This is our ninth talk on the theme of deepening our understanding of Mary’s request for consecration. We can’t respond properly and fulfill our role unless we understand Mary’s role in these times. I hope you haven’t been discouraged by so many weeks of wandering around in the Garden of Innocence, looking for the Ideal Eve, the foundation and revelation of Mary’s full identity as the New Eve.
Naturally, we found the Ideal Eve in the Ideal Garden planted in the Ideal Earth. The Book of Revelation promises us a New Earth. Mary has been appearing in many places to let us know that the time is near.
A New Earth requires a new kind of government, even a world government. Adam and Eve governed the whole earth. The New Adam and the New Eve will be the moral guides and rulers of a renewed and cleansed earth. Yes we are also promised a New Heavens. This refers to a renewed church, and a new “atmosphere” as it were, because the evil angels will have no more power and the good angels will have much greater power. But in this short conference I want to focus on the Earth because
the Ideal Old Eve and the New Eve both have important roles in the government.
Will the New Adam and the New Eve give us a how-to manual to teach us how to govern our society in this brave new world? Did your parents receive a how-to manual when you were born? No, an instruction booklet didn’t emerge from the womb with the placenta. Did our mothers just naturally know what to do with our umbilical cord? No. They naturally turned to the knowledge and experience of their forbears, parents, mentors, medical books to know what to expect with the birth of a child and how to proceed with the upbringing.
To go forward in life wisely, we first look backward. Fools rush in without a plan, presuming they can follow their instincts.
Such people act like animals then discover abruptly that they are not animals and do not have a rulebook inscribed somewhere in their DNA. Here’s an internet excerpt with advice for humans who are present when a horse gives birth to a foal:
1) Do not interfere if everything is proceeding normally.
2) Cleaning the foal is the mare’s job; human involvement can inhibit with mare-foal bonding, thus confusing the mare who would not recognize it, and thus fail to suckle it.
3) When the mare rises, the umbilical cord usually breaks . . . sealing off with minimal bleeding. Avoid the temptation to cut the cord; it’s more likely to bleed.
4) Do not attempt to help the foal to its feet; if its bones are not yet fully formed, you may do permanent damage to the joints.
Here’s another example from the farm. You’ve probably heard that humans must avoid the temptation to help a chick when it begins to break out of its egg. Each peck is a vital exercise. By the last peck the bird’s muscles are now strong enough to walk. After a few days of walking, it will feel strong enough to spontaneously start flying. If it doesn’t peck out of the shell, it’s too weak to stand up. It may never develop properly.
Why are humans so complicated, human babies so helpless, parents so in need of detailed instructions? Even in a Garden of Innocence where warm clothing and shelter might not be needed, toddlers are born with ten million questions in their brains. When is the last time a kitten asked it’s mother “why”? Or a puppy asked it’s father “when?” Do cows tell their calves bedtime stories to help them settle down and stop giggling? Animals don’t even name their offspring. And their young usually wander away within a year, or much sooner. Even pack wolves are always competing for the best share of the kill, and it’s common for them to break off and become a lone wolf.
Why are human beings so specially in need of a nurturing family that if children fail to be solidly rooted in a stable family, they are susceptible to a variety of emotional and physical difficulties that can plague them for decades to come? Human beings can’t even be defined apart from their relatives. What is that boy’s name? Answer: first name plus sire/surname. The last name, the family name, is not a modern invention. Go back to antiquity: This is x, son of so and so. This is y, daughter of so and so, or “y” the wife of so and so. I’ve been told that it’s not uncommon for Vietnamese to be able to recite their genealogies from memory back to the 1500s. Among African tribes in the not-too-distant past, at least one person was designated to be responsible for the oral recitation of the village history and inhabitants. Even the very recent so-called right to define a family with any number of persons or genders, is a testimony to the fundamental importance of the human family as essential to human well-being.
Why? Why are we so different from all other species?
Then Elohim said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. . . [Gn 1:26]
In English we usually add “s” to make a word plural. In Hebrew they add “im”. Cherubim and Seraphim are literally cherubs and seraphs. El is the normal word for God. So what is this “Elohim” business in Genesis, with our image, and our likeness?
Have you ever asked yourself why the word “therefore” is in the Shema Israel?
Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD;
therefore you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart [Dt 6:4-5].
Hear, O Israel: Yahweh our God is one Yahweh;
therefore you shall love Yahweh your God with all your heart [Dt 6:4-5].
