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Once again, we are returning to the state of Original Innocence in the Garden of Eden, because this is the only way to discover the full identity of the girl from Nazareth, who keeps appearing all over the earth asking people to consecrate themselves to her. But frankly, what’s it all about? Are we somehow becoming “marked” by this consecration? How do we live out this consecration to Mary?

In a parallel series that I’m giving on the Apocalypse, we’ll be hearing much about the “mark of the beast” and this beast is, as it were, the front man for the dragon. We know that the dragon represents Satan because Scripture says so plainly. A dragon is a snake or serpent grown out of all natural proportions. In Revelations Chapter 12 the dragon is facing a woman, and waging war against her and her offspring. Mary tells us in her apparitions that she is that Woman facing the huge dragon-serpent. Does this scenario come out of nowhere, or did it not have its beginning back in the Garden, when Eve, the first woman, chose not to oppose the serpent. God promised that He would raise up another woman who would firmly oppose the serpent

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; “x” shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise it on the heel [Gn 3:15].

In English we don’t have a neutral word for a person, it must be male or female. About a hundred years before Jesus was born there were so many Jews that lived outside of Israel that the demand became quite strong for a Greek translation of what we call the Old Testament. It was produced in the great city of Alexandria on the Egyptian seacoast. Tradition says that seventy rabbis were consulted, so it got the name of Septuagint. The Jewish translators had to make a decision to write “he, she or it shall bruise you on the head.” They chose “she” and this is carried on in some, but not all, English translations up to the present day. I mention this detail because there is a lot of debate about it among theologians about which gender it should be. But why not allow the inspired language to allow for an interpretation of offspring that can mean one or many, male or female. Certainly, the woman’s divine Son Jesus saved us from sin by his divine redemption on the Cross, but Genesis 3:15 requires a multi-level fulfillment. The proto-evangelium is a Greek word that means “first-good-news,” or “primary gospel,” because God announces right there at the beginning, that He plans to send a woman and “offspring of the woman” who will take on the tempter by the head. It will not be Jesus alone or Mary alone who will ultimately crush the serpent, but it will be a group entity (those who are “marked” as consecrated to the Woman, with Jesus through Mary) fighting a group entity (those who are “marked” as belonging to the dragon-beast).

In our previous conference we saw why the serpent directed his temptations at the woman. It was because she was responsible for unity in the Garden. Technically, the man was the first-formed and head of the Garden, and held responsible for whatever happened under his watch, but the serpent regarded the woman as key. In Genesis 3:15, Yahweh confirms that the woman’s role is pivotal and her failed role would have to be repaired by another woman who would be at enmity with the serpent, not in agreement, as was Eve. When Yahweh asked Eve about her behavior, she expressed no repentance or regret, but pointed to the serpent who had made a suggestion, a temptation, that, for her, was irresistible. How could she resist his offer of radical independence from God? Perhaps someone will be inspired to write a third story: what would have happened if, after their sin, the Original parents had immediately repented? But we aren’t going to go there, except to say that Eve named her first son “Cayeen” because she acknowledged that she could only bear children with the “help of Yahweh” [Gn 4:1] which was rather humble of her. And later on the inspired writer of the Book of Wisdom suggests that Adam had the wisdom to repent:

Wisdom protected the first-formed father of the world, when he alone had been created; she delivered him from his transgression, and gave him strength to rule all things. [Wis 10:1-2]

But there is nothing like a formal repentence in the Garden. This is why the first public action of the Son of Adam was to stand in the waters of the Jordan and confess his sin, against the protests of John the Baptist. Jesus, as Son of God and Son of Adam, had the authority to offer God a public act of repentence.

But let us return to the Garden and the marvelous promise of another woman. Heavenly prophecies has kept this double-layered proto-evangelium hope going for centuries. In the Garden we saw one woman without offspring and one snake. On Christmas night we saw one woman with one newborn man-child and we hear angels announce that this is the long-awaited Savior. He redeems one person at a time, when that person accepts his divine identity by standing before witnesses and undergoing a ceremonial washing of the sin of the Garden and his own personal sins. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, we see Him personally approached by the tempter and He resisted. Personal redemption was won at a personal level.

