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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Joseph, the Cup of Blessing and Rosa Mystica: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

The Sefer Zohar states: "The Rose is the Cup of Blessing". This is part of the mystery of the Holy Grail. It is also the Eucharistic Cup of Blessing in the liturgy of the Mass. Thus the Rose in another sense refers to the Eucharist. This is the Cup of Salvation that has messianic significance (see Psalm 116:13). The Zohar associates this cup with the Holy Child who is Son of Joseph and associated with the fish (nuna in Aramaic). Every holy hour of Eucharistic Adoration is an entering into the rose and the Divine Attributes follow forth as a rose unfolding and blossoming. Rav Hamnuna Sava mentioned in the Sefer Zohar is a reference to the Fisherking of this period who is a descendant of Joseph of Arimathea the original guardian of the Holy Grail. This is the Rose as ‘Shoshan’ the male six petalled one. ‘Shoshanah’ is the female thirteen petalled Rose.

The six days of Creation are also the unfolding or blossoming of the Rose. On the first day of Creation the conceptual light of the Two Hearts was hidden in the textual well of Miriam. On the third day of Creation these two beautiful blossoming plants ‘appeared on earth’. This means that the concept of the Two Hearts was revealed to the angelic beings who, under God, ruled the Universe and the Earth. On the fourth day of Creation the imperfect lights (angelic beings who became demons) fell by rejecting the Divine Will and Light for these Two Hearts. 

These Two Hearts were the beautiful blossoming Mystical Rose Bush and the Mystical Apple Tree. They are the image and model for the Creation. They are the Eternal Blueprint and the Living Torah. The attributes called the blossoms are mirrored in the patriarchs. Like the Two hearts the Patriarchs and Matriarchs were in the mind of the Creator as a Blueprint before the actual spiritual and physical creation. In the Olam Haba (The World that is Coming) they were hidden with ‘the Two Hearts that beat as One’. The blossoming Mystical Rose Bush is also the Burning Bush of Exodus who Moses encountered and from which the Lord spoke from its midst.This also alludes to the mystery of the Immaculate Conception.

The Patriarch Joseph is a representative of the heavenly Joseph associated with the Divine Attribute of Righteousness. This heavenly Joseph is the Ultimate Tzadik (Righteous One). Joseph is the one who lives in Divine Will through being totally eclipsed or hidden in his spousal bride. The patriarch Joseph is also a type of Joseph, the husband of Our Lady, who is also called a Tzadik (rigteous or just man) in the New Testament. Joseph is the hidden Tzadik and Master of Prayer referred to in the teaching of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (see Likutey Moharan 67). Joseph is also a sign of the Messiah son of Joseph who is to come in the fullness of these attributes that are called the blossoms of the Patriarchs. 

The blossoms are the spiritual fruit of the Divinity. The Zohar hints that the coming of the two blossoming ones is connected to a Joseph –like figure with whom they would live in a hidden way in the Holy Land. The Zohar states that they will be revealed when the Rainbow herself appears. The feminine Rainbow is the symbol of Our Lady in Eternity (Olam Haba). When she comes to earth (‘appears on earth’), the full message of the Patriarchs and the Torah will be revealed about these two pure child-like ones (symbolised by the Cherubs on the ends of the Ark of the Covenant). Joseph's coat of many colours represents the male Rainbow or male array of sefirot (attributes). These two pure golden children of Adam and Eve will bring the full blossoming of the Torah to its deepest level of Messianic, Marian and Universal understanding. A level only the humble and child-like ones can fully comprehend. The Zohar is this way of the Rose, revealing the true blossoming of the Torah.

Rosa Mundi, the Divine Name, the Number 42 and the Cup of Salvations: A Hebrew Catholic Meditation

Rosa Mystica and the hidden Hebrew Goddess and Her Son: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

The Jewish mystical commentary on the five books of the Torah, the Zohar, reveals deep spiritual meanings hidden in the text of the Bible in regards to the Mystical Rose (Rosa Mystica) which alludes to this mysterious feminine Presence in Judaism who Raphael Patai calls the Hebrew Goddess. However this Goddess is not like the pagan Goddesses who do their own will but she is the one who perfectly mirrors the Divine Will. There are seventy faces to this mystical diamond or sapphire and Rosa Mystica can be understood on many levels and layers of meaning that complement but not contradict each other or the other elements of Jewish and Catholic faith.