This isn’t a proclamation that the Lord is one God, but a cryptic proclamation that God is one “unit,” therefore we love Them because they are united. Throughout the Old Testament Elohim-Yahweh expects the Israelites to be the great defenders of monotheism, but if you can read Hebrew, the monotheistic names conceal a cryptic “union of divinities.” It wasn’t clear to the Jews themselves until Jesus revealed to them the Father and the Holy Spirit. As we’ve discussed in previous conferences, Yahweh wanted to reveal his full identity right way, but in the Original Sin, thanks to the lies of the snake, Adam and Eve expressed their desire to be gods in competition with the Divine Creator, so they didn’t get to know Him as Them.
The name Yahweh contains three elements:
I AM + who + I AM
Jesus said many times that He is “I am,” the son of the Father. That’s normal. Sons tend to be the spitting image of their fathers, and we often give sons their father’s names. But the word Yahweh has three parts. Something is in the middle binding Father and Son together. Not YahYah, but Yahweh. I am who I am. One name, three names, three Persons, one Union, one Divine Family. Human beings are made in the image of a Family God, not a rogue planet god, or some lone monad.
Hear, O Israel! Why do you love Yahweh? Because our God is a united God, bound together in the Holy Spirit, not at all like the pagan gods of old mythologies who lived on Mount Olympus and constantly indulged in wolf-like rivalries, incest and wars. The Holy Trinity dwells in a place of peace, in a state of unending ecstatic exchange of self-giving and other-receiving. It never gets dull in heaven. The gift of self from one to another is so complete, that there is a breathless suspense as to whether the one who receives the life-gift will return it. It is always given in freedom. The exchange is always dependent on the loving, good-will of the other, and the return of the breath of life in a reciprocal pouring out of self—through the help and mutual self-gift of the Spirit. This is a blazing white-hot exchange among divinities. Each exchange makes the Big Bang look like a toy pop gun. The joy is so great that there just aren’t words in created language to express it: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” [1Co 2:9; Isa 64:4].
And yet, this divine exchange is continually hinted at in the Bible, and in the writings of the saints, by the analogy of a wedding feast: the bridegroom, the bride and the friends (officially represented in Israelite weddings by the “friend of the bridegroom” or the steward [cf Jn 3:29] Everything on the wedding day is love, fresh and pure and beautiful. In heaven the freshness never fades. It’s always new, always “today,” even as Romeo & Juliet wished:
Romeo: Wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
Juliet: What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?
Romeo: The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
Juliet: I gave it thee mine before thou didst request it:
And yet I would it were to give again.
Romeo: What! Wouldst thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
Juliet: Ahh, but to be frank, and give it thee again . . .
My love is deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.
I first saw Zefferelli’s motion picture version of Shakespeare when I was thirteen years old, and I went back seven times. The balcony exchange of the two lovers captivated me. Human love longs for the infinite. We find that love in God.
And Yahweh God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [Genesis 2:7].
Dr. Edward Sri commented in his book “Queen Mother”:
Man as depicted in Genesis is a divine representative on earth. Images of gods or kings were viewed as representatives of the deity or king . . . Whereas Egyptian writers often spoke of kings as being in God’s image, they never referred to other people in this way. It appears that the Old Testament has democratized this old idea. It affirms that not just a king, but every man and woman, bears God’s image and is his representative on earth.” [Queen Mother by Edward Sri, 2005 p.60]
To raise Adam “from the dust” is a Hebrew idiom for elevation to royal office. Let’s cite two quick examples:
The word of Yahweh came to Jehu the son of Hanani saying, I exalted you out of the dust and made you leader over my people Israel [1 Kg 16:1-2].
Yahweh raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people [Ps 113:7-8].
The New Earth with new leadership will represent a renewed humanity, a society where “every tear will be wiped away, because the ‘culture of death’–war, homicide, abortion, euthanasia–shall be no more . . . no mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things will have passed away.” [cf Rev 21:4; Pope St. John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, Encyclical 1995, #12,19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 50, 64,87, 95, 100]
This renewed society will reflect, finally, the loving Family of the Trinity, the maker of heaven and earth. From that Tree of New Life, the Cross of Christ, Jesus intoned the prophetic Psalm 22 of King David:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? I can count all of my bones. People look at me and stare.
They divide my garments among them. They cast lots for my clothing.
Yet God has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and He has not hid his face, but has heard.
All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh;
and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.
