyes of God, they played an essential part in the salvation of humanity. Let’s assume it’s theologically correct to say that “The Story of a Soul” is a biographical homage akin to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s “Magnificat” that begins “My soul glorifies the Lord… (Luke 1:46-55); 

+ This is why “The Little Way” is so powerful because it appeals to God’s heart from where He found the inspiration to create heaven and earth. Hence “Little” in the “Little Way” should be looked upon in the same context as when Venerate Fulton J Sheen’s talked about love, happiness and a person’s heart. He said “When God made your human heart, He found it so good and so lovable that He kept a small piece of it in heaven. He sent the rest of it into this world to enjoy His gifts, and to use them as stepping stones back to Him, but to be ever mindful that you can never love anything in this world with our whole heart because you have not a whole heart with which to love. In order to love anyone with your whole heart, in order to be really peaceful, in order to be really wholehearted, you must go back again to God to recover the piece He has been keeping from all eternity!”; 

St Therese loved with her whole heart and I am truly thankful that she wrote about how she loved God and everything that belonged to Him. 

I pray: Jesus, Mary, Therese, I love you, please save souls.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Patrons of Europe: Rediscovering Christian Heritage

Over the next few weeks we shall celebrate the feasts of three patrons of Europe: St Benedict (11th July), St Bridget of Sweden (23rd July) and St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (9th August). Each of these saints, who take us from the fifth to the 20th century, had a deep love for the Scriptures.
The ‘Rule’ of St Benedict is punctuated by references to the Scriptures. In the Prologue we read: ‘The Lord in the gospel teaches us when he says:

I shall liken anyone who hears my words and carries them out in deed to one who is wise enough to build on a rock; then the floods came and the winds blew and struck that house but it did not fall because it was built on the rock.”
It is in the light of that teaching that the Lord waits for us every day to see if we will respond by our deeds, as we should to his holy guidance.’

In the final chapter of his ‘Rule’ Benedict asks: What page, what saying from the Sacred Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is not given us by the authority of God as reliable guidance for our lives on earth?’
St Bridget of Sweden founded the Bridgettine order in about 1350. The order was dedicated to the Passion of Christ. Each convent was to have attached to it a community of canons to act as chaplains, all under the government of the abbess. The members of the order are allowed one luxury, that they like for study. While the sisters were enclosed and dedicated to scholarship and the study of the word of God, the fathers were preachers and missionaries of that word.
St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) gives a powerful witness to the importance of the word of God because of her Jewish roots. Edith was born in Germany in 1891 into an observant Jewish family. After a period of unbelief in 1922 she embraced the Carmelite order. She moved to the Netherlands to be safe from Nazi persecution, but because she was Jewish she was arrested and taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholic Jews from the Netherlands to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, were she died in the gas chambers in 1942.
It was Blessed John Paul II who canonized Saint Teresa Benedicta in 1998. In his homily he said: ‘Through the experience of the Cross, Edith Stein was able to open the way to a new encounter with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faith and the Cross proved inseparable to her. Having matured in the school of the Cross, she found the roots to which the tree of her own life was attached. She understood that it was very important for her ‘to be a daughter of the chosen people and to belong to Christ not only spiritually, but also through blood’.’
Blessed John Paul II has already named Saints Cyril and Methodius as new patrons of Europe, alongside Saint Benedict, in 1980 in order to represent the countries of the East. In 1999, at the opening Mass of a special Synod of Sweden and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, along with Catherine of Siena, to this list of patrons. The document produced in the wake of the Synod is entitled ‘Ecclesia in Europa’. It takes as its theme ‘Jesus Christ, alive in his Church, the source of hope for Europe’.
The teaching of ‘Ecclesia in Europa’ is just as relevant some 10 years later. Europe needs to rediscover its spiritual heritage in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It needs to rediscover the power of the word of God.
Towards the end of the document (paragraphs 120- 121) Pope John Paul addresses a series of imperatives to Europe in the following words:

‘Europe, as you stand at the beginning of the third millennium, open the doors to Christ! Be yourself! Rediscover your origins! Relive your roots! Down the centuries you have received the treasure of Christian faith. It has grounded your life as a society on principles drawn from the Gospel, and traces of this are evident in the art, literature, thought and culture of your nations. But this heritage does not belong just to the past; it is a project in the making, to be passed on to future generations, for it has indelibly marked the life of the individuals and peoples who together have forged the continent of Europe.

Do not be afraid! The Gospel is not against you, but for you. This is confirmed by the fact that Christian inspiration is capable of transforming political, cultural and economic groupings into a form of coexistence in which all Europeans will feel at home and will form a family of nations from which other areas of the world can draw fruitful inspiration.