On one level of understanding the Rosa Mystica is the mystery of the Two Hearts that beat as one. These are the two children symbolised by the cherubs on the Ark of the Covenant mentioned in the introduction to the Zohar. They are the "blossoms". The Mother or female is the rose bush with its blossoms and the male is the apple Tree with its blossoms (see the Song of Songs chapter 2). The blossoms are the ten attributes (sefirot). The Hebrew words of sapphire (safir) and sefirot share the same root ספר. The term of ‘created these’ (‘bara elleh’) refers mystically to these two with child-like hearts that beat as one. The heart of the feminine Rosa Mystica is united to the heart of her Divine Son (the male Mystical Rose) who is the image and likeness of the Infinite One.

Who created these (mi bara elleh) two hearts? The Infinite One through the power, light and love of the Holy Spirit. The Son in his divinity was not created but in his humanity he was created through the flesh of his Mother. These two Cherubic Hearts united by the Divine Mercy (chesed) adore the Infinite Abba (Father) in spirit and in truth. The mystery (Raza) of the Temple is the Rose that is the two hearts. It is two Roses that are united as One Rose. It is the Rosa Mundi. The white rose of the female and the red rose of the suffering male are united to form this Universal and Mystical Rose. O mystery of mysteries (Raza de Razin) is the holy rosarium. Rosarium is Latin for the Rose Garden. The rose Garden is the Garden of Pardes- it is the spiritual journey to the divine heart of the Mystical Rose. It is the number 13. 13 is for Love (ahavah). 13 is for oneness and unity (echad) of the hearts filled with the 13 qualities or attributes of mercy (Chesed).

The Zohar asks “Who created these?” ‘Who’ (‘mi’ in Hebrew) and ‘what’ (‘mah’ in Hebrew) refers to the cherubs of the Ark – the Holy children- one male and the other female. Metatron and Matronita. Yeshuah and Miriam. The ‘mem’ מ of ‘who’ (mi) is the female enclosed with two mems as a Rose Garden. This is part of the mystery (raza) of the name ‘Miriam’ מרים who is Rosa Mystica. The letter ‘yod’ י of ‘who’ (mi מי) is the male- the Divine Yesod (foundation) and Holy Tzaddik (righteous one). The mem מ of ‘mi’ is at the level of Binah (Understanding) and the yod of ‘mi’ is at the level of Hokmah (Wisdom).

The mem of ‘mah’ is the Mother as Kneset Yisrael – Mother of the Church. The ‘hay’ ה  of ‘what’ (‘mah’ מה) is the radiance of the Shekhinah – it is the Holy Spirit and the Son as the Body of Christ. He is the Head (rosh) and Beginning (reshit) of Creation. Shekhinah is the manifestation of the love of the triune god through the mirror of the Mother united with the human and divine Heart of her Son. For its humanity is heart of her heart. It is the Mystical Rose for all time – the very beauty of God.

Bara Elleh’ (‘created these’ ברא אלה) alludes to the mystery of these two pure and holy ones. Bara can be also read as Bera (Son) and represents the male cherub while Elleh represents the female cherub on the Ark of the Covenant. Elleh or Elah אלה also means Goddess in Hebrew. It is the female that unites the two for the Son (bera) is flesh of her flesh, heart of her heart and blood of her blood. ‘mi bara elleh’ also mystically reveals that this Son is Elohim (God). The ‘mi’ מי is united with ‘elleh’ אלה in order to reveal that the Son (bera) is Elohim אלהים. This uniting of the words ‘mi’ and ‘Elleh’ makes the word Elohim אלהים.

