Catholic Verses - Bible Meditation #0006 - Genesis 6 - Yes to grace and no to sin

Author Recorded Sunday February 4th, 2018


Catholic Verses - Bible Meditation #0006 - Genesis 6 - Yes to grace and no to sin

Author Recorded December 27th, 2016

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chapter 6 origin of the Nephilim this so here we have the introduction of the Nephilim as far as I've understood the early church fathers all interpreted this race of people not as angels not as divine beings but as the sons of Seth the chosen stalk the good line that will go from the first Adam to the second Adam the word itself from what I understood probably means Giants or the fallen ones and that's how it's variously translated in different parts of the Bible it does appear in different parts of the Bible appears here in Genesis 6 it appears in numbers 13 when the twelve spies go out into the land of milk and honey sort of assessing the promised land and the enemies that are there and they find these giant Nephilim they call them sons of anak and they say we look like grasshoppers next to them you know this idea of grasshoppers kind of brings to mind John the Baptist I always think about him eating locusts and wild honey but this idea of the sons of anak there is actually a legend an Islamic legend about anak who's not a man but a woman it's the daughter of Adam anak Ben Adam and she was the mother allegedly of king of Bashan this was the king who defeated Moses at the Battle of EDI in present-day Syria and there's a third reference which is sort of sketchy the scholars aren't sure but there may be reference to the Nephilim warriors in Ezekiel 32 every reference to these kings in these Nephilim they're always seen sort of as heroes but as villains so that idea of the Fallen one's kind of makes sense and it sort of draws a parallel with the fall of the angels at the beginning of creation when men began to multiply on earth and daughters were born to them the sons of heaven saw how beautiful the daughters of men wear and so they took for their wives as many of them as they chose then the Lord said my spirit shall not remain in man for ever since he is but flesh his day shall comprise 120 years these great ones these heroes these men of renown these sons of God these great giant Nephilim they are the fallen ones and the reason that they fell is because of the beauty of these creatures these daughters of men as they're called probably the daughters of Cain this is how the early church fathers interpreted it that the sons of Seth were seduced by the beauty of the sons of Cain they started intermixing and I think I mentioned this in a prior episode about Enoch and the descent down the mountain when this mixing started to occur sort of as a foreshadowing of what would happen with Moses and the golden calf so in any case these sons of God took these beautiful women for their wives and they did whatever they pleased and instead of giving thanks to God and obeying God they just coveted that creature beauty and this of course is a sort of love of self unto contempt of God that's why it's heinous if they had loved God they could still have appreciated the beauty of these daughters of Cain they are beautiful they were beautiful everything would have been okay everything would have been well ordered if they had kept their priorities straight but apparently they didn't and I don't think they're alone in that a lot of us are seduced by the creature whether it be sex or money or beauty or whatever it is but another key point philosophically or theologically here to bear in mind is the centrality of purity and sexual trust 'ti everything has to be well ordered everywhere in our but in those areas of life that are most important that orderliness and that respect of our human nature is even more important so when it comes to marriage when it comes to the family when it comes to sexuality when it comes to intimacy it's a very big deal and that's why this fall if we want to think of it as a fall this fall centers on beauty centers on love it centers on the family it centers on marriage so sin always leads to a loss of grace it's always going to bring us down a notch we're going to lose something beautiful we're gonna lose God's grace and so I think it's important to realize that sexual sins even though they don't seem that serious and st. Augustine is on the record as saying that they are not as serious as some other sins there are other Saints that contradict him and say that they're among the most damnable and the most numerous those souls that are falling into hell are as numerous as snowflakes falling to the ground in a heavy snowstorm I think this might accord with st. Augustine's appraisal when he says that sexual sins aren't great in weight but I think it accords with this idea of the snowflake it's very light it's very delicate but there's so many of them if you I mean I live in Canada I live in Quebec when you see a big gentle snowstorm it's not a storm there's not a lot of wind it's just a gentle falling of these big fluffy snowflakes it's very beautiful and they say fall very slowly it's very hypnotizing and I think that when we engage in sexual sin we we are enraptured by the beauty of our all just like the fruit on the tree was delicious it looked good it tasted good it felt good in the hand it felt good in the mouth so I think it's I think it's very seductive sin and especially sexual sin at that time the Nephilim appeared on earth as well as later after the sons of heaven had intercourse with the daughters of men who bore them sons they were the heroes of old the