Be confident! In the Gospel, which is Jesus, you will find the sure and lasting hope to which you aspire. This hope is grounded in the victory of Christ over sin and death. He wishes this victory to be your own, for your salvation and your joy.

Be certain! The Gospel of hope does not disappoint! Throughout the vicissitudes of your history, yesterday and today, it is the light which illumines and directs your way; it is the strength which sustains you in trials; it is the prophecy of a new world; it is the sign of a new beginning; it is the invitation to everyone, believers and non-believers alike, to blaze new trails leading to a ‘Europe of the spirit’, in order to make the continent a true ‘common home filled with the joy of life.’
Fr Adrian Graffy recalls the creation of new patrons of Europe by Blessed John Paul II and his deep desire that Europe should receive new life and hope and recover its Christian roots.
The beautiful painting by John Armstrong of Our Lady protecting Europe illustrates the Christian roots of Europe, and shows Our Lady surrounded by six patron saints of Europe: SS Cyril and Methodius , St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St Benedict, St Bridget of Sweden, and St Catherine of Siena. Robert Schumann, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, looks on. St Benedict offers the monastery of Canterbury to the Blessed Virgin and St Cyril writes of the conversion of the Slavs.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

St Maria Goretti - A perfect witness of Purity and Forgiveness

Today is the feast day of St Maria Goretti a young teenage girl who was martyred for saying “No” to sin and “Yes” to Christ.

As I contemplate on her short life, I consider the most striking characteristic about this humbly pious saint was her heights of Christian charity towards her brutal assailant. She not only forgave him, but before she died from her fatal injuries, she wished only the very best for him to be in heaven. She is an astounding example of forgiveness and mercy towards thy neighbour even when they try to violate your precious purity and by force take her virginity.  

This truly astonishing fortitude of faith for a 12 year old is to be marvelled with joy, for it reminds me of the trust in our Lord’s love for us as displayed by the Roman Centurion in Matthew 8:5-13. Jesus was so impressed His response was to say “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.     
Her life is a very stark model of key virtues close to God's heart, especially when compared against our current modern world’s tendencies to submit guiltlessly to impurities of the flesh, to cast detrimental judgements upon others and to have a general lack of hope towards all that is good.

Lets us pray to this outstanding child of God for a better, more enlightened world that instead of putting others down to make one look good, rather to encourage others to do their best and what is right for the sake of God’s goodness!

I pray also for the strength to say “yes” constantly to Christ and his Commandments.

St Maria Goretti
Pray for us!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy 4th of July!

This is a great day of celebration for everyone who advocates and cherishes a free-society, not just Americans (like my Dad), who believe in democracy and the freedom to use your free-will, without fear of oppression. America the great beacon of a society where all races, cultures, colours, etc. come together to become better human beings in a Christian system of laws, principles and values first established by God. The Founding Fathers, followed by the first Statesmen of Declaration, like Moses, made the courageous decision to stage an exodus from spiritual slavery and follow God’s ways, independently.  
You could say America is a more recent form of ethos to the Catholic Church formed by Christ. The one true Church that has produced so many wonderful saints who help lead us towards knowing God and becoming part of His family in Heaven. Similarly, the land of the free has helped many talented people, gifted by God, fulfil their potential and inspire the world to be a better place.
So no matter how difficult it is to follow Jesus Christ in the end He will more than make our struggle worthwhile, because after all “In God we Trust”.
Happy feast day of the free!!!      

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Our Lord’s Way really is Final Salvation - Luke 3:4-6

Note Form Points for Meditation;

Introduction: Main Aims

·         To illustrate the bigger picture showing the Original Sin contrasted to the Mission of Our Lord, to avoid the stark warning of Matthew 12:31-32;
·         To reveal God’s torment over his beloved creation implicit with His crucified Son, the Suffering servant (Lk 22:37, Is 52:13-53:12);
·         The role of the Virgin Mother in fulfilling her Son’s Mission;
·         God’s means (way) of cultivating the vine of the righteous from a severed state, first by law then by faith (Rom 3:28);
·         Visual logical evidence which proves Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven:

The Fall to Godless Aridity –The Lie and Destruction

·         Lucifer’s envy of the fruits of the love between God and man;
·         The pain to God’s heart of man’s continual betrayal, first in the Garden then with Cain;
·         The dominance of sin and wicked thoughts over man’s goodness without God’s loving protection;
·         Deceitfulness and brutality of Satan towards the righteous or goodness that comes from God;
·         Abel’s blood forms the seed of righteousness, the earth from where he cries from becomes a desert, as an shrine to God’s favour and departure (Gen4:11-14);
·         Cain’s repentance was shown mercy from God, then subsequently abused by his descendants (Gen 4:15); Is this why His wrath of total destruction was so unforgiving?
·         Today, the seed of Cain’s descendents flourishes in political ideologies such as fascism or communism, where assaults on God’s favour persists, in the form of targeting God’s people, the Jews or God’s House, the Church. In this context if through our baptism Heaven comes into our midst (Luk 17:21) then the violence mentioned by John (Mt 11:12-14) makes perfect sense;
·         The mission of the serpent or dragon is the pursuit of destruction, with weapons of stones, words, etc. Whereas the mission of Our Lord and Saviour is the pursuit of happiness with acts of charity to our neighbour; Possessing the empathy of the Samaritan compared to the adulteress’s  mob condemnation;

