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María, la Madre de Dios. Parte 1

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[Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. PRESENTS] [Fr. Thomas Keating St. Benedict Monastery Snowmass, Colorado] [Mary the Mother of God:] [A Model of Lay Contemplative Life] [Part I] (music) Today's talk is going to be about the Blessed Mother as an example of, best example perhaps, of the contemplative path. Of course, we don't claim only our Blessed Mother is an example of this, like a precious jewel, she shines from every side. Most of us have one or two talents that we shine at, but she shines in every way you look upon her. She's just delightful. And so full of wisdom in her example and so full of meaning in what she stands for as an archetype of some of the great spiritual principles of the Christian religion. I'm going to talk to her in a kind of, about her in a kind of folksy way, if you don't mind, and show you how almost any situation that you might find yourself in—even a bad one— you can find her there ahead of you with lots of experience to share and the incredible compassion that goes with people who have passed to the next life, successfully. We can do more for those we love after we're dead, it seems, because while we're alive we have so many limitations and faults it's a wonder anybody loves us. (laughter) But, let's look at the first example: Here's Mary, a little girl of fourteen or fifteen, and she's already married according to Jewish custom, to Joseph. We don't know much about this wonderful man, but the custom, among the Jewish folks then, was after you were married, you still lived in your parents' home for another few months. And so you didn't engage in conjugal relationships until you moved into your husband's house, if you were a woman. So, here is Mary, minding her own business and getting ready for her life with Joseph, when all of a sudden out of no where, this angel comes and says, "Hi." (laughter) "Bless." Uh, "Hail, full of grace—" That's quite a greeting. "The Lord is with you." And she was troubled by this, we're told, and then the angel goes on to give her this grandiose idea of who she's going to bear. It's going to be the Messiah; It's going to be, rule over the house of Jacob forever. Uh, this is a big shot! She's going to have as a child, and you think she would be interested. (laughter) Her response is anxiety or agitation or she was upset. She didn't know what to do with this idea. And so she prudently says, "How can this be, since, I don't know man?" Now to grasp the full meaning of that question, let's look at what the consequences of saying, "Yes," would be. First of all, she would become what we know in our day, at the very least, an 'unwed mother,' to all appearances. We're talking now of how this situation looks to other people who don't know the mystery. First of all, it attacked—one, two, three— what we call the energy centers', or the instinctual needs for happiness that are important in childhood, but which she had never built into drives for happiness or substitutes for God, because from the moment of her consciousness she experienced the divine union. It's the lack of that, that is the cause of all our troubles in growing up and why we seek substitutes other than God for the true happiness which is in God. God is the true security, the true freedom, the true and infinite love. So, she. What that invitation proposed to her was that she give up all her security as a Jewish woman. Marriage, it was pretty important; it was the true security. She had that. With this pregnancy, it would be gone, because Joseph, being a just man, would not marry an adulterous woman. In other words, what did this announcement do, put Joseph in? Either it made him look as if he was the father of this child when the common agreement was that you don't have sexual relations with your spouse until you move in. So that put a doubt on Joseph's integrity or his fidelity to the Jewish customs. Secondly, if Joseph wasn't the father, then to all appearances it would mean that she was an adulteress. And this is why Joseph had such a hard time when he perceived that this was going to happen. So either he was a disreputable character, or she was, in this otherwise disreputable town. Remember, one of the disciples said, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" So it wasn't the best place to live. Well here you see these thoughts pouring in on Mary, with this angel's grandiose description of all that she's going to be, and she saw through that apparent façade of glory that was being offered her to the real nitty-gritty problems of life. She was going to have to face being known as an unwed mother or an adulterous woman and in a small town with lots of relatives running in to the house all the time, as this was the custom, other people are going to know. And this shadow of this mysterious birth and its cause would follow her, probably, all her life. She would always be under a shadow. In other words, where did Jesus come from? Joseph's infidelity to the law? Or Mary's infidelity to