men of renown I just wanted to say one more thing about these sons of heaven sort of a technical theological point that st. Augustine and then st. Aquinas will talk about which is that angels and demons cannot generate human offspring ever they can take the form of humans yes that can appear as a man that can appear as a woman they can seduce you at night in your dreams I think this happens to me I have a lot of demonic sex dreams I would find it hard to believe that they're not demonic given the content but the spiritual world is more real than our physical material universe so there's no reason why they can't fool us but it's not an incarnation only God incarnated the angels aren't permitted to incarnated the demon certainly aren't and when the Antichrist comes if he's not here already I don't think he is but when the Antichrist comes it will not be a demon incarnate it'll just be a perfect possession Satan would love to incarnate but he does not have permission he's not allowed to so I just wanted to mention that warning of the flood when the Lord saw how great was man's wickedness on earth and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil he regretted that he had made man on the earth and his heart was grieved this section of this story has been labeled with a title warning of the flood and this narrator of the new American Bible is reading the titles that were given for the different sections and subsections of the Bible of course they're not inspired the chapter divisions are not inspired certainly the verse divisions and the titles that are given to the different parts of these stories are not inspired so I just want to make that clear but this section is talking about the warning of the flood and I do want to talk about this idea of a warning we are warned it's not like we don't have red lights flashing alarm bells sounding God incarnate coming to earth and telling us it brings to mind the story of the rich man and Lazarus the rich man ended up going to hell and the rich man was begging Abraham just for a little drop of water to cool his tongue and he goes on to ask when this is denied to him he goes on to ask Abraham if he can go back to earth and warn his five brothers and Abraham says they have Moses they have the prophets if they don't listen to Moses if they don't listen to the prophets they're not gonna listen to you which makes me wonder who's listening to me they have Moses and the prophets and they have Jesus Christ God incarnate why would anyone listen to me I must be preaching to the choir now I guess God can use me as an instrument and he can bring people closer to Jesus Christ through my instrumentality but there's a sort of idea of preaching to the choir how does the grace of conversion build and snowball it's interesting I was talking earlier about the sins the sexual sins of impurity and how there's a light and delicate these snowflakes but that's sort of a dark image but we can use it in a positive way all these little tiny snowflakes of grace and where sin is grace abounds so we can use we can twist this dark image of the snowflakes falling into hell and we can take a gust of wind of the Holy Spirit and take those snowflakes and put them back up into the sky or let them fold onto each other and grow in mass and this is what I'm thinking about when it comes to the grace of conversion if you give just an inch God will give you a mile if you make a small gesture of love God will make a huge gesture of love and I think this is what happens with conversion I was an atheist I was I was a nice atheist for a long time and I just got darker and darker and darker but somehow my sin and God's grace formed a snowflake and that snowflake bumped into another snowflake and I must have made a little gesture somehow in response to God's grace always in response God initiates it always God is always the one it initiates everything good with grace but I must have responded somehow I must have had the grace to respond just a little bit and then those two snowflakes may have clumped in with a third and this may have grown little by little slowly slowly and that snowball just gained momentum and gained growth until my conversion in 2009 I'd been atheist for 25 years and I'd been going down a pretty dark path into a theistic satanism and committing a lot of sin mostly sexual sin won't go into the details but you'll see on the general judgement if it's not blotted out permanently and I have heard some mystics that say that God can forget our sins and that he can blot them out completely so that is a possibility and I do have some hope that I'll be spared complete hue Rajon but on the other hand it's really the one thing that God finds irresistible in a rational and free creature so this idea of a warning we have no excuse we think we have excuses we think we have rationalizations that are airtight and we think I've often heard it said when I talk to a theist that when they get to heaven they're gonna confront God with this and they're gonna confront God with that you won't you just won't it's not appropriate it may cross your mind ever so swiftly but it will vanish like breath off a mirror know when you're in the presence of your creator you won't be giving any excuses okay and you will see you will see the warnings you will seen all you will see all the graces that were given to you at every moment of every second of every minute of every hour of every day during your whole life you will see that we'll all see that for those of us who say yes to God before death that'll be a very fun thing to discover for those of us who didn't it will just