The “family of the nations!” How evocative! I was deeply struck when Pope St. John Paul took that expression from a 3000 year-old psalm to use it as an analogy of our times when he gave an address to the United Nations. He spoke of each nation as a family member. How beautiful! Imagine nations as brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, grandchildren. The stronger members watch out for the weaker; the younger learn from the older; all rejoice in the accomplishments of each member as something that brings honor and joy to the whole family. No one is in competition. No one is jealous. And no one attempts to impose rules to make the members conform to an artificial uniformity. Instead the members rejoice in the variety of gifts. [Apostolic Journey of his Holiness John Paul II to The United States of America: The Fiftieth General Assembly of the United Nations Organization at United Nations Headquarters (New York), Thursday, 5 October 1995]
Can you imagine a world like that? We must! We must believe it is possible! We must believe that it is predicted! How many times in the Bible did God promise: “The meek will inherit the earth?” How many times has the Lord’s prayer been prayed: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth.” Would Jesus ask us to beseech the Father for a gift that the Father is unable to bestow? It will happen! Some of us might live to see it. With God all things are possible. [Mk 9:23; Mk 10:27; Mk 14:36].
Jesus declared that on three separate occasions, but it will be up to humanity–particularly to those meek ones who are entrusted with dominion–to cooperate with grace and govern wisely. We must learn from the errors of Solomon, who governed unwisely. He tried to establish peace with foreigners by inviting them into the country, to build altars to strange gods and to intermarry with the people. Solomon and many Israelites completely lost connection with the Spirit of wisdom. In Solomon’s building projects and business deals, he acted unjustly and made more enemies than friends. The fruit of his reign was a violent schism. At his death, the northern tribes broke off from the southern tribes. Israel was never united again.
Our Blessed Mother has been appearing all over the earth for the last two centuries. She wants us to be ready to govern wisely. We need to study the ideal society, the Garden of Innocence, in which the leaders passed through the Great Tribulation, that is, the great test at the Tree, and emerged triumphant. Last week we began to discuss the system of world government in the Garden of Innocence, but then we had to admit that we didn’t have a vocabulary. Adam is at once High Priest and King, yet he rules not as a monarch but in council with the heads of the families. It’s not an aristocracy because all the citizens are noble members of the royal family. There are no commoners, no peasants. Neither is it a hierocracy, because the rule is not confined to the priestly fathers of families, but their wives as well because Yahweh expressly assigned dominion to Eve as co-ruler. Nor is it a thearchy because it’s not strictly a divine government because the divinity shares his authority with mankind. And it’s not exactly a theocracy either, because every law isn’t a religious law.
I studied a long list of forms of government and there was one which I had never heard of: hagiocracy. Hagios is the Greek word for saint or holy one. Hagiocracy is government by holy men and women. I want to go forward using that term! The word is so rare that you have to consult huge, unabridged dictionaries to find it. Has this form of government ever been tried? Yes, by the priest Ezra and the layman Nehemiah and the Jews who returned from Babylon. They rebuilt the temple; the Maccabees defended it, Herod enlarged it, and the Messiah entered it in the arms of Mary and Joseph [History of Israel: Vol. V: The History of Ezra And of the Hagiocracy in Israel to the Time of Christ by Heinrich Ewald, 1874]. It was a very messy time in history. It was still a very fallen world. There was open schism in Israel and many pacts with surrounding nations. We have few reliable documents. Leaders were martyred one after another, so it’s not like we can go there to study the details of an ideal government. One group couldn’t imagine how Simon Maccabeus could be both priest and king since not even David had assumed both roles, although David did mysteriously put on the priest’s ephod and dance before the Ark, singing a psalm about the return of the order of the High Priest Melchi-Zedek, King of Yeru-Shalem. In 142 bc, this group, led by a man called Rabbi Zedek, that is, “Teacher of Righteousness,” split off to become the Essenes [the pious ones].
The government of the ideal hagiocracy ought to resemble a holy family: Fathers, Sons and Spirit-Mothers. The witness in the Garden affirms that God created the woman to help the man in his task of “tilling” the Garden. We have seen that “tilling” is a Hebrew Temple expression: as in “tilling the tabernacle”. The Levites were helpers to the priests.
And you shall give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; they are wholly given to him from among the people of Israel [Nm 3:9].
Together priests and Levites, ministered to the laity, the sons of Israel. Yet the sons also had heads or princes, so there are three categories of leaders. Again, we struggle for new titles. The leaders are ministers, public servants, servants of God, servants of love.