Jesus’ favorite name for himself was ‘ben adam,” Ben Adam. In English Bibles this comes up over and over in the Gospels in the literal translation of “Son of Man.” Jesus, the Son of Adam, provided a way for us to un-identify with old Adam’s rebellion, and re-identify with the obedience of the New Adam. Although every man is an adam and a son of adam, only Jesus can claim a primacy because He is God and man. In the first century A.D. the role of the New Adam was clearly highlighted, but the role of the New Eve and the New Snake remained obscure. Furthermore, the New Adam did not stick around to rule the Garden, as a New Earth. Rather the New Adam was buried in a Garden and then went off to heaven. Clearly, the story was left incomplete.

Centuries rolled by. During the past two centuries—while the values of the tempter are dominating the world—heavenly prophecies are preparing us for a social redemption through a stream of prophetic announcements, telling us that a new level of redemption is getting close, and we are urged to turn our expectations to the New Eve who is herself the main prophetess appearing from heaven and asking us to “sign on” as her offspring, to help her defeat a serpent that has now become a huge dragon in the sky, a global phenomenon. From her very first public message of 1830:

1) She asks us to pray to her and invoke her assistance because She cannot intervene in the world unless we freely ask her to do so. We are to invoke her as the new Eve “conceived without sin” and use the rosary to pray over and over “holy Mary pray for sinners.”

2) She wants us to wear her insignia as a shield in battle (to St. Catherine Labouré She gave the Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate Conception, at Fatima we were reminded to wear the Brown Scapular, at other apparition sites She has offered the Green Scapular and various medals). When these items are blessed by a priest, the demons fear the sign of the Woman and they feel limited in their power to harm us.

3) She begs us to offer reparation for sins in the world by doing acts of penance. She even expected rather heroic penance from seven year-old Jacinta at Fatima. Mary seems obsessed with the number of souls falling into hell. She urgently asks us to help her convert sinners by doing penance for their sins, and thus opening a door for grace to touch them so that they might experience a fresh invitation to repent before it is too late.

We know all that, we’ve been doing that. But we know it’s been like boot camp. Mary is preparing us for a great battle and for reconstruction after the war. We recognize the Son of Man, but how are we supposed to recognize and follow Bath Chavvah {khav-vaw’}, the Daughter of Eve? Mary is in the sky, and the Serpent-Dragon is in the sky. The angels are in the sky. All this is invisible to us. She herself told Fr. Gobbi that the battle is primarily at the level of the spirits, between good and bad angels. In a certain way, we are the pawns in their game.

MMP 88o-You, my poor [priest] sons, are the ones most knocked about in a struggle which is, above all, between me and my Adversary, the Ancient Serpent, Satan, the seducer and the artificer of all evil.

MMP 274c-Under my command, [the angels] are fighting a terrible battle against Satan and all the wicked spirits. It is a struggle proceeding more particularly on the level of spirits, fought with intelligence and a perfect adhesion to the plans of the two great opposing leaders, the Woman clothed with the sun and the Red Dragon.

And after this war is won, and earth is claimed for God, what is society supposed to look like? We don’t want to reconstruct the earth on the same flawed plan. We want to labor to build a society that the world has never seen. Because of these questions our talks on Mary, are ending up as talks on Eve. The only way forward for us, is to go backward and dig up that Garden to study that Original failed battle to learn what went wrong, and to search for the discarded Original plan which will tell us the way the earth is supposed to be ruled by the New Adam and the New Eve, for God had wanted to give them dominion. All authority comes from God, and is passed down by those who receive it. The old Adam and Eve shrugged off that sacred trust. Scripture tells us that the New Adam is destined to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, but He can only perform his office according to the original Garden commandment if he shares dominion with the New Eve.

So let us move on, or rather move back, to spend more time in Eden.

In our last conference we ended with Adam and Eve resisting temptation. Then we proffered that the next scenario would be the arrival of offspring from this holy and happy couple. Will the Messiah be physically born from the good Eve? We want to blaze a trail forwards from that blessed moment in the Garden when Adam and Eve said yes to God’s will, but immediately we stand before a mountain of centuries of assertions that the only reason the Messiah came to earth was to save us from sin, especially Original Sin. Was it the only reason? Was it even the primary reason? We are no longer forbidden to ask this question and we cannot avoid the question if we are going to discover the New Eve.

