(The breath and covenant of God the Father Almighty in creation of heaven and earth is the genesis, inspiration and generation of light from darkness as the Holy Spirit moved over the waters and His Holy Word declared creation “Good” and are foretold of His holy intention for the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of Mercy – before the beginning of creation and time.)
Genesis 1:1-4; 3:14a; 15. In the beginning God created heaven, and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness. …And the Lord God said to the serpent: …I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
In the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. John, the Apostle John’s perspective and personal experience in knowledge of his faith in Christ Jesus, upon his request and result of the whole Church’s faithful prayers , caused him to write: “In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. [John 1:1-5.]
The Life of Man – To Know and Love God
“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.” [CCC, 1.]
The scriptural text of Genesis 3:15 (above) is known as the protoevangelium—the first gospel. The verse introduces two elements previously unknown in the Garden of Eden, elements that are the basis of Christianity—the curse on mankind because of Adam’s sin and God’s provision for a Savior from sin who would take the curse upon Himself.
The protoevangelium shows us that God always had the plan of salvation in mind, and informed us of His plan as soon as sin entered the world. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8).
God Reveals His “Plan of Loving Goodness”
“It pleased God, in His goodness and wisdom, to reveal Himself and to make known the mystery of His will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature.”(2 DV 2; cf. Eph 1:9; 2:18; 2 Pet 1:4.) [CCC, 51.]
“God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. And furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation, he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning.”(6 DV 3; cf. Jn 1:3; Rom 1:19-20.) He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice.” [CCC, 54.]
“This revelation was not broken off by our first parents’ sin. ‘After the fall, [God] buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing.’” (7 DV 3; cf. Gen 3:15; Rom 2:6-7) [CCC, 55.]
“Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves: (Cf. NA 2.) ‘Where do we come from?’ ‘Where are we going?’ ‘What is our origin?’ ‘What is our end?’ ‘Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?’ The two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.”[CCC, 282.]
The Creation of Man
Genesis 1:27. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
The Order of All Things Therein…
Genesis 2:4. These are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth:
Man’s Fall and God’s Remedy for Salvation
Genesis 3:9-16. And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou? And he said: I heard thy voice in paradise; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. And he said to him: And who hath told thee that thou wast naked, but that thou hast eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And Adam said: The woman, whom thou gavest me to be my companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said to the woman: Why hast thou done this? And she answered: The serpent deceived me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said to the serpent: Because thou hast done this thing, thou art cursed among all cattle, and beasts of the earth: upon thy breast shalt thou go, and earth shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel. To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee.
Excerpt from the Holy Family Rosary:
To encourage knowledge of our purpose in life we must reawaken our understanding that: “God created heaven and earth. […and] God created man to His own image.” We find difficulty trying to comprehend how the image and belief that God created all things to bear witness to His Love were all made as “good.” This meditation sings of how creation was immaculate from the beginning, as later determined true of Mary’s assignment from the dawn of Creation to present us with Christ. Her soul was given breath to inspire our hearts, minds, and souls through graces present in God before the beginning of time, as we learn to see from the meditations on these mysteries how her faith eschatologically unfolds to make them our own.
In his Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul addresses what faith is and what are its wonderful fruits, and speaks of its efficacy as demonstrated by church fathers. He explains: “Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not. For by this the ancients obtained a testimony. By faith we understand that the world was framed by the word of God; that from invisible things visible things might be made.”
In Chapter 1 of his book entitled “The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God”, St. John Eudes wrote that Mary was predestined to be the “eldest Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Son, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Temple of the most Holy Trinity, Queen of men and Angels, [and] Empress of heaven and earth;… [concluding that] Not only is she admirable in the conception and birth of the Eternal Word, but her own conception and birth are subjects of marvelous grandeur.”
For this reason would it not now be efficacious for us to contemplate Mary’s Immaculate Conception as THE perfect creation of heaven and earth? In Part I of Chapter 4 of the same book, the good Doctor of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary esteemed that in God’s Divine Will, Mary was accorded “Twelve great mysteries that belong to the holy childhood of the Blessed Virgin. The first mystery of Mary’s Childhood is her eternal predestination. The second contains the promises which Divine Mercy has made concerning her, together with the oracles of Holy Scripture which have announced her coming. The third comprises the types and figures which the Holy Ghost has placed before us in the Old Law. The fourth is her Immaculate Conception.
“The fifth, her sojourn and holy occupations within the blessed womb of her mother, St. Ann. The sixth, her marvelous birth. The seventh, her glorious name of Mary, brought from heaven, and the great and incomparable wonders it implied. The eighth, her dwelling for three years in the house of her parents. The ninth, her leaving her parents’ home.
“The tenth is her Presentation in the Temple. The eleventh is her dwelling in the Holy of Holies, the most sacred spot in the Temple. The twelfth is her occupations and exercises in the Temple.”