The helper-mothers have an important role. We needn’t hesitate to use the word “queenly,” because every mother should be enthroned in her home where her children and husband consult her for advice. Among Native Americans—and I am told it is also true of Aztecs and many Mexicans–the grandmother is held in extraordinary honor. Her place is in the midst of the family: advising, comforting, accompanying. Many Mexicans place a statue of St. Anne in the crèche at Christmastime because for them the newborn and young mother absolutely have to have the grandmother. It’s really astonishing to discover how many Native American men enthusiastically travel long distances to the shrine of St. Anne in Beaupré Canada to honor the grandmother of Jesus on her feast day, July 26th. These Catholic men revere St. Anne even more than St. Joseph. In our current milieu of nuclear families where employment opportunities often oblige young parents to separate from their forbears and move away to distant cities, we don’t fully realize the loss of the priceless wisdom, comfort, and aid that can be given by a true and noble grandmother, not a gossipy, domineering hag, but a holy woman worthy of a hagiocracy.
The Original Eve would have been the gebirah of gebirahs. In the Hebrew monarchy, the wife of the king was young and busy nursing the king’s offspring. The title of queen [gebirah] went to the mother of the king. She sat on a throne next to his throne and the king consulted her as he made decisions. In fact, he often owed the throne to her because she had some influence with the king’s father about which son he should name as successor. The Ideal Eve would be the grand matriarch of the whole earth, seated under the great tree in the Garden with her council of elder daughters, like Deborahs of old, adjudicating in the Supreme Court of the Assembly.
Through the woman’s unique cooperation with the Spirit, Eve, the co-regent, assists her children in becoming “the company of those who believe . . . of one heart and soul, [so that] no one says that any of the things which he possesses is his own, but they have everything in common [Acts 4:32]. It’s not a matter of suppressing individual freedom but a blessing of guidance upon those who are seeking only the glory of God and the happiness of their brothers and sisters. The Spirit is as a living law. Love is the ‘magna carta’ of this government. A written law or constitution can express general, impersonal principles under which all the people of a nation commit themselves to align their behavior, but the Spirit is a Person-Counselor who personally guides in the way of love and peace, to perfectly achieve the Father’s will in every particular time, place or circumstance. Under the queenship of Eve the people are led to “subdue the earth” until finally, after as many generations as God wills, “all things are subjected to Him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be everything to every one” [1Cor 15:28].
In the teachings of Orthodox Judaism, the wise Jewish rabbi/husband looks to his wife to surround him with her protective love. In the marriage ceremony, the bride actually circles around the groom seven times. Safe within her love, he relies upon her influence to help him grow closer to God. Maimonides taught that woman is innately more spiritual than man and that the husband needs his wife as a helpmate toward holiness. On his part, the husband is expected to study assiduously to learn from books the laws of holy conduct, much of which his wife is believed to know intuitively in her own heart [Anonymous article in Hebrew Catholic, http://www.hebrewcatholic.net/the-hebrew-catholic]
The father is empowered by God to physically enforce the right conduct of his children who need assistance in discerning between their natural (irrational) passions and their developing intellectual (rational) desires. Restraint can include boundaries (play pen, fenced yard) and light spanks, but not verbal abuse for these children of God. The wife helps him rule the household wisely and he requires her feminine counsel to obtain a complementary perspective of events. She must judge serenely to mediate well between father and child. If there is a difference of opinion in minor matters she has the role to lead the children in obedience to the father’s decisions for the sake of peace, joy and unity in the family. But the wife is not authorized by God to obey her husband as her god. She must judge before obeying, and protest against wrongdoing or criminal activity.
We’re toggling back and forth between the heads of individual families and the ministers of the Family of Nations. All of these are social bodies. In the Garden of Innocence and priests, it’s also one big Mystical Body. For the present let’s look at the idea of a social body that coordinates a family of nations, and of course each nation is comprised of families. An individual living body must have access to an outside source of food and oxygen to maintain sound internal health. Likewise, for a social body to be internally sound, it must enjoy a healthy interaction among its members, and also with outside sources for intellectual and religious nourishment. The role of a social leader is to govern. Guvernar is a pilot’s word. It means to hold the helm and steer the ship. The executive is able to drive the body into a coordinated action, only if the group members are motivated to value their own society enough to work for it, to fight opponents, to be fertile in new members, and to conserve its resources wisely.