Joseph? That's what you call a 'double bind'. (laughter) This is the classical procedure that God seems to have with people who are taking the spiritual journey seriously. And it's by means of these apparently impossible situations that bear no solution that one is pushed to a new level of consciousness in which one perceives the whole of reality from a new perspective, and the apparent opposites that are re-reconcilable from the point of view of reason, become resolved—not rationally— but from a higher perspective that sees them as complimentary. And not in opposition. The 'double bind' is when two opposing goods seem to be God's will for you, or important for you, and you can't decide which to do. So, you go through a period of intense confusion, of being like a ping pong ball going back and forth across the net, "Shall I get married?" "Shall I enter religious life?" "Shall I say yes to the angel and lose Joseph and all security? Shall I say no to the angel and maybe deny God's will?" I mean, this is a tough situation. I advise you not to imitate Our Lady too closely. (laughter) This is a dangerous women! Believe me! When you get down to the actual facts. Wonderful, but the more wonderful you are, the more searching the trials are going to be, because God seems to relentless in trying to transform us more and more into the divine life—what He is—pure love. So, so notice how Mary's instinctual needs are contradicted in this program that the angel suggests of her becoming the mother of the Messiah. First, lack of security. She'll probably lose Joseph. He's a just man. He'll probably divorce her. She lost all her affection and esteem needs in the fact that she knew, what will her parents think of her? Can she possibly tell anybody about this mystery? Who would believe it? Or if they believed it, wouldn't it be vanity or pride to say, "I'm the mother of God"? How many of us— What would you ladies do if you were presented with this problem? (laughter) And, then finally, she lost all control of her life, because she apparently to judge by the conversation, as at least how it's been traditionally interpreted by fathers of the Church all through the ages— she had decided that God wanted her to be a virgin, to remain a virgin and it's predicted that Joseph had agreed to this, and so it meant that her understanding and her discernment process of what God willed in her life was completely thrown in the waste basket by God. In other words, could she trust anymore, her own discernment? She has, or would she consent and have no more control over her life, because what she thought she should be doing, God didn't want her to do? Now these same dilemmas take place in our personal lives on the spiritual journey every now and then through family problems, work problems, vocational problems… It's almost God's favorite pattern of developing your spiritual potentialities to their full. And no amount of rational conviction that sees into this marvelous plan of God from after the fact can hinder or mitigate the pain of being in the middle of it and having no idea what to do. The angel says, very sweetly, "You're going to be the mother of the Messiah. He's going to be called the son of God." What does that make you? She doesn't think once of what it will make her. She thinks of all the difficulties that this is going to be making for her mother, her relatives, and especially for Joseph. And we know from Matthew that Joseph was terribly distraught. He didn't know what to do. He was a just man. The law said put away an adulterous woman. He wanted to do it privately, but for him, it was the crucifixion, an anticipation in his own participation in Christ's passion, death, and resurrection. Because it really was the loss of Mary and for him nothing greater could be lost, just as for us, perhaps, after Jesus, nothing greater can be lost than our childhood or early life confidence in Mary. She is the new Eve, to bring in an archetype here. Eve introduced us as a family to the serpent. Mary introduces us a family to Christ, and she is the mother of all those who are in the Spirit. And the Spirit is ready to invade our life, but the Spirit opposes our over-identification with our instinctual values of security, power, control, affection, esteem, that have gone wild and exaggerated in early life because we didn't know at that time what the true happiness is and sought symbols of those instinctual ideas or hopes for happiness in the wrong places.' What traditional calls 'Illusion'— not knowing where happiness really is and 'concupiscence'—of seeking the wrong things instead of true happiness, or too much of good things, which is more or less the same problem, instead of seeking true values. And then the final traditional consequence of original sin is— if you ever know what true happiness is, the will is too weak to pursue it anyway. (laughter) And this is the... insight that we're trying to communicate to you, not just through the practice of centering prayer, in which it arises spontaneously, but in the conceptual background for it in the invitation to love, which looks at the diagnosis of the