Holiness: The Zenith of Evolution
The scientific studies and treatises on evolution often miss out on some important spiritual truths. I'm currently in a debate on Gerald Warner's Telegraph blog with a chap who quite understandably maintains that Faith is ludicrous because we cannot see God or prove His existence empirically. I've been trying to draw attention to the life of Christ and particularly His Saints, who either through their lives or deaths gave witness to Him who 'made the Heavens and the Earth.'
One question for the humanistic scientific community is this: Is the evolutionary process still going on in man today? The Christian answer to this could be, yes, very much so! Christian holiness and sanctity is the pinnacle of the evolutionary process. In Christ we have the Perfect Man because he was both fully God and fully Man and we, because of His Death and Resurrection, and because of our Baptism into His Church, have been crowned 'a little lower than the Angels.'
The regenerative and re-creative force of Divine Love, the Holy Spirit, which moved across the waters at the beginning of time, which overshadowed the Blessed Virgin at the Incarnation, which raised Christ from the grave, which was given to the Apostles at Pentecost, as the Church proclaims, 'renews the whole of Creation'. Most importantly of all for us, it renews us!
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the 'New Adam', Our Blessed Lady, the 'New Eve', the Apostles and all of the Saints show us that the advancement, progress and ultimate destiny of Man is not in physical appearance or adaptation to his environment, but in the holiness and sanctity that comes from God by the Mystery of Grace. Christian perfection of love of God and love of neighbour, of self-sacrificial love inspired by God's Spirit has been demonstrated to be height of human evolution. This is Divine Love, which Dante described as the 'love that moves the earth, moon and stars.'
Prior to the coming of Christ, man could not enter into the Divine Life of the Blessed Trinity. Because of Christ's victory over death and sin through His Glorious Atonement, God Himself now draws all men to Himself, into a relationship of love, into a bond of filial trust and friendship, into a new life of Sanctifying Grace in His Church. Through the Sacrament of Baptism the stain of Original Sin which separated man from God's Kingdom is washed away. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, sins both mortal and venial which separated man from God are wiped away at the Absolution, renewing him and setting him free from the slavery of sin, restoring him to purity and holiness in the sight of God, not because of man's action, but because of God's regenerative and redemptive action through the Sacrament. Through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, God is present in the Blessed Host, transforming the substance of the species into Himself and desiring to dwell in the heart and soul of man, transforming him with His Heart and with His Soul, uniting our humanity to His Perfect Humanity and to His Perfect Divinity.
The halos seen in this beautiful icon give us a glimpse of Christ, the New Adam, the Redeemer of the World who by the Mystery of Grace imparts to His followers a share in His Divinity, His Holiness and His Salvation. The iconography of the halo is possibly the best illustration of God's renewal of His Creation and His renewal of mankind. Through the Sacramental life and prayer of the Church, God is renewing Man, changing him, transforming him from within, making him more like Him, making him think more like Him, changing his heart so that it becomes more like His heart, changing his will so it becomes more like His will. Yes, by the Mystery of Divine Grace, by the Mystery of the Blessed Trinity, God is renewing man, God is making Saints: the zenith of evolution, the pinnacle of all His Creation! The important thing is that like the Blessed Virgin, like the Saints down the ages, in order to renew us and fashion us that we reflect His Glory, He needs our co-operation. That's why we have to go to Mass regularly, we should confess regularly, we should receive Him in the Eucharist regularly and we should pray...very regularly!
The bodies of many of the Saints remained incorrupt after their deaths, such bodies include those of St Bernadette, St Clare of Assisi, St Jean Vianney, St Francis Xavier, St John of God and St Catherine of Sienna. For those Chosen souls whose bodies did not decay, God shows forth His Divine Majesty, revealing that His Holy Spirit had transformed that person in such a way that the bodies which housed their souls also now defy the laws of nature and by Supernatural Grace, remain intact and unwithered, just as their souls had been transformed by Supernatural Grace, remaining intact and unwithered. For the new man and the new woman, transformed by God so he and she are like unto Him, even death itself does not bring decay but eternal union with God in His Incorruptible Light.
As St Augustine said, "God was made man, that man might be made God!"
God is washing and renewing His Creation right now...its pelting it down out there! I can't go to my book-keeping course in this weather!