be one of many a guineas and just the beginning of an endless suffering it's horrible I don't wish it on anyone and so the warning God's warning you I'm warning you Moses what an honor to be warned by such great men all the patriarchs all the prophets all the apostles all the murderers all the confessors all the virgins all the Saints are warning you what an honor what a red carpet moment you are receiving warning after warning from one angel after the next and when I say angel I mean Messenger of God I don't mean necessarily only the pure spirits I mean all of the angels of God and Jesus Christ is the preeminent angel of God the next preeminent angel is the Queen of Angels the Blessed Virgin Mary her mother they're all angels messengers of God and not only that we have the angels properly speaking I just say the pure spirits that are warning us that are protecting us that are guiding us in particular our own guardian angel not only do we have guardian angel for ourselves as individuals we have guardian angels for collectives there's a guardian angel for our nation as a guardian angel if we're married our marriage has a guardian angel so with multiple guardian angels I wouldn't know how to enumerate them or how to count them precisely and accurately but I have read that there are guardian angels for groups I don't know exactly if this is well worked out and well defined by the church it's just something I read once and I'll have to look into it but it's a certainly an interesting idea and it stands to reason when you think about the number of angels that God has at his so so much for the warning now the next thing I want to talk about with this idea of the warning of the flood God saw how great was the wickedness of human beings on the earth and how every desire that the hurt conceived was always nothing but evil and it says that God regretted making human beings and his heart was grieved you know I I often talk about attribution or condescension as a literary technique because the enough of God has to communicate with his finite creatures but there's a certain sense in which God hurt was grieved literally because Jesus Christ is God incarnate he suffered these evils in his very flesh he took on our flesh he lived the agony of our sin he lived not only your sin and my sin he lived the first sin the sin of of Adam and Eve he suffered grievously and horrendously for all heals all sins and certainly he suffered in his own heart in his own flesh at the time of Noah he even makes reference to that historical fact of the flood when he's talking about Noah knows the hour or the day not even the Sun in his flesh knows but only the father and of course the son and the father are one in the divine nature but in the human nature the son doesn't know the son is one person he's a divine person but in his human nature he's finite and he says as it was in the days of Noah so will it be when the Son of man comes referring to himself and he talks about how in the days before the flood people were eating they were drinking they were marrying mixing in marriage and thinking little of the consequences but meanwhile Noah was warning them and Noah was building but they were oblivious in the time of Noah and they just enjoyed the day I'm oblivious to the flood that's coming in many ways it won't be a flood of water we were promised that but there's so many other floods what about this flood of green slime that could wipe us all out what about this flood of fire that could wipe us all out there's so many for more floods that could come for us but I I live day to day yeah it's true I think about death I think about judgment I think about Heaven and Hell every day all day every day but there are so many moments in a day so many so many moments it just takes one moment to betray your beloved it just takes a moment I'm not paranoid I'm not scrupulous in the technical sense of the word thinking I'm sinning when I'm not sinning no I'm not paranoid worried about sinning but I'm aware of my fallen nature it's a struggle and if you're not struggling if you're enjoying yourself as they were in the time of Noah eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage and making merry you may be caught up in something that is good in and of itself but it is a distraction from the reality of those moments where you are betraying your beloved Jesus Christ it's very important that we watch always and that we pray always and this this will be drilled home in the New Testament watch because just like they didn't see the flood coming we're not going to see the coming of the son of man this is from Jesus own lips so we should pay attention so the Lord said I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created and not only the men but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air for I am sorry that I made them but Noah found favor with the Lord these are the descendants of Noah Noah a good man and blameless in that age for he walked with God began to three sons Shem ham and Japheth in the eyes of God the earth was corrupt and full of lawlessness when God saw how corrupt the earth had become since all mortals led depraved lives on earth he said to Noah I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth the earth is full of lawlessness because of them so I will destroy them and all life on earth there it is there's the warning Noah didn't keep this a secret he didn't take this information and bury it in the dirt knowing that God gathers where he hasn't sewn no Noah spread the news he was a fool for Christ he made himself a fool by sharing this warning this very serious warning