Servants Raised by Fruitful Grace – The Way to Righteousness

·         Noah and his family’s fiat to God’s will in building a Ark to house His Covenant;
·         The Ark, symbolically a vessel containing God Almighty through his Word, to save souls from the burden of sin;
·         Covenants with upright leaders, form agreements between God and man) used to institutionalise obedience among His people.
·         John the Baptist the prophet of the Most High, the Lord’s forerunner to prepare his way (Luk 1:76-77). Baptism cleanses souls of sins in preparation for the Holy Spirit.
·         Mary Immaculate the Ark of the New Covenant, the Mother of God, the Holy Mother Church, and refuge for Christ’s disciples (Rev 12:17), a vessel of protection and power of almighty God that brings the children God safely to pure land established by Christ and signalled by the Holy Spirit. In the way Noah finds dry land by a dove with an Olive branch (Gen 8:11).
·         The Virgin Mary’s as the women, whose offspring are symbolically Noah’s family tasked to populate the world with their fruit (Gen 9:19);
·         The passion and crucifixion of the Lord’s body and soul withstands all the physical, emotional and spiritual assaults of the devil. Jesus’ love consumes the dragons hate in order to offer His sufferings to God on the sceptre of the cross “Eli, Eli, lema sabacthani”;
·         God unites His Son’s pains with His own as He accepts Jesus’ soul with open arms, expressed with the words “Into your hands I commend my Spirit.
·         Jesus petitions to God on behalf of man’s weakness to sin “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”; Jesus establishes a way to transform this weakness into a strength against the wiles of the devil;
·         Jesus’ Blood and Water from his Heart brings to fruition Abel’s Blood’s call for mercy and John the Baptist purification, to form the Church
·         The resurrection appears to his disciples for 40 days before the Ascension of Jesus into heaven;
·         John the Evangelist says: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades (Rev 1:17-18);

The Battle for Souls and Trials of the Heart – Our Lord the Mediator

·         During the 40 days of rain God sees the helplessness of man who “...did not know what they had done!” Then commences Covenants to guide mankind back to Himself. The last being the New Covenant with Jesus Christ;
·         Abel the first martyr of righteousness cries out to God in presumed despair, from the desert signalling the sprinkling of his blood (Gen 4:10-12); Abel’s cry represents the state of all the righteous in this spiritual; battle;
·         God  stops pruning (banishing) the vine from the Garden of  Eden, i.e. mankind and starts to cultivate its roots through Judaism to the gentiles, finally beginning to set the eternal fruit from Elizabeth’s womb and the start to God setting the seed that bears the fruit of eternal righteousness, His only begotten Son; 
·         Abel’s sprinkling of blood as the seed of righteousness in the desert, cannot fully grow the Israelites to the fullness of God’s favour; 
·         A Star over the (Num 24:17) appears over the desert to the Three Wise men. Signalling a sparkle in God’s eye that silent night full of promise when God would manifest Isaiah’s prophecies.  This glint in God’s eye appears like an expectant Father awaiting the delivery of the new heir to His Kingdom to be born in a major.
·         The Cries of bondage with the devil are replaced with the cries from the pangs of childbirth, in anguish for delivery to perfect holiness of God’s children (Rev 11:19-12:2);
·         Mary who represents the church resides in the wilderness to bring humanity back to God. Expressed as the Woman flees to the wilderness in Rev 12:6; 
·         Mary Immaculate forms the Ark of the Covenant as the angry dragon looks on for straying souls from the sandy shores. (Rev 12:17)

Main Purpose of this Overview is to demonstrates the Ways the New Testament brings to fruition Old Testament Covenants

·         Jesus’ Blood and Water supersedes John’s baptism and Abel’s blood;
·         The Virgin Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant supersedes Noah’s Ark in saving souls from the death of their sins (Lk 17:22-37);
·         John the Baptist is Elijah to come;
·         Jesus reunites as Mediator righteousness’ oneness with God, severed by Adam and Eve’s Original Sin;
·         Our relationship with God becomes omnipresent through Jesus’ ascension, the Church is the Ark from where we find Our Saviour and become one with Him in Holy Communion. Completely addressing God’s disconcerting questions of “Where are you?” (Gen 3:9) and “What have you done?” (Gen 3:13);