consequences of original sin in terms of modern psychology, which give you a detailed account of what's wrong instead of just the general theological principles that I just enunciated. Well, here's this little girl, truly the object of the most intense waiting. St. Bernard has a marvelous sermon on this in which he says, "All humanity, all the deceased, living and dead, are waiting on Mary's fiat. Will she say yes or will she say no?" Well, she didn't have any idea what she was going to say, when she asked the question, but notice her prudence. She had damn good reason to ask, "How is this thing going to be, for God's sake?" No, she didn't say that, but "How is this thing going to happen?" "'Cause I don't know Joseph yet in a conjugal way, and I'm certainly not going to know some other guy." "How is it going to happen?" Unfortunately He didn't tell Mary in advance, "I'm going to solve this dilemma for you, dear." (laughter) He waited. And he left her in that double bind, absolutely destitute of human help, and projecting the laws of her family and Joseph, a permanent shadow over her whole life in a small gossipy town... (laughter) And her whole plans for her life, her capacity to discern what the Spirit wanted of her, completely undermined. In other words, she must have been devastated on the human level and reduced to that kind of emptiness where there's nothing left except the leap into God's boundless confidence and trust. And so her fiat, her self-surrender, is letting go of her whole life, with it's expectations, her idea of happiness, even though it was un-tinged by the false values of the false self. Everything she had or was or could do is poured into that one word, the symbol of every fiber of her being and all her faculties. Surrendering to the ultimate mystery: God as mystery. And it's that acceptance of the unknown future that many of us have to accept. I think everybody has to accept at points. When you marry a man or a woman, boy that's a real decision. (laughter) I had never made it myself. (laughter) But from what I've seen, it's a leap into the unknown future. And in some cases, several unknown futures, I understand. (laughter) Hasn't Elizabeth Taylor been married eight times? What an unknown life she's led. (laughter) But suppose you enter the religious life. Here it's like marrying fifteen people you don't like. (laughter) I see there's some religious here, yes. (laughter) And it could be more! I lived in a monastery with eighty in 1900. But at least you wouldn't choose these people, if you had a choice. So it is a surrender to an unknown life, and for those entering the priesthood, the bishop changes every now and then, doesn't he? He retires and dies, so the next one may be totally different. So again, the Christian life is a journey into the unknown. You've gotta surrender to do the best you can. But more than that, you've got to trust this God who doesn't tell you in advance what the future's going to be. He doesn't tell you. And that's the contract. Once you say yes, then you begin to find out. It begins to make sense. It begins to reassure you and so on. But here is where Mary stands out magnificently for all of us, and that's what we mean by saying, "Imitate Mary's fiat," which means a lot more than, "Okay, I'll put up with it." It means, "Here I am. Do with me anything that you want." "I'm ready to go anywhere or nowhere. To be something or to be nothing. To be actively involved in the service of the church or be secretly involved in some cloister. Or to mix them both up." So, let's take just a final look at this... most important event in Mary's life which launched her contrary to her own understanding of God's will, in an unknown and unforeseeable future that she totally accepted in advance. Okay, so she said yes... (laughter) to our great relief. And so she is, so she is the paradigm of saying yes to God in the double bind, which you certainly will experience, perhaps many times over, and perhaps in classical dramatic fashion, if you're on the spiritual journey. And if you are on the spiritual journey, it's heart is contemplative prayer, the inner transformation of our faculties into God's way of doing things. The angel, the certain practicality said, "Why don't you go and see Elizabeth at this time?" "She's having a baby." Notice that was very thoughtful, it gave her a chance to get away from it all. (laughter) Especially as one is becoming pregnant, I understand, in an unfriendly atmosphere, it's nice to go someplace else... fast. And so she went with haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth, leaving behind her either unknowing or beginning to suspect mother, relatives, and Joseph, to handle their double bind as best they could. What could she say? What could she say? So, with that great surrender she had unquestionably moved into what the resolution of every double bind is, which is a leap into a higher level of faith, which involves a conscious expansion of one's knowledge of God so that one sees the double bind from a higher perspective, God's view in which the opposing opposites are resolved. And one withdraws the