I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Inspiration of Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine

I have written before about the amazing Hebrew Catholic priest Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine who transformed his parish in Marseille over a ten year period. He has now moved but he is having a great influence on others. On the website of the Urban Missionaries of the Heart of Christ it states:

"... His example has not gone unnoticed.  In fact, he has even inspired the good Archbishop Leonard of Brussels to found the Fraternity of the Holy Apostles after Fr. Zanotti-Sorkine's example.  The Fraternity has begun with three priests and seven seminarians, and has recently found a home in the once-closed old St Catherines'.  Like Father Zanotti-Sorkine, they walk highly-secularized Brussels in cassocks, and they bring the Gospel and sacraments to those who wouldn't otherwise seek them.

Fr. Zanotti-Sorkine has given us a model for how to re-evangelize the West.  He offers something old and something new to bring his people to the wedding feast of our Lord.  With his traditional dress, devotion to the confessional, and reverent mass he has reached deep into the time-honored treasures of the Church, and has been called another Cure of Ars.  His commitment to walking the neighborhoods is reminiscent of the early Franciscans and Dominicans, and represents the perennial missionary spirit of the Church.  He has also been adept at using modern technology to reach people through various forms of media: books, interviews, online sermons and even music..."

As I mentioned in my last post on Father Michel-Marie his parish in Marseille has been given to some young priests from the Emmanuel Community. On this blog of an Emmanuel seminarian back in 2013 mentions this new community in Brussels. 

"...The seminary here in Namur is the official seminary of all the French speaking seminarians of Belgium. So, we have here seminarians from Namur, Brussels, Liège, etc. all gathered in the same place… There are also seminarians here from Redemptoris Mater, the neo-catechumenal community based here in Belgium, as well as seminarians from a new community – The Fraternity of the Holy Apostles, who are inspired by the ministry of a very famous priest in Marseilles in the South of France named Père Michel-Marie Zanotti. I’ve heard echoes around here of him being almost like a young curé of Ars. His parish is apparently completely on fire  and his reputation is spreading quickly here in Europe. I only know very little about him, as Marseilles is at the other end of the continent and I’ve never had the opportunity of going there. I know he goes everywhere in a cassock… he’s a very good preacher… he’s taken extraordinary care of the liturgy in his parish… Anyway, he’s inspired a whole bunch of young men to establish among themselves this new community that is now studying for the priesthood here with us in Namur..."

The Fraternity of the Holy Apostles (Fraternité des Saints-Apôtres) have taken over a run down parish in Brussels called St Catherine and renovated it and its shrine of the Black Virgin or Madonna.

 Three of the new priests of the Fraternité des Saints-Apôtres

Originally Father Michel-Marie was to move to the Rue de Bac in Paris but in the end he moved to the Shrine of Our Lady of Laus. This shrine was a favourite of St Peter Julian Eymard. Is God moving him to a safe place as the Catholic prophecies speak of Paris being destroyed by fire and Marseille engulfed in a time of upheaval in France?

 Father Michel-Marie at Laus in the French Alps

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Zohar and the Mystery of Seven Voices: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

The Zohar is a work of deepest meditation and contemplation on the text of the Torah. This dark, hidden and mystical reflection on the Divine truths and mysteries is a feminine act at the deepest level of Marian interpretation of the Torah. This is the mystery of the seven voices of the Torah or the Seven (Sheva) who is the voices (oral dimension) of the Torah (see Exodus 20:15). The people of Israel saw this (zot) Voices as a being of flame and fire. As the lady or woman (Isha) of fire (aish) manifested in the burning bush to Moses so she was manifested to the people of Israel on Sinai. This is the fire of the Torah which engraves the letters of the commandments in our heart. "Who is she (mi zot?) that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array? " (Song 6:10).

The Zohar discusses this mystery of Seven (sheva) in Zohar Hukkotai 3:115a-b. There is a triune dimension to Seven. As uncreated Seven she is Holy Spirit, as created and unfallen she is Our Lady Miriam (united to the Holy Spirit) and as created, fallen and redeemed she is the very little Soul of Divine Will (Luisa (Nukvah) united to Our Lady and each soul who lives in divine will united to her). We can contemplate the mystery of seven (sheva) at the level of the three mothers as aleph (Holy Spirit), mem (Miriam) and shin (Luisa).

This mystery of the Seven is the mystery of redemption and sanctification connected to the mystery of the Red Heifer. This is the mystery of purifying fire that appears as punishment, judgement and chastisement when it is actually, cleansing, purifying and restoration. Seven sorrows, seven sins and seven levels of Sheol are transformed into Seven joys, seven gifts and the seven heavens.

 Zohar 3:115 links Seven with the concept of 40 minus 1 strokes which alludes to the Messiah's 39 stripes in the mystery of the Scourging at the Pillar. Our Lady is also El Pilar (God's Pillar). The Messiah receives 39 scourges but in a sense the more intense stripes are received by the maternal gaze of his Mother - these stripes are burnt in fire on her soul and heart. Is there any sorrow like unto her sorrow? Her seven sorrows makes reparation for our sevenfold sins (see Leviticus 26:18).

This passage of Zohar speaks of Sheva as Shemittah (release), Sheva (seven) heself and Bat Sheva (daughter of seven)- the three together are Beer Sheva (Well of Seven). 

" Rather what does Scripture mean by saying sheva. Behold, Sheva is confronting you! Who is She? (Mi zot). Shemittah (Sabbatical) who is seven, called Seven, as it is written: at the end of seven years you shall make shemittah (release)... She is called Sheva (Seven) and also Bat Sheva (Daughter of Seven). What is the difference between one and the other? Well, seven - by herself, to make shemittah (a release), to execute or destroy judgements, to liberate or free completely. Daughter of Seven- joined to another, to illumine, to reign in dominion, to reveal the kingdom on earth. In all ways she is called Sheva as is written...Be'er Sheva (Well of Seven) is the Well of Isaac, and all is one entity."
 In a sense we can say that the Holy Spirit  releases the soul, Our Lady as co-redemptrix destroys the judgements against us and Luisa helps complete the process of sanctification that leads to the kingdom of the Divine Will on earth reigning in souls. This section of the Zohar is layered with deep mystical meanings of the mystical Womb- both the uncreated, eternal Womb or Well (or Depth) that is the very essence and Divine Will of the Divinity and its created icon the Immaculate Womb or Well of the Mystical, Celestial and yet Earth-born Mother, perceived through 70 faces of mystical contemplation and meaning. In a sense the Immaculate Womb of the Mother is the Well within the Well and Deep calling to Deep.

Luisa (who is Nukvah/ Female and lower or earthly mother) is the mouth of the Seven (Sheva) voices of the maternal and mystical Well called Miriam (bitter seas). The 70 becomes multiplied by 7 which is the power of the forgiveness of the Messiah leading to Teshuvah (return) to Eden and beyond. 70x7 or 490 is the gematria of tamim (perfection/ completion) which is when the Divine Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven.