The Old Testament
I have heard that the Old Testament is highly underappreciated within the Church. No doubt, this is mostly because the people who read Genesis (the most beautiful of all books of the Bible excepting perhaps the Gospel of John, more straightforward than that or the Canticle, accessible to every man of every age who might read it, hear it, encounter a paraphrase, or see a picture, and then understand it in its entirety and essentiality very quickly) do so as if it was the Canticle, and they pretend it says something completely different from what it says.
But it is certainly true in its plain manner. God made the Heavens and the Earth, then He spoke within the Trinity, which is a Mind capable of forming words and enacting commands, and the first of these was that there was light. Following this, there was a firmament of fine matter which filled space, as it is inaccurately called today, formed out of water. Then there was a drying of land by "gathering the water into one place". This land produced plants in full maturity without seed in the ground or time to grow. Seventy-two hours had passed, and then God made the sun, moon, and stars (the last word encompassing a variety of objects). Another twenty-four hours, now marked by the movement of the sun which God created "to rule the day," the length of which God had defined by the alternation of twelve hours of light with twelve hours of darkness on the first day. Then God commanded the creation of flying things and swimming things. Another twenty-four hours, and He created animals. The same day, He created one man out of wet earth. This man named the animals, then was put into a deep sleep, received the first wound, had a rib removed, and of this rib, Eve was made, in a similar manner to God the Son being generated from the Father eternally.
This then, was the first family of mankind, and these are our parents, whom one day we will see in the flesh and thank most likely and honor for our births and, moreso, for the birth of their greatest Son and Lord, the poor Man Jesus Christ.
God rested after, on the seventh day, and ceased making new kinds of things in this manner, that is, species of plant and animal and heavenly objects, etcetera. On this day, He probably delivered the content of the first chapter of Genesis to Adam, which was kept in our father’s possession, carefully preserved, and, either then or at a later time, written down, until all of Genesis reached the hands of Moses, and he made the final version which we have today. For the archaeological information on this, see Mister Michael (Mike) Gladieux’s book, The Genesis Documents. https://www.kolbecenter.org/product/the-genesis-documents-e-book-pdf/
There is a great significance in the history recorded in the Bible from the first creative act of God to our Redemption. First of all, it is our own blood and soil, that is, the plain answer to why we are here, what we are supposed to be doing, and why things are so hard. Our Father in Heaven has made these supposed mysteries simple and widely available.
Secondly, it exposes very clearly the foolish errors of the day in which we live, where men claim that there is no God, that if there is, He does nothing, that if He does something, it is slow and far away, and everything around us is a product of long and vast, unending natural processes, that go from eternal darkness to eternal emptiness. In fact, insofar as anyone is ever confused by Genesis (as simple and sweet as it is), it is because they are trying to reconcile these myths from the haters and enemies of the Church to God’s plain instructions against His enemies. They are trying to have two masters, that they may not offend either, and they hate one and despise the other.
Thirdly, and this is the point of the article, it shows us our God throughout all history in a completely unbroken manner. It is no secret that the enemies and powers that be in this late age obscure any history which they can in order to hide from men the God Whom they were made to see and must nevertheless do at Judgment. Hence why terms like “prehistory” exist, which is nonsense, and why it is constantly said that we do not have good records from the Medieval period. This latter despite the fact of the monastic and scholastic traditions which took the class of capable, detached men (which otherwise in pagan societies such as ours are idle and violent) and made them dedicated to an ordered division of physical and intellectual labors by their own choice, such that books were copied in great quantities, histories and all manner of treatises and compendiums were composed, deserts were made fertile, and the printing press was invented before being destroyed as plunder by the head of the Anglican heresy (at that time schism). The reason why these reams full of information and record are dismissed lightly is ostensibly for one reason and truly for another. The true reason is a guilt and labor of justification for the action, especially by the English historians. The ostensible reason (which they will give themselves if you ask) is that these records mention God often and note in detail all of the miracles which He wrought in this especially graceful period, full of saints.