We don’t have to be intimidated by this massive mountain. Never, as in our generation, has the average Catholic had access to such a high level of education, and to so many tools for studying the Bible, and to so much data from modern archaeologists which help us to understand the culture of ancient peoples, and to so many teaching documents in the Church which are translated into all the modern languages. With all these gifts we can bulldoze our way, and even level this man-made mountain with the power of the Word of God. Jesus answered the question in a very formal manner, as He stood on trial before the highest civil authority in the Holy Land. Jesus said to Pontium Pilatum, the sixth Roman procurator of Judea:

For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice [Jn 18:37].

That was virtually Jesus’ last sermon, his concluding statement. In his first sermon, in his hometown at Nazareth, He said:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord [Lu 4:18].

Hmmm. In neither sermon did He say anything like:

The Son of Man [Ben Adam] came . . . to give his life as a ransom for many [Mt 20:28].

For [God] loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for . . . sins [1Jn 4:10].

Other persons in Scripture, preach and talk about Jesus as the Savior “who died for our sins,” but Jesus refers to Himself as the Son of Adam who was sent from the Father to bring us truth, as something that the poor, the oppressed, those unjustly imprisoned, those who crave the light, would welcome as “good news.” And what is the “good news?” That He would die for us? Again, let’s look to his initial preaching. He announced from the beginning this message:

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! [Mt. 3:2].

We Christians tend to forget that in the Old Testament there was absolutely no revelation about heaven. The afterlife was called the “netherworld.” Nobody was sure what would happen after death. Enoch and Elijah “went up” but what did that mean? Nobody had come back to tell. Jesus’ news about heaven was absolutely earth-shaking. It was that honey-word of heaven that drew crowds of people like flies. Later He began revealing other doctrines, which were more difficult to grasp, and some fell away:

Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life [Jn 6:67-68].

It was for the doctrine of heaven that the Apostles stuck it out. There had been plenty of speculation among devout Jews about the afterlife. The Maccabean martyrs died for their religion, hoping in heaven, but there was no definite doctrine. Not one prophet had spoken about it. Moses said nothing. Who could affirm it as a “truth” unless they could provide some kind of authority?

Jesus declared: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me [Jn 14:6].

How did this carpenter, this ordinary son of Adam, prove that He had access to the truth? Miracles might be our first answer, but miracles are not a sufficient litmus test. The pagan world was filled with deities that were actually fallen angels who had used mysterious, angelic power to convince people to worship them as gods. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen gave us the answer in a famous sermon entitled: “The Only Person Ever Pre-announced.” (You can Google it. It’s well worth the read. I’ll provide the link in the YouTube description box). I’ll just quote this brief extract:

History is full of men who have claimed that they came from God . . . but there must be some permanent tests available to all men . . . by which they can decide whether any of these claimants . . . are justified. These tests are of two kinds: reason and history. Reason, because everyone has it . . . History, because everyone lives in it.

We already believe that Jesus is the Messiah, as we are all gathered to study about the Mother of Jesus. We are focused just on the fact that Jesus enlightened us about life beyond the grave where the Holy Trinity lives:

I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness [Jn 12:46].

If Christ has not been raised (says St. Paul) then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain [1Cor 15:14].

(St. John) And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life [1Jn 5:20].

And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom [Mt 9:35].

No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him [Mt 11:27].

Philip . . . he who has seen me has seen the Father [Jn14:9].

Adam and Eve did not see God. The Genesis witness says that they heard his voice. But even if they had seen the deity who spoke to them, they could not have identified Him as either Father or Son or Holy Spirit. Who would instruct them in these matters?

If Jesus had become Incarnate and died on the Cross only to restore us to Garden innocence and natural immortality, would that be a blessing compared to the gift of preparing mansions for a eternal life in heaven? As I sat down at the computer this morning to prepare this conference on life in the Garden of Eden, I checked my email and was led to a news channel. I had to laugh out loud because the story of the day was about some nudists who insisted on their so-called right to walk in a parade. The unattractive photos of these graying, aging bodies reminded me to announce up front in this conference, that the Blessed Mother is not telling us that we can undo history and get back to the Garden where physical bodies were immortal and eternally youthful and lovely, where the atmosphere was like a terrarium—with a mild, even temperature and humidity, making rainfall unnecessary—where death and disease were unknown, and where food was always ripe and ready to hand. It would be a foolish waste of time for us to try to turn earth into that kind of paradise. That’s what the Communists and so many commercials are always trying to urge us to do.