Surely this allows us to ponder the role of Mary before time began as the one and only perfect creation in heaven and earth – all leading us to contemplate God’s Presence in the world initiated through Mary’s Immaculate Conception, simultaneously on His mind and in His will at the formation of the world. Within this truth we are allowed a worthy contemplation of the generation of God’s eschatological will for all of creation in the economy of salvation history, especially our own. All of these are in willful accordance and preparation with and for the coming of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
These twelve great mysteries of Mary’s childhood can easily be seen as the coinciding covenant truths within the Merciful Mysteries of Charity that follow the Goodness of God in creation with the covenant promise and blessing of Abraham’s faith, the Passover and Exodus celebrated by the Paschal Feast, the Testimony of Moses in the Tabernacle of the Law and the Manna from heaven; and the prophecy of the Kingdom of God to come through God’s Son, Christ the Lord, Son of David.
St. John Eudes continues: “The tenth is her Presentation in the Temple. The eleventh is her dwelling in the Holy of Holies, the most sacred spot in the Temple. The twelfth is her occupations and exercises in the Temple.”
These are all important precedents for an eventual understanding of God in our search for Him – when we find Jesus in the Temple.
Within the order and reflection of these meditations on the creation of heaven and earth, we have the opportunity of being mystically transported before the beginning of time with the design of the Holy Trinity for Mary’s Immaculate Conception and predestined role as our New Eve. The invisible is made visible in similitude with Creation. St. John Eudes gives a continued explanation of this in Chapter 6, saying:
“The great God at the commencement of the world created two noble classes of creatures, the Angels in heaven, and man upon earth. Both the one and the other precipitated themselves into the abyss of sin. Divine Justice by a sacred and terrible judgment ordained eternal perdition for the rebel Angels, whilst His Mercy, by an excess of clemency, willed to save man. To effect this, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolations willed that His only and well-beloved Son, Who is God with Him, consubstantial, co-eternal, and equal in power, in glory and in majesty, should be made man, mortal and passible, to deliver man from eternal death and ensure him an immortal and blessed life.
“To become man, however, would not suffice. He willed to become the Son of Man, that the children of men might become children of God. He would be born as man in time Who is born of God from all eternity. He would have on earth a Mother and no Father, as in heaven He has a Father and no Mother.
“He would give this Virgin Mother to us. And, as the Son is the figure of His substance, “figura substantiae ejus”[Heb. 1:3] and the perfect image of the Divinity, “imago Dei invisibilis;”[Col. 1:10] so also Mary should bear upon her a perfect resemblance to Him. He decrees that one day we shall see the Son in the impotence, indigence and baseness of infancy, and we shall behold the Mother in the same condition. The Son shall be conceived in His Mother’s sacred womb, “in splendoribus sanctorum”[Ps. 109:3] in the light and glory of the Divine Majesty, and the conception of the Mother will be all pure and immaculate.
“The Infancy of the Son of God will be replenished with the uncreated grace of essential sanctity; while the infancy of the Mother will be fraught with unparalleled holiness and virtue.”
With this renewed encouragement for our desire to comprehend and experience the Spirit of God that both permeates and surrounds us within Creation, we are invited to ponder the origins of our own inspiration in life and the decisiveness of death as told from Adam’s fall, recognizing that our choice will be defined as blessing or curse, especially when presented unexpectedly in trickery and/or against our will. We will find that we are also encouraged to cherish life and not hide from seeking God’s Goodness as did Adam and Eve when seen contrarily in sin. Likewise, in fear of being eternally cast out of heaven’s paradise, we are fortunate to learn an act of contrition is a very good place to begin – there being no better recourse for us than pondering the predestined role of Mary as our Mother of Grace.
Before Jesus was to enter the garden of Mount Olive in preparation to suffer death, He prayed aloud for His disciples to hear: “Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.” How do we ponder the divinity of Jesus as Christ unless we look through the eyes of Mary with Christ who sought the same, including where our journey begins and just as hopefully, comes to a good end?
In this same wise St. Peter “… admonishes the faithful to be mindful of the great gifts they received from God, and to join all other virtues with their faith. He warns them against false teachers, by describing their practices, and foretelling their punishments. He describes the dissolution of this world by fire, and the day of judgment.” The Chief Apostle forewarns of such a time as is experienced today that our Lord had admonished His disciples to beware of in what was to come. St. Peter wrote of this concern prior to his death: “Behold, this second epistle I write to you, my dearly beloved, in which I stir up by way of admonition your sincere mind: that you may be mindful of those words which I told you before from the holy prophets, and of your apostles, of the precepts of the Lord and Saviour. Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts, saying: Where is his promise or his coming? For since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”[St. John Eudes, The Wondrous Childhood of the Most Holy Mother of God., Ch. 6.]
He then qualified the importance of our need for knowledge of our beginning in God with greater exhortation saying: “For this they are willfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of the ungodly men.”
These two requirements are of major importance to both Christ and St. Peter… the first of asking to know from where we come, and the second is to seek to find where we are to go. Both of these are in relationship to our knowledge of God’s mercy as prepared by God in Mary and manifested through Jesus Christ, the prophets, and the apostles of Christ’s Church. Our opening meditation on the Word of God in Creation with the Immaculate Conception being seen in union with Creation of Heaven and Earth to the fallen nature of man even unto Noah’s flood, is later reinforced in the Annunciation, Mary’s Supplication to her Son, Christ’s Baptism, His Agony in the Garden, His Solemnity as Lord God of Hosts, and fulfilled by the acknowledged Resurrection of Jesus from death. All ever important and factually invaluable truths to know in order to believe and follow Jesus Christ as Lord!