The true idea of history is that God made man to worship Him just like the angels, while, unlike the angels, man was to attain perfection over time, and, like the plants and animals, man was to grow and fill the Earth over time in order to fill up Heaven. Also like the angels, the first man sinned, and, unlike the angels because of their higher order, penance was invented for man. So, over time, great multitudes of men have come from a single root, some doing penance and earning Heaven, others suffering needlessly and choosing hell. This multitude is connected in simple family lines as exemplified throughout Scripture, meaning that all of us today have ancestors stretching back to every period recorded in the Bible. These ancestors live today so far as their souls, either in hell, Heaven, or Purgatory, and in the latter two, they intercede for us.
The most significant Event in history, over and above Creation, is the death of a poor, shoeless, naked Carpenter, from a very small town in a very neglected part of the Roman Empire, where He had been born to a tender, poor, young Woman Who had been found with Child at the time of betrothal to a poor and almost dumb Carpenter, this Child’s reputed father, who was reconciled to the Woman, and who happened to be a descendant of a legendary (which does not mean false but actually means recorded rule, as in the legend of a map or the Golden Legend) king that had reigned in a brief period of prosperity for this small and obscure, quaint, region. After His Birth and thirty years of modest, humble labor in carpentry, some of which was done in a foreign country for fear of the native government, this carpenter’s Son gathered some of His relatives and friends and traveled the countryside, eating and conversing over dinner tables and sleeping in homes whichever would have Him, for three years, before arriving at the capital of that place and making such a stir that His elders condemned and tortured Him to death. This Man was God.
Effects of the Redemption Picture by the Holy Penitential Season of Advent
This Event allowed man who had sinned to go to Heaven as was originally intended, after labor upon the Earth, which is called penance, and the attainment of perfection, which happens by purgation and is exemplified by the virtues. Before this Event, all but two of those who did penance well had to wait in a dark cave, starting first with that one who sinned first and did penance first for a thousand years on Earth, suffering the sight of his children murdering each other and descending into so many abominations (including “men making contracts with men”, understood to be equivalent to our “gay marriage”) that they were all consumed in a worldwide Flood. In this time, there was only one line of men who chose penance, and one of these was taken away to a place, not Heaven, to await his reward. The other lived to see this Flood, suffered a year in a dark, rocking box, cleaning animal excrement and managing his family, and then emerged to settle an inhospitable wasteland with his sons which had been altered so much away from being conducive to man that there was now frost, rain, and desert heat, and men’s lives shrunk to a fraction on Earth in God’s mercy. Also, in God’s mercy, men were given new supports, such as wine, which strength this man did not know, and he became drunk and suffered mockery from his son.
These are our fathers now in Heaven interceding for us. But before the great Event, they waited in a dark cave about four thousand years, these men who had committed themselves to penance. We remember that period of four thousand years in Advent for four weeks in which we do penance and thank them who preserved the race of men through darkness.
Mockers of History
Now, some men ridicule this idea of history, saying that we have none. Is this any surprise? They have first ridiculed the description which I have given of that singular, great Event, saying to God that if He were so, He ought to come down from His Cross, for He has the power. They do not understand the God Who has the power to mount the Cross. This God made the Cross a banner of victory for all time. For our God is so good and loving that He has not only made us, not only purchased us (by the Precious Blood and Holy Face), but also shown us the way to live such that any poor beggar can do it and attain Heaven (see St. Servilus). Even so is virtue a criteria of judgment of human worth that applies to all men at all times justly, even the unborn, since innocence and purity are virtues.
It is not a surprise that godless men have invented ludicrous notions to escape the presence of God’s justice. What is surprising is that Roman Catholics, who possess the true hope of Adam before that terrifying Judge, and who might do penance and save themselves, rather try and court the friendship of those who mock the Cross.
But I will not go further into that for my own temptations. I will just encourage the practices denoted by this Holy Penitential Season, and also a study of these Fathers of Hope and Faith, which can be done for instance through materials produced by the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation. They have made available many resources on the traditional way of viewing the books of the Old Testament, and these are available on their website. https://www.kolbecenter.org/ They have a true pious love for those who have come before us and left instruction in order to unite us to those giants of the Church Triumphant, who did penance and are now very close to that God in the Manger, Whom they may kiss for us, being ourselves unworthy and impure, and they may ask that He save us. Because our darkness is worse than theirs and our sins so great that we have snuffed out that Light which already had been sent to us, two thousand years ago.