at the wedding festivals at the parties in the sunshine with everyone smiling and laughing and having fun Noah's there saying a floods coming after repent you have to turn back to God you have to be pure if to follow God's commandments which are written in your heart you have to read God's book of nature and you have to follow your conscience and you have to hearken to my voice because I'm speaking for God you can be sure that Noah said these things they can be sure that his listeners rolled their eyes raised their eyebrows and chuckled incredulous ly thinking themselves wise and it's so powerful to think about our times today and how callous and cold people are when they hear the good news not only the good news of Christianity but the good news that they were created by an all good god there's so many atheists today they just don't get it they just don't get it and I think it's always been the same I think that we all live in the same fallen world since Adam and Eve fell and there are two cities you belong to one or you belong to the other and when you're in the city of man there's nothing more ridiculous and foolhardy and laughable than a prophet and when you're in the City of God there's nothing more sad than an atheist there's nothing more sad than a selfish sinner who doesn't see the error of his ways and those of us who are striving to belong to the City of God know that we ourselves not only were sinners in the past but continue to be sinners today and we'll be as sinners tomorrow unless by some great grace some great miracle were prevented from ever sinning again which is rare and very unlikely and but that's not to say that we shouldn't pray for it I pray for that I don't want to say never again so the sons of Noah Shem ham and Japheth were saved for Noah's sake and this brings to mind a very important point a theological point and the one mediator between god man is Jesus Christ but God can use us and he does use us as secondary intermediaries as instruments of grace Shem ham and Japheth were not blameless in Noah's generation I think Noah alone was blameless so why is this important well I think it's important because we can sanctify that I think the believing wife can sanctify the unbelieving husband I think that the believing husband can sanctify the unbelieving wife that's good news for me and I'm very excited about that and I am obviously concerned not worried but concerned you know in a trusting way I trust God and God alone but I certainly am concerned about the salvation of my family my friends my neighbors my enemies my acquaintances and all those that are around me near or far so this is encouraging this idea that Noah righteous man a blameless man the only one in his generation was allowed to bring seven people with him including his own wife nothing is said about her righteousness nothing is said about her blamelessness her name is not even given the names of the wives of Shem ham and Japheth are also not given so the earth had become corrupt in the view of God and full of lawlessness he says so there again this idea of law law and order and the floods that are coming are meant to wash the earth from the scum of sin and corruption so this is another prefiguring of baptism the waters of baptism that will wash is clean st. Paul talks about this how the water is not really not only cleansing but it's also an image of death we're gonna die with Christ the old man will die and the new man the free man will be born in this water born again in the water and in the spirit not in the water alone but the water in the spirit so throughout the Old Testament there there are a lot of these sort of devastating moments where only a remnant of the chosen people remain Noah and his sons and their wives will be a remnant of this great line of Seth the City of God Abraham's family they will be a remnant David and his family they will be a remnant there's always this cleansing there's always this there's always a reduction or condensation or purification of the church and of the people of God and then with Christ with Jesus Christ himself there's this another filtration that takes place another remnant these idea of the remnant and there's a strong connection between this idea of the remnant and then narrow paths which Jesus talks about the highway to hell is broad its pleasant it's fun and the narrow paths up that craggy Hill that doesn't look like much fun carrying across but it's the way and this idea of the remnant corresponds with the narrow paths it was very sobering and when the when the rich man was trying to negotiate with Abraham in the afterlife I think he saw clearly how broad and wide his path had been during his earthly life and how pleasant it had been and how all of those signs said go back turn back repent repent and believe and he'll be haunted by those signs forever forever and ever and ever without end we need to meditate on this we need to meditate on the Eternity of Hell not in a stick in morbid way but just to open our eyes to the clear signs that God generously posts along the highway to hell turn back you're on the wrong path you're doing it wrong yes you're having fun yes the goods that you're enjoying are good and they are my gifts to you but you need to repent you need to believe and if you love me you need keep my Commandments we need to meditate on the Eternity of hell if we're gonna have our eyes opened to the reality of the clear warnings the clear signals the clear signs that are everywhere on this highway to hell because the party the parade of apparently happy carefree masses that are carrying us along with the lust for life and the good things of this created world that wave can carry you if your eyes aren't open to the signs that you're on the highway to hell you're just gonna follow the group over the cliff like the legion of demons that went into the swine you're just gonna end up following that herd of swine over the cliff and we are worse than swine possessed by demons we are worse than swine possessed by demons because swine are not made in the image and likeness of God's well I don't have reason and free will so the comparison is flattering if anything it's a gentle comparison what we really need to take this seriously take the warning of Noah seriously we need to get on to the ark and it's not too late these are timeless stories that's why the Bible is applicable to you and to me today into our salvation today that's why it's relevant because the Living Word of God it's applicable to us today we need to pay attention to it because it's speaking to us God Almighty is speaking directly to you and directly to me and the message is real it's relevant it's not outdated it's not dusty if your Bibles dusty it's because you haven't been reading it so we need to take it seriously get in the Ark preparation for the flood make yourself an ark of gopher wood put various compartments in it and cover it inside and out with pitch this is how you shall build it the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits make an opening for daylight in the Ark and finish the ark a cubit above it put an entrance in the side of the Ark which you shall make with bottom second and third decks the first thing I want to mention here is about the pitch black hark she is black but she is beautiful this is what st. Bernard of Clairvaux will say about the church in his commentary on the Song of Solomon the church is a beautiful woman but she's black she's pitch black but we notice here with the design of the Ark that there is an opening in the side I think it's important to realize that Noah's Ark is a type of the church and that the church is Jesus Christ and that Jesus Christ is the second Adam Adam had his side opened from which life came the life of his spouse Eve the mother of the living so that his idea of life and this idea of the spouse of the first Adam and Jesus Christ hanging on the cross had his side opened and blood and water gushed forth just as the ark sat on the water that was full of blood from all the dead mortal humans and other beasts that had perished in the flood there certainly was blood mixed in with that water and when Jesus Christ side was pierced water and blood gushed forth symbolizing the birth of the church and that life that's flowing out of him the life that he's the sacraments of the Church so it's a very powerful all throughout the whole Bible Old Testament New Testament the typology the symbols and they're more than just symbols they are types of meaning that God is writing with history he is allowing those of us that have free will to exercise our free will but at the same time he's cooperating with us or he allows us to cooperate with him more to the point in such a way that the story of history is the story of salvation is a salvation history this is a term we use in Catholic theology salvation history tells a story and there's the literal story of what happened there's also the typology meaning that things are poetic they are referencing each other they are foreshadowing each other st. Paul talks a lot about this idea of the shadow of what came before and the reality that comes and then the shadow passes away so it's very powerful the entire Sacred Scripture is full of this powerful Word of God which is shaping not only ideas but reality and history itself and you and I are playing a part in this drama it's not a small part from our personal and subjective perspective it is the main role in our particular story from our subjective point of view now from God's point of view of course he could dispense with all of it you and I are little our role is insignificant but because God made us with love and he chose to create us and his and to recreate us through baptism those of us who were lucky enough to have baptism and you need to be baptized to go to heaven those of us who are baptized are recreated this were created by God were recreated or sustained by God and we are God willing to be with God forever and to be incorporated into the blessed life of the Trinity this is unbelievable you have to always meditate on the reality of your role in God's plan in God's story when you're reading your dusty old Bible your salvation is an open project your salvation is happening now it's not like other books where it's static and you're encountering it as something dead you're encountering a living person Jesus Christ the Word of God made flesh and you're encountering the whole Trinity when you read your Bible if you're not aware of that fact you will be missing the science that were designed for you and your eyes will be open let's hope that they're opened while you're still here on your pilgrimage so that's not too late so the church is black but beautiful in that pitch that covers the ark allows it to float on that disgusting corruption that's being cleansed by the waters but I can tell you that the the beauty of the daylight inside this pitch-black Ark is spectacular if you go to see an observatory where they're examining the night sky through telescopes there will always be a blackening on the inside always they will shut off the lights that's a form of blackening often they will have a dark colored paint or a dark surface to minimize the reflection of any