question. All our questions are because we don't know God. When you move to a new level of knowing Him, there are no questions. At least while you adjust to that level. Then, when you're adjusted, you may be called to the next level. Another double bind, more questions. And resolution: you withdraw the questions. So, she had withdrawn all her questions, and just went to see Elizabeth. Without thinking of herself anymore, she went to do good. Elizabeth was having a baby, she needs help, I'll go. In other words, the spontaneity of grace, once it's established on a new level is not look to at oneself to congratulate oneself, but to move out, to serve others proportionately to the inner-strength one has received from God. This is what God does, what He is. Doesn't stay in Himself, creates more and more wonderful creatures, of every kind and everyplace, and the universe is expanding. Even in the Trinity the great relationship is that each member lives in the other, rather than in Itself or Herself or Himself, whatever It may be. God of course, the divine, transcends all gender considerations, because of His being. And being beyond being— which for us is just a concept— God just is, whatever that means. And this Is-ness penetrates everything and deals with infinite tenderness with every creature according to its nature. So, God, of course, is loving this wonderful Mary, and notice how he solves her problem. She probably had the greatest double bind of all time, except perhaps for Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane when He felt himself called as the Son of God to identify with sin, alienation from God. So, how would you handle that? (laughter) "He was made sin," Paul says "for our sake." And that meant He had to lose in some way, in some deeply personal way, his relationship, at least temporarily, on the cross, with the Father, who was all his Human life, and utterly everything He was in the Trinity. So Mary here had to say yes to an impossible dilemma, which was not knowing man and remaining a virgin physiologically, and accepting God's will. So, God did for her the impossible, which was to make her a virgin mother. No one had ever thought of that! And it's never happened again, so as far as I know. But this is the end message of that fact: That no matter what one's impossible situation is, what the double bind is, God always has a solution. You can't demand it, you can only wait for it. And it's in waiting that all the obstacles, the walls, one after another begin to fall down. But you don't tear them down! Come across a wall on this journey, you just sit there until it falls down. (laughter) And this might take quite a while. But her reaction was very down to earth: "Well, now that I'm transformed into this new level of relating to God, what am I supposed to do?" "I better start practicing true religion." "What's that?" Elizabeth is having a baby. She needs help in making the diapers, the bassinet, few other things. I don't know exactly what they are. Mary thought she did, so she goes to Elizabeth as a servant. This is the movement of transformation. That's what "ministry" means. It's not authoritarianism. It's not dominating other people. The first movement is God's movement. You go and serve them. Just as God serves us day and night with the air and food and the earth, this beautiful planet, which is a, which probably is what was intended to mean the Garden of Eden. At least that's what it looks like from outer space: this gorgeous blue planet. White clouds and this black background and everybody on it living in perfect peace presumably. Because it's so beautiful, any kind of violence would be so out of place. As you look at the human family on this one little "ball" in the middle of nowhere in space, it's just crazy to have battles and wars and violence in a place where we have to work together to survive, 'cause has no body else—as far as we know— on other planets is going to help us. So, this intuition of the oneness of human nature was descending on Mary as she realized that as the Son of God became flesh in her womb, He was taking to Himself every human being not just as a family collectively but individually. So in this sense, you and I spiritually were present in the womb, insofar as we too are living under the influence of the Spirit. She's the mother of all those who are participating in the body of Christ which was totally the fruit of her body. So in Mary, God becomes physically present. In Mary, her body become His body. He moves into her space, so to speak, and makes it her own, and in doing so, here's where she's archetypal. She is the new age, and all of us who implicitly are in Christ, have been, are in, her womb. And St. Augustine puts it very strongly, "We live in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, while we live in this life until we are brought forth into fullness of glory in the Kingdom of God in Heaven." Okay, so this wonderful person is going in haste, over the mountains, apparently alone and enters the house of her cousin Elizabeth, who also has conceived no other than John the Baptist according to the