The Bera (ַas Divine Son) is the ‘concealed of the concealed’ according to Yehuda Liebes (a leading Israeli Jewish scholar) in his book on Zohar. He is the great secret of the Zohar. The Son and his Mother is the hidden and Mystical Rose. This is the Son as the Creative Word and Light (see Gospel of John 1). Beriyah is the dimension or World where the Son (Bera) is revealed as Divine Word and Creator God (Elohim). This is also part of the mystical understanding of the first three words of the Torah “Bereshit bara Elohim”. This phrase represents the Triune Deity and the role of the Son as Creator God. Bereshit points to the Father, bara hides the mystery of the Son and Elohim proclaims the role of the Holy Spirit in the act of creation.

The mystery of ‘Bereshit’ בראשית the first word given a triune meaning of Bera ברא (Son), Rosh ראש (Head) and Shit שית (six) as revealed in the Zohar also reveals the mystery of the Rosa Mystica. The word ‘shit’ שית refers to the number six alluding to the six days of Creation. It also alludes to the male Rose (shoshan) for Shoshan also derives from the number six as a rose is said to have six petals on one of its tiers. Here we see that the rose refers to both Jesus and Mary as well as to the very Creation itself. The three meanings of the Mystical Rose are intricately linked. The Rose also represents the five gates of salvation united with the sixth sefirah (attribute) of Yesod /Tzaddik (foundation/ righteousness) of the lower attributes that make up the Divine Body of the Son (Zer Anpin / Shorter or Lower Divine Face). 

Joseph, the Cup of Blessing and Rosa Mystica: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

Monday, January 16, 2017

Rosa Mystica Devotion: A Hebrew Catholic Perspective

In 1947 in Italy the Virgin Mary allegedly appeared to Pierina Gilli and called herself Rosa Mystica (Mystical Rose). Her second apparition was on July 13 1947 and the 13th of each month was to be a Day of Rosa Mystica and the annual day of celebration for Rosa Mystica was to be July 13th. This modern Rosa Mystica devotion stresses the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th in which a special hour of mercy or grace is kept. It is as if the Virgin Mary has come to confirm the insights about Rosa Mystica and the Immaculate Conception found in the opening verses of the Sefer Zohar

These alleged apparitions have a theological richness and mystical depth which enriches our understanding of the Divine Revelation itself and has drawn modern Catholics back to an awareness of the already rich tradition of Rosa Mystica in both Christianity and Judaism. Its spiritual and theological fruits have been immense even though like many genuine apparitions they go through a time of struggle to be accepted by a clergy that like the Saduccees of old are skeptical of any mystical or supernatural events. The devout and simple believers all over the world often intuit the importance of such apparitions long before they are "approved" by the Church authorities.

This title of Rosa Mystica is found in the Litany of Loreto and has a rich history in Catholic devotion. However devotion to Mary as Rosa Mystica is much more ancient. Since at least the 5th century Christian writers have written that Mary is the ‘rose among the thorns’ of Song of Songs 2:2. Both Jesus and Mary have been referred to as the Mystical Rose throughout Christian history. This mystical rose is also associated with the Holy Grail (the Cup of the Last Supper). They are both seen as vessels that contain the divinity. At Lucca in Italy (a centre of Kabbalah) from earlier times has kept the feast of Our Lady of the Rose on January 30th. Since 1947 many statues of Mary as Rosa Mystica have wept in many places around the world including New York and Russia. She weeps that her Son is left abandoned in so many tabernacles with no one to adore him.

This Mystical Rose is linked to the opening verses of the Torah as mentioned above. The first verses are seen as a mystical Rose. The phrase ‘et ha shamayim’ is especially seen as the concept of the Mystical Rose. Paradise is seen as the Mystical Rose Garden (Rosarium) mirrored on the earth by the Rose Garden between the Kotel (Wailing or Western Wall of the Temple) and the Temple itself. Shamayim is the Hebrew for Heavens, which is linked to the concept of Paradise or Pardes. In the Celestial Mother her attributes (that mirrors the Divine attributes perfectly) are seen as the enclosed Rose Garden. In her son the Beloved they are seen as an Apple Orchard linked to Song of Songs 2:3 “Like an apple tree among the trees of the orchard, so is my beloved among the sons of men.”