ambient light and the reason for that is you have a more glorious view of the starlight when you look through the telescope there's a purity that that blackness brings you there's a vision that that darkness gives you and that's what it's like in the church yes the church is black yes people will mock and ridicule the church just like they mocked and ridiculed the Ark of Noah if you don't think they made fun of them you don't know human nature it will be fun to watch that play out in real time in the afterlife and we can explore that we can explore that and everything else in Salvation history and it's all very very meaningful that's all very very powerful and there are many many stories to be told and people try to glut themselves binge watching this HBO special or that television series and it's mostly low-quality I would say a lot of sex and violence but it will be different in the afterlife we're gonna have an abundance of stories to fill us with that delight that we're craving when we watch Netflix or when we download the show that everyone's ranting and raving about we're not satisfied by that there's no real satisfaction that comes with that there's a sort of promise the promise is real and the fulfilment is real but it's not here below it's not in some stupid tawdry drama and I'm not denying the talent and the artistry that goes into making some of these and traumas or comedies or whatever the show is they're all good but we should seek what we're seeking but not where we're seeking it use the world as if you're not using it is what st. Paul says so we can enjoy a movie and we can enjoy a television show and we can and provide it it's not an occasion of sin we can enjoy it we just put it in as proper perspective this is not the be-all and end-all this is just touching lightly on a hint of the promise of something that's real in the afterlife with God we're to know God were to love God were to serve God here below so that we can be happy with him forever in the next world that's the point and we have to keep our eyes on the prize always I on my part I'm about to bring the flood waters on the earth to destroy everywhere all creatures in which that is the breath of life everything on earth shall perish but with you I will establish my covenant you and your sons your wife and your sons wives shall go into the ark of all other living creatures you shall bring two into the ark one male and one female that you may keep them alive with you of all kinds of birds of all kinds of beasts and of all kinds of creeping things - of each shall come into the ark with you to stay alive forever you are to provide yourself with all the food that is to be eaten and strawed it away that it may serve as provisions for you and for the so this sort of universal nature of the punishment is very dramatic he's very sobering and it fills us with dread and it could fill us with despair if we think about the numbers the sheer numbers involved what are the odds that we would have made it onto the earth not very good but we have to remember that God is perfectly just but he's also perfectly merciful not one mistake is ever made by God so we can trust God but that sobering image of the countless numbers destroyed by the flood that should jolt us into submission really not the submission of a frightened slave with a submission of a loving son not the feigned obsequious submission of a mercenary who is just working for wages but the truly loving mission of a son a faithful son who loves and trusts his father if we're startled by the destruction of all these creatures we should be startled into a well-ordered submission a loving faithful trusting submission there's no need to despair so here God mentions his covenant I will establish my covenant with you this is more than a contract a lot of people today I'd like to think about contracts Oh marriage is an agreement between two adults we agree that these are the rules we're gonna have an open relationship you can sleep with as many people as you want I can sleep with as many people as I want provided that we don't do this we don't do that this is not respecting God and His commandments marriage is a covenant the Covenant that God makes with Noah he's not just a contract it's a binding kinship covenant it binds the parties in a bond of kinship the covenant with Abraham the Covenant with David all these covenants their kinship Pontz we we can't make this up we can't make up the turn some conditions we can't just establish it amongst ourselves as if we had that sort of freedom we don't have that sort of freedom if we had that sort of freedom we could agree that sin is not sin and that whatever we do we go to heaven and enjoy God forever but that's just not possible because that doesn't accord with our human nature doesn't accord with the nature of inanimate creation and it doesn't accord with the nature of God who is goodness itself this is what we call natural law so God tells not you you'll go into the ark your sons will go into the are your wife and your sons wives will go into the ark with you so this is again what I said when this sort of privilege that those close to Noah had accompanying him and that idea that we can sanctify our families and our loved ones and our friends and human our enemies it's very touching I forget which Pope it was there was a pope that was imprisoned by Napoleon Bonaparte after the French Revolution and when Napoleon Bonaparte fell from power he was exiled and his family was mistreated but the family of Napoleon his wife and some of his relatives were invited by the Pope that same Pope that was abused and