Thursday, December 14, 2006Motherhood and the story of Bethlehem
As I contemplate Advent and Christmas time, being a mother provides a whole new realm of thought for me. The story of the nativity is made more real now. It is more real to imagine Mary and Joseph travelling together: she on a donkey, going from inn to inn looking for a place to deliver. It is more real to imagine Christ as an infant. It is more real to imagine these practical aspects of the whole story of Bethlehem. But further, It is a new spiritual journey for me. Being a mother shapes my thinking in a whole new way. As I enter into the spiritual journey of Advent, preparing for the coming of the infant Jesus, I can apply this thinking in an entirely direct way. Caryll Houselander epitomizes this new realm of thought in her book titled, Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross. Here are some of the beautiful passages from it below. To read the whole of the source, go to ewtn's library by clicking here.
"...The first giving of this love to a newly born child is the reshaping of our whole life, in its large essentials and in its every detail, in our environment, our habits, ourselves...
The sound of our voice must be modulated - the words that we use considered, our movements restrained, slowed down, and trained to be both decisive and gentle.
...Our rooms must be rearranged; everything that is superfluous and of no use to the infant must be thrown out; only what is simple and necessary to him must remain, and what remains must be placed in the best position, not for us, but for him...
We must learn to sleep lightly, aware of the moonlight and the stars, conscious even in our deepest sleep of a whimper from the infant and ready to respond to it. We must learn the saving habit of rising with, or a little before, dawn.
...The rhythm of our own bodies must be brought into harmony with his. They must become part of the ordered procession of his day and night, his waking and feeding and sleeping. Our lives, because of his and like his, must include periods of silence and rest. We must return with him and through him to the lost rhythm of the stars and the seed.
...All our senses must be given to him, and we must give him our hands. We must give him our hands, tending his needs and washing his clothes."
~Sia writes from Ohio