The Pre-History of Christ

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Adoration of the Magi - by BLOEMAERT, Abraham - from Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble

 

eucharist3.gif (9262 bytes) "All my Sermons are prepared in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. As recreation is most pleasant and profitable in the sun, so Homiletic Creativity is best nourished before the Eucharist. The most brilliant ideas come from meeting God face-to-face. The Holy Spirit that Presided at the Incarnation is the best atmosphere for Illumination. Pope John Paul II keeps a small desk or writing pad near him whenever he is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament; and I have done this all my life — I am sure for the same reason he does, because a lover always works better when the Beloved is with him".

- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

 

The Pre-History of Christ

by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, Ph.D., D.D., LL.D., Litt.D.

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The Lord to be born of Mary is the only Person in the World Who ever had a Pre-history; a Pre-history to be Studied, not in the Primeval Slime and Jungles, but in the Bosom of the Eternal Father. Though He appeared as the 'Cave Man in Bethlehem', since He was Born in a Stable, Hewn-out of Rock, His beginning in Time as Man was Without-Beginning as God in the Agelessness of Eternity. Only Progressively did He Reveal His Divinity; and this was not because He grew in the Consciousness of Divinity; it was due rather to His Intent to be slow in Revealing the Purpose of His Coming.

Saint John at the beginning of his Gospel relates His Pre-history as the Son of God:

When all things began, the Word already was. The Word dwelt with God, and what God was, the Word was. The Word, then, was with God at the beginning, and through Him all things came to be; no single thing was created without Him. [John 1:1-3]

trinity6.jpg (11359 bytes) "In the beginning was the Word". Whatever there is in the World, is made according to the Thought of God, for all things Postulate Thought. Every Bird, every Bower, every Tree was made according to an Idea existing in the Divine Mind. Greek Philosophers held that Thought was Abstract. Now, the Thought or Word of God is Revealed as Personal. Wisdom is vested-in Personality. Prior to His Earthly Existence, Jesus Christ is Eternally God, the Wisdom, the Thought of the Father. In His Earthly Existence, He is that Thought or Word of God speaking to Men. The Words of Men pass-away when they have been Conceived and Uttered, but the Word of God is Eternally Uttered and can never Cease from Utterance. By His Word, the Eternal Father expresses all that He Understands, all that He Knows. As the Mind holds Converse with itself by its own Thought, and Sees and Knows the World by means of this Thought, so does the Father see Himself, as in a Mirror, in the Person of His Word. Finite Intelligence needs Many Words in order to Express Ideas; but God speaks Once and for all within Himself ------ One (1) Single Word which reaches the Abyss of all-things that are Known and can be Known. In that Word of God are hidden all the Treasures of Wisdom, all the Secrets of Sciences, all the Designs of the Arts, all the Knowledge of Mankind. But this Knowledge, compared to the Word, is only the Feeblest Broken Syllable.

In the Agelessness of Eternity, the Word was with God. But there was a Moment in Time when He had not come-forth from the Godhead, as there is a Moment when a Thought in the Mind of Man is not-yet Uttered. As the Sun is never without its Beam, so the Father is never without His Son; and as the Thinker is not without a Thought, so in an Infinite Degree, the Divine Mind is never without His Word. God did not spend the Everlasting Ages in Sublime-Solitary-Activity. He had a Word with Him, equal to Himself.

The Word, then, was with God at the Beginning, and through Him all things came to be; no single thing was created without Him. All that came to be was alive with His Life, and that Life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the dark, and the darkness has never mastered it. [John 1:3-5]

Everything in Space and Time exists because of the Creative Power of God. Matter is not Eternal; the Universe has an Intelligent Personality back of it, an Architect, a Builder, and a Sustainer. Creation is the Work of God. The Sculptor works on Marble, the Painter on Canvas, the Machinist on Matter, but none of them can Create. They bring Existings into new Combinations, but nothing else. Creation belongs to God alone.

print.jpg (13461 bytes) God writes His Name on the Soul of every Man. Reason and Conscience are the "God within us" in the Natural Order. The Fathers of the early Church were wont to speak of the Wisdom of Plato and Aristotle as the unconscious Christ within us. Men are like so many Books issuing from the Divine Press, and if nothing else be written on them, at least the Name of the Author is Indissolubly Engraved on the Title Page. God is like the Watermark on Paper, which may be written over, without ever being obscured.