imprisoned by Napoleon that same Pope invited the family the wife and the family members of Napoleon to live with him in Rome in the Vatican and he treated them with respect and dignity and he negotiated with those that were holding Napoleon and exile to treat him with clemency it's very touching there many many stories of saints and popes who turned the other cheek and who repay evil with kindness the greatest saint that comes to mind is Jesus Christ forgive them they know not what they do he can't really top that the abuse that he suffered at the hands of sinners and of his enemies is second to none literally and mercy and the generosity and kindness and forgiveness that he showed he's second to none and the dignity that he has as the Son of God as God incarnate is second to none Jesus Christ is the saint of saints and his example is the example but there many other very touching examples and some of the examples can touch us even more because we can relate more we can relate more to Mary because she's purely human but she was preserved from original sin so we may not even feel that we can relate to Mary it's just even that is even Mary is too great she's like a god to us if the church didn't teach that she's not God many of the Saints said that they would consider her to be a god that's how holy she is now the church does teach that Mary is not God so they submit to the church and they submit to God and they submit to that teaching but it's just it's just a dramatic way of saying how holy Mary is but there are lesser Saints who can inspire us with their forgiveness and their heroic virtue and all the way down to the smallest saint they're all speaking to us and they're all an invitation to be holding ourselves so we can sanctify each other and we can like the family of Noah we can get onto the ark even if we don't deserve it even if we're not righteous and holy like Noah we can get onto the ark we're invited on do you think that Noah didn't invite all of his other family and friends do you think he only invited eight people onto the ark oh he invited everybody God desires the conversion of everyone so Noah as a prophet of God is inviting everyone onto their he invited all of his contemporaries onto the ark but they just laughed and ridiculed him and the same thing happens today when we invite people into the church people mock and ridicule us and so we're in good company and it reaffirms that biblical message it's everywhere it's always the same story there's a city of man the City of God and you can sort of tell which camp you're in and which camp your enemies are in and you can sort of tell based on comparing with these stories in the Bible these are living stories in this ongoing salvation history so Noah warns us he also invites us into the ark but not only that he also feeds us we notice here that God commands him to make provisions to make to bring food on board so that they can heat this brings to mind the idea of st. Peter feed my lambs if you love me feed my lambs he says it three times and st. Peter is very moved and touched and there's a legend that he wept so much because of the threefold betrayal and then there's threefold grilling by our Lord do you love me do you love me do you love me he was so touched and moved by his own weakness in his own sin when he denied our Lord to a servant girl at the fire that streams of tears constantly flowed down st. Peters face and there were like grooves and channels where these tears itched lines into his face so we should imitate st. Peter in that way and we should imitate st. Peter in feeding God's sheep and this means imitating Noah who warns us who invites us into the ark and who feeds us we need to receive our daily bread and it will give us life and if you don't eat the bread of heaven you won't have life in you that's what Jesus promises us we must eat the body and blood of Jesus Christ so we need to be warned and we need to be invited into the church and we need to be fed and the church is doing that if the church is warning us the church is inviting us in and the church is feeding us are we receiving worthily not everyone who says Lord Lord will enter into the kingdom of God so we need to make sure that we're receiving worthily that we are loving God following his Commandments but this Noah did he carried out all the commands that God gave him so this is the point really Noah complied with God's commandments he did everything that God commanded him and God speaks to Noah explicitly seven times in the course of this flood story in Genesis there's a real emphasis placed on Noah has prophet as Noah has fulfilling the Word of God and speaking the Word of God and obeying the commands of God we need to emphasize this in our own lives we have access to the Word of God the Living Word of God we have the living scriptures we have the Living Magisterium the living tradition we have access to the Word of God so be like Noah listen to God respect the commands of God warn your friends and neighbors invite them in getting yourself first of all and bite them in and then feed yourself and others and I think it's a Babylonian version that talks about there's no affair that he was a great King because we have to remember that Noah was the grandson of Methuselah and the great grandson of Enoch who walked with God and so there's this idea floating around that Noah may have been a City King and so if that's the case the Noah is not just a strange weirdo on the periphery of society he may have been a king and those under him may have been commanded by Noah to help him build this great Ark which was about two-thirds