Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 23, 2006 (G5) Proline

Proline - the Coronation of Mary (G5)

December 23, 2006 - (Emnmanuel) - Tomorrow is the Vigil!

Ah, you have come back to learn the solution to the puzzle I mentioned yesterday! Yes, we have considered 19 amino acids and related them to 19 mysteries of the Rosary. But there is one more mystery, perhaps the most mysterious of all.

The mystery called "the Coronation of Mary" is, even more than the Assumption, only vaguely hinted at by any biblical writing. And yet we say that these mysteries are "the Gospel in miniature". How can this be?

The simplest explanation was given by Jesus, when someone in the crowd called out some quip of family-flattery: "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that nursed You!" It may not have been meant badly, but it could have easily been misunderstood. So Jesus replied with something which might be even more readily misunderstood: "Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."

This is no contradiction, but a correction. It was not in a physical relation that Mary was Mother-of-God, but in her obedience to the will of God. Yes, this obedience had its completion on Calvary, the offering Jesus made of Himself to the Father - but an offering which Mary had to ratify. But there was another completion, which (because we are created) had its stages. Those stages are the first four Glorious mysteries.

But there was one more stage. And this stage was to involve US, our work, our obedience - that is, our OWN roles in this Great Work. There is no more profoundly perfect representation to be given to this stage than the "event" of Mary's crowning. This crowning, which is the perfect recognition and true completion of her work, clearly cannot be done until her work is complete! Which means, in some sense, this event is NOT in the past - it is only to occur at the end of time. And that is only fitting, for all the subjects of the Queen should be there to pay her homage and rejoice with her as she is crowned - since they (in some sense) ARE her crown.

And so, this mystery is very much of a difference from all the others. Whether it is simply a matter of the "eternal" character which is so much a part of it, or my own speculations, or simply the occurence of G5 after the Assumption (G4), somehow we need to have some strikingly different symbol if we are to propose this mystery in its truly unique setting.

And God, the Master Designer, has given us that most suitable symbol in Proline.

Proline, you see, is NOT an amino acid, though it always ranks as one of the 20 "amino acids" from which proteins are built. Proline is technically an imino acid, because it does not conform to the arrangement of an amide, a carboxylic acid, a hydrogen, and a side chain, all attached to the central (alpha) carbon.

No, in Proline there is a link from the side chain back to the amide. This form is termed an "imino" - it has an -NH- or imide group rather than an -NH2 amide group. The loop is called a "pyrrolidine ring"; it is not chemically reactive, but its unusual shape changes the larger structure of the protein - Proline "puts a kink" or bend into the protein where it appears.

Proline (abbreviated Pro or P)
RNA Codes:

Proline has four codes, all of which begin with CC, the third is the "wobble base".

(Every so often I see eighteen-wheel trucks with trailers labelled Proline; I've never seen any of the others.)

So, Proline (the amino acid, er, imino acid, not the trucking company!) has a ring, hinting of the eternal character of the Glorious mysteries. By its being an imino acid, its "side chain" might be considered to contain the nitrogen of its own imide, but that same nitrogen is also part of the underlying structure - this preserves the essentially Marian character, but also hints of a larger topic for meditation, which we may never really grasp until (please God) we come to stand in attendance at the great ceremony, where the good wine will be served...

O Mary, our queen and our mother, pray for us, and guide us to your Son, the Emmanuel.


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