Please join us Monday 08/09/21 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm MDT (8:30 pm to 10:00 pm EDT) Please ask for technical assistance BEFORE we begin, as the silent reflection is a critical element in the spiritual exercise. Thank you so much. ❤️
Meeting ID: 4537185699
Opening Prayer: The Memorare
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
The Original Vision
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and brought man and woman into existence in His own image and likeness, He gave us a direction, a vision for existence. He said: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” This call refers to the whole, broad expanse of human activity.
We can only imagine how this might have been fulfilled if sin had not intervened and narrowed the possibilities to a mere shadow of what God intended. Our minds, unaffected by sin, would have retained a sharp capacity for explosive intellectual development and efficacious progress. Our wills would not have lost their orientation to the good, nor the firm commitment to pursue it. Our emotions, completely ordered, would have served both mind and will in such a way as to effect greater and greater progress. In short, we could have reached a point where we could have begun peopling the 200 billion or so galaxies in the universe in a benevolent exploration of the outer reaches of space and the mysterious fulfillment of God’s plan for the universe.
Alas, sin has its own “fruits.” What we see instead of this expansive vision of creative involvement with God Himself are the crippling effects of sin, the narrow, life-sapping selfishness that leads instead to a vision that is the antithesis of God’s creative plan. Today powerful forces speak not of being fruitful and multiplying but of depopulating the planet, sterilizing ourselves and all creation, and aborting fruitfulness wherever it is found, both in ourselves and in the plants and animals around us. Plants that do not produce seeds are hailed as breakthroughs, while the younger generations speak of whether or not it is moral to have children anymore because of the burden to the planet. They consider the needs of a child “environmental vandalism.” They applaud those who deliberately choose not to procreate while attempting to shame those who willingly bring life into the world without reservation and with anticipation of the many unforeseen marvels that always unfold from God’s gift of the more abundant life.
The sober wisdom of Proverbs 29:18 becomes apparent. “Without a vision, the people perish”. Without the vision that God originally gave us, we end up inventing our own reasons for being and our own understanding of the meaning of existence. It is evident that in our fallen nature we get it massively wrong. Instead of flourishing in all we do as God intended, we begin to deconstruct ourselves (witness the craziness and incoherence surrounding gender identity and sexuality.) It is a short step from there to self-destructing altogether.
Creation and its marvels have their source in God. The anti-creation narrative, well-disguised as concern for the planet, also has an origin, deeply connected to the antichrists who are already at work in the world. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen points out: “…some (people) live twenty or sixty years without knowing why they are here or where they are going. When life is meaningless, it is dull; the absence of a goal or purpose begets worries, anxieties, psychoses, and neuroses. What is the use of living unless we know the purpose of living?” Unless we reclaim the vision given to us in the Garden, we will end up fulfilling the maxim from Proverbs instead of participating in the glorious unfolding of God’s designs.
The framework the world constructs for life in time boxes us in and makes us sterile and stagnant. It saps the energy right out of us and creates scenarios so depressing that it is no wonder more and more people consider suicide as the one way out of the dead ends and the pain this generates. “Without a vision, the people perish.” This is why people have the need to deify something, anything (creation, animals, etc.). The vision for their life has no absolute transcendence otherwise. Yet, this quickly becomes full of contradictions. We effectively sterilize creation, ourselves included, while attempting to exalt it at the same time. We cease to find fulfillment because we have lost the original vision.
Please relax in silence for 5-10 minutes, awaiting the Holy Spirit’s guidance. In group, please allow each person to share their reflection without interruption. Afterwards we will enjoy a group conversation.
Questions For Reflection:
1. What might be some of the untapped possibilities for greater fruitfulness in your life?
2. What does fruitfulness look like when you are sick? Is it always possible to be fruitful no matter what?
3. What kinds of fruitfulness do you see in your own life?
4. What do you think God values as the greatest kinds of fruitfulness?
Our next session takes place Monday, 09/13/21 at the same time.
Peace and Loving Blessings,
Sr. Anne Marie Walsh and Denise