We only return to the Garden to get back to the fresh starting point of an innocent first couple who chose to be obedient to God’s Original plan for humanity. That plan could not be revealed until after they had been tested. They have now passed the test and stand ready to steer Spaceship Earth in a good direction. But they could not naturally know the plan. The plan was not unending immortality on earth. If no one died and no one stopped being fertile, earth would soon be overpopulated. The plan was for man to be admitted to heaven. This required a teacher with supernatural revelation. It is only logical to assume that the Son of Adam was prepared to come at once, rather than leave this humble and loving couple in the darkness of ignorance as they stood in the beautiful Garden.

So, would Jesus have been born in the Garden as an infant?

Neither Adam nor Eve had been born. They appeared in the Garden in full maturity. Infancy, in a certain sense, is a state of imperfection because of physical immaturity. It would not be fitting for the first child of the first couple to appear in a state of incompletion. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was a birth into a world marred by sin. In order to atone for man’s proud rejection of God, Jesus appropriately accomplished his entrance into the world in the humiliation of the helpless state of an infant, even a rejected infant, who had to find shelter among animals and then in a foreign land. This is not to say that childhood is an indignity, and that Jesus could not have entered the Garden as an infant. But in a perfect setting of Original Innocence, it would have been more proper for the Son of God to appear in his full manhood. I have a passage of Scripture that supports this, even if I have to jump off the trail for a moment. When God brought the Jews to the Holy Land it was to rebuild a Garden society. The Temple was a miniature Garden of Eden.

Solomon carved all the walls of the temple round about with engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, that is, mature flowers, not buds [1Kg 6:29].

The Son who was begotten from eternity from his divine Father could not naturally be fathered (begotten) also by someone else. The Gospels clearly testify that, while Jesus was born of a woman, He did not have a natural human father. The long genealogy of Jesus uses careful language:

And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ [Mt. 1:15].

The genealogy acknowledges the legal paternity of Joseph but did not say that Joseph begat Jesus. As a true parent, it was Joseph’s civil and religious duty to name the Child, to offer sacrifice for Him, to protect Him, to provide for Him and to educate Him. Joseph was responsible for the Child, not just through an act of charity as a foster-father for an adopted child, but as the true and legal father, because the Child was born to his lawfully wedded wife. Jesus was obedient to Joseph as one who has lawful authority.

Could Jesus be the lawful son of Adam in the Garden and his lawfully wedded wife, Eve, if Eve did not give birth to Him? Yes! First of all, scripture affirms that the physical, natural human generation of the Son of God in the Garden was not strictly necessary for God to become a member of the human race. John the Baptist vigorously assured the Pharisees:

Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able, from these stones, to raise up children to Abraham [Mt 3:9].

All that is required for Jesus to be truly a son of Adam, is for Him to become a man in the flesh, and to be adopted by a lawfully married couple. What is required for a sacramental marriage of Adam and Eve?

1) a man and a woman, male and female – check

2) they must not be too closely related – check, neither Adam nor Eve have parents or siblings or cousins

3) baptism – check, Adam and Eve were created in a state of grace

4) a contract for the purpose of expressing their free willingness to enter into a lifelong union –

for our purposes we have the imaginary document of a new book of Genesis recording a happier end to the story

5) an openness to the progeny that natural sexual intercourse might bring

And a minister? Even most Catholics assume that the priest ministers the sacrament, but in fact he is only a witness. A wedding Mass brings special graces but technically the ministers of the sacrament are the spouses themselves.

So all is proper for this first marriage. The Holy Spirit rushes upon them with sacramental graces, and before they even come together, they are made fruitful. The Son of God stands in the Garden. Ecce homo! Behold the Son of Man!

Pilate uttered those words when He showed Jesus to the crowd after his scourging. He is wearing a scarlet cloak over his shoulders, hands tied at the wrists, the crown of thorns on his head, and a long reed in one hand. In Greek Orthodoxy this pose goes by a different title: Ho Nymphios — meaning “The Bridegroom,” because Jesus at that moment is officially presented to his bride the Church. He stands almost naked in his innocence, but wearing a crown made of vines, reminiscent of Eden, and clothed in a royal robe and holding a scepter as is custom for eastern weddings who dress their bride and groom as a king and queen.

So now at last He appears in the Garden in all his manly beauty!

Next week we’ll listen to the teachings of the Rabbi of the Garden.