The one who still burns the light of hope

{This is a repost . . .]

mary-pierced-heartHave you ever wondered why Saturday is traditionally observed as the day of Our Lady? A few years ago I was reading a book by John Saward (The Beauty of Holiness, the Holiness of Beauty), and, in a section about our Lady, he described Mary’s unfailing faith through the long, terrible day after Christ’s death when she alone kept faith in her Son.   I had never before heard of this mariological foundation for Saturday being traditionally her day:

The yes [her continued yes to the Lord that began with her Annunciation yes] of Our Lady does not end on Good Friday and [Christ’s] yielding of the spirit . . . . The faith and love of Our Lady last into Holy Saturday.  The dead body of the Son of God lies in the tomb, while His soul descends into Sheol, the Limbo of the Fathers.  Jesus goes down into the hideous kingdom of death to proclaim the power of the Cross and the coming victory of the Resurrection and to open Heaven’s gates to Adam and Eve and all the souls of the just.  The Apostles, hopeless and forlorn, know none of this.  “As yet,” St. John tells us, “they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead” (Jn 20.9).  In all Israel, is there no faith in Jesus?  On this silent Saturday, this terrible Shabbat, while the Jews’ true Messiah sleeps the sleep of death, who burns the lights of hope?  Is there no loyal remnant?  There is, and its name is Mary.  In the fortitude of faith, she keeps the Sabbath candles alight for her Son.  That is why Saturday, the sacred day of her physical brethren, is Our Lady’s weekly festival.  On the first Holy Saturday, in the person of Mary of  Nazareth, Israel now an unblemished bride, faces her hardest trial and, through the fortitude of the Holy Spirit, is triumphant.

I take great comfort in knowing that Mary always burns the light of hope for me (and you!) as well.

Tenth Month

Advent

Those heavy days, the Child cramped
within you and girding his limbs,
your lungs squeezed breathless-high,
the ordinary, unnerving simmer
of black waters within, Woman,
what did you think?

Or was thought
all prayer—trust in the buds
of epiphanies, the unquantifiable
blood to be let. But Mother,
those unspeakably swollen days,
olives combed out of ashen leaves,
or wine leeching out its vinegar smell,
did you feel the tug of split hearts,
in city streets, at tabernacles, in bars?
As your belly drew down, drawn
by hormones and truth, did you weigh,
too, the clumsy imploring down all
our bloodlines, for this saving parcel of flesh?

Sally Read

The pulling of my soul

reblogged from The Mudroom

The God Who Waits

rsz_leonardo_da_vinci_-_annunciazione_-_google_art_project

Advent is a season of waiting:
for calendar chocolates, promised presents, Santa’s steps.
Advent is a season of longing:
for life, and light, and hope beyond this world.
In Advent, we think we are the ones who are waiting.
But I think of the annunciation,
in Leonardo Da Vinci’s Italian colours:
Mary is surprised, her left hand curled into a question mark,
but it is Gabriel’s head that is bowed low,
The Archangel holding his breath for her answer.
All heaven was waiting on a human word
before the Word would be made human.
Before God became incarnate,
God waited for human assent.
***
God was in the waiting,
the liminal moment when heaven held its breath.
I wonder about the waiting;
As my body groans and yearns for an eternal home,
the pulling of my soul towards heaven;
Could it be that God is waiting for my words—
Could it be that God’s soul is pulling too?

I reach for Mother Mary

“I Shall Not Walk Alone”

Battered and torn
still I can see the light
tattered and worn
but I must kneel to fightFriend of mine
what can’t you spare
I know some times
it gets cold in there

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone

Hope is alive
while we’re apart
only tears
speak from my heart
break the chains
that hold us down
and we shall be
forever bound

When I’m tired and weary
and a long way from home
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone
I shall not walk alone

Beauty that
we left behind
how shall we
tomorrow find

Set aside
our weight in sin
so that we
can live again

When my legs no longer carry
and the warm wind chills my bones
I reach for Mother Mary
and I shall not walk alone
I shall not walk alone