The Catholic devotion of the rosary is also called the Rosarium or Rose Garden and each prayer in it is seen as a rose to offer Mary in her role as Intercessor and prayer warrior for her children. Each of the 20 mysteries of the Rosary is linked to the Divine Attributes of God. A white and a red rose are conceptually seen on the left and on the right of each attribute in the figure of the Divine Man who is perfectly mirrored in the mother. The rose has been associated with many of the famous apparitions of Mary through the ages such as Guadalupe in Mexico.

Rosa Mystica and the hidden Hebrew Goddess and Her Son: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

The Rosa Mystica, Genesis 1 and the Number 42: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

As discussed in previous posts I believe that the Jewish mystical book of the Zohar is Jewish Christian in its origins and when read at its deeper levels reveals a text that is a Eucharistic, Marian, Messianic and Josephine penetration of the Biblical text of the Torah. Even the name of the book Zohar alludes to the concept of Miriam who is Our Lady in Eternity as the Dark Waters and Light who is the Mother of Sorrows as the weeping Shekhinah and the feminine Mystical Rose. Many Jews believe that after the Bible and Talmud the Zohar comes next in authority in Judaism.

Song of Songs 2:2 refers to Our Lady and her Immaculate Conception and the following verse to her Son the Beloved (dodi) who is the Messiah. The Zohar asks “Who is Shoshanah (Roza)?” The answer is Kneset Israel or the Woman of Israel. “For there is a rose and then there is Rosa Mystica.” Daniel Matt states: “A rose blossom can have thirteen petals in its second tier.” The Zohar states : “Just as a rose has thirteen petals, so Kneset Yisrael (Our Lady) has thirteen qualities of mercy surrounding Her on every side.” It is this Celestial Mother that fully understands the concept of God as ‘Elohim’ (God). She does this through her spousal relationship with the Holy Spirit of Understanding (Binah). This Holy Spirit is called ‘Ruach Elohim’ in Genesis 1. Between the first and second mentions of ‘Elohim’ in Genesis 1, there are thirteen Hebrew words symbolising the 13 qualities of Mercy. These 13 qualities are in a deep way connected with the Spirit of God and his spouse the Celestial Mother. These 13 qualities of Mercy are linked to the 13 rivers of balsam that await the righteous (Tzadikim) in the World to Come.

Daniel Matt states: “The leaves of rose plants grow in clusters of five, nine and thirteen leaves.” Also between the second and third mentions of 'Elohim' are five words that are connected in the Zohar with the five gates of Salvation (yeshuot). This Salvation (yeshuot) is directly connected to the raising of the cup of Salvation also called the cup of Blessing. This in veiled terms is directing us to a meditation on the five wounds of the crucified Messiah made present in the Eucharist in the raising of the Eucharistic Cup of Blessing and Salvation which is Yeshuah (Jesus) himself. Thus this opening section of the Sefer Zohar is in veiled form revealing the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and then moves on to the Virginal Incarnation of Jesus (Yeshuah).

“From the second ‘Elohim’ till the third, five words appear. From here on the creative Light, that is concealed and contained in the covenant, enters the Rosa Mystica and emits seed into her.” The Zohar then associates this process with the number 42 which is a veiled reference to the word ‘imma’ (alef mem alef) and 'My heart' (lamed bet yod). Imma means Mummy or Mother in Aramaic and Hebrew. This is connected to Genesis 3:15 where the Woman (isha) is the mother (imma) of the Divine Seed (the future Mashiach). The mysteries of the Spirit and of the Mother are closely connected at the level of Understanding (Binah). The 42 are connected to the first 42 letters of the Torah from the first ‘beit’ in ‘Bereshit’ to the ‘beit’ in ‘bohu’. The 42 is also the 22 letters or paths and the ten Sefirot plus the ten creative Sefirot mirrored in the heavenly Mother or Woman. 

