September 23, 2009

The Spirit, Corapi & the Infant of Prague

Stuck in surreal traffic, 670 closed. Turn on the radio and remember there's a reason they call it "commercial radio": there's a commercial every six seconds, which leads to an ever-decreasing attention span. This is true even for satellite radio stations carrying political talk so I turn on Fr. Corapi on AM and hear him speak for almost an hour without commercial interruption. And the more I hear him, the more I like him. Amazingly, he says he hates preaching, gets sick of words (perish the thought!), and that his dream is to be a hermit in the woods, but that God won't let him do that now. He even wrote a religious rule for hermits. Says all he wants is contemplative prayer and the Blessed Sacrament. He said, paraphrasing, that often what we dislike is what God will use to make us saints, and that reminded me of my recent pondering about why St. John was the only apostle not to be martyred and whether that was connected to the fact that he, unlike the others, was with Christ at His crucifixion. Did the other apostles pay for their sin of leaving their Master's side during his martyrdom with their own martyrdom? Or does that make God out to be a monster to even suggest it? Was John's martyrdom like Mary's, in the sense of living it vicariously through Jesus? It's almost like God wants to heal our Achilles heel and for John, his Achilles heel was not fear of martyrdom given that he risked his own life to be with Jesus as His death. But the funny thing about saints is this: I bet those apostles who were martyred were glad for it, glad to be able to give Christ the gift of their own lives. They didn't see it as "a price to be paid" for their earlier cowardice, much as those in Purgatory are said to be thrilled to be purified before seeing the King.


Heard someone else make a true comment connecting Adam & Eve's disobedience with the suffering messiahship of Christ. God could've come to earth as King, but that was precisely what Adam & Eve suspected God of. God came into the world weak and suffering in response to our response (via Adam). Adam and Eve said, in effect, "you are not like us, you know more" so God came among us knowing less, as an infant. And then He left us something less than us to worship, a piece of bread. We have the same opportunity that Lucifer did in electing not to serve something less than us.

She also mentioned the value of "baptism in the Holy Spirit" from a local charismatic Catholic parish (something Mother Angelica had done). She said the gifts at Confirmation (piety, fear of the Lord, fortitude...) are different from the ones given in the Baptism in the Spirit, the latter towards the building of the Church. I did a search of Catholic blogs and found at least one mention of it.

The goosebump moment was when she offered me a small prayer pamphlet with a novena to the Infant of Prague. The statue on the front was instantly familiar - it was the crowned infant in the nave of a local downtown church. About two weeks ago, I began bowing to this unknown infant I'd so long ignored because it was a child and I bowed in recognition of my "ageism" bias and the fact that Jesus said, "unless ye become as little children...".

UPDATE: Turns out the Infant of Prague is Jesus Himself. Appropriate, huh? In bowing in humility I was actually bowing to Christ.


Bill White said...

"why St. John was the only apostle not to be martyred and whether that was connected to the fact that he, unlike the others, was with Christ at His crucifixion"

A de Montfort sort might suggest it was (at least in part) because of John's devotion to Mary.

TS said...

Speaking of Mary, Fr. Corapi was just today talking about the wedding feast of Cana and how they went to Mary to tell her there was no wine. They could've gone directly to Jesus but...they didn't.