Monday, February 3, 2014
Pierced: Thoughts On the Presentation
Okay, first of all, how do you mamas do it? Taking care of a baby and a blog ain't no small thing. I've been at peace lately with posting less often, as I take the time to work on my book and spend as much time as I can with my sweet boy. I figure the internet will always be there, but I only get my Aaron at two months, then three months, and every month after for such a short time in his life. Add that to a general lack of much inspiration, and I've been feeling like I'd rather stay quiet, and be alright with it, than be stressing myself out trying to come up with new posts.
Moving on. Until yesterday, I'd had no idea the Feast of the Presentation involves the blessing of candles, that it only falls on a Sunday every seven years, or even that it's also called the Feast of the Encounter, commemoration Simeon's wonder-filled encounter with Christ.
Maybe it's my lack of knowledge that had me grasping at nothing for a long time when it came to meditating on the Presentation during the Rosary, until a few years ago. In the Marian prayer group I belonged to in college, we spent one meeting meditating on this mystery, the Presentation, through Our Lady's experience. Specifically, Simeon prophesies to Mary, "you yourself a sword will pierce" (Luke 2:35).
It's a beautiful but scary thought, meditating on the Presentation this way--I'd pray, Jesus, Mary, pierce my heart. Break me open; break my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh…but don't break me too much. In my mind, since Simeon's prophesy foretold Mary's pain at the foot of the Cross, the joy of Jesus' welcoming into the community was overshadowed by sorrow. Suffering brings so much grace, but I had a lot of trouble understanding why such a promise would classify as joyful.
I think it wasn't until becoming a mama myself, and reconsidering the Presentation as told to me in yesterday's homily, that I could really see the joy. Letting your heart be broken open, letting yourself be pierced, so often bears a deeper love and deeper understanding--it's a closer, deeper encounter, I can see now, with Jesus Himself. Of course, I thought, a mother's love for her child runs so deep that she'd feel any of his pain as if she were experiencing it herself. Of course their hearts are so closely united to the point of tears.
But, that closeness doesn't go away in times of joy. If anything, I'm thinking, two hearts can be united in joy as much as in trial. Being broken open doesn't necessarily mean being heartbroken, just being brought deeper into the love of Christ and into the heart of another person. Jesus, Mary, break down the walls of my heart that I might come to know you more. Bring me into deeper and deeper communion with you, with my husband, and my baby. Let my heart be brought to life by your living flesh. Amen.
Thoughts? I love learning about the Rosary and would be so glad to hear any additional knowledge or reflections you have. And by all means, if you have any advice on parenting and blogging at the same time, share away!