In the fourth conference in this series, “Unfallen Race,” we made the case that the serpent in the Garden was a collective entity because the Old Testament habitually employs animals to represent a group, and we do the same thing today: Republicans are elephants and Democrats donkeys, there are school mascots, animal symbols for nations, and all sorts of animated animals appear in commercials to represent a product or company. We get a visual image of the Family of Nations in the vision of Isaiah:
The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together . . . The cow and the bear shall feed; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat hay like the ox . . . the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Yahweh as the waters cover the sea [cf Isa 11:6-9].
These nation-bodies need to be in natural proportion. If a social body is dependent on a giant executive head, it’s a deformed, even monstrous, animal. Government dependency is not appropriate for a mature and godly republic. A hagiocracy is semi-democratic. God nominates male candidates by causing them to be born first. But if the candidate does not prove himself worthy, one of his brothers can be named “firstborn” in his place. Esau could not sell his sonship to a non-
Israelite because that was documented in his blood, but he could sell his right of firstborn to any of his brothers with, or without, the consent of the father.
Jacob was very concerned about the promise Yahweh made to his grandfather Abraham. Jacob tested his brother Esau to determine if he would be likely to take his responsibilities seriously. The scene in Genesis is disgusting. Esau was only interested in amusing himself, expecting his younger brother to oversee the vast number of servants and cattle that his father had acquired. One day Esau came in from a hunting expedition and Jacob was overseeing the cooking for the immense staff. Esau asks in crude Hebrew: “Let me gulp down some of that red stuff; I’m starving!” It is absolutely astonishing that the firstborn asks for a hand-out. Jacob probably felt obliged to buy the birthright from him. Yet he gave Esau a second chance to buy it back. After marrying and acquiring eleven sons and a modest amount of sheep, he dares to re-enter the Promised Land. Esau rode out to meet him. As “second-born,” Jacob was entitled to one-third of their father’s property. As legal firstborn, Jacob was entitled to two-thirds of Isaac’s property. Jacob never received a dime from the inheritance. Esau kept it all. Jacob didn’t care. He had the right to the blessing, the spiritual inheritance. Yahweh looked on with great approval. An angel is dispatched to meet Jacob to confirm his new identity as firstborn by giving him a new name, Israel. When Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn of Leah, proves himself unworthy, Jacob lays the coat of many colors on Joseph, the firstborn of Rachel. And for reasons not given, Jacob names Joseph’s second son Ephraim, as firstborn instead of Manasseh.
I recount these stories, to show that in a hagiocracy, a nation is not confined to the royal line, but can test its executive and legislative candidates. The firstborn sons form the Legislative body and they meet as representatives to enact laws. The laws are voted on democratically. You don’t find a good example of authentic democracy until about ad 500 with the organization of Catholic monasticism. With his Rule, St. Benedict and his monasteries moved the idea of representative government from being only a theory of ancient Greeks or elites, to becoming a truly participatory and merit-based system: one man, one vote. The vote of an older monk did not count for more than that of a younger monk. All were equal before God.
The Judicial Body is not a matter of royal descent. The judges are hand-picked on merit. They are the wives of the leaders of the assembly. Like our modern Supreme Court, these wife-justices have judicial review, that is, the power to pass judgment on acts of Legislators and Executives. The wives call out whether the men are proposing actions in keeping with the Constitution. And in the case of the Garden of Innocence, the Constitution is foremost, the Law of God.
So the hagiocracy has three governing bodies, Executive Fathers, Judicial Mothers and Legislative Sons. All other adult siblings, men and women are electors. All decisions are ratified democratically. And yet, there are three supreme leaders, God, Adam (High Priest and King), and Eve the Gebirah. What is their relationship to the governing bodies? We need to know! The whole purpose of our study is to understand Mary’s role as the New Eve. Piece by piece we are setting up the chessboard to understand the game. Mary tells us that:
433e-The great battle which is now being waged is above all at the level of the spirits: the wicked spirits against the angelic spirits. You are being involved in this struggle which is being waged between heaven and earth, between the Angels and the demons, between Saint Michael the Archangel and Lucifer. [To the Priests, Mary’s Beloved Sons, Fr. Stefano Gobbi]
We are the pawns, the peds, the peons, the humble foot soldiers, the armed peasants. We are also pawned. We’re the booty, the spoils that can be captured. Mary needs us to fight with intelligence. We are fighting for souls. Next week we’ll continue with our efforts to understand the person and the strategy of the Queen.