infancy narratives. And when Mary enters the house, what do you think she says? "Hello." (laughter) And that's enough to sanctify John the Baptist in the womb. In other words, she didn't have to say anything. It was who she was that made all the difference, because now through that double bind we saw and her total self-surrender and trust in God, it is God who is living in her. And so, we can take this lesson from Mary, which is not so much what you say, but what you do. And not so much as what you do as who you are. And not so much who you are, as the One whom you are expressing in daily life. This is the mystery of transmission. That is to say, not just preaching, which is one way of spreading the Gospel, but basically fairly superficial, compared to this one. In transmission, you don't have to say anything! You just have to be the expression of God's love and tenderness in all the details of life, however humdrum, however routine. It's not what we do, but the motive from which it's coming, and the person who has that motive that transforms and brings God into other people's lives. And that's the ultimate transmission. To bring, awaken other people to the presence of God's love and action in them. And this is what Mary is the example of in that incident. At the same time, she transforms Elizabeth, because Elizabeth felt the child leaping for joy in her womb, and she shouts out the words, "Blessed are you among women" and "Blessed is the fruit of your womb!" I hope you've heard those words before and say them everyday. (laughter) But notice how God works here. Very important. He puts Mary through this incredible double bind without any indication in advance of how it's to be resolved. He resolves it in the only way it could be resolved— to be a virgin and mother at the same time, something absolutely unknown in human affairs, so she couldn't have in anyway foreseen it. She just surrendered, and said to God, "Look, this is a problem. You handle it!" So she lovingly puts it back in His lap. "I'm not going to conk out on Joseph. And I'm not going to go against my promise of virginity that you inspired. I don't see how it's going to happen. You say it's going to happen. I say, 'I make the leap of faith. Yes, you can do it.'" So, so she became the Virgin Mother, as I said, utterly unforeseen solution, which means that there's always some solution to your personal double bind, no matter how impossible it may seem to you. That's a tremendous example for a contemplative, who usually goes through several cycles of the double bind, many times over, even. When you surrender, then comes some reassurance. In other words, then comes the confirmation by some external event or some inner grace that says, "Yes, you chose the right thing." And here, it seems to me, Elizabeth's unexpected praise of Mary— her perception of the mystery in other words, that even Joseph and Mary's parents didn't perceive or know— must have come as a tremendous confirmation of this whole problem, process for Mary. So at last she felt, "Ahhh, I guess I was right." And this is a nice feeling to have after going through a couple of double binds at a deep level. And so she... God reassured her at times. But notice reassurance is once in a while, whereas daily life and the double binds are predominant. Don't be surprised by this. Get that through your heads and hearts! And then you'll truly be imitating the Blessed Mother and of course Jesus, to whom she leads us and whom she reveals in so many ways. But above all she's the bride of the Spirit who teaches us how to be in total but free and responsible submission to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit that God keeps giving us to transform daily life or to support our ministry, if we have one. And I certainly would include here the ministry of marriage and parenting, which are probably the greatest ministries in the church. I daresay someone will contradict me, but I solemnly submit that the sacrament of marriage is something that goes on day and night for twenty-four hours. And the other sacraments, as great as they are, are temporary, in a sense. Baptism of course has repercussions all one's life, and the Eucharist is transforming. But the sacrament of matrimony means that one is sharing the love of God, the tenderness of God, in everything that one does in the marriage. In how you pour the coffee, in how you worry about the children, how you have conjugal relations. In other words, it's a twenty-four hour sacrament. And hence, personally parenting is so important. Because if the parents don't do their job, then we as children will bear the consequences— probably—all our lives through. [CONTEMPLATIVE OUTREACH SILENCE SOLITUDE SOLIDARITY SERVICE] []

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Duration: 36 minutes and 10 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Producer: Contemplative Outreach
Director: Contemplative Outreach
Views: 127
Posted by: castella on Oct 25, 2016

El Padre Thomas Keating nos presenta a María como modelo de la vida contemplativa cristiana laica.

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