Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A day that commemorates the Marian apparition of the 16th century in the New World.
In 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Juan Diego, an Indian convert, in a small town 30 miles north of Mexico City and spoke to him in his native Indian dialect. He then relayed the story to his bishop who was understandably skeptical . The bishop asked Juan Diego for a confirmatory sign from Mary and the Virgin directed him to collect a bundle of roses in a cloth sling called a tilma to bring to the bishop. When he delivered the roses, the bishop fell to his knees for two reasons. First, those particular roses would normally not grow at that time of year and secondly, the tilma or cape Juan used to carry the roses to the priest was now miraculously embossed with the image of the Virgin Mary, now known as the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Why did God allow this apparition of Our Lady to appear? What could be the fruit of such an event? Up until this time, the Spanish Conquistadors had been attempting to convert the native indians of Mexico mostly by force and Christianity was not spreading rapidly.
After the apparition, it is estimated that approximately 9 million native Mexicans were baptized and converted to Christianity! The practice of infant sacrifice by the aztec religion abruptly ended and the Spaniards were convicted of their poor treatment of the native people.
So the result of Mary's appearing was conversion of many souls and the end to infanticide as a pagan religious practice. That is why Our Lady of Guadalupe is now the patron saint of the unborn.

Mary's role was to bring the Christ child to the world for our redemption and she has continued throughout history to draw people to her son, Jesus. Catholics believe Revelation of John speaks of Mary and her Queenship from these scriptures.

Revelation 12

1And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

2And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

3And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

8And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


Blogger Rhology said...

Just a question: Do you believe that Mary experienced pain in childbirth?


December 19, 2006 2:20 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Official Catholic Church teaching is that Mary did not experience pain in child birth.

December 20, 2006 1:12 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

But as the Conception itself transcends the order of nature, so the birth of our Lord presents to our contemplation nothing but what is divine.
Besides, what is admirable beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother's womb without injury to her maternal virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Spirit, who at the Conception and birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as to impart to her fecundity while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity.
Article III

December 21, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Rhology said...

If that is the case, why identify Mary as the woman in the passage?

2And she being with child cried, *travailing* in birth, and *pained* to be delivered.

I'll be interested to know. Thanks!

December 24, 2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Addressing the question of why the woman of Revelation is still in labor, though she is in heaven, Pope Pius X said: " What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God, and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains show the love and desire with which the Virgin from heaven above watches over us, and strives with unwearing prayer to bring about the fullfillment of the number of the elect." And in Revelation 12:17 Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God's commandments and bear witness to Jesus.

The concept of Mary's travail or lack thereof during Christ' birth, has never been dogma, meaning, whether one believes it or not is not binding upon the individual Catholic believer. Nevertheless, the Church has always viewed Rev. 12 as describing The Blessed Virgin Mary. This mysterious woman of Revelation also has features that are applicable to Israel as well as the Church. I believe most Protestants have traditionally viewed the woman as the Church, though there is a problem with that interpretation since The Church did not give birth to Christ, but rather Christ birthed the Church as Matthew 18 reveals.

December 26, 2006 5:20 PM  

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