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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

On Mosquitoes and The The Cycle of Grace

American mosquitoes hate me. I never get bites in the States. However, Maltese mosquitoes love me and think I am a rare treat.

During the night, I am actually awakened by these creatures as the "bites" pierce my sleep. Despite closing windows and doors at dusk, I cannot keep these insects out of my little flat.

Then, I get up, turn on the light and try to find the culprits. Of course, I usually cannot. What is also interesting is that some do not make that loud mosquito noise. Silent bombers.

Finally, I am forced to consider why God made mosquitoes or flies, or fleas or any other irritating critters. One can imagine that before the Fall of Adam and Eve, such insects did not prey upon us mammals. Were there any carnivores before Original Sin?

The coming season of Advent, followed by Christmas, reminds us all of the famous prophecy, which prefigures the Messianic Kingdom of Peace.

Isaiah 11:6Douay-Rheims 

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb: and the leopard shall lie down with the kid: the calf and the lion, and the sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them.
We know that the Little Child is Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity Incarnate. The Incarnation brings peace, harmony, the reestablishment of the pre-sin world. Christ restores innocence to us, bringing us new life, forgiving the Sin of Adam, opening the doors of heaven, freeing the captives from Sheol.
That the animals would share in this revolution from death to life, from chaos to order symbolizes the entire restructuring of creation through the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Our Lord.
That we cooperate in this harmony involves our own individual calls to holiness.
Mosquitoes would lie down with the humans and let, at least this one, sleep. But, we share in some of the effects of Original Sin, including sickness and death, the clouding of the intellect, the weakening of the will, and concupiscence. 
Mosquitoes fall into one of those categories, and remind me in the wee hours of this morning, that we all need grace to combat those flaws we inherited from our first parents.
I wish the Church would reinstate the Feast of Adam and Eve on Christmas Eve, as in the old days. The collect of that old Mass resounded with the words we hear at the Praeconium Paschale, the Proclamation of Easter, in the Exsultet.
In this peal of rejoicing, we hear a reference to the "felix culpa", the necessary sin of Adam, which caused the Incarnation, the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and the Resurrection.
That this fault was mentioned on Christmas Eve tied the entire Liturgical Year into one great cycle of grace.
That Exsultet praises the Lamb of God reminds us not only of the two Passovers, the one in the Old Testament which prefigured that Passover of Christ, wherein He gave us His Own Body and Blood on Maundy Thursday Night, the true beginning of His Passion, but of the lamb lying down with the lion, the Messianic Age instituted by Christ while on earth.

O truly necessary sin of Adam,
destroyed completely by the Death of Christ!

happy fault
that earned for us so great, so glorious a Redeemer!
O certe necessárium Adæ peccátum,
quod Christi morte delétum est!

O felix culpa,
quæ talem ac tantum méruit habére Redemptórem!

The reminder of the Harrowing of Hell, which we say in the Creed, points to Adam and Eve's freedom, as well as our own.
O truly blessed night,
worthy alone to know the time and hour
when Christ rose from the underworld!
O vere beáta nox,
quæ sola méruit scire tempus et horam,
in qua Christus ab ínferis resurréxit!

So the crib on Christmas Eve, the Christmas tree, which comes from the Medieval Paradise Tree, bring us to the mysteries of Holy Week. From Eden to Gethsemane, from death to life, from sin to redemption, we move in grace.

So, the mosquitoes of Malta bring me to the contemplation of this life of sin, disorder, and pain to the goal of our lives, heaven with God. Such is the cycle of grace. Such is the end of my meditation on this time of pilgrimage on earth.