the size of the actually but the fact that he may have had a lot of help increases the drama of the story and the sort of mockery that he would have been subject to because if he's just a lone weirdo often on the fringes there's only so much ridicule that he could have been subjected to but if he were the king of a so great city and he had hundreds or thousands of people helping him to build not only build the ark but to gather the animals and I do take this story literally I think that there literally was a craft built by a man named Noah and that he saved himself and his seven family members and the animals I believe that why because the church doesn't forbid me to believe that I am I commanded to believe it is it he's a dog mother that literally happened I don't know and I also don't care I know that it's not a dogma that it didn't happen so I believe it so I believe I don't find it difficult to believe anything I don't believe everything that the church allows me to believe but when the church does not forbid me to believe the most literal interpretation of a Bible story I prefer to believe the most literal version of the Bible story if it's not offensive to reason and Jesus walking on the water it's not offensive to reason if he's God Almighty and Pharaoh doing demonic magic tricks is not offensive to reason if there are demons and I believe in God and I believe in the Angels and I believe in the demons and I believe in the Saints I believe in the church and I believe in the evil magicians and I believe in all the wild and wonderful and strange things that are told in the Bible if they're not offensive to reason given the Catholic point of view and given the church's Commandments and dogmas and given their condemnation there are things that cannot be taken literally in the Bible I'm forbidden from hating my neighbor even though Jesus Christ says you must hate your neighbor and I'm forbidden to cut off my hand when I steal even though Jesus Christ God incarnate says to cut off your hand when you steal the church forbids me to take that literally so to take that literally would be offensive so I have a guide I have a living guide I have God incarnate for my guide I have Jesus Christ for my spouse and my guide the church guides me the Catholic teaching is that the church is both human and divine but if the church is not divine if it's only human it's a false religion then we're the most foolish of men we Christians but I don't believe that it's a false religion I believe that it's the one true religion I believe that it is divine that it is infallible that it does have divine authority and that it is in defective I'll read the history of the church read the history of the papacy read the history of the council's and tell me if the church is in defective will or not tell me you tell me how many empires have come and gone how many kingdoms have come and gone how many great societies have risen and fallen as the church staggers along wounded but protected so the ridicule that Noah was subject to we should ourselves be subject to if we're not subject to ridicule we're doing something wrong I think it's instructive to meditate on Noah to meditate on his life to meditate on his family to meditate on his subjects if you if he was a man of authority which I believe he was because even the pagan Centurion was a man of authority he had men under him and he acknowledged that he was not worthy that the Lord should enter under his roof so how much more wouldn't know I'll be a man of authority Noah who was commanded by God to save the human race so we should meditate on Noah we should think about what he went through how much he suffered but not only that how much enjoy he had in bringing life to all of humanity being instrumental in saving the universe because until we have evidence that there's intelligent life on other planets I see no reason to suppose that there is life on other planets I think it's possible I think the I think a few Pope's have mentioned that it's possible but we needn't be distracted by it we needn't be concerned with it and the fact that it's never mentioned in the story of the flood makes me think that Noah saved all of the humans this was it the these eight people so as I mentioned the the chapter divisions are not inspired they're a man-made thing very late development but we sort of have a cliffhanger here of sorts Noah says yes to God and this is theology in a nutshell just the word yes it's one of my favorite prayers just yes yes to grace because when God offers you something it's grace it's not temptation the Pope is toying around with the idea of changing the words of the Our Father prayer because God never leads us into temptation but we don't need to change when I used to go to a Christian writers group at a Catholic Church there were exercises we would write poetry with different themes and I have a penchant for the absurd so I wrote a one letter poem this poem consisted of one letter the letter Y and with that one letter Y I wanted to express a and the title of the poem was why God why and if you read the lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah or if you read the book of Job or if you read any of these prophets or patriarchs or saints that they'll complained how long god the saint day we would say how long or why why God why so I wanted to put a twist on that instead of being wh-why it just be the letter why why God why meaning yes God and a yes - grace is a no to sin there are two sides at the same coin yes - are two sides at the same coin yes - grace noticin

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