It is interesting that “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” author Douglas Adams says that the answer to Life, the Universe and everything is 42 in his novel. In a sense the Sefer Zohar says the same thing. The Zohar calls it “the 42 letters of the act of Creation”. The Universe is made in the image of this Imma (Mother). The number 42 is also the gematria for ‘My Heart’. This alludes to both the Sacred Heart of Yeshua ha Mashiach and the Immaculate Heart of  Miriam ha Kedosha as well as the Pure Fatherly Hidden Heart of Yosef ha Tzadik  (which is hidden or eclipsed in the heart of his wife) as three hearts that beat as one.

Rosa Mystica Devotion: A Hebrew Catholic Perspective


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Order of Sion, Calabria and the Jewish Christian Church

In the 12th century there was a papally approved Catholic community known as the Order of Sion with houses on Mt Zion, Mt Carmel and Calabria. Some modern writers have tried to connect this Order of Sion with the Priory of Sion mentioned in the book "Holy Blood and Holy Grail". However this is highly speculative and doesn't seem to hold water when examined more closely. The mother house of this Order of Sion was the Church of St Mary of Sion which included the Cenacle during the time of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. 


 This Cenacle was to become the mother house or Messianic Synagogue of the early Jewish Church of the circumcision. This was the place called Zion from which the mystery of the Eucharist would radiate out to the four corners of the earth. At the time of Constantine the Jewish Church broke with the Pope and Rome after the visit of eight Jewish Christian Bishops (all belonging to the descendants of the Holy Family) to Pope Sylvester I around 318. For a number of years the mother Church on Mt Zion was not in unity with the Gentile Church in Jerusalem and St Cyril of Jerusalem was unable to preach from there in 348 (see Bargil Pixner "Church of the Apostles Found on Mt Zion"). However in 394 under the guidance of St Porphyrius, a Jewish Christian from Thessalonica, the Jewish Community on Zion was reconciled with the Gentile Bishop of Jerusalem John II. Pixner states:

The reconciliation was finalized when the bishop of Jerusalem, John II (served 387-419 A.D.), blessed the altar of the Judeo-Christians (propitiatory, Hebrew kapporet), now in the Theodosian church, on the feast of Yom Kippur (September 15), possibly 394 A.D. On that occasion Bishop John gave a most astonishing sermon full of Judeo-Christian symbolism. In it he praised again and again the great merits of Porphyrius the Israelite.
It would seem this was when the Jewish Christian community and congregation  who would seem to be run along the lines similar to those found in the Celtic Church as a monastic community with a lay or clerical Abbot (Abba/ Abouna) of Davidic ancestry as the head with monks, clergy and laypeople as members. This when integrated with the wider Church was known as the community or Order of Zion (Sion). The early monks of Mt Carmel also belonged to the Order of Sion and it was to Mt Carmel that the Jewish Christian 'Order of Sion' retreated when the Persians invaded Jerusalem in 614. It is the hermit monks of the Order of Sion community on Mt Carmel that are the spiritual ancestors of the Carmelite order which was formally established in the 13th century. Some of the Order of Sion retreated to the lands in the Indian Ocean and were known as the 'Mourners of Zion' when Benjamin of Tudela visited them in the 12th century. Some from this branch of the Order of Sion (who had maintained more Jewish forms and observances) settled among the Jewish communities in Spain and Poland beginning in the 13th century.

When Jerusalem was retaken by the crusaders in 1099 the Order was able to reestablish the house on Mt Zion with the support of Godfrey du Bouillon. In the 8th century the Order of Sion was also able to establish a community in Calabria in Italy where they followed a version of the Byzantine rite. The Order of Sion endeavoured to be among the poor and to remain hidden from sight. The remnant of the 'Order of Zion' is thought to have come under the protection of the Jesuits in Calabria and Sicily. It was this Jewish Christian influence among the Jesuits that allowed the Jesuits to support the Frankists who entered the Church in 1760. Some of the descendants are to found among both the Latin-rite Catholics and Italo-Albanian Byzantine Catholics of southern Italy. It is interesting that two Jesuit priests of Jewish background in the 19th century founded the two congregations with a Jewish apostolate named for Our Lady of Sion. Could the Order of Sion be revived today as the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Sion with its centre on Mt Zion in Jerusalem? Could this future Ordinariate of Our Lady of Sion be open to the descendants of the hidden Jews who feel called back to their Jewish heritage such as the crypto-Jews of Calabria and Italy, as well as those in Spain and Mexico and the Spanish speaking world, as well as those in Portugal and Brazil and those in many countries who are feeling this mystical call to their Jewish ancestral roots and practices?


Monday, January 02, 2017

A New Romanticism of Simplicity: A Hebrew Catholic View

Recently Pope Francis upset some people with his comments about how he doesn't understand why some youth are attracted to the Latin Mass and whether this was demonstrating some kind of rigidness in their thinking. I wish to share my insight coming from someone who is familiar with the English-speaking Catholic world and its culture over recent decades that might give an insight to the Pope's query which is made by many in his age group in the Church. While some of these people may be rigid or choleric and wanting to cling to a fortress mentality of the church this is not the reason most young people are attracted to certain traditionalist customs and rituals. There are more idealist or romantic reasons rather than rigidity.

Pope Francis is of the generation who lived in the pre -Vatican II times and then went through the 60's and 70's and they saw a need for updating and focusing on the simplicity of Jesus revealed in the Gospels. However at the same time many abuses entered the Church and a rather hippy kitschness of style and a downplaying of the mysterious and mystical. However those who were influenced by the new Gothic or Romanticism of the 80's in youth culture found the 1970's kitsch painful and bland. These are the John Paul II Catholics who are now about 42-55. Then we have a group now 30-42 who were more influenced by rap and grunge. In those under 30 today we see a return of the romantic spirit and traditions. 

The Pope is worried about those who are too idealist and rigid and moralistic and he sees the need to return to a realism rooted in a healthy Christian humanism. However I think that if we don't want young Catholics to retreat into a fortress form of Catholicism locked into the imagined idealist past then we need to propose a new romanticism of simplicity that takes the best of the past that with the best of the present moves into the best of the future. St Peter Julian Eymard seems to embody this idea of Romantic and spiritual simplicity that is rooted in Eucharistic Adoration, even though after his death his successor took his order away from this apostolic and romantic simplicity of style to one that was more ornate, baroque and monastic.

These romantic youth are seeking truth, beauty, meaning and purpose. They have grown up in a society of ugliness, broken families and the bland leading the bland into an ever increasing humourless, purposeless, utilitarian and dystopian  nightmare. Is it any wonder they want to escape into the Tridentine Latin Mass fortress or into their ever present machines and its games and entertainments? If we want them to not be ensnared by the pomp and superficiality of a lavish and baroque form of romanticism that focuses more on laws and rituals than conversion of the heart, then we need to propose a romanticism rooted in the Bible and in Franciscan and Carmelite traditions of simplicity, poverty and mysticism. 

The young religious are attracted to the romanticism of the habit not so they can look like a medieval prince but due to its power to witness to God and its link with all the religious who have gone before. It is also an outward sign of their inner consecration and to remind firstly themselves and then secondly for others that they are consecrated for the service of God and their fellow man. Certainly the habits should be simple and practical without taking away its symbolic traditional meanings. That all members of their community share a distinct habit reminds them of their vocation as a community not just as an individual. However it must be said that most of these habit wearing young consecrated and religious are not Latin Mass traditionalists but belong to communities who love Vatican II and the Mass in the vernacular when it is done with simplicity, joy and reverence. Even those who do prefer the Tridentine Mass (extraordinary form) does not necessarily mean they are opposed to the ordinary form or are anti-Vatican II or locked into the past. Though of course there is an element of traditionalists who are against any changes since Pius XII.

To develop a theology and spirituality of romantic simplicity will not necessarily be easy but I think if we look to the teaching of the Popes since Vatican II and integrate their teachings to an authentic balance this could be a way forward. However it will take much prayer and reliance on the Holy Spirit for any such understanding to bear pastoral fruit that will bring a Biblical and Eucharistic transformation and renewal of  the Church. This Church that treasures the best of both old and new will then become simple, little, poor, evangelical, apostolic and faithful to the Gospel of Jesus and prepare the Earth for the coming of the